You will see FantaSea and Thai boxing posters and ads everywhere in Phuket, including loud megaphone ads that will drive you crazy. Both shows can be pricey, brutal and can take up a good chunk of your evening, so are they really worth seeing? We decided to try both because they both represent Thai traditions and we wanted to experience as much culture as we could. In all honesty, I was a bit sceptical about both shows due to the brutal nature of Muay Thai and supposed animal cruelty in FantaSea, but I really enjoyed both activities and I even found myself cheering at the vicious Thai Boxing match.
Thai Boxing, or Muay Thai, is a traditional sport of Thailand. If you’re going to Thailand you’re going to want to watch see a real Thai boxing fight at some point! However, is the brutal nature of it worth it? I’ve read lots of Trip Advisor reviews that have put me off the idea. People were saying it’s all staged and that it involves young boy fights.. Not something you want to see. However, I’m glad I agreed to it as it wasn’t so bad. I got the taste of a real Thai sport and I can tell you – it was very much real. Yes, there were young boys fighting, but again.. it’s a sport that you have to train for for years! I am sure the majority of the boys enjoy Muay Thai it as much as other boys enjoy sports like football or boxing.
The fight we watched started off with younger male contestants and finished with adult men and adult women. Personally, I really enjoyed watching the boys and women fights. All fights were different but these groups were the most entertaining and I felt somewhat proud of the women taking part in an activity that by most would be considered ‘boyish’. I’m not sure if I should feel bad for saying this, but the women were the most vicious when it came to fighting and really didn’t mess about. Is it weird it was kind of thrilling and I found myself cheering for my favourite, despite not knowing all the rules?!
Cost of the show
We stayed in Patong Beach and booked our tickets directly from the stadium’s website on Boxing Stadium Patong. This link will take you straight to the booking page where you can contact them for tickets. Booking Page If booking by email you will receive 10% off and a free T-shirt. The ticket price also includes a free transfer from some locations in Phuket (check with the operator). Great deal!
You will find three different ticket types:
VIP – 1,800 Baht Free T shirt
Ring Side seat – 1,500 Baht
Stadium seat – 1,300 Baht
VIP Seats (red seats) place you the closest to the ring which in theory sounds great but in reality 1. you won’t be able to see very well as the ring is raised, and 2. You will be so close that you are most likely to be splattered with sweat and blood. You do get a free T-shirt though, so you can decide for yourselves if it is worth it.
Ring Side Seats (blue seats)are a bit better than VIP seats and you get a reserved seat close, but not too close, to the ring.
We, however, opted for Stadium Seats (at the back) which were perfect for us because you can sit higher up with no one restricting your view, and you can sit wherever you want as there are no seat numbers. It’s just concrete seat walls along the side of the stadium so they’re not ideal if you have back problems! But as I said, if you book online you get a free t-shirt and transfer anyway so if you want to keep it cheap and your back is fine I would definitely recommend Stadium Seats.
At the stadium there is also a souvenir shop if you want to buy more T-shirts or boxing gloves to take back, a small bar for when you get thirsty from cheering and shouting, and a food stand for when you get hungry.
Yay or nay?
Definitely yay! I would recommend it even if you’re not really into sports or fighting. I myself am not a fan but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Muay Thai and at least I can say I have seen a traditional sport. Yes, it was a bit brutal and a couple of contestants did pass out, but I wouldn’t say it’s any more brutal than other sports, like traditional boxing. Let’s be honest – if you are in Thailand and want to embrace the culture you have to go and watch this traditional sport and treat is as an experience.