5 most popular sports in Thailand

In countries like Thailand with strong cultural influences, we usually see a mix of traditions and modernism in various aspects of their life. Sports is also one such aspect where we see a mix of cultural and modern influences.

Thai people are sports lovers and enthusiastic about various kinds of sports. From a very young age, Thai kids are encouraged to participate in various sporting activities, be it the indigenous kind or western forms of sports.

When it comes to popularity, you will see the Thai people taking an interest in a wide array of sports, including soccer, Golf, badminton, boxing, snooker, horse racing, tennis, etc. Since the country features some of the best beaches in the world, water-based activities like diving and snorkelling are also quite popular.

While there are so many sports to choose from, we have picked five most popular sports in Thailand. Let’s have a look!

Football In Thailand

Like most countries around the world, soccer is one of the most commonly played and watched sports in Thailand. While it has not been long since the professional football leagues were formed in the country, soccer has been played in Thailand since 1897.

The Thailand Football Association was formed in 1916 and became a part of FIFA in 1925, while it joined the AFC in 1957.

While the international team has not been very successful on the international front, the locals like to watch the various popular tournaments, including the FIFA World Cup and English Premier League. The events from these tournaments are broadcast live on local channels, so people have no trouble following the matches.

Thailand has also hosted Asia Cup twice, once in 2007 and earlier in 1972. The country has one of Asia’s strongest and most successful soccer programs, so the future is looking bright.

Golf In Thailand

Many argue that Golf is the most popular sport in Thailand, with popular courses and events such as Laguna Phuket and Blue Canyon Phuket.

The soothing weather of the country makes it possible for gold lovers to play all year round. Thailand also has around 200 splendid world-class golf courses in various parts of the country.

The sport is so popular that Thailand is often called the golf capital of Asia. Thailand’s beautiful and fully equipped golf courses attract players from various countries, including South Africa, Korea, Japan, Singapore, etc. Thailand has also played host to various PGA and LPGA events.

Muay Thai

Next on the list is a traditional Thai sport called Muay Thai. Also mentioned as Thai boxing, it is also considered the national sport of Thailand.

Muay Thai has been practiced in Thailand since the 16th century, when the soldiers used to practice the activity for combat purposes. In modern times, Muay Thai became popular in the 1980s and 90s.

Today, Muay Thai is regarded as one of the most entertaining and lethal forms of sports in the world and is a way for players to show their skill and strength. Other traditional forms of sport that are enjoyed to date in Thailand include takro, boat racing, and kite-fighting.

Badminton In Thailand

Another popular sport that we do not see in many European or American countries among the popular sports list is badminton. However, in Asian countries, badminton is very popular among the masses and is given a lot of importance on the national level, with Thailand being no exception to the norm.

Badminton has a very wide fan base in Thailand. While it is very popular among various age groups, youth love to play badminton the most. The national level competition for badminton, the Thailand Open, was introduced in 1984. It takes place in Pak Kret and has been held throughout the country since its inception, except for a few years.

Sepak Takraw In Thailand

The last sport on our list is Sepak Takraw, a common sport in many Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia and Cambodia. Sepak Takraw is also addressed as kick volleyball and is a fairly common sport in the region and is included in the Southeast Asian Games.

A game of Sepak Takraw is held on a court somewhat similar to that of badminton field with a net. Each team has three players usually, while the ball used is made of rattan or artificial plastic.

While they cannot use their hands, participants are allowed to use their heads, shoulders, chest, knees, and feet to toss the ball. Sepak Tekraw is a blend of soccer and volleyball, as it comprises a net similar to volleyball, while the use of feet makes the game comparable to soccer.

The Sepak Takraw ball is pliant and soft, and it does not require much effort to keep it in the air and pass it around among the players.

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