It’s April, it’s cats and dogs in the southern Thai provinces.
But the Betong folks want to have fun.
They have a tsunami-size brainwave.
They will RAWK the rafters with the annual Betong Chicken Festival!
Cluck yeah! Komunitikini was invited!
Don’t mistake this town for its Sarawak namesake. In fact, this Betong (pronounced “beh dong”) finds its place at the southern Thai province of Yala, bordering Pengkalan Hulu of northern Perak.
With a population of over 20,000, mainly rubber tappers and petty traders, Betong was once a bastion of the Communist Party of Malaya and is now home to the Peace Village, settled by ex-CPM members after the truce with the Malaysian government in 1989.
The three-day festival saw the hazy border town go gaga. Its river front became a feast of eclectic food, scrumptious insects (yes, insects), shopaholical clothes and beery good drinks.
One end of the market connected to the town’s iconic Monglikit Tunnel, which was turned into an exhibition venue, while at another end was the town stadium, where the music was pumpin’.
But for all its chicken-themed fun, the festival was neither chicken-oriented nor food-related. It was just a yummy stunt that played on the town’s well-known reputation for chicken meat, kinda like how elephant=Thailand.
The ultimate goal of the festival, in Komunitikini’s opinion, was to foster a sense of belonging among the locals by heaping praise on the town.
And so the big bash was scheduled from a Sunday to a Tuesday, as opposed to a more tourist-friendly weekend.
Foreign tourists did not make up a large crowd; instead, Thais from other southern provinces such as Narathiwat, Pattani or Hatyai city flocked in to discover the border town’s charm. Story and photos continue here.