Goodbye Lumpini

Written by nopadon wongpakdee. Posted in Tradition and Culture

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Published on October 22, 2012 with 8 Comments

This has been news for a couple of months now, but the post has just published an article with some of the details…

Lumpini stadium has been home to Muay Thai since the late 50’s…it’s where the best of the best nak muay have come for decades to fight for the chance to become stadium champion.

For those of you who’ve been, you would agree it’s got character.  Part thunder dome, part bullring, it’s sheltered under a corrugated tin roof.  During the monsoons, water pours in; during the summer the place is a sweatbox…

photo by michael lapalme

It’s time is up and the powers that be are moving the stadium… it promises to be air-conditioned and shiny and new.

The problem is, it’s in the middle of nowhere.  Who’s going out there?  Ok, you’ve got the hardcore gamblers, who’re ruining the sport… their sort of a built in audience, the punters will go to where the action is…

photo by michael lapalme

You’ve got the tourists… with their ridiculous ringside pricing these are the people that really keep the lights on… are they going?  I doubt it.  Lumpini was pretty damn accessible, take the sky train or the MRT, and you’re a couple of mins away.  Tuk Tuk, taxi whatever… it’s central you get the picture.  I don’t see people heading north of the city out of curiosity, or they’ll have to be lied to…

photo by michael lapalme

You’ve got Muay Thai enthusiasts like us… we’ll go right?  Personally, I plan on catching a lot more muay thai at Rajadomnern… It’s a ball ache and a half to get to Ram Intra if you’re central, with Friday traffic?  Sorry, not going to happen.  Raja is going to be booming for the next couple of years.  They’re going to be picking up the tourist, and enthusiast traffic no problem.

I hope I’m wrong, I hope the stadium does well…  what are you guys planning on doing?  Thoughts?

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8 Comments

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  1. I wonder if this movement is a way of modernizing or promoting Muay Thai as a whole. The picture of the stadium has an image of Thai Fight, and it looks like Thailand would like to have a central stadium where all the big (international) fights will take place. In that case, Omnoi and Lumpinee would merge into one. And more centralization of Muay Thai is in my opinion never a bad idea.

  2. I assume/hope it won’t be shut dow for a while yet. I was planning on going a couple of times in jan/feb. Any word?

    • Frank, there is more than a year of old Lumpini left. The date that the Post gives is early 2014.

  3. Same here I was really hoping on foolishly betting in the pit once just to say I have done it.

  4. Definitely too far out of the way. They say it’ll be serviced by a comprehensive transport network, but what? Freeways? The options that leaves are a hefty cab fare or a bus trip, the latter of which will put off the vast majority of tourists.
    Raja will be my stadium of choice when the move happens

  5. no way this is a huge bummer. I’ve only ever been able to make it to Thailand once to train/absorb culture for a week, and being able to see Lumpini was the highlight of my whole visit. It was a lot of fun. I hope I can save up enough soon to make a trip back before it’s moved.

  6. Pretty damn lame when it was so close to everything.

    How far north is it from Lumpini?

  7. If think you’re right Nop, that’s a long way for people to go every week especially if the traffic’s bad… it’s a good 15 miles (?) from Lumpini, but there’s some major congestion spots in between. Rush hour would be right – it would take that long to make the trip.

    Ratcha’s gonna become the new top place to watch and fight.

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