Along with full moon parties, ping pong shows and the pre requisite falling out of bars on Khao San Road, Mui Tai boxing is a must see on any Thai itinerary. Finding a match won't be difficult because ticket peddlars drive around and hand out flyers advertising the fights for that week in any major town or city. Contestants aren't just limited to male bruisers, ladies fights are particularly popular and even matches between young children are common.
We decided to celebrate my birthday Thai style with a fight down at the spit and sawdust Thapae Stadium in Chiang Mai. We paid the marked price of 400 baht to get in, although we later discovered that this could have been negotiable. Note to selves - bargain next time!
There are a few different ticket options but we eschewed the 'VIP' seats in favour of standard tickets and we got a good view from our table on the elevated platform at the back. We were given a free drink as part of our entry, but we were disappointed to find that it was a paltry cup of some sort of fruit punch, so we went for a Sangsom (Thai rum) served in the obligatory bucket instead.
We saw several bouts including the ladies matches, young boy boxers and the star fight. What was perhaps most amusing was the light entertainment in between matches, notably a comedy fight between a group of blindfolded men.