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Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai

  • Mae Rim-Samoeng Old Road, 50180 Mae Rim, Chiang Mai, Thailand


Rice Field Plougher
“I love meeting guests, especially when they pose for photos with me. I sometimes wonder how many family albums around the world I’ve appeared in.”


Four Seasons Tenure

  • Since 2018
  • First Four Seasons Assignment: Junior Rice Field Plougher at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai


  • On-the-job training in ploughing skills at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai; monthly workshop for upskilling with the Gardening Department


  • Mae Rim, Chiang Mai

Languages Spoken

  • Thai

Our hardworking colleague out in the field, Thay is a favourite with staff and guests at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai. True to his name (thay translates as “handsome” in Thai), Thay is a particularly impressive albino water buffalo who can make quite an impression.

Although junior in tenure to his counterparts, Thay is a natural leader and is usually at the head of the buffalo contingent when they are parading through the rice paddies or lining up for photo-ops outside the reception sala. Personable and affectionate, Thay likes to plough through his duties and daily tasks so that he is ready for guests to join him for his grooming session.

A natural leader (he’s often seen leading the way for his stepbrother and his personal Buffalo Butler), Thay’s day begins at 8:00 am with a spot of ploughing. This is followed at 8:30 am by the first bath of the day, assisted by his trusty, dedicated Buffalo Butler, who takes care of grooming, meals and other personal issues for Thay. From 9:00 am, Thay enjoys his favourite part of the day – touring the Resort to meet and greet guests.

From 11:00 am, Thay partakes in another important task – nibbling grass near the rice barn – which whets his appetite enough for lunch at noon, usually consisting of two baskets of the freshest, most succulent green grass.

After lunch, Thay is back at work in the Resort’s rice paddies. The rice takes about 120 days to grow from seed to harvest, and planting is staggered throughout the year, allowing guests to see the rice at every stage of its growth. This system means that there is a rice harvest approximately every 40 days, which keeps Thay and the other water buffaloes quite busy. It's important work - the harvested rice is donated to the local communities.

At 3:00 pm, Thay's ready for his second bath of the day, followed at 4:30 pm by his second tour of the Resort, when he checks up on what the other Resort staff have been up to, and he also sees how the guests have been enjoying their day. Thay’s working day finishes at 5:00 pm, after which he goes home to rest, relax and hang out with his other buffalo colleagues.

Thay is a full-fledged member of staff at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, and he even carries his own staff ID card (#08B9). Water buffalo benefits include three complimentary meals a day, plus snacks throughout the day and night; accommodation with full facilities; cleaning and bathing service; butler service; medical services including annual physical check-up; unlimited sick leave; six months of maternity leave for female buffalo; and on-the-job technical training to ensure that all buffalo have top-notch ploughing skills.

When asked what he enjoys most about his job, he says, “When guests, especially children, come to see me, wave to me, talk to me, and smile at me, it makes me really happy. If you see me around the Resort, don’t forget to stop and say hello.”