“Shrimp Parade”, Thailand’s most unique annual tourist attraction

People talk about Thailand’s big tourist attractions – the temples, the beautiful beaches, the bustling cities, the parading prawns… wait, what? September brings one of the most unique sights in Thailand, and people flock to the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani each year to watch prawns emerge from a stream when heavy rains swell the banks.

The natural phenomenon is expected to begin on the first of the month in Nam Yuen district and last throughout September, according to a Facebook post released Monday by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Flora.

“Once a year around September, an army of shrimp will march on the rocky banks of Kaeng Lamduan stream in their quest to hunt for food and avoid being crushed by gushing torrents caused by rain. These shrimp [Macrobrachium eriocheirum] are locally called “hairy claw shrimp” and they have been doing this walk for decades to ensure the survival of their species.

As strange as it may seem, the marching shrimp attract enthusiasts every year, and special arrangements are made by the Kaeng Lamduan Wildlife Study Center to help tourists observe the strange march of thousands of shrimp along from the banks of the creek.

The shrimp come out of the creek to avoid the rough waters and look for dinner each evening after sunset around 6 p.m. and the phenomenon can continue for a few hours each night. To accommodate curious spectators, the park will remain open from 6-10 p.m. and will arrange tour guides so tourists can safely navigate the trail after sunset when it gets too dark.

The center suggests that anyone wishing to join the shrimp parade bring a flashlight. They also ask visitors to wear masks for Covid-19 safety.

If you or someone you know wants to see a wonder of nature in perhaps the scariest way possible, you can find out more about the Prawn Festival by calling (097) 212 3951 or (094) 287 4156.

THE SOURCE: The nation

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Keith P. Plain