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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sundays at Channel 7

One of my favourite free things to do in Bangkok on a weekend is to join the crowds in Channel 7 recording studio. Muay thai boxing, a national sport, air on TV every Sunday at noon to 3. Little known to tourists, it is free to get a spot to watch these live boxing matches in a very authenthic local atmosphere. 

There are many touts and brochures selling boxing matches but they can't get any more authenthic than the ones televised for the nation. 

How to get to Channel 7 Studio:
Get off at Mochit BTS Exit 4 and walk towards the Bangkok MRT office building. This is located at the end of the street, in a corner.
Turn into the street where the building is located and walk deep into the soi.
Watch out for this building, which is Channel 7. 

Enter freely and head towards the right where you'll see buses (they are mobile toilets), and head inwards where most of the crowd is moving towards.

You'll reach the Studio.
The matches start at noon, so be there before to find a nice parking spot. Locals arrive as early as 11am and mill around to watch the boxers get oiled and prepped. 

There was a low rumble in the studio as the atmosphere builds up. Hands started rising and waving. I learned that these waving hands belonged to bookies taking bets amongst the crowd. I chuckle to myself as i caught a glimpse of the sign "No Gambling" on the wall. 

The crowd roared with each punch and kick. Monies passed from my left to right. Millions of illegal baht was transacted in that studio, with 300, 000 baht gifted to the winning boxer. Seated sardine packed on the bleachers, the yells and gestures from the bookies proved to be more interesting than the match itself. Heart pounding, I felt like i was part of something big, bad and dirty.
It made me feel alive. 
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