From fire-breathing dragons to battling buffalo, here's what's happening over the next couple of months.

Photo by: www.phuketthailand2014.com

4th Asian Beach Games 2014

Phuket is to welcome over 6,000 athletes and officials from across Asia at the 4th Asian Beach Games 2014 from November 14-23. Held every two years, the event is regulated by the Olympic Council of Asia and will feature 26 sports at six coastal venues in Phuket. These include beach volleyball, beach basketball, sailing, windsurfing, paragliding, jet-skiing, waterskiing, triathlon, beach soccer and beach athletics. For the full schedule, see www.phuketthailand2014.com

Photo by: Ian Lloyd

Nan

The charming Northern province of Nan will host its annual boat races again from Oct 24-26, said to be the largest of their kind. Traditionally held to mark the end of the Buddhist Lent, the event will see some 200 colorfully-painted boats made from whole tree trunks, and accommodating up to 60 oarsman, battle it out for regional supremacy. Split into two periods, the races will also be accompanied by the usual fair featuring booths selling food and drinks, souvenirs and local art from Nan province. For more information, contact TAT Phrae Office on 05-452-1127.

Buffalo Racing Festival

This year’s annual Buffalo Racing Festival (038-428-750, www.tourismthailand.org) in Chonburi province will be held from Oct 4-10, with the race itself taking place on Oct 7 in front of the Chonburi Town Hall. If speeding buffaloes aren’t your thing, the event will also feature fun contests to find the healthiest buffalo in the heard and best buffalo decorations. A food fair will also provide some non-buffalo-related entertainment. 

Chiangmai Golf Classic

The Chiangmai Golf Classic sponsored by PTT, a US$750,000 Asia Tour event, will return to the Alpine Golf Resort Chiangmai from Nov 13-16. Marquee names include champions Jason Dufner (USA) and Charl Schwartzel (South Africa). Alpine Golf is promising to shake things up with the addition of new bunkers to further challenge the players. Rescheduled from July, you can now expect lovely weather to go with the breathtaking vistas offered by the course. Designed by Ron M. Galr, it is nestled in a valley surrounded by the San Kampeng forests. Visit www.asiantour.com to book a spot close to the action.

Nong Khai Magic Balls

The charmingly sleepy town of Nong Khai will once again play host to the annual Bang Fai Phaya Nark Festival (better known as the Naga fireballs) in October. This year’s festival will be held on Oct 8 at Mueang and Phon Phisai districts, marking the end of Buddhist Lent and welcoming big crowds to watch hundreds of glowing orbs, said to be produced by a Naga (mythical snake), mysteriously rise up out of the Mekong River and disappear into the full moon sky. The festival also features long-tail boat races and light and sound performances. More info at www.tourismthailand.org or call 042-325-406/7.