Cow Pat Guy and Muay Thai

Today I was pretty much left to my own devices as mein hosts were at work. In fairness, I got up at the same time as them (first time I’d seen 7am for a week) and then started writing up the last few days for this blog.

I walked the dog (who Sharon said would never go for a walk with me until I’d gone with someone else so that Eddie got to know me), tidied up, sorted a ton of backlogged email and caught up on the news. A cyclone? In Oz? Eek.

Later in the afternoon, armed with my trusty Lonely Planet language reference book, I wandered to a local “restaurant” and ordered “khâo phàt kài khráp” (cow pat guy kraa) – chicken fried rice please. The end result was a fantastic plate of food, plus a watery but tasty vegetable soup and iced water. For about 24p.

Seriously, I could live off this. I do need to go back again as I only paid the exact money due to not having enough change to give a tip. And because the food was so good. I’m actually getting peckish writing this!

Once the working people had got home, Lou and I headed off to see the Muay Thai. We got there just in time to nab two seats in the second row (despite my best efforts to misread the blatantly obvious 9pm start time as 9:30pm) and settled in with a free beer. Just the one, as I “lost” the voucher for the other one – it later turned up in my wallet.

What a spectacle it was. I don’t “do” boxing – it’s rather thuggish and basically the biggest, most violent brute wins. It’s all posing, and psyching and ego. Muay Thai is more about skill and respecting your opponent and the sport. This is obvious from the friendly bows, taps of gloves and smiles at the end of every round, not just the fight.

The main surprise was the order of the bouts. Five fights each of five rounds (maximum – a knockout or a retirement would finish a bout early). They started with some fairly young fighters, I’d guess around 14-15. This fight finished with a knockout in the second.

Next bout, the fighters were older and more experienced. Same again with the next and the next.

And then the final round. I’d hazard a guess that the fighters were maybe 8 or 9 years old. But take away their size and concentrate in their ability, strength and determination and you were very much looking at two young fighters – not two kids belting each other. You can’t go crying about children being involved when they’re simply so good at something. They deserve all the respect their hard work earned them and both lasted the full five rounds, with a narrow victory to the one in the blue shorts.

Definitely an intriguing sport full of ritual and something to read more about.

5 thoughts on “Cow Pat Guy and Muay Thai

  1. I’m guesing that’s you, Adam? Yes, they made it quite obvious that Body Combat was influenced (in part) by Muay Thai. But watching it in full flow is something completely different!

    There’s a lot to take in and I’ve only been to three places in Thailand so far. Still Kanchanaburi (twice) and Chaing Mai to go before I head for Laos, then Cambodia then Vietnam. I’m skipping Myanmar and Malaysia for now.

    Right, off to feed some monkeys, ride on an elephant (maybe) and go horse riding on the beach.

  2. Hey dude – just caught up with reading all your latest updates, sounds excellent. Did Lou like the birthday present you mortgaged your future for in Cardiff?!

    say hi to the monkeys for me

    * myeh *

  3. Just caught up too, and thanks so much for taking the time to write these blogs, and for being so damn fun to read! 😀 It’s brought so may cool mamories back (the fruit – I’m glad it was one of the first things you noticed too!), the driving (oh, the bangkok tuk-tuks… better than a rollercoaster any day, because at least in a rollercoaster you know it’s DESIGNED to let you come out alive at the end), the mishmash of different architectures, the animals, the food, the smells, the heat, the Muay Thai…

    It all sounds quite mindblowingly fun, and it’s great to see you enjoying yourself like this. But I also envy you deeply, of course 😛

    – Dewi.

  4. Mosh

    Saw loads of pictures last night at T&T’s – looks great. JUst reminded us of how much we miss seeing the old woman!

    Gill says ‘thanks’ for the T-shirt, it fits fine.

    Give Lou a kiss from Gill and me, tell her that we are thinking of her, especially as it is getting closer to burning time in the summer

    Take care matey!

    D&G

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