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There is a place you can watch Muay Thai in Bangkok for free.
In this post I’ll tell you about my experience and answer some of the questions you may have. P.s. my Muay Thai skills are lacking so I won’t KO you for asking any questions in the comments.
At most boxing stadiums in Bangkok you pay 600+ baht to watch Muay Thai. I was going to pay it, but my inner budget traveller had to find a cheaper option. Damn tight arse budget travellers.
Lucky for you and I there’s a free option on Sunday afternoons at the Channel 7 Boxing Stadium (and the third Wednesday of the month).
My Experience Watching Muay Thai In Bangkok
After a lazy Sunday morning around Khao San Road I made my way to the stadium thinking the event may have started by the time I arrive (procrastination life). Even though it was free I assumed there’d be lots of seating so wasn’t too fussed.
As I walked through the entrance all my assumptions were way off. Inside the auditorium like stadium were hundreds (thousands?) of people chatting away to friends, waving small pieces of paper, and on phone calls talking with their jacket covering their mouth. The first fight was moments away.
There were no grandstand seats left when I arrived. I tried to get to the foreigner section but there was only so far I could go before the first fight. Despite my poor view, the atmosphere was awesome, much better then the one at the Thaepae Boxing Stadium in Chiang Mai.
The fights went for five, three-minute rounds and were all high quality. I can’t chat much about the fights as I’m no expert, but watching the crowd was as fun.
From where I was standing there were people shouting and point all around me, betting on the fights in real time. At the end of each fight 100 and 1000 baht notes exchanged hands (wasn’t tempted to throw a sneaky 100 baht on someone).
Back on the fights, the whole focus of the event is the television production. Unlike the tourist traps with gimmicky fights and questionable results (fake KO’s) you have 100% genuine fights here.
The main event was the fourth fight of six on the card and once that fight finished (around 4.15 p.m.) half the crowd left. The last two saw younger, inexperienced fighters going at it in non-televised fights.
I left half way through the last fight but if leave after the main event you don’t miss out on anything. What a crazy couple of hours! The fans were so into the event making it worth going along to even if you don’t have any interest in Muay Thai or fighting.
10/10 would go again.
An FAQ & DIY Guide To Watching Muay Thai At Channel 7 Boxing Stadium
Why is it free? I have no idea of the official reason, but I guess because it’s televised. The atmosphere on TV is best when there is a full arena of people which free tickets lets happen every week. Who cares though right? Not often we get a freebie these days.
What time does it start? The official start time is 2.30 p.m. every Sunday and at 12 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month.
I turned up at about 2.25 p.m. on a Sunday and had to stand on the ground floor which wasn’t the best view. Damn shortness. I suggest getting there before 2.00 p.m. at the latest to have a choice of seats in the foreigner section.
Where is the stadium & how to get there? The Channel 7 Boxing Stadium is located near the Mochit BTS station in the Channel 7 Headquarters building. If you’re staying close to a BTS station, that’s the best way.
It’s a five-minute walk to the stadium from the station (exit on the east side of the station).
I got from Khaosan Road to the Channel 7 Boxing Stadium by bus. I took bus 59 (bus 509 works too) from the Democracy Monument bus stop (here) to Mochit bus stop (here) for 7 baht. I’d allow a total travel time of 1 hour 15 minutes from leaving Khaosan Road.
On the way back I was standing at the wrong bus stop to start with (stand here). I got the 509 (59 works) back to the Democracy Monument for 7 baht.
The stadium doesn’t stick out llike a football stadium does, but you’ll know you’re at the right place when you see a row of Thai flags (see photos at bottom of the post). There should be a sign saying that the boxing starts at 2.30p.m. Follow the arrows and head around the side of the building in front of you (it’s the stadium). After 100 metres or so, you’ll have this view on your let. Head that way and you’ll see the door (that’s awfully small) to enter through.
Can foreigners watch? Is it safe? Yes and yes. If you’re a foreigner you’ll be directed to the dedicated foreigner seating area on the opposite side of the entrance. There are enough security staff to point you in the right direction. If the foreigner section is full, you’ll just have to do the best you can and stay out of the way.
There are tiered grandstand of metal benches for everyone to sit on. The earlier you arrive the better your seat options. Most seats have a clear view to the ring with sponsors and commentators sitting at ground level in front.
Thai people make up 99% of the crowd in the other three metal grandstands. They were so full everyone was standing rather than sitting like those in the foreigner grandstand. The people watching opportunities at the stadium were incredible so even if you aren’t a fan of watching people fight, you’ll be kept entertained.
In terms of safety, totally fine. This is a televised event so no shifty stuff
would should be going on. If you were to get involved in the betting and didn’t pay or something stupid, then, of course, things aren’t going to be so safe for you. The only real danger I could think of was if a fire started inside the building, trample city.
What I’m saying is don’t avoid going out of fear (the area around the building is safe too).
Final Thoughts: Is It Worth Watching Muay Thai In Bangkok?
Hell yes! It’s annoying having to go to Mochit, but that’s Bangkok for you. It’s a big city so if you
re not sure where to watch Muay Thai in Bangkok consider the location of you compared to the stadium. Experience wise, I’ve only got the Thaepae Boxing Stadium to compare to but I can safely say this was so much better. The crowd was more involved, the fights were real, the television cameras added excitement, as did the subcultures evident in the crowd through betting etc. The free entrance didn’t hurt either.
While I can’t say for myself if this is the best place to watch Muay Thai in Bangkok I 10/10 would recommend going here.
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