Thai boxing on Ko Samui

Not always just for show

Photo of , , Ko Samui

What we say: 3.5 stars

Muay Thai is Thailand's national sport, and locals frequent the stadiums almost every night, placing illegal bets on fight outcomes.

Two large stadiums, one in Chaweng near the lake, and one in Lamai, host fights between foreign and local champions. The bigger matches are broadcast live on UBC and Fox television, and draw a huge following.

Tickets to the big fights can be pricy, but for those with a mild interest, cheaper matches are on offer. Build up to the fights are all a part of the event, with pre-fight rituals and traditional music getting the crowds going.

Pick-up trucks with super-sized speakers drive the Ring Road announcing important fights while playing the Rocky theme tune.

Several gyms, such as Jungle Gym in Choeng Mon, offer Muay Thai training, both the contact form as well as just for fitness.

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