Muay Thai (also known as Thai boxing) is the national sport of Thailand and dates back to the 16th century. It is a full-contact martial art where two opponents battle using their fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet. Before fighting, the boxers perform a ritual called the wai kru ram muay to show respect and ask for protection.
As Chiang Mai is home to two boxing stadiums with multiple events per week, it’s the perfect place to cross seeing an authentic Muay Thai match off your Thailand to-do list. Each event typically consists of eight fights and the boxers may be Thai or foreigners from a local muay Thai training camp. The fights are accompanied by traditional music called sarama that speeds up as the fight intensifies.