Thursday 9 March 2017
Today saw the start of Thailand’s annual elephant polo tournament. The Anantara Riverside Resort in Bangkok is hosting the 2017 edition of the King’s Cup Elephant Polo competition. Thirty elephants and their mallet-wielding mahouts are taking part in a knockout competition which will conclude with a grand finale on Sunday 12 March.
The days’ play was preceded by Buddhist monks hanging garlands on the necks of competing pachyderms and bestowing ceremonial blessings. Defending champions King Power retained their position in the running for a place in Sunday’s final match with a 13-6 win over Benihana. Casillero del Diablo, Mekhong, Arabian Knights and JW Blue Label all won their rounds too.
A mix of elephant polo matches, fashion shows, themed children’s events and entertainment ensures the remaining three days of the tourney offer fun for the whole family. On Sunday, jazz musicians are set to play live at 10:00. Cup awards ceremonies scheduled for 16:00 reward mahouts while the elephants themselves have to wait until 18:00 for their prize of a mammoth fruit buffet.
The King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is being held at the Bangkok Anantara Riverside Resort. The nearest public transport interchange is Saphan Taksin Skytrain Station. The Anantara offers ferry services from the pier near this station to the hotel premises. One-day entry passes cost THB200 and are available on the door.