Muay Thai - Thai Boxing, Bangkok
Muay Thai ia the National sport of Thailand, and is heavily loaded with traditional dances, pre-fight rituals, and knees to the gut. I mean these guys beat the hell out of each other. You knee me in the ribs??? Once??? I'm going down like a ton of bricks!!! And they knee each other ahundred times a round! Insane!! But, it is really entertaining!! A must see for any sport fan.
There are 3 different levels of seating and cost. The nosebleed, the middle and ringside. I got the middle priced, and it was absolutely fine. You have to sit behind a chain link fence, but that kind of adds to its hard-core appeal! Cost for the mid-level seats were about 400 Baht.
For that, you get 10 matches!! Each about 3 rounds, unless you get a knock out... which I did. Stretcher and everything.
There are two stadiums, but I went to the Ratchadamnoen Stadium. It has all the feel of Bangkok. You will see what I mean when you are waiting outside for a few minutes to finish your drink and there are 100's of shady looking Thai characters around. ALL of them gamble inside, and the action in the stands is almost as entertaining as the fight within the ring!
There are two main stadiums for Muay Thai in Bangkok. I went to the Ratchadamnoen Stadium. It has all the grungy feel of Bangkok. You will see what I mean when you are waiting outside for a few minutes to finish your drink and there are 100's of shady looking Thai characters around.
ALL of the locals gamble inside, and the action in the stands is almost as entertaining as the fight within the ring!
Although I have very little interest in conventional boxing, I really wanted to experience an evening at a Thai Boxing arena - we chose Sanam Muay Ratchadamnoen. We splashed out on ringside seats (1500 bahts) and it was well worth it to see the action so close. However, if you don't want to spend so much, seats start at 300 baht up in the cages and it looked like a great atmosphere amongst the frenzy of gambling locals. The evening starts at 9pm and goes through to about 1am so it makes for great after dinner entertainment. At the ringside there are young lads serving beer and other refreshments but they are not cheap by Thai standards.
The program covers differing weights and skills of fighters although all the men are highly fit and have muscles in places you wouldn't think possible! Before the fighting commences both fighters circle the ring in a ceremonial dance and kneel down to pray. There is also a musical group of which drums a hypnotic beat throughout the fight. If, like us, you are not a fan of violence, I urge you to attend anyway - this is such an important part of Thai culture and tradition. Although the sport has a brutal image the fighters have nothing but total respect for each other and it is rare for kicks to go above shoulder height.
Thai Boxing is a very popular sport in Thailand. You can see it in many stadiums in Bangkok. Here are some:
1.- Lumpini Stadium
Rama IV Road, Bangkok Tel: (662) 252-8765, 251-4303, 253-7702, 253-7940
Fight Nights: Tuesdays and Fridays from 6.30 p.m, Saturday afternoons 5-8 p.m., Saturday nights from 8.30 p.m.
Ticket prices: 220, 440, 1,000 baht (ringside)
2.- Ratchadamnoen Stadium
Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue Tel: (662) 281-4205, 280-1684-6
Fight Nights: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays, starting at 6.30 p.m.
Ticket Prices: 220, 440, 1,000 baht (ringside); special discount on Sunday nights
They fight with both hands and feet.
There are also organised tours (including guide, soft drinks, transport, tickets...) for about 1.700 Bahts.
A national pastime, Muay Thai (Thai boxing) is an exciting martial art that combines lethal kicks with furious punches. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch a real fight (only a demo), but the two biggest and most famous stadiums in the country are located right in Bangkok: Lumpini and Ratchadamnoen. So try to catch some fights while you're there.
Places to enjoy Muay Thai
The top places for Thai boxing in Bangkok are the Lumpini Stadium and the Ratchadamneon Stadium.
