Muay Thai Boxing in Chiang Mai

October 23, 2009 · 14 comments

The national sport of Thailand is Muay Thai boxing. It can be relatively expensive to see in Bangkok at around 1000Tbh for a ring side seat, attending elsewhere such as Chiang Mai will get you a similar seat for 400Tbh. There is more to it than one-on-one battles with Thai men kicking the crap out of each other.

Female Muay Thai boxer prepares for battle

Female Muay Thai boxer prepares for battle

There is typically 2 fight nights a week in Chiang Mai.  One at Moon Muang Beer Bar Center and one at the Loi Kroh Beer Bar Center. You usually get 2-3 male Thai fights, an international competition (a foreigner (or farang in Thai) Vs a Thai), a female fight, and a special fight on the end.

Thai boxers in action

Thai boxers in action

Traditional thai music is played during the battles (see video to hear some in the background) accompanied by the soundtrack of trainers shouting instructions to their respective boxer. The fights are held in a ring in the centre of a crowd and surrounded by bars where waitresses will bring your supplies of peanuts and beer to you as you watch the fight. During the break you may be lucky enough to see dancing at the transsexual bars too.

Waitresses dancing during break from the boxing

Waitresses dancing during break from the boxing

It is well worth visiting the spectacle even if you are not into boxing, it is part of the male Thai culture and a key part of a lot of Thai fitness and life. Plus with the special events you may end up watching a stupid treat such as blindfolded 4 man boxing match, watch out referee!

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon OD October 23, 2009 at 12:41 PM

I really hope to catch one of these matches next time I’m there – it sounds like a really cool experience!
.-= Shannon OD´s last blog – A Little Technology…Harnessing the Power of Twitter =-.

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Candice October 23, 2009 at 4:20 PM

This actually looks like a lot of fun. This summer, I was roped into watching a UFC match at a friend’s place. I went with an attitude that I’d hate it, but ended up LOVING it. And the men! Sweaty men! YESSS.
.-= Candice´s last blog – I don’t care if you care if I’m a drinker =-.

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AdventureRob October 27, 2009 at 2:50 AM

They do make a good night out, I was surprised by the entertainment value in addition to the fights, and I don’t just mean the trannie dancers!
.-= AdventureRob´s last blog – Monkeying around =-.

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Chiang Mai City December 1, 2009 at 3:43 AM

I am a big fan of the UFC, even though I went in with the same perception as Candice. Being a fan of fighting has allowed me to come to appreciate the different fighting styles. Muay Thai is one of the more brutal disciplines with its kicks and knees in the clinch, but it is definitely an art. I have been to Bangkok but never to Chiang Mai. I have a goal to make it back to Thailand – perhaps next time I will have to see one of these matches live in action.

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antalya travesti February 18, 2010 at 3:43 PM

I am a big fan of the UFC.
.-= antalya travesti´s last blog – Antalya Travesti Gamze Resimleri =-.

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Pattaya March 16, 2010 at 6:29 AM

Very interesting info. I was searching the web and finally I found Your blog. Regards.

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Bangkok Guide.dk October 14, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Muay Thai is a must see in Bangkok, but Lumpini and Ratchadamnoen are rather expensive, I recommend heading for Chatuchak on Saturdays, free boxing!

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AdventureRob October 17, 2010 at 12:34 AM

Thanks for the tip!

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Simon Coleman November 25, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Not only is Thai boxing part of the Thai male culture it is also a popular, very popular tourist holiday. Many a tourist, books into boxing camps for 1 week up until 12 month physical fitness, fighting, and spiritual teachings, whilst enjoying the benefits of living in Thailand for an extended period.

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AdventureRob November 26, 2010 at 11:43 AM

It certainly is, and reasonably priced in many places too. Great way to get fit and learn a bit of self defence at the same time.

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Pattaya Hotel December 15, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Love watching real muay thai boxing – not that junk they have in Pattaya.

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AdventureRob December 15, 2010 at 3:13 PM

I thought Pattaya had quite good Muay Thai there? Same as anywhere else in Thailand really.

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Español en Tailandia November 25, 2011 at 2:19 AM

No way Muay Thai fights in Bangkok and Chiang Mai can be compared. The quality both of the contenders and the venues is very different.
Español en Tailandia´s latest blogpost – Recorriendo Tailandia en moto: regreso a Chiang Mai

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AdventureRob November 25, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Nice to know, but from a tourism point of view, it’s hard to tell.

And saying that amateur stuff can be entertaining in any sport too compared to the pro’s, more risks often taken.

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