Cowboy on bike brings ox cart of smiles to Pattaya streets

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Pattaya’s gold-outfitted “glitter man” is no longer the city’s only bicycle-riding source of amusement.  Visitors and residents are now talking about a 49-year-old cowboy who is rolling along Pattaya and Jomtien beaches on a bike crafted to look like a water buffalo.

Sunya Sompu, a freelance laborer, looks the part of a Thai cowboy, decked out in checked shirt, leather boots and shorts who listens to Issan country music while tooling around town on a bike that uses a water buffalo skull as handlebars.

The water buffalo horns are the symbol of his favorite band, Carabao, and the bike itself is a sight to behold, with its frame wrapped in fur. It took time to put his act together, scraping together 2,000 baht for the bicycle and then finding the ox skull in an antique shop.

Sunya says he rides every evening around area beaches to show off his bike and bring a smile to tourists’ faces. He welcomes people stopping him to talk and hopes he can set a good example for youngsters.

Sunya Sompu turns heads when riding around town on his water buffalo bike. Sunya Sompu turns heads when riding around town on his water buffalo bike.