Muay Thai is one of Thailand’s greatest treasures, and there’s nothing better than experiencing the sport while surrounded by thousands of cheering fans and gamblers. One of the best places to immerse yourself in the culture of Muay Thai is at the historic Rajadamnern Stadium, Bangkok’s longest-standing Muay Thai venue. At the stadium, you’ll be thrust into an electric atmosphere that’s hard to rival elsewhere.
Rajadamnern Stadium Series
After you read this guide be sure to check out all the other guides in this series.
Rajadamnern Stadium: A Brief History
Rajadamnern Stadium is an important part of Muay Thai history in that it’s the oldest Muay Thai venue in Thailand. Its cornerstone was laid on March 1, 1941, but just before the stadium was finished, construction came to a halt due to a lack of available materials during World War II. For nearly four years, the shell of the future Muay Thai venue stood half-finished. Then, when the war came to an end in 1945, construction resumed and Rajadamnern hosted its first fight on December 23 of that year.
There was only one issue — the original stadium wasn’t designed for the popularity it would soon receive. So, in 1951, additional seating and a roof was added. Although ownership of the stadium changed many times since then, it remained almost untouched for nearly 60 years. Recently, however, Rajadamnern has undergone significant renovations to make it more appealing to the younger generation of Thais and Western tourists.
Rajadamnern Stadium Event Schedule For December 4, 2023 To December 10, 2023
Rajadamnern Stadium usually hosts events five days per week. Because the schedule could change week-by-week, it’s always best to check Rajadamnern.com for an up-to-date schedule. That said, below is the schedule for this week.
|Event||Day||Start Time||Cost in Thai Baht|
|Rajadamnern Knockout Muay Thai||Monday, December 4||7:00 PM||1,500 to 3,500|
|Rajadamnern Knockout Muay Thai||Tuesday, December 5||7:00 PM||1,500 to 3,500|
|Suek Muay Thai Palangmai (New Power)||Wednesday, December 6||6:15 PM||1,500 to 3,500|
|Suek Petchyindee Muay Thai||Thursday, December 7||6:00 PM||1,500 to 3,500|
|Rajadamnern Knockout Muay Thai||Friday, December 8||7:00 PM||1,500 to 3,500|
|Rajadamnern World Series (RWS)||Saturday, December 9||6:15 PM||1,500 to 3,500|
|Suek Kiatpetch Muay Thai||Sunday, December 10||6:00 PM||1,500 to 3,500|
Rajadamnern Stadium Ticket Prices
Tickets to Rajadamnern Stadium cost between 1,500 Thai Baht ($45) and 3,500 Thai Baht ($115), but higher ticket prices don’t necessarily mean better viewing experiences. For a breakdown of what each ticket gets you, check out the Best Seats section.
|Seating Area||Cost in Thai Baht|
|Third Class||Only available for Thais|
|Second Class (Section 10)||1,500|
|Club Class (Sections 8 & 9)||1,800|
|Ringside (Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7)||2,500|
|VIP Lounge (Sections 1 & 2)||3,500|
Where To Buy Tickets To Rajadamnern Stadium
If you buy tickets through a third-party website or agency, you’ll pay more per ticket. To save money, buy tickets through Rajadamanern Muay Thai Stadium’s website or at the venue. However, some shows such as RWS do sell out, so it’s always better to book in advance and pick up your tickets at the stadium.
Best Seats At Rajadamnern Stadium
Every section in Rajadamnern Stadium offers something unique, so the best seat is the one that gives you the experience you’re after.
Tiered Seating Versus Ringside Seating
Before you decide which section you want to sit in, it’s important to know the differences between Rajadamnern Stadium’s tiered seating and ringside seating. They do, after all, offer different viewing experiences.
Sections 1, 2, 8, 9, and 10 are all tiered seating. That is, they are elevated off the ground. Sitting in these sections lets you soak up Rajadamnern Stadium’s entire atmosphere. You can watch the fighters walk out to the ring. You can see the fights with minimal distractions. You can watch the controlled chaos that is the gambling pit — or you can even sit inside of it.
Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are ringside seats. From here, you’re as close to the action as you’ll ever get. You can hear almost everything that happens in or near the ring, including the referee giving instructions to the fighters, the fighters’ cornermen, and even the fighters themselves.
That said, let’s take a closer look at what each section offers in terms of experience.
Second Class Seating (Section 10)
Second Class seats (section 10) are the least expensive tickets, but they still provide a thrilling viewing experience because you’ll be sitting in the tiers alongside passionate gamblers and the cheering Thai public. Just be sure to get a seat that faces the side of the ring, not one of the corners. Cameramen stand in the corners of the ring and sometimes block the action.
Some visitors to Rajadamnern Stadium are weary of sitting with the gamblers, but I’ve been visiting the stadium since 2007 and I’ve only seen one scuffle break out in the gambling pit — and it was over as fast as it started. Most of the gamblers are friendly and accommodating and welcome foreign tourists.
Having said that, if you want an authentic Muay Thai experience or you’re on a budget, these are the seats to pick. Also, if you’re a photographer with a telescopic lens, you could get some good action shots from this section.
Club Class Seating (Sections 8 And 9)
Club Class seating (sections 8 and 9) also provide elevated views of the stadium and fights, so this is the area you want to be in to soak up Rajadamnern’s entire atmosphere. The 300 Thai Baht ($10) difference in ticket cost from Second Class seating is because you won’t have to walk far to get to the food and drink counters. There are also no gamblers in these sections, so it’s bit more tame compared to the Second Class seating area.
Ringside Seating (Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, And 7)
Ringside seats are the third most expensive on the list, but despite the price point, these seats don’t always offer the best viewing experience. Sure, you’ll be close enough to hear the punches and kicks thwacking off the fighters’ bodies, but if the action moves to the opposite side of the ring from where you’re sitting, you might not get the best views. Plus, you’ll have to look up all night to watch the fights.
However, one great thing about ringside seating is that you get to sit close to the fighters’ corners. During the event, you can watch the animated cornermen yell instructions to their fighters and interact with the gamblers in the crowd. For this reason alone I’d recommend getting ringside seats. If you’re looking for this kind of experience, be sure to pick seats close to the corners of where sections 6 and 7 or 4 and 5 meet.
VIP Lounge (Sections 1 And 2)
As expected, the VIP Lounge seats (sections 1 and 2) are the most expensive. The increase in price isn’t necessarily due to a better viewing experience, either. For the bump in cost, you get free beer and food, gifts, and more comfortable seating than what you’d find elsewhere in the stadium.
Rajadamnern Stadium Fights
Rajadamnern Muay Thai Stadium hosts two different kind of events — traditional Muay Thai and entertainment Muay Thai. If you want to experience traditional Muay Thai, you should go to a Suek Petchyindee or Suek Palangmai Muay Thai event. If you want to experience entertainment Muay Thai, then the RWS show is a better choice. For something in between, the Rajadamnern Muay Thai Knockout event is for you.
Rajadamnern Stadium Dress Code And Bag Policy
Unlike some of the religious and historical attractions in the area, there are no dress codes to enter Rajadamnern Stadium.
If you bring any bags to Rajadamnern Stadium, security will screen them using the same machines you see at the airport. If you have anything in the bag or on your person that’s not allowed inside the stadium, security will hold your belongings until the end of the show.
There are no age restrictions to get into Rajadamnern Stadium. So, if you’re traveling through Bangkok with your kids, they can attend the fights as well. Keep in mind that fighters do sometimes get knocked out. If this happens, they may be carried away on a stretcher. Also, because of the elbows, fights can get bloody. Make sure your children are ready for this kind of atmosphere.
Dos And Dont’s
As with most attractions around the world, there are some dos and don’ts to be mindful of at Rajadamnern Stadium. In Thai society, the feet are considered the lowliest and dirties part of the body, so never put your feet on top of any railings or seats. When taking pictures with the fighters, don’t touch their heads. Don’t yell at the fighters, officials, or staff. And it goes without saying, but never throw anything into the ring.
