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Phu Wua is a wildlife sanctuary in northeastern Thailand, located in Bueng Kan Province. It covers an area of 186.5 km² of the districts Seka and Bung Khla. The wildlife preserve covers forested hills along the Mekong river, ranging between 160 and 448 m above sea level. The highest hill is Phu Wua Lang Tham Sung. Shorea obtusa is the most common tree. The dry and wet virgin forests are intersected with bamboo forests and grasslands. Wildlife of the sanctuary includes elephants, tigers, leopards, bears, pheasants, monkeys and gibbons.

The area was first surveyed in 1964, however the survey had to be interrupted due to the growing communist insurgency in the area. It took till 1974 that the Forestry Department could finish the survey and report the results to the government. On May 2 1975 it was established as a wildlife sanctuary by royal degree.

Festivals & Events

Boon Bang Fai or Rocket Festival  May  The festival is Bueng Kan’s indigenous tradition and important folklore. It is believed to appease to the rain gods for giving a lot of rainfall in the coming rainy season. The villagers will adorn themselves in colourful outfits, dance and sing in a procession while carry the rockets containing gunpowder and are around 9 metres in length.

Lai Reua Fai or Light Floating Festival  October and November  Chanuman District The festival, a heritage of Issan people has been celebrated at the end of Buddhist Lent. Bueng Kan celebrates the festival 1 day before that. The festival features different shapes of boats which people have been adhered to the traditional way of building with natural materials such as banana trunks or bamboo raft. Softwood is made into different structures of the boat. Some are as long as 20 metres, 24 metres or 30 metres.

Candle Procession Festival  October and November  Chanuman District  This annual festival is held during Buddhist Lent. Wax candles are created, elaborately engraved and adorned. They are later brought to participate in a parade. A competition for the most beautiful candle is also organized as well.

Princess’s Cup Boat Race  September  An inauguration of the new province, Bueng Kan officially formed on 3 August to mark its new status is celebrated on 10 – 12 September. There will be a Boat Race to win HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s cup.

Bueng Kan Province, North east  Thailand, the new Province.

BuriRam Page 1, Provincial facts