Traditional instrumental Thai music is playing in the background, two small -but strong- men step into the ring at opposite corners, and the crowd is shouting. Everyone gets excited about the new Muay Thai fight that’s going to take place in a couple of minutes. Locals are yelling to each other and passing around their money towards the bookmakers to place their bets. The fighters perform a ritual dance to pay homage to their trainer and family and to bless themselves for getting victory in the ring. After getting hyped up by their coach, the fighters go and stand in the middle of the ring, greet their opponent, look each other in the eyes and get in fighting position. We are attending a professional Muay Thai fight in Bangkok for free!
WHERE TO SEE MUAY THAI IN BANGKOK
If you’re traveling to Bangkok, you just can’t miss a real Muay Thai fight! It’s the national sport and because of this, the most popular in whole Thailand. You can see these fights all over the country, but the best place of all is probably Bangkok.
Boxing matches are being held almost every day of the week all over the city, with Lumpini and Rajadamnern stadiums being the most popular ones. They both offer standing tickets and seat tickets, starting from 400 to 2000 baht. It’s even possible to book a tour or guide to go and see the fights, which means that these places are also pretty full of tourists.
For a lot of our readers, and especially for ourselves, 2000 baht ($55) per person to see a Muay Thai is way too expensive. Luckily, we’ve found another great alternative to these stadium fights, which costs you nothing!
LIVE FIGHTS AT CHANNEL 7
Channel 7 is a TV channel that broadcasts Muay Thai fights live every Sunday afternoon. And we found out that you can go and see these boxing matches as a spectator, FOR FREE! FYI, nothing fancy here. Expect a boxing ring, some chairs, and tribunes in a TV studio. But it costs nothing, and it’s an excellent experience! There are six fights scheduled, starting from 2h20 until the late afternoon.
Travel Tip: Try to be there at least one hour before the first fight, so you can get a good place to sit. Otherwise, you have to stand.
The place itself is already cool and has a bit of an ‘underground feeling’. There’s no sign at the entrance, nor something to see. It’s at the back of the building where the magic happens. The fighters are getting dressed and prepared here, so you even need to get passed them before entering the studio.
Find a good place between the locals and enjoy the show. Traditional, hypnotic music is being played in the background while the fighters perform the “Wai Khru” and “Ram Muay”, a ritual dance to honor their masters and show off their skills. Each fight is made up of 5 rounds, and every round gets more intense because of the music and the crowds of people that are shouting. You see their sweat flying off after every punch. It’s truly an awesome experience! We even saw a knock-out, which doesn’t happen often apparently.
It can get nasty sometimes but know that this isn’t just a street fight. It’s a real sport and important part of the Thai culture. These young boys are real athletes and do this with respect to each other.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Channel 7 buildings are very close to Chatuchak market, so it’s easy to spend a whole afternoon in this area. To get there, you need to take the BTS to Mo Chit Station. Take exit 3, walk 2 minutes on Phahon Yothin Rd. and take the first street to the right after the big parking lot. After 3-4 minutes, when there are more people and food carts on the street, you’ll see the Channel 7 building on your left. Walk along the barrier to the right side of the building towards the back. Here is where it all happens.
998/1 Phahon Yothin 18/1