Thursday, 9 July 2009

Bull fighting in Kantang

9th July I went with Jira’s father and Luang to watch bullfighting in Kantang. In southern Thailand one can frequently see huge bull’s grazing at he roadside and I found out the local pastime is to pitch them against each other. I suppose some of them ends up in the cooking pot as well but bull’s are definitely more popular than cows.

Bull's at it

Anyway, said and done I asked my Thai friends to make some enquiries and Jira’s father came up with the date, so off we are in the morning towards Kantang, the seaport serving Trang. We arrive to what seemed to be a market, cars are lined up along the street and parking attendants whistling and hollering.

We are dropped off by Jira’s father and me and Luang make our way towards the entrance that is lined by snack sellers and other peddlers of bull paraphernalia. We pay 500THB/ person to gain entry for all 5 rounds. The day is divided into 4 fights per round.

The first fight is already on and I see two huge bulls locking horns on the arena. The cacophony of people shouting bets is deafening, every time thre seems to be a break imminent the noise goes into fever pitch. The fight lasts for abt 10minutes and then one of the bull’s gives up and runs away from his aggressor. The crowd goes quiet and retreats to the shadow of the lecter and waits for the next pair.

Next pair also fight for 12 minutes and at times the bull’s just stand horns locked and pants, no-one is willing ti give up eventually one does. After that the 1st round is clear and we wait for the 2nd to start. It is opened by a bull from Jira’s district, it is a coward, he runs away as soon as he sees his opponent coming.

Next fight goes almost same way, hadly 30 seconds of locking horns one bull retreats. 3rd fight is more interesting as one bull is clearly winning and he seems to realize that and he chases the other bull away. The winner stands seemingly unperturbed and then the loser bull suddenly attacks him from behind and almost plunges him into the dirt. The bull turns swiftly and shows who is the boss, the loser bull runs away again.

The 4th match which sadly is the last as the organisers can’t find enough pulls to pair for a fight turns out to be the best match of all I saw. The bulls lock horns and the outcome seems to be determined as one bull bends the others head in the dirt forcing him on his knees but time and time again up he comes and gives resistance. Finally the other bull is fed up or exhausted or afraid so he gives up.

The bullfighting day is over. I’ve lost 200 THB betting but it is no big deal. We head out among the throng of people, find Jira’s father in his pickup and head for home.

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