Thursday, April 05, 2007

Muay Thai in Phuket Town.

(Pics to follow later once I get the right USB cord to DL off Puk's camera)

Muay Thai down in Phuket Town, PK, (having been warned that most if not all of the Patong boxing rings were at least semi fake, we ventured into a far more "Thai oriented" area).Long and annoying negotiations with different taxi drivers to get us from Patong down to PK. Eventually settle on an overpriced taxi (1000THB) to bring us there wait for us then bring us back. I'm sure we could have arranged better, but we left it a bit late (1hr before the boxing started).

Sos, after a 20min drive in the taxi, (sheet, after 2 weeks in Phuket I'd almost forgotten what it's like in a car, I've been tooling aroud on my motorbike for what seems like forever.) we arrive at the boxing arena (Sawit Gym/training camp/boxing stadium). Puk got out and tried to buy the tix for the three of us at Thai discount prices but to no avail. She got the 50% Thai discount, but my villamate and I had to pay full Farang Fare of 1200TB for ringside seats (900THB for outer ring seats). As we entered the arena, we realized it's smallish and no one checks the tix anyways so we could have bought outer ring and just moved to rigside if we wanted to (as most farangs were ringside and The Thais had outer ring seats). Seeing this, we promptly sat down right on the edge of the apron and awaited the show.

Looking for a little side action (we gots a little gambool in us) but both completely clueless on the form/favorites of the 9 bout fight, we decide to have a tiny 50THB wager on each fight with me taking all of the red corner fighters and my villamate taking all the blue corner fighters. NOTE even this random method can have painful gambooling repurcussions. On a 9 card fight I managed to lose 500THB???? (As the fights wore on I started getting in a deeper hole as most of the red fighters were going down by either decision or KO so I kept going for the dbl and treble wager on the next fight and still losing).

Onto to the fighting action. The first bout was listed on the card as a 50lb weight class. Prior to the emergence of the figters we were speculating on how old the competitors could possibly be at just 50lbs. Well, we were awarded a fierce battle atween what seemed like two 5 year olds. Red had a fierce "50 cent stare" and blue looked timid but had a definite height and reach advantage. After the opening ceremonies (which were similar for each fight) of a ceremonial dance center ring and a trace of the ropes with brief prayer in each corner) the action commenced. These 2 kids fought as hard as any 2 Brooklyn street fighters I can remember growing up. Red turned out to be a bull rushing brawler with strong punches but he could not hold up to the more technical and skillful kicking ability of blue. Thus, blue won by decision.

After the fight, I was reflecting on both the brutality and beauty of the spectacle of 5 year olds in such a contest. Their discipline and determination was startling for some so young and yet twas still a bit disturbing watching little kids "kickin the sheet" out of each other.

The next three fights moved on with slight rises in weight class and age. One of the hardest battles was atween what seemed two 14year olds who fought so fiercely that my villamate remarked "The winner must get to lose his virginity tonight!" Of course, red won this fight wit a crushing kick/punch combo to the head that sent red spiraling to floor in a KO and requiring smelling salts to reawaken.

The 5th match shall be known as the sick OUTDRAW! Having doubled the stakes on this fight of 16yr olds, red was opening a big ole can of ass whuppin on blue through 2 rounds. The whuppin was so intense, we were both shocked Blue managed to stay standing in the 2nd round after absorbing so much punishment. Well, it seems Blue had been adopting a solid "rope'a'dope" stategy and at the stat of the 3rd round, red was visibly tired and blue KOed him in the 1st 30 seconds with a devastating series of kicks to the head.

Onto the next interesting fight...45lb weight class! What? 45lb? Tis it possible? Yep! Cus they were 6 or 7yr old GIRLS! LOL! These chicks fought as fierce, if not fiercer than the young boys. After three rounds, and not a single incident of standard catfight hair pulling :), blue, of course, won by decision deepening my 1st foray into Muay Thai betting.

As the main event rolled around, I was in the hole for about 250THB and decided to "get out of it" on the last fight. I was confident that any farang named, Olaf, from Estonia, weighing in at 200lbs, had to have a decent shot against a local Thai journeyman. my villamate graciously accepted the dbl or nothing bet and the fight commenced. Olaf had about a 7inch height advanage and easily the same advantage in reach. The Thai fighter also looked a little old and possily out of shape. The first 2 rounds went as expected with Olaf's superior power, reach, and kicking punishing the Thai fighter. At this point, I'm thinking "yeah HA! I'm out of it!" Unfortunately, Olaf ran out of gas shortly into the 3rd round and the fiht went to decision with the Thai guy winning on decision after out boxing him for te last 2.5 rounds. BAH! So I got to pay the full 1000THB taxi fare.

We had the taxi drop us off at Bangla Road back in Patong to continue the birthday merriment. We eventually wandered into the back of "Soi Disco something or other" for a few drinks whilst watching the bar girls a dancing. The mix was 10% hot, 50% doable, 20% meh, and 20% Yuck/ladyboy.

At our first bar, my villamate kept getting propositioned by an energetic somewhat cute 30something woman with an amusing surprise. When she opened her mouth, she was missing almost her entire row of upper teeth. Needless to say this was "offputting" for both of us, though Puk did find it quite amusing. At this bar I managed to lose something like 7 straight games of connect 4 to the head bar matron (LOL trying to beat a professional connect 4 player). After 2 drinks we moved onto the front of the soi to "Sharky's Bar," where all the dancers were dressed in schoolgirl outfits.

Once we landed at Sharky's Bar, my villamate and I commenced drinkin and Puk went for a walk to get some food from the street carts. She returned about 40 mins later with a cake and candles and we had a little bday song and party there with the bargirls chowing down some cake! One of the bar matrons took great enjoyment in speading icing all over my villamate's face!.

Summary: Muay Tai (at a real arena/gym outside of the heavy farang traffic areas) was deffo a good night out depsite being on the V expensive side for Thailand. It's worth one trip just to experience the spectacle and ritual. Bangla Rd....Well it's Bangla Rd on a Friday night, LOL!


At April 07, 2007 5:35 PM, Anonymous Rachel said...

Good to see you're back among the living - missed you at the wedding! Rachel

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