Where to see Muai Thai in Bangkok

Where to see Muai Thai in Bangkok

If in Great Britain you bet on horses in Thailand you bet on Muai Thai fighters, a solid historical and cultural tradition in this country. Here going to the stadium to see the Muai Thai fighters is like for us Italians going to the stadium to watch the football match.

It had never been my wish, much less could I ever imagine finding myself one day in front of a ring cheering for a shirtless guy wearing questionable shorts but with an angry look and who literally kicks and punches someone else . I had never thought about it until I decided to go and see a Muai Thai fight in Bangkok. It seemed like a necessary act in this country where the Buddha is venerated and peaceful and smiling looks have little to do with the violence of the ring.

When choosing the stadium where to see Muai Thai, I took advice from a friend of mine originally from Bangkok who recommended the two main locations in the city: Rajadamner Stadium e Lumpini Stadium.
I opted for the first stage as it is close to Kahosan Road and easily reachable on foot from the hotel where I stayed overnight.

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Stadium ticket cost

The cost of the ticket was a bit of a shock! Luckily I didn’t understand correctly when I paid, in fact I made the exact calculation once I was sitting in front of the ring, otherwise I think I would have thought better of it.
An evening at the stadium is in fact quite expensive (1800 baht for the chairs in the VIP area if bought in the agency otherwise 2000 at the stadium) but despite everything I believe that it was money well spent, a real dive into a discipline born and developed in Thailand and now famous all over the world and more and more followers.

The ticket we bought was 1800 baht, 2000 if bought at the stadium but 200 baht less if bought at the agency in front of the Rikka Inn hotel. This ticket is the most expensive but it is also the one at ring height, AREA VIP, and from here as soon as the fighters finish it is very easy to approach the winner and ask to take a photo together.
However, for those who do not want to spend all this money which translated into euros is 43 euros, you can choose the higher positions at 1500 baht or those a 1000 baht which unless you want to gamble, I don’t recommend it, especially if you are an unaccompanied woman.
This is because obviously it is the area frequented by locals, but that is not the problem, the problem is that the third area is the one dedicated to betting so people get agitated, shout and it can happen that they argue.
Honestly when I left the stadium wasn’t very full so if I had known I would have bought the 1500 baht ticket but looking at what was happening up in the 1000 baht area I thought several times that I was happy not to be there. Or at least not be there alone with my sister. One of those rare moments where a male presence could make a positive difference.

When the distinction between seats and why was explained to me, I discovered that going to the stadium to watch the fight is nothing more than going to bet. This made an impression on me at first, I felt like I was watching the Tiger Man live and I felt sorry for these guys who spend their days in the gym and that their luck or destiny is made by these crazy bettors, but I admit that at a certain point, caught up in the heat, I too was tempted. In fact, I actually bet but I did it in private with my seatmate. I won!
Betting on fights is a tradition here and I wanted to be part of it even if only for 15 minutes.

two auto rickshaw on the street

Progress of the Muai Thai fight

The fights start at 6pm, each lasts 15 minutes in total. There are 10 fights every day. Each fight is made up of 5 rounds of 3 minutes each with 2 minute breaks in which the trainers give water and massage the athlete to make him return to the ring more vigorous and aggressive.
While you are seated, sellers of beers or snacks pass by continuously (a beer 20 baht and chips in a package 5 baht), so rest assured that you will not die of hunger or thirst, but considering that the show ends at 10.30, 11 in the evening once you have entered and put a sticker on your shirt you will be able to exit and re-enter as many times as you want. Next to the stadium there are many Thai restaurants where you can eat something local and then return.
Before leaving the stadium, however, make sure which challenge is the most popular, usually in bold on the program they give when you enter. I didn’t miss it and I even took a photo with the champion (whom I had bet on, great satisfaction!)

The fights are distinguished by the weight and experience of the fighters although it is easy to notice that even the smallest and most scrawny one only has muscles and is very agile. In short, he would know how to hurt me despite the meter of height that differentiates us.
The thing I liked the most is the beginning of each fight. Before the actual fight begins there is a sort of ceremonial starting dance accompanied by music played by a group that plays drums at hypnotic rhythms and which will then accompany the entire fight. A mix of dance, sport and music that fascinated me.

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