The night after returning from Chiang Mai Sea and I booked tickets for a kick boxing match. Muay Thai, it is called, and is the national sport of Thailand. I had seen kick boxing before and remember enjoying it. Sea was not so sure.
The tickets were fairly expensive. I don’t remember the cost in baht, but they were about $50.00 USD each for ringside seats.
We took a cab to Ratchadamneon Stadium. The matches began at 20:00, I think. The stadium didn’t have many people in it. The last time I saw Muay Thai it was packed.
Before each match the fighters came out and did their warm up routines which included praying, stretching, and dancing around. Then the bout began. Each was six rounds, and the fighters really went at it. I’m sure none of them will ever be able to have children.
During the rounds live music was played. There was a snake charmer’s horn (I don’t know its correct name), and some sort of combination percussion/bellows instrument played with drum sticks. The music played and the crowd cheered.
Vendors came around constantly selling drinks and food. I had a couple of small
cups of beer, Sea had a green tea and some chips. Everything was relatively expensive, but I don’t recall the exact prices. I dropped my first cup of beer and it landed upright, so I spilled nothing. I took this be mean good luck in the future. Then I dropped my second beer and it landed on its side. So much for good luck.
The last time I saw Muay Thai several bouts ended wih knock outs. This time none did. Between rounds when the fighters were in their corners the spectators, gamblers, coaches, and aging ex-fighters ran up and started yelling advice. There was a lot of money changing hands in the seats.
After each fight a winner was announced almost immediately. There was no delay counting the votes of the score keepers. The next two fighters entered the ring almost immediately. Things moved along quickly.
There were a total of 6 or 8 fights. The matches ended about 22:30. Someone came around and said the fighters were available for pictures in the hallway. At the mention of pictures, Sea got excited. We didn’t even wait to see the final few seconds of the last fight.
It was picture time!!
So it was out of the stadium and into the hallway we went. The boxers were surprisingly small. I don’t think any of them could have weighed more than 125 – 130 pounds. But they were solid muscle. I’m sure the smallest, weakest fighter could kick my ass without breaking a sweat.
After pictures, we left the stadium and walked down the block and found a restaurant. I had a chicken stir fry, Sea had grilled chicken. Both were very different tasting, and both were great. I think it might have been northern Thai style cooking.
Then we got a taxi back to Khaosan Road where we walked around a bit. There were remnants of the Songkran festival still around. A few people ran around squirting water, etc. But no mud. We sat in a cafe a few minutes. I had a beer, Sea had a pineapple/banana drink. Then we walked back to the Bangkok Inn for bed.