Watching a Muay Thai or Thai boxing fight is a must-do activities for every sports fan looking for a real Thai experience.
There are numerous stadiums all over the country, but the biggest fights where the Thai champions compete are held in the Lumpini and Ratchadamnoen stadiums in Bangkok.
Muay Thai or Thai boxing is the national sport of Thailand and immensely popular. Muay Thai fights are among the best viewed programs on Thai television.
Nothing comes close to experiencing the real thing in the stadium though where you can feel and especially hear the laden electric atmosphere full of yelling, excitement and hypnotic music. Every night a number of fights is held in either of the stadiums, in different age and weight classes.
Muay Thai rituals performed before the fight
Before the fight starts a number of rituals is performed. The fighters start with the “Wai Khru”, a ritual to pay respect to their trainers. Then, the “Ram Muay” is performed to show the skills and fighting techniques, this also servers as a warm up activity. During the rituals, the fighters wear the traditional armbands and headband, called the mongkhon, and loud traditional Thai music is played.
An evening is made up of ten matches, the fights are made up of five rounds lasting three minutes each and can get very immense and brutal. During the fights the hypnotic music keeps playing and the crowds shout to the top of their lungs. The biggest difference between western style boxing and Muay Thai boxing is that besides the punching, Muay Thai also allows kneeing, kicking and elbowing. Therefore, Muay Thai is also called the “art of the eight limbs”, since there are eight points of contact, where in western style boxing there are only two points of contact, both fists.
Many young boys in Thailand dream of becoming a famous Muay Thai boxer. Especially in the poorer rural regions, Thai boxing is a chance of escaping from poverty and supporting the family. Outside of Thailand the sport has gained popularity and is known by many people from a number of movies, such as “Kickboxer”, with Jean Claude van Damme.
If you are looking for a superb Thailand experience and an electrifying night out, go watch an evening of Muay Thai at Lumpini or Ratchadamnoen. These are the best places to experience the real Muay Thai, which is an important part of Thai culture and history.
Boxing stadiums in Bangkok
The two major boxing stadiums in Bangkok where the great fighters compete are Lumpini stadium and Ratchadamnoen stadium. Fighting days are alternated between the two stadiums, so there are fights every night.
Closest to the old town with the Royal Palace and the Chao Phraya river is the Ratchadamnoen stadium, located on Thanon Ratchadamnoen Nok. The fight schedule here is: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 6.30 pm until 10.30 pm, a total of 9 fights.
Ticket prices are 1500 and 1000 Thai Baht for second and third class. As of February 15th 2017, prices for first class ringside tickets will be 2,500 Thai Baht.
The new Lumpini stadium is located on Ram Inthra road near Don Mueang airport, about 25 kilometers North of the old stadium on Rama IV road. The schedule is: Tuesday and Friday from 6.30 pm until 10.30 pm, a total of 9 fights. Saturday from 4.30 pm until 9 pm, a total of 10 fights.
Ticket prices for first (ringside), second and third class are 2000, 1500 and 1000 Thai Baht respectively and 400 Baht for the upper rings (stand). On special nights (none this week), “The Biggest Super Fights”, prices are on average 25% to 50% higher.
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