Water Buffalo fighting has long been a part of Koh Samui tradition, as it is in some other regions of South-East Asia. Funny thing is, a lot of the time it goes right under the radar of visiting tourists even though its quite a spectacle. The "fights" will go on at various stadiums around Koh Samui and at various times, so its more a case of looking out for the notices. But there is highly likely to be a festival or two around the New Year.
Even though yes, there is fighting involved between the water buffalo, the animals don't get very injured, and the kind of fighting is much like they would do in the wild - very little "fight" training is involved. Fight days sees the fighting water buffalos adorned in colored ribbons and gold on their horns. It's just a bit of a fun farmer's pastime, although a whole lot of money can be won by the winning buffalo owner (sometimes over a million Thai Baht)! The losing buffalo is most often the one that turns and runs from the fight, leaving the excited crowd cheering the winner on!
Location: Koh Samui