Thailand – Bangkok, Golden Mount, Khlongboat & Muy Thai boxing

16/05/16

This morning I walked 10mins to Panfa Leelard to catch the Khlng Saen Saep boat, which is like a bus but a little more rough round the edges and only costs 10B. Once I was by the boat I could see Golden Mount just up ahead to went there first. I had been given a good tip that there is a really nice view at the top, so I headed on up. It cost 20B entrance and you have to walk up quite a few steps but at the top there is a really nice breeze (maybe because it was about to rain). I wasn’t too interested in seeing the actual inside of the temple, I just enjoyed the view of Bangkok.

I then headed back to board the boat, you really have to jump on. Luckily I found a seat and you can see the poor houses along the bank which is quite interesting as I never associated Bangkok with poverty. Some of these house looked like they were going to fall over! The water was pretty disgusting and near the front of the boat it was splashing on people. When some locals jumped aboard they pulled down the plastic coverings so I couldn’t see any view but was grateful for it as it had started raining quite heavily.

The ride wasn’t too long and it ends at Pratunam where everyone has to change boats if they want to continue down the canal. I got off to find food, and luckily at this stop there are a ton of malls. They mainly sell cheap clothes which is great, and I was directed to a food court which had so much choice and it’s all mega cheap.

That evening I had booked to go see the Muy Thai boxing. It wasn’t cheap, but the tour agent next to the hotel was selling ringside tickets for 1800B instead of the 2000B on the door. There are cheaper tickets if you can get a Thai local to book it for you, but they are further from the stage and not with comfortable seats. As all the gambling happens in the cheaper area, I assume that’s why they don’t let tourists in there so easily.

I wasn’t allowed to take in my bottle of water, but you can buy soft drinks for cheap once inside. There were 9 fights that evening with the 7th one being the highlight of the night. They were all catagorised by weight and the lightest ones looked about 12. What I found was that in the first round or two they didn’t fight much, and then in the last round some didn’t fight at all. I think this is all due to it being fixed for gambling… When they did fight though it was incredible! Apparently they get more points when they knee kick each other, so when I thought one was definitely going to win as he seemed more agressive the other would win as he threw more kicks. This explains why they don’t punch much! There were no KOs so each fight of 5 rounds lasted 30mins. Only one fight ended in injury so it was quite a soft night.

Before they start fighting they ‘dance’ to the live music which is wind instrument and some drums. I found this so interesting to watch, and the more experienced really kep in rhythm with the music. They also all pray with their coach and alone in each corner of the ring, it was much more spiritual than I thought it would be.

Even though it is expensive, it is so worth it. The atmosphere was just epic, the gamblers shouting at each other, everyone cheering at the kicks, the live music and just seeing the fighters made it a brilliant event.

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