With the don’ts out of the way, there is only one major do to be aware of — have fun. Enjoy yourself and soak up as much of the atmosphere as possible. You’ll be experiencing something completely unique, something not many people in the world can say they’ve done.
Food And Drinks
Inside Rajadamnern Stadium, snacks, hot dogs, water, soda, and beer are all available at the food and drink counters. Outside of the stadium, there are outdoor food stands serving a variety of Thai rice dishes and noodle soups.
If you arrive at the stadium early and want to eat some authentic Thai food, I recommend going to Likit Gai Yang restaurant around the corner. The restaurant has been in business for 52 years. The owner used to sell grilled chicken with his father outside of the stadium when he was younger. They eventually moved to their current location, and it’s become a staple of the local community.
Directions To Rajadamnern Stadium
Rajadamnern Stadium is located on Ratchadamnoen Nok Road in what is known as Bangkok’s Old Town. It’s only 2 kilometers from the MRT Sam Yot station and 3 kilometers from the BTS Ratchathewi station. You can get to the stadium from either station by taxi, motorcycle taxi, or Grab. With light traffic, it should take you no longer than 20 minutes and shouldn’t cost more than 70 Thai Baht, depending on traffic.
If you’re up for it, you can walk from MRT Sam Yot. The route will take 20 minutes and passes many of the Old Town’s best restaurants. Along this route you’ll find the now-famous Jay Fai’s crab fried rice restaurant and Cafe Petit Peyton, which, in my opinion, makes some of the best pad krapao nuea (stir fried beef and basil) in Bangkok.
If you want to spend the day exploring the Old Town before heading to Rajadamnern Stadium at night, there are plenty of nearby attractions. Wat Pra Kaew, Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan (Loha Prasat), Wat Saket (The Golden Mount) are all within walking distance of the stadium.
Watch An Authentic Muay Thai Training Session For Free
If you arrive at the stadium early and want to watch an authentic Muay Thai training session, you can walk to Sangmorakot Muay Thai Academy from Rajadamnern Stadium. It’s about a 10- to 15-minute walk to the gym. I recommend getting there between 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Sangmorakot is located on the grounds of Wat Sitaram. There is a seating area in front of the gym, and the staff welcome all spectators.
Compared to other major cities, Bangkok is a relatively safe place to visit. In my experience, even late at night, there’s nothing or no one around Rajadamnern Stadium that will jeopardize your safety. That said, always exercise common sense.
As for scams, the staff at Rajadamnern Stadium do a good job of keeping shifty people away from the arena. So, you won’t have any issues in or around the venue. However, when you’re looking for a ride away from the stadium at the end of the night, some taxis drivers may refuse to turn on their meters and quote you a higher than normal fare. Feel free to decline getting into a taxi (or immediately get out) if the driver doesn’t want to turn on the meter.
Tuk-tuk drivers, on the other hand, will always quote you a higher-than-normal price when you approach them. You can negotiate lower prices in almost every case. If you’re not happy with the price, walk away. Some tuk-tuk drivers will have an immediate change of heart and accept your offer. Lastly, unless you want an impromptu night tour of the area, tell them up front that you want to go straight to your destination — no shopping or sight-seeing.
Final Thoughts About Rajadamnern Stadium
Experiencing Muay Thai at Rajadamnern Muay Thai Stadium will be a memory that lives with you for many years. I’ve been visiting the stadium since 2007, and to this day I still get butterflies in my stomach when I walk through the entrance. I hope you feel the same way when you first step foot in one of Bangkok’s most iconic landmarks.
Hi, I’m John Wolcott, a former long-time English-language Muay Thai commentator who’s been living in Thailand since 2014. Over the last decade, I’ve commentated Muay Thai fights at MAX Muay Thai, Rajadamnern Muay Thai Stadium, Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, World Siam Stadium, and more. In 2022 I stepped away from commentating to focus on writing about the sport. Although I still occasionally commentate, my goal nowadays is to share with you everything I’ve learned (and continue to learn) about watching Muay Thai in Thailand so that you can have an unforgettable experience.