Bangkok and Thailand are synonymous with Thai boxing ( Muay Thai ), the traditional kick boxing, in which not only the fists, but also the feet, knees and elbows are used. Because the sport is so popular, fights take place somewhere in the city, especially at the Ratchadamnoen Stadium (Tel: (02) 281 42 05) on Ratchadamnoen Nok Road (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evening) and in the Lumphini Stadium (Tel: (02) 251 43 03) on Rama IV Road (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evening).
In the hot season, the popular kite flying competitions are held. Opposing teams let male Chula and female Pakpao dragons rise in a proxy battle of the sexes. In Sanam Luang, these impressive events take place almost every weekend.
The second extremely popular sport is takraw, which is played with a woven rattan ball. The players stand in a circle and try in a rather acrobatic way to pass the ball on to their teammates with their feet, knees, thighs, chest or shoulders. The ball must remain in the air while trying to put it in a hanging basket. Competitions are held regularly in Sanam Luang. More information can be found in the local press.
Thailand’s Football League (Internet: www.thaifootball.com) has two divisions, the “Premier” and the “First”. The teams have names such as Air Force, Bangkok Bank, Army and Telephone Association of Thailand.
For information on games, contact the Football Association of Thailand (Tel: (02) 216 45 79). Tickets for sporting events can be bought on site up to one hour before the start of the game.
Thailand has many excellent golf courses and some are also available to visitors.
The Royal Golf & Country Club is – easily accessible by taxi – southeast of Bangkok at 69 Moo 7, Sukhumvit 17, Bang Sao Thong, Samut Prakan (Tel: (02) 738 01 33) and has a beautiful 18-hole course.
The Rose Garden Golf Club (Tel: (034) 32 25 88) is located 32 km southwest of the city in the Tha Talad Sub District, Sampran, Nakhon Pathom – accessible via National Highway number 4. The 18-hole course is also open to guests available for a fee.
Many gyms in the city belong to hotels and are only accessible to members. The training center at the Rajamangala National Stadium on Ramkhamhaeng Road (Tel: (02) 314 46 78). B. Aerobics classes are offered, can also be used by non-members and also have a swimming pool.
Siam Water Park, Sukhaphiban 2 Road (Tel: (02) 517 00 75), north of the city, has slides and a wave pool. Nawasri Pool, 209 Ramkhamhaeng Soi 21 (Tel: (02) 318 01 34) and Rajamangala National Stadium are also open to non-members.
Tennis clubs that can also be used by non-members include
Asoke Sport Club, 302/81 Mooban Tawaamit, Asoke-Din Daeng (Tel: (02) 246 22 60),
Sawadee Soi, 35/5 Sukhumvit Soi 31 (Tel: (02) 258 45 02) and
Central Tennis Court, 13/1 Soi Attakarn Prasit Sathorn Tai Road (Tel: (02) 213 19 09).