Elephant and boat racing festivals in the central highlands

Every year, when Tet comes, people in the central highlands province of Dak Lak and visitors have the chance to cheer on their favourite elephants in races.

Minh Khoa on March 05,2018 10:37 AM

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Under the guidance of elephant riders and to the sound of gongs, drums, horns and cheers, the elephants start running along the 400-500 metre-long track or wade across the Serepok River. Sometimes they even compete in kicking balls or pulling heavy objects. There are different rounds for them to compete before becoming champion. Thirteen elephants raced last year.

Considered to be the home of elephants and famous for its unique culture, Buon Don (Don Village) is one of the most frequently-visited attractions in Dak Lak, especially in March, and the Elephant Racing Festival has for years been the village’s most important and interesting event.

When elephant racing is held in Ho Lak (Lak Lake) in Lak district rather than Don village, there are boat races afterwards. The dug-out boats are carved from large trees. More than 20 boats compete, with two or four rowers in each.

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