Where to go to watch a Thai boxing fight in Phuket ?
If you want a truly unique cultural experience in Thailand, why not head to the boxing ring?
But we’re not talking about Ali Frazier or Mayweather Pacquiao. We’re talking about Muay Thai – “the art of eight limbs” – Thailand’s famous national sport.
Never seen Muay Thai?
Go and see it, it’s a lot of fun!
If you live in a busy tourist area, you may have been exposed to Muay Thai (Thai boxing) in Phuket, even if you didn’t realize it. Have you ever heard a truck drive by your hotel and the horn blaring, announcing the fights and encouraging you to join them at your local Muay Thai stadium.
You may have heard these announcements. But if you actually look at one of these trucks, you’ll notice a graphic showing all the competitors.
You might be surprised that many of them are foreigners.
What will happen?
You will have a great night! If you are already a boxing fan, we promise you won’t be disappointed.
All stadiums are similar except that some are more upscale than others. The stadium you visit depends on the type of experience you want.
Depending on the venue, you’ll see up to 10 battles in one night. The good news is that there is not much time to wait between battles.
The warriors vary in age and level. Sometimes you can even see very young Thais trying their hand.
In most of the stadiums, the fighters come from all the surrounding training camps. When they meet, they don’t just fight for themselves, they represent the camp that trained them.
Watching the action unfold is an incredible experience, so don’t be surprised to see some knockouts. Some fights even end in seconds, which happens more often than you think. It can be a very brutal sport. The last time we were there, we saw fighters who needed to be taken out of the ring.
An evening at the Muay Thai Stadium is great entertainment and you can really revel in the atmosphere.
Definitely worth a visit, if you’ve never seen live Muay Thai, this is one of the things to do on your Phuket vacation.
Or you might even want to train at Muay Thai in Phuket: Muay Thai Boxing and Training Camp in Phuket
How much does a ticket cost?
You can expect to pay at least 1,500 baht ($47), but don’t be surprised if the entrance fee goes up to 2,000 baht ($63). If you book through a travel agent, you’ll at least know the price before you go so you can decide if it’s more than you want.
You can sometimes get a cheaper admission if you pay in advance rather than at the door. You can also choose where you sit. So if you want to cut costs, you can opt for cheaper seats.
Where to? There are several options on the island, so it really depends on where you live. If you have a stadium on your doorstep, there’s no need to overdo it. Most of them are in Patong, or further south, but Bang Tao also has a stadium where matches are sometimes held.
If you really want to see foreigners fighting Thais, then Bangladesh is a good place to go, although Soi Ta-eiad now has a lot of foreign fighters too. Most sites occasionally feature Farang v. Thailand.
Honestly, these are usually the most fun. Thai fighters almost always look much smaller than foreigners, but you’ll soon discover that size doesn’t matter in Muay Thai. Often, speed and technique trump muscle.
So where to go? We’ll start with the two most popular (both in Patong). But as with the warriors themselves, don’t be fooled into thinking that more is better.
Sometimes smaller, more local stadiums have a better atmosphere and better fights.
1. Patong Boxing Stadium
As one of the two stadiums in Patong, the Patong Boxing Stadium is always busy. Matches are played here three days a week: Monday, Thursday and Saturday.
There are more local Thai fighters than foreigners in this stadium. So if you think too many white faces spoil your appreciation of traditional Thai sporting events, you might like this place.
It’s on Sainamyen Road, so it’s really not easy to find. If you go alone, make sure you have good directions before you leave in the evening.
We can recommend you to take a cab or a tuk-tuk. Tell them about Padang Boxing Stadium Sainamyen (to distinguish it from Bangla, the next one on the list). Every driver will know exactly where they are.
2. Bangla Boxing Stadium
We’ve been to the Bengal Stadium a few times and really enjoyed it, even though our friends never seemed to win. It’s always crowded and the atmosphere is always fun.
The best nights are usually Friday and Saturday. Many of the competitors here are foreigners, so if you want to see a real combination of opponents, this is the place to go.
3. Soi Ta-eiad (Chockchai) Stadium
One of the newest stadiums, and definitely worth mentioning, is located in Soi Ta-eiad, right next to some of the best Muay Thai gyms in Phuket.
It makes sense for them to build the playing field here. Historically, all the fighters from the gyms in the area would travel to Patong to fight, or they could fight at the most local gym.
Although it is outside, it can get hot, but it is covered and relatively modern.
We expect this stadium to grow in popularity and become a hot spot in Phuket in the future. The continued expansion of Soi Ta-aied as a health, fitness and Muay Thai center will certainly contribute to its success.
4. Solvay Stadium
Suwit Muay Thai Stadium near Chalong is also good. It is much smaller and looks more like a local place. It is located on Chaofa Road East, not far from the Phuket Zoo.
We’ve been here before and although you’ll see mostly Thai customers, there will be tourists watching. They are usually the people who stay in this part of the island.
Most of the contestants are Thai, with a few foreigners fighting here from time to time.
5. Rawai Boxing Stadium
A smaller and more localized stadium is the Rawai Boxing Stadium.
You can find it in the fishing villages near the southern tip of the island. It’s much smaller than other more commercial venues, but maybe that’s why we really like the atmosphere.
Don’t expect to see many farangs fighting here. So if you live in the Rawai / Nai Harn area and are looking for a traditional Muay Thai fight, this is the place for you.
No matter which venue you choose, you are almost guaranteed to have a good time. And since Muay Thai is never too late, you’ll have plenty of time to spend the night in town.
All of these Muay Thai stadiums are well known in the sport and you can see great champions developing for quality matches. There are many others all over Thailand, and Muay Thai is an institution in the country.
The atmosphere varies from place to place, but one thing is sure, a Muay Thai match is always impressive, especially for the first time. Muay Thai is the number one national sport in Thailand and is an integral part of Thai tradition and culture.
Commonly called Muay Thai, this sport combines technique and strength for unforgettable performances. Muay Thai matches follow specific ceremonies. Before the fight, both fighters perform the Ram Muay Thai, a rhythmic dance that follows the Buddhist ritual of each club, greet their coach and bless each other for victory.
Throughout the Muay Thai competition, the band accompanies the dance with traditional music. All over Thailand, you can easily find a boxing ring and enjoy a Muay Thai match.