Muay Thai boxing is one of the most popular sports in Thailand. A sport that began as a natural extension from muay boran, the ancient fighting technique used by Siamese soldiers after their weapons were lost or destroyed in battle, has been developed over several hundred years to what you see in modern-day Thailand.
This modern combat sport can, of course, be seen all over Thailand, including in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s best tourist destination, where two Muay Thai boxing stadiums currently have fights.
The first Muay Thai stadium in Chiang Mai you can see Muay Thai fights is the Thapae Boxing Stadium. You’ll find this stadium on Moonmuang Road in the historic part of Chiang Mai close to the famous Thapae Gate.
While this is definitely an interesting night out where you can see a few fights, enjoy a couple of drinks and enjoy the atmosphere, the Thapae Boxing Stadium does tend to attract mainly a tourist audience.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not a particularly authentic Muay Thai kickboxing experience, if that is what you are looking for. Prices, by the way, are currently between 400 and 600 baht per person depending on where you decide to sit. Tel: 086-187-7655
That’s why I always recommend a second stadium — Kawila Boxing Stadium — as this is the Muay Thai kickboxing stadium in Chiang Mai that Thais frequent. Here, the more ‘authentic’ Thai kickboxing fights occur among fighters who are hoping to become nationally known and whose main aim is not to entertain foreigners.
Last time I went to the Kawila Boxing Stadium, which is near the San Pa Koy Market, tickets were around the same price as at the Thapae Boxing Stadium.
Front row, by the way, isn’t always the most preferable place to sit. In fact, I always find it more interesting sitting in the middle or even further back, as you get to enjoy a lot more of the crowd that way. Tel: 053-296-048
Both kickboxing stadiums are easy to get to. Just jump into a tuk-tuk and tell the driver where you want to go, or wave down a songtaew (the red pickup trucks) and ask the driver if he is going in that direction.
As for days and times, ask at your hotel or guest house reception desk as they will know when the next fights take place.