Sad news today in Bangkok as it’s been announced Thailand’s most popular Muay Thai stadium – Lumphinee Boxing Stadium – will be closing down. According to the Bangkok Post, the organization that owns the land may use it for commercial development and the Army Welfare Department, which runs the stadium, has decided the Muay Thai stadium needs to be updated. So, the famous Lumphinee Muay Thai Boxing Stadium will be closing down in early 2014 and moving to a bigger site.
And, as has already happened in the past when the popular Suan Lum Night Market was closed down, Lumphini Stadium will reopen far out of town — and few people, other than die-hard Muay Thai fans, will likely ever go there.
So where is the new location of the Lumphinee Muay Thai Stadium? The Thai army’s sports facility on Ram Intra Road? Where?
Yep, you asked the right question. A location in far north Bangkok most tourists will never bother to go too as it’s just too far. Hell, I’ve lived in Thailand for 10 years and even I rarely go that far out.
So, in what seems to be becoming more and more typical modern Thai style old buildings or tourist spots, that have value for Thais and visitors to Thailand alike, are closed down and moved out of the main downtown area to far less convenient locations. The result? Another Thai institution dies a slow death
But, hey, no worries right? Lumphinee Stadium will be knocked down and, in its place, at least we’ll probably end up with yet another shopping mall.
Meanwhile, if you do want to see a Muay Thai fight at Lumphinee Stadium, you’d better get there before 2014 as, afterwards, you’re not likely to want to bother with the 2-hour-plus return trip. I know I won’t.
After that, and before too, you can still see Muay Thai in a convenient location at Ratchadamnoen Boxing Stadium near Khao San Road. Maybe, if the owners of that stadium have any sense, they’ll start holding Muay Thai fights every night of the week, so that those of us who do like to see a fight in a convenient location can still do so.
Now there’s a thought.