On our way back from the Phuket Butterfly Release, a great number of people were collected in the shade pointing at something we couldn’t see.
Our driver was very keen to stop, and asked whether we wanted to have a look, to which we agreed. We were suddenly bombarded with a plethora of sound from about 20 birds, each in a hanging cage. There were two male judges listening to the birds sing, and awarding points, according to pitch, melody, and volume.
There was also a timing judge with a whistle, and a pot of water having a tiny bowl with a hole in it, through which the water ran out, which measured the length of time for which a bird sang. I continued to watch carefully and saw someone else also watching the judges. This was only a local competition but apparently tens of thousands of Baht can be won.
This spectacle has to be seen to be believed. There are regular competitions in Phuket Town opposite Satree School and also next to the Esso Petrol Station. I might ask Uncle John (a local bar and bird owner) to take me another time to gain further understanding.