Muay Thai

Several venues to choose from

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

What we say: 3.5 stars

While on Samui, it's impossible to avoid the trucks that roam the island blasting the Rocky theme while promoting the night's Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) events.

Two large stadiums are found in Chaweng: Petch Buncha stadium is near Laem Din market and the newer Chaweng Stadium behind Solo Bar in the busy Soi Green Mango area. A couple of smaller Muay Thai venues are also found in Lamai. Being the newest, Chaweng Stadium feels almost like a nightclub with its swirling light show and pumping soundsystem; you can even order up a fruity cocktail with a flower to accompany the spectacle.

Each stadium hosts around seven fights on a given night, which include both men and women of varying ages and abilities. Often the most entertaining fights are from the young and energetic boxers early in the evening, and sometimes the "main event" is an absolute yawn. Each fight begins with boxers performing a wai kruu, a ritualistic dancing and bowing routine to hounour the trainers. At Chaweng Stadium, traditional Thai music is played throughout the wai kruu and each match, its level of intensity following the pace of the fighters. The stadium atmosphere is intense as onlookers scream encouragement.

Fights typically commence at 21:30, starting with the younger fighters and building up to the main event. Ticket prices in the larger stadiums vary from 800 baht to about 1,500 baht depending on who is competing.

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