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Thailand’s Favourite Sport: Where to Watch Muay Thai in Action

Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is an ancient martial art which was originally developed for use in military combat. A popular spectator sport today, it is widely practised in the country and has gained popularity all around the world. Utilizing different techniques and parts of the body like hands, knees, feet and elbows, it is unlike any other form of wrestling.

Whether you are a fan of Muay Thai or a novice though, no visit to Thailand is complete without witnessing the blood pumping action of the daily matches that can be seen across the country. It is an experience not to be missed even for the casual tourist. The matches are usually preceded by a traditional dance known as the Wai Kru Ram Muay, paying respect to the fighter’s teacher and are accompanied by traditional Thai music. From indoor stadiums to touristy malls and arenas, Muay Thai is everywhere. These are however a few top places to watch a thrilling match no matter where you are vacationing in Thailand!

Bangkok: Lumpinee Stadium

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Operated by the Thai Army on behalf of the government, Lumpinee Stadium hosts some of the best fights in the country. Located outside the city centre, hardcore fans still find a visit here worth the long travel. With thrilling matches held here every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, a Lumpinee stadium title is nothing less than the very best. Proceeds from the fight are given towards supporting the Thai military. On your visit here, you can expect to see an elite wrestler or some of the best names in the sport playing a match in the stadium.

Bangkok: Rajadamnern Stadium

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One of the other top venues of Bangkok, Rajadamnern is the oldest boxing stadium in the city and dates back to 1945. It is also the nation’s first Muay Thai stadium. Due to its accessibility, it is a popular choice among tourists who are keen to experience the thrill of a Muay Thai fight. Another reason why it gains an advantage over Lumpinee is because of the female fighter matches that you can see here. It hosts matches every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. The lower rung fighters normally compete on Sundays.

Koh Samui: Chaweng Boxing Stadium

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Chaweng Boxing Stadium is the first and longest-standing stadium in Koh Samui. With over 20 years of history, it has fighters from all over the world gather there for matches. From fighters as young as 8 years old to adults both male and female, you can see a diverse range of boxers. Live commentary and music are played between matches, thus making it known for its entertainment value as well. It hosts matches every Tuesday and Friday night.

Chiang Mai: Thapae Boxing Stadium

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One of the oldest and most popular venues in Chiang Mai, Thapae Boxing Stadium holds a match every day except Sunday, unlike most places which have matches only on certain days during the week. Most fighters are considered career fighters which means that they fight for money, fame and titles. There are also fun events between matches such as blind boxing where 3-8 participants get in the ring with blindfolds and try to knock each other down with overhand swings.

Pattaya: Max Muay Thai

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An experience for all ages, the recently reconstructed Max Muay Thai stadium is one of the most popular Muay Thai venues in Pattaya. With all up-to-date facilities, it also hosts numerous national TV matches and MAX world championships. Witness the exciting spectator vibes and cheer along with them for victory in this experience of a lifetime.

Phuket: Patong Boxing Stadium

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Located in Southern Thailand near one of the most popular beaches on Sainamyen Road, Patong Boxing Stadium is one of the most popular venues for Muay Thai in Phuket. Owned by a long Patong family, it is an excellent place for anyone who wants to experience a fierce match. They usually also have a lot of foreign fighters along with the locals who have been trained in one of their gyms in Phuket. From a few thousand bahts to millions for a chance at a national title, the fights here are as real as you can get anywhere in the country.

Duration: Approximately 90-180 mins depending on the venue

Cost: Tickets can start at 200 baht for a stadium seat and can go up to 2000 baht for a VIP seat.