Thailand's famous combat sport hits Bangkok in March. Sit ringside and catch the best action on National Muay Thai Day.
'Float like a butterfly, sting like a ... spider'? Visit Bangkok for National Muay Thai Day, and you'll soon understand this revision of Muhammad Ali's sacred fighting call. Every year on March 17th, locals and visiting Muay Thai enthusiasts swarm to the city's arenas to catch a glimpse of 'the art of eight limbs' where opponents struggle to overpower each other with their fists, elbows, knees and shins.
Tradition has it that National Muay Thai Day harks back to 18th century Burma. According to the legend, enslaved Thai fighter Nai Khanomtom won his freedom from the Burmese King after defeating ten of his champions with his unique fighting style. He returned to Thailand a national hero and the earliest version of the combat sport, Muay Boran, was born. Modern Muay Thai came into being in the 20th century when the sport exploded as a key part of Thai culture.
Rajadamnern Thai Boxing Stadium is one of Bangkok's most popular venues, although you'll find impressive displays in stadiums and local gyms across the capital. It's common for drinks to be served ringside and interval entertainment doesn't disappoint. In a sight that's stupidly funny rather than violent, breaks often see organisers pitch groups of four or five blindfolded fighters together for loud laughs.
Catch a holiday to Bangkok in your web in March and you'll be in for a springtime spin when you next visit the Thai capital.
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