Monday, November 18, 2013

Phuket: Muay Thai

I'm not a violent person. Really. But for some reason, going to a Muay Thai fight was on the top of my list for Phuket. While there are numerous spots to see a fight, we opted for a Sunday night event at Bangla Boxing Stadium in downtown Patong.

Muay Thai is a lot like traditional boxing, only with knees, elbows, kicks, and punches thrown in. I was a big fan of the kicking.


I was also a fan of the ceremony surrounding the event. To be honest, I knew very little going into the match but was fascinated by the practices.

Before the fights began, each boxer walks the perimeter of the ring to seal it off and protect them from evil during the fight. The fighter then goes to the center of the ring and kneels down facing the direction of his home, placing his hands in a praying position to begin the Wai Kroo. The Wai Kroo is a ritualistic and traditional dance carried out before Muay Thai fighters engage in the ring to show honor to the fighter's teacher, sport, and country.

The dance, as well as the fights themselves, are accompanied by a Thai band. The band's music will speed up throughout the fight to match the pace of the action.


When the first fighter walked into the ring, my mother audibly gasped. He was roughly seven years old and tiny. Were we about to be front row for a Hungry Games style throw down? Thankfully the referees were wonderful and never allowed the fights to get out of hand, checking in regularly with all the fighters to ensure they were in top shape.




As the night went on, the fighters became older and more intense. We saw knock outs, blood, and even an underdog victory from an Aussie with questionable hair choices. Yes, he had a rat tail.



My entire family found ourselves caught up in the event and cheering along with the throngs of other fans in the stadium. If you find yourself looking for some uniquely Thai entertainment (and the kind that doesn't involve men in drag), a Muay Thai fight should be a definite addition to your vacation's itinerary. 


  1. Did that little guy really fight??? Crazy! We're heading to Phuket for Christmas, is the fighting appropriate for kids?

    1. Oh yes, he fought along with a bunch of other young fighters, though all of those bouts were kept pretty tame. I took Tae Kwon Do for years when I was younger and would say it was similar to the sparring that I did. However, the older fighters were definitely more violent in nature. I can't really say whether it's child appropriate. There certainly were kids in the audience. If you would allow your children to watch a boxing match on TV, it's a similar level of violence. There was some blood and we had two knockouts when we were there.

  2. Love your articles. Thank you for sharing. To learn Muay Thai boxing is a dedication and need hard working. If we get a good master and well equipped academy or school then it is easy to learn Muay Thai boxing. Boxing in Connecticut

  3. It's so much fun watching some Koh Samui Muay Thai fights. And holy cow those kids look so strong for their age!

  4. There is also an element of grappling in muay thai referred to as the clinch. Very different from the grappling techniques used in Brazilian jiu jitsu, clinch maneuvers are used to set up knee and elbow strikes or to throw your opponent to the ground. chelmsford muay thai


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