Thai Sports and Recreation

Kickboxing or commonly known as Muay Thai is traditionally Thailand's most popular spectator sport. Developed from an ancient style of martial art, Muay Thai differs from ordinary boxing in that the feet, knees and elbows are used as weapons in addition to gloved fists.

At its best it is a fast and furious content between two superbly fit athletes.

Among other violent sports are Thai sword fighting (krabi-krabong) and improbable animal contests, bull fighting (bull against bull, not the Spanish variety), fish fighting, cock fighting (which is illegal), and even beetle fighting.

Also very Thai but far less violent is takraw, a game somewhat akin to volleyball in which a rattan ball is knocked around by using the feet, legs and head only.

A recognized sport at national and regional meets, takraw is most commonly seen being played by young men during their lunch breaks on any open space.

Of modern sports, golf is rapidly becoming Thailand's most popular pastime. The country boasts a surprising number of splendid courses. Most popular with visitors are a host of water sports.

Much of Thailand's long coastline is unspoilt, and deserted islands, coral reefs and sheer cliffs provide an attractive backdrop for scuba diving, snorkelling, yachting, windsurfing, water skiing, deep sea fishing and sea canoeing.

Trekking and mountain biking are dry land adventure sports options. The hill country of the North is ideally suited to both, and organized tours are readily available.

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