Muay Thai (Thai kick boxing) is famous around the world. However, there are two other versions of boxing which you might see being played at temple fairs and cultural events in Thailand. These are Sea Boxing (muay ta-lay มวยทะเล ) and Blindfold Boxing ( muay dtap jaak มวยตับจาก ). Despite its name, Sea Boxing is not played at sea. Two contestant straddle a long pole which is suspended over some water. They then fight until one of them is knocked off the pole. Blindfold boxing is also a fun sport. As you can see in the pictures, the two boxers are blindfolded and then try to box in the normal way. The Thai name of this sport comes from the dried leaves of the nipa palm which you can see on the ground. As the boxers cannot see each other, they have to use their ears to hear where their opponent is standing. The dried nipa palm leaves make a rustling sound as you walk on it. The people in the crowd also help by shouting “chok, chok” whenever the boxers near each other. It can be pretty fun as they wildly swing in the wrong direction or hit the referee by mistake. There are three rounds lasting two minutes each.
You can watch a short video clip: http://www.richardbarrow.com/video/boxing.htm
(These pictures were taken over the new year holiday at Ancient City in Samut Prakan.)
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