Surin Elephant Round Up

Festival Essentials

Where: Surin, Northeast Thailand
When: Annually, mid November
What Happens: Tug of war, elephant style
Remember to Bring: Strength of a giant

Where’s the Party

Surin, 300 miles northeast of Bangkok, where Thai elephants come from and where they are trained.

What Happens at the Elephant Round Up

The annual event is a celebration of the extraordinary strength of the elephant. As well as the impressive procession in which scores of elephants take part, the festival also involves elephant soccer and an unusual game of tug-of-war: one large elephant pits his strength against 100 strong men.

What’s the History of the Festival?

Thailand prides itself on never having been conquered by another country. The Royal family is supremely important, identifying its unconquered strength with that of the elephant. The king himself used to travel about the country in a convoy of elephants, and even used to go to battle riding an elephant. Perhaps the mere sight was enough to put off potential conquerors.

More Information

Thailand: The Big Picture
Fantastic resource answering just about any query you may have about the country.

Friends of the Asian Elephant
Learn about elephants and their environment in Thailand and other parts of Asia.