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“And now for something unexpected...”

Ao Nang Krabi Thai Boxing Stadium
Ranked #25 of 57 things to do in Ao Nang
Attraction details
Reviewed 23 August 2013

If you prefer your holiday adventures to be a bit sanitised and safely in your comfort zone, a night out at the Ao Nang Boxing Stadium probably isn't for you. Sweaty, noisy, badly lit, un-air-conditioned, locals cheering, punters gambling on kids' matches as well as adults' - a night of Muay Thai boxing was one of the highlights of my holiday in Ao Nang!

On our arrival in Krabi, I came across an article written by a local fighter/trainer (and American ex-pat) called Khru Doc who offered behind the scenes tours on fight nights. He responded to my email and agreed to pick us up on Friday night before the fight.
We arrived at the stadium, already crowded with fans milling about and paid 1200 baht each (about $50NZ or $40US) to get in. Yes, this is expensive in a country where an hour-long massage will run 200 baht and a nice meal for two in a decent restaurant will go for 1000 - but I can get a massage or dinner anywhere in the world - the only place to see Muay Thai boxing is Thailand! And while I suspect the locals don't pay such hefty entrance fees, I also suspect those visitor fees keep the place running.

Tickets in hand, we nabbed a couple of front row couches and went off to explore. First the gym area - stark - and then the fighters' bare-bones sleeping quarters. Grabbed a Singha Beer to cool down and then off to the prep area where the fighters were being massaged. A crowded, men-only zone, I was surprised when they welcomed me with my camera for a close-up look. Massages, prayers, hangers on - I met a famous trainer, whose name I've shamefully forgotten. Loud, a little bit smoky, a little bit hypnotising - definitely Thailand, steeped in history and a bit of mystery. A serving of unvarnished Thai culture and tradition.

And then the fights - though I knew a bit about Muay Thai, Khru Doc was a font of information, taking us through the rituals involved before a match begins, including some of the quirks of the fighters.

The night opened with several matches with very young fighters, who were the most fun to watch. I was impressed at how protective the referees and trainers were and the genuine comraderie between the combatants before and after the match - but during the match it was all on! The adult fighters were stronger, more powerful, but also more tempered and controlled. I enjoyed watching this level of skill, but it was much more serious.

I was free to wander the stadium during and between the matches, photographing the punters, kids, fighters, families. Anywhere I wanted EXCEPT within 1 metre of the ring itself - women are not permitted to touch the ring. (It's a local thing - women boxers fight in the rings in Bangkok and Phuket.) While the Thai people are always friendly, I think they rather liked having visitors come and see them being themselves rather than looking after us.

We missed the free bus back to our hotel after the fight - but it was Thailand, where many things are dirt cheap and for 100 baht got a tuktuk back. Just an amazing experience all around - I can not recommend it more highly if you want to step away from the usual air-brushed tourist activities and get a little bit down and dirty with the locals. And uber thanks to Khru Doc who provided his services for free!

4  Thank Veronica56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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97 - 101 of 190 reviews

Reviewed 29 July 2013

Free transport from anywhere in Ao Nang. Very expensive and noisy. Watch the Locals wheeling and dealing as the fights progress. Something though doesn't seem quite real!

1  Thank DENNIS H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2013

Expensive. The cheapest entrance ticket is 800 baht. Starts 9 pm to midnight. Moo 3 / Noppharat Beach.

Thank Jammie-Tai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2013

Every friday you have thai boxing in this stadium. Free transport in this area, only. They go announcing from time to time regarding the thai boxing, followed by a van/lorry to pick up customers/patron for the show. the price is more than 1000 bhats. for the show. It is an open air stadium and the chairs are movable.

Thank Santhira S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2013

If you like Muay Thai/Thai Boxing, this is the place to go. These are real fights, and often have high quality fighters as this is the third largest Muay Thai stadium in Thailand.
If you're not sure what to expect, be warned, Muay Thai is a violent sport. You will see people get hurt. You will most likely see blood, and perhaps quite a bit of it. And there will most likely be children fighting. This is how they learn.
I've seen Muay Thai previously and this is a much better venue than others I've been to. My friend and I enjoyed our night here, but we both knew what to expect.
If you want a taste of what to expect, you can find a short video I made on the night on youtube at the link below. The video was filmed from the "arena seats".

Thank Darren B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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