Muay Thai is also referred to as “the science of 8 limbs”
Without a doubt, attending a Muay Thai fight – at least once – is a must-do on a visit to Thailand, as it is the national sport of this country. Also known as Thai boxing or kick boxing, this martial art demands a perfect physical condition and fighting skills. As opposed to western boxing where only 2 points (fists) are used, Muay Thai is also referred to as “the science of 8 limbs“, because hands, elbows, knees, shins and feet can act as fighting armor. It takes many years to become a master kick boxer.
Preceding the actual fight, the two fighters always perform a ritual – the Wai Khru – to respect their teachers. Besides that, the performance is also a practical and spiritual matter, allowing the boxers to warm up, get accustomed to the ring and request permission plus protection from the spirits.
Chiang Mai has four fighting arenas, ranging from popular places to authentic venues.
MUAY THAI BOXING ARENAS
Loi Kroh Boxing Stadium
[callout]Address: 28, Loi Kroh Road, Chiang Mai 50100 – Tel: 089 852 6947[/callout]
Surrounded by a complex of lady and ladyboy bars, this is probably the most relaxed arena. The Muay Thai fights being held over here are most of the time mainly training sessions, though some nights the real action also takes place.
Thapae Boxing Stadium
[callout]Address: Moon Muang Road (over Thapae Gate), Chiang Mai 50100 – Tel: 086 187 7655[/callout]
At this stadium, most of the Muay Thai fights are being held for a well-crowded audience of mostly foreigners, because of the central location close to Thapae Gate. Fights can be Thai against Thai, or Thai against Westerner, and in general they approach the real thing. Also here the boxing ring is enclosed to a (small) group of bars.
Kalare Boxing Stadium
[callout]Address: Soi, Ratchapakinai Road (at the Night Bazaar), Chiang Mai 50100[/callout]
Lees known, though a more authentic place to watch rival schools fight each other. Local Thai and international Muay Thai competitions.
Kawila Provincial Boxing Stadium
[callout]Address: Kong Sai Road (off Charoen Muang Road), Chiang Mai 50000 – Tel: 089 852 6947[/callout]
A little bit out of the city center, east of the Ping river, this spot catches less media attention, but it is considered to offer the most realistic fighting. Many Muay Thai fighters come over here to compete., starting from debutantes to local champions.
And for those who want to participate, be it just for some basic introductory lessons or to engage in some serious training, several camps in Chiang Mai offer to learn about self defense and having a terrific workout at the same time.
MUAY THAI BOXING CAMPS
Chay Yai Gym
[callout]Address: 30/17, Sunpiliang, Nong Hoy, Chiang Mai 50000 – Tel: 082 938 1364[/callout]
Lanna Muay Thai Boxing Camp
[callout]Address: 161, Soi Chang Kian, Huay Kaew Road, Chiang Mai – Tel: 081 951 3164[/callout]
Santai Muay Thai Gym
[callout]Address: 79, Moo 9, San Kamphaeng, Chiang Mai 50130 – Tel: 082 528 6059[/callout]