The one thing you cannot miss if you are in Bangkok is Friday fight night at Lumpinee stadium. I actually planned my time in Bangkok to make sure I was there for a Friday.
The last time I was here, I shot the fights but I didn’t have my principle lens (Canon 70-200L F2.8 IS) This time around I made sure I had it with me.
As I took my seat, the first fight was already underway. I had just finished getting settled when one of the fighters was knocked out. Yep, this is going to be a great night!
Before each match, the fighters do a ritualistic dance around the ring with garlands of flowers around their necks as a traditional Thai band plays music. The music continues through all of the fights and makes the whole experience feel very authentic. The first video below shows a part of the dance from my front row seat.
Because of the size of my rig, most of the staff at the arena thought I was a sports journalist and let me go wherever I wanted. I was even up on the steps of the ring during a fight at one point.
The feeling in the arena was unlike any other sporting event I have ever attended. The crowd was in a trance during the fights, screaming when any punch, kick or knee is landed. The atmosphere was electric and I could not stop smiling as I looked around. The local spectators are betting on each match, so this could be a big pay day for some of them. You can tell from their reactions to the hits! I uploaded a video so you could have a look at what I am talking about. The second video below shows the last minute of the main event and you will see that the crowd was going bananas!