Lumpini Stadium - Rama IV Rd, Lumpini Park Bangkok
Tel: 02 252 8765
Ratchadamneon Stadium - Ratchadamneon Nok Avenue Bangkok
Tel: 02 281 4205
Channel 7 Stadium - Near the old Northern Bus Station, opposite Chatajuk Park, MoChit Bangkok
Tel: 02 272 0201
Rangsit Stadium - 336/932 Prachthipat Rd Rangsit
Tel: 02 992 0099
Samrong Stadium - Samrong Rd Samutprakan
Tel: 02 393 3592
If you like the fast paced action of boxing you'll love Muay Thai! These guys are quick and strong! Thursday night at Ratchadamnoen Stadium is the time to go. Don't go on Sunday as they don't have good fighters then. If you are a foreigner you will be bothered by the touts that stand outside the stadium and tell you all seats are sold out except for the Ringside seats they have for sale. Unless you want a Ringside seat just walk up to the counter and buy a ticket. I like the 220 baht seats myself You get a great view of the fight and you can watch all that is happening in the stadium. Heavy Betting goes on for the Heavy Weight fights!! In March when me and my son went we got to witness a great night of Boxing!! Including one match where the boxers training came into the ring to fight his own guy after he lost. He must have bet BIG on his guy. He just went crazy! The police had to come in and haul him away! He was allowed back in under escort and paid the guy he bet with a Huge pile of money. Make sure you can cover any bets you make!
No trip to Thailand by a sports fan could be complete without finding some kickboxing.
There are two main venues for Muay Thai in Bangkok. We decided to go to Lumphini stadium - it was closer and easier to pronounce than the other one! The taxi driver however couldn't work out where we were going, even when we pointed it out on a map. I finally had to resort to doing some shadow boxing to show him what we wanted. "Ahhh! Looompeeni!" he exclaimed in joy, and off we went.
Don't bother getting a ringside seat - for a lot less money you can go two sections back and only be a couple of rows behind the expensive seats. For a real experience, go into the section where the locals are betting and get caught up in the excitement.
Do try and find out beforehand when the best night to go is, or you risk turning up on a night when the younger and lesser boxers are fighting and the skill level isn't as high.
Just came back from Thailand, I found a great new gym in the centre of Bangkok. New, Clean and at a reasonable price. 300 baht per session. Trainer were very friendly but really knew there stuff. Because i havent trained in a few years they kept my training at a level i could handle
Equipment: They provide all equipment you need
This is the national sport of Thailand. In Bangkok, matches are held in either of 2 arenas. Best to check times and matches as you really would want to see only the top fighters. Muay Thai is a combination of boxing and kick-boxing. Its fast and furious and there are generally 3-5 rounds of 2 minutes each. Fighters use their fists, elbows, knees and feet to pummel their opponents. Winner usually is by knockout.
Equipment: None. Simply the body as explained. One can match pro matches are even study in one of many institutes that specialize in the training of this sport.
The training sessions are tough and varied to reflect the efforts and techniques used in a real Muay Thai boxing match, and techniques and styles are taught in the same spirit.
The teachers are engaged in the students skill development and performance as this is a real government accredited Muay Thai school and not just a gym.
Personally I am training to keep in shape and because I have an interest in Martial Arts since my teens, and for that purpose; Muay Thai is unbeatable.
The school is located between my work place and home so its very convenient for both me, my fiancée and daughters who also study there.
As for the professional boxers that are training there, they have told me that the teachers are very competent and provides varied and tutoring well adapted to their skills. They are also very happy about the facilities and location.
Equipment: The equipment is quite new and you shouldn't need to bring anything but your gym wear.
The classroom is neat, clean and well maintained and there is a small boxing ring for sparring and training.
Go to the Lumpini stadium to watch some bouts of Muay Thai boxing (the national sport).
Quite different from any sporting atmosphere you will experience in the west. The Thais love to bet on the outcome and will shout odds between contests.
I saw a few of these training grounds...But I don't really know what the different pieces of equipment are for. But they looked interesting.Thai boxers are always training somewhere.