The 13th staging of the annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament was, for the first time, staged in Bangkok, at VR Sports Club (Siam Polo Park). The tournament, which ran from August 28 to 31, draws high-society and international interest each year as the most prestigious elephant polo event on the calendar.
Organised in association with Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, the event comprises four days of competition between 16 teams. Each of the elephant players are rescue animals cared for at Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa’s Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai, and all proceeds raised at the event go towards continued funding for rehabilitation and awareness programs.
Wet weather and soaring humidity didn’t dampen spirits as polo players mingled with VIP guests in the sponsored tents, while two polo matches were played at a time. Anantara’s chefs provided fresh modern Asian cuisine for lunch, which paired nicely with chilled champagne and wines. The final two days are the biggest of the tournament, with August 30 being ladies day with a high-tea event and a best-dressed competition, and finals day on August 31, which this year saw King Power Duty Free declared overall winners.
Evening events were held at Anantara Riverside Bangkok, with an informal opening and closing party. The gala dinner on August 30 was the must-attend party, with a live jazz band, three-course dinner and charity auction. Many guests chose to continue celebrations at some of Bangkok’s hottest nightspots including Sky Bar on level 63 of Lebua State Tower (1055 Silom Road; +66 2624 9999), and The River Bar at The Peninsula Bangkok.
Anantara Bangkok Riverside (257/1-3 Charoennakorn Rd; +66 2 476 0022) was the official hotel partner of the event, with many guests choosing to stay here as it was the place for official after-parties and had a shuttle bus service to and from the polo pitch.
Bangkok is a foodies’ paradise; everything from the street food in bustling market areas to multiple courses in high-end restaurants equates to fine dining. For a memorable experience, book a table at Nahm (Metropolitan by Como, 27 South Sathorn Rd; +66 2 625 3388). Voted this year’s best restaurant in Asia, it is the ultimate tribute to Thai heritage, from the decor to dishes such as smoked fish, peanut and tapioca dumplings.
Make time for a day trip to Hua Hin, where a lunch and wine tour of the Hua Hin Hills vineyard (1 Moo 9, Baan Khork Chang Patana, Nong Pulp; +66 81 701 0444) makes for an unexpected and pleasant escape from Bangkok’s bustle.