Mimi V a writer, social media manager, foodie, music lover, and mum, currently residing in Sydney with Mr V, two little Vs and doggy V.
Published October 2nd 2012
Possibly the least romantic honeymoon activity ever
It is Saturday night in Thailand's capital Bangkok, and we decide to make full use of the delights that the "City of Angels" has to offer. First up, Muay Thai - traditional Thai boxing. I realise that watching a boxing match or three is unlikely to be high on most recent bride's list of must-do activities, and I have to admit that for me it figured somewhere between getting a tattoo and being detained at the notorious "Bangkok Hilton" prison for suspected drug smuggling. So it is in the spirit of partnership and compromise that I dutifully agree to go along. After all, it was the one sightseeing activity that my husband was really keen on.
On the advice of the trusty guide book, we catch the Skytrain and the Metro to the Silom district, which puts us in close proximity to our evening's activities.
Muay Thai - traditional Thai boxing @ Lumpinee Stadium, Bangkok
The Metro brings us out just a few metres away from the entrance to Lumpinee Stadium where the Muay Thai is held. Despite the numerous offers of Tuk-tuk rides, we decide to walk there - it's only a few metres, after all. Upon arrival at the stadium we are greeted by a friendly Thai woman who offers us front row seats at discounted prices. She does a very good job of parting us from the 1200BHT entrance fee (a great deal for those seats). Almost. As she speaks, we are reminded of the advice in the guidebook to purchase tickets only at the ticket window, no matter how friendly and approachable a tout might seem.
We share the stadium with an army of cats @ Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok
We go to the early session – 5pm-8pm, so as to free up the rest of the evening for our other plans. At this time of day, humans in the stadium seem to be outnumbered by the stray cats who are fighting a turf war in the stalls under our feet. Throughout the bouts we make frequent trips out to the street-vendors for top ups of beer, salty snacks and soft drinks; each time having to pass a not too pleasant smelling men's urinal. Oh, the glamour.
Some of the fighters barely seem into their teens @ Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok
The boxing itself is fairly entertaining and not as gory as I had feared (some of the fighters look like they are barely into their teens). There are lots of rituals and traditions that accompany the game that mean nothing to us but are obviously steeped in the history of this traditional art form, and they are fascinating to outsiders like us. Apparently, the more vicious and contentious matches are saved for the 9pm-11pm session, which sees the stadium full of Thais, many of whom will bet heavily on the outcome of the matches.
All in all, it's not an unpleasant experience, but not one I'd be in a hurry to repeat, having done it once. Needless to say, hubby, being a long-time martial-arts practitioner, loved it, so it served its purpose. Probably an experience best kept for the boys (or girlies who are not on their honeymoon), but definitely one more thing ticked off the bucket list.