What a weekend it was for festival-goers in Bangkok! The 2023 Bangkok Riverside Fest wrapped up on Sunday February 5th after three days of epic fun and festivities by the banks of the Chao Phraya River, and it was a record-breaking year in terms of attendance.
Those joining were treated to a wide range of international and local food and drink vendors, a lifestyle market, dog park, kite workshops, and luxury VIP tents. As visitors made their way through the festival grounds, the air was filled with the tantalizing aroma of Thai street food. From grilled chicken skewers to spicy papaya salad, there was no shortage of delicious eats.
As the days went on, the festival’s stages came to life with top Thai artists taking the stage to entertain the crowds. From PiXXiE’s upbeat pop anthems to VIOLETTE WAUTIER’s soulful ballads, there was something for every taste. Other top Thai artists performing included POLYCAT, MEAN, LIPTA, 4EVE, Patrick Ananda, and Wanyai featuring. Mon Monik, along with live DJ’s.
As the sun began to set, festival-goers gathered along the riverbank to watch the fireworks display, which lit up the sky with a dazzling array of colors. The atmosphere was electric, with music blasting from the stages and the scent of food lingering in the air.
But the real highlight of the festival was the Elephant Boat Races. These races featured elite teams paddling uniquely Thai-designed boats decorated with artistic elephant-themed sculptures, complete with tails inspired by traditional fish motifs. It’s a true celebration of the best of Thai culture and a sight to behold.
This year eight men’s and women’s teams battled it out on the water for the King’s Cup trophy, graciously granted by His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua, and the Bangkok Governor’s Chadchart Sittipunt trophy.
The Klong Phai – JW Blue Label team came out on top in the men’s race, beating JW Blue Label, Royal Navy – Indorama, and Thailand National Sports University Lampang – Bangkok Bank.
The Klong Phai – Thai Union Group PCL team took home the victory in the women’s race, beating out the Thailand National Sports University Chiang Mai – Price Waterhouse Coopers team, Kasetsart University – UOB Thailand team, and the Nawaminthrachinuthit Triam Udomsuksa Pattanakarn School – Casillero del Diablo team, claiming the Bangkok Governor’s Chadchart Sittipunt trophy.
In addition to the elephant-themed boat race, the festival also featured tug-of-war style boat battles, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), and kayaking competitions, open to both amateur and professional kayakers and SUP boarders.
Not only was the festival a blast, but it also supported a great cause. Proceeds from ticket sales were donated to an elephant conservation project via the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation. The festival’s organizers were proud to be able to use the event to support such a worthy cause, and festival-goers were happy to be able to enjoy themselves while giving back to the community.
As the weekend drew to a close, visitors left the festival grounds with a sense of fulfillment and a desire to come back next year. The 2023 Bangkok Riverside Fest had been a true success, bringing people from all walks of life together to celebrate and enjoy the best that Thai culture has to offer.
For some, it had been a chance to indulge in their favorite foods or discover new ones. For others, it had been an opportunity to see their favorite artists perform live. And for everyone, it had been a chance to come together and celebrate the sense of community that makes Bangkok such a special place.
As the final notes of the last concert faded away and the lights of the festival were turned off, festival-goers headed home, tired but happy. They knew that they had been a part of something truly special, and that the 2023 Bangkok Riverside Fest would be remembered as one of the best events of the year.
Final leaderboard for 2023 Elephant Boat Race:
1. Klong Phai – JW Blue Label
2. Royal Navy – Indorama Ventures PCL
3. Thailand National Sports University Lampang – Bangkok Bank
4. Kasetsart University – Chang Beverage
1. Klong Phai – Thai Union Group PCL
2. Thailand National Sports University Chiang Mai – Price Waterhouse Coopers
3. Kasetsart University – UOB Thailand
4. Nawaminthrachinuthit Triam Udomsuksa Pattanakarn School – Casillero del Diablo