Thais are crazy about sports, so it is no surprise that the country is home to a host of international sporting events throughout the calendar year. The Land of Smiles is a particularly world-renowned destination for golf and Muay Thai – welcoming thousands of visitors every year who come specifically to play these sports. And maybe chill at the beach a little…
Other sports popular in Thailand include tennis, badminton, volleyball, and other martial arts, while there is also a focus on general fitness activities (that aren’t necessarily played competitively) including running, swimming and cycling.
The biggest sport of all, however, is more commonly watched here rather than played: Football! The Thai national team and local players may not be the best, but live Thai and international football matches are still some of the biggest sporting events in Thailand to look forward to.
Here are some events to keep an eye out for in the different regions of the country. We’ll be updating these individual events on a regular basis.
Sporting events in Bangkok
The capital hosts a range of sporting activities and events for those of all abilities. Both Bike for Mom and Bike for Dad see large parts of the city shut down for tens-of-thousands of cyclists to hit the streets on two wheels. Other all-inclusive fitness events to look out for are the Bangkok Marathon and the shorter (but much more fun) Colour Run (expect lots of paint).
As we said before, football is a big deal in Thailand, even though the teams and players might not be exactly well known. You can catch international games at the giant Rajamangala Stadium (Thailand will host several FIFA World Cup Qualifying games throughout the year) For local teams, head to the medium-sized SCG Stadium in the north of the city.
Just nearby the SCG Stadium is Impact Arena – which happens to be where Bangkok’s Martial Arts One Championship (MMA) is being held. However, for more regular Muay Thai action, head to the city’s Rajadamnern Stadium on Rama 3 Road.
Another venue in Bangkok that is well-equipped to host sporting events is Hua Mak Stadium; this year, it will host the Fivb Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals.
Sporting events in Pattaya and Chonburi
With the seaside city of Pattaya as its main hub, this Thai province is well-placed to hold numerous sporting events throughout the year. Put simply, there is far more open space here compared to Bangkok, meaning that activities such as golf, motor racing and watersports are a lot easier to find.
For example, last year saw the King’s Cup Asia Tour (golf), the Jet Ski World Cup and a Touring Car Street Race in Bangsean. Already confirmed for 2017 is the Honda LPGA golf series at the exclusive Siam Country Club Pattaya Golf Course in February.
Sporting events in Isaan, Northeast Thailand
If you’re into your high-octane motorsports, then a trip to Isaan’s Buriram might just be a good idea. The province is home to the popular Chang International Circuit, which features modified racing cars touring cars, and superbikes. We are already looking forward to the FIM World Superbike Championship there in March.
Sports events in Phuket
Phuket is a hugely popular destination for tourists wanting to learn and train Muay, with the tropical island boasting hundreds of rings in total! Not surprisingly, live Muay Thai matches (between the pros) draw in thousands of spectators.
Another sports event to look out for which takes advantage of Phuket’s coastal position is the annual King’s Regatta boat race. Talking of watersports, Phuket holds several other sailing events throughout the year that you can join in, too.