For fans of Muay Thai or MMA, no visit to Bangkok is complete without attending one of the daily fights that go on in the city. As the Muay Thai capital, Bangkok has -hands down- the best Muay Thai fights in the world. With such top-notch ring action, it is an experience not to be missed even for the casual tourist. Muay Thai fights are preceded by the traditional dance known as the Wai Kru Ram Muay. The dance ritual pays respect to the fighter's teacher and is accompanied by traditional Thai music known as Sarama. Watching a Muay Thai fight is a very different experience from western boxing. Muay Thai fights There are many venues to catch the sport live in and around the Thai capital. From prestigious stadiums to touristy shopping malls and even a go-go bar, Muay Thai is everywhere.
Here are the top 5 places to catch Muay Thai fights in Bangkok:
1. Lumpinee Stadium
Despite being located out of town, Lumpinee Stadium hosts the best fights in the country. For this reason, hardcore fans and equally intrepid tourists make the sluggish taxi ride through peak hour traffic to attend the fights here. The atmosphere is electric and the fights are always thrilling. Lumpinee stadium titles are held by nothing less than the very best in the sport. The best way to get to the stadium is by taxi or car. It is certainly worth the trip for real fans of the sport. Lumpinee Stadium hosts fights every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
2. Rajadamnern Stadium
Rajadamnern is the oldest Muay Thai stadium in Thailand, sanctioned in 1941 and held its first event in 1945. Along with Lumpinee, it is the most prestigious Muay Thai stadium in the world. The country’s elite fighters regularly battle it out for fame and glory right here in this stadium. Due to a relatively easier accessibility (compared to Lumpinee) and being situated near to the tourist area in Old City area, Rajadamnern is now a more popular spot with tourists. The stadium is best accessed via taxi or car. For those staying in the Old City area or Khao San Road, it is around 20-minute walk. Rajadamnern Stadium hosts fights every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
3. Channel 7 Stadium
Channel 7 is packed to the brim every Sunday afternoon for 4 reasons: accessible location, free entry, enthusiastic local fans, and high-level Muay Thai action. Channel 7 championship belts are also widely recognized as among the most prestigious titles in Muay Thai. The weekly show is broadcasted live over Thailand's Channel 7. For a more comfortable experience, ringside seats are also available. Channel 7 stadium is located near Mo Chit BTS station and Chatuchak Park MRT station. Channel 7 Stadium host afternoon matinees every Sunday around 2pm. It is worth getting there an hour early for good seats.
4. MX Muay Xtreme
MX is one of the youngest and most exciting fight promotions in the city. It differentiates itself from regular Muay Thai by gearing the fighters in light mma gloves for a high knockout-rate. MX is held every Friday night in the Grammy GMM Studios located in downtown Sukhumvit which makes it another popular venue for visitors of the city. The studio building is within walk-able distance from Asok BTS station and Sukhumvit MRT station. MX Muay Xtreme goes live every Friday night around 9pm. Get to the GMM Grammy Studios around 8pm for confirmed seats.
5. MBK Fight Nights
The massive mall holds the MBK Fight Nights during the peak season between December to February and on an ad-hoc basis. The event features both foreigner and Thai fighters of a lower tier compared to the above venues. However, entry is free and its proximity to the Siam shopping district and open-air concept makes it very popular among shoppers. MBK is located right beside National Stadium BTS station. Check MBK Fight Night’s Facebook page for schedule.