When Sam & I visited Koh Phi Phi (an island in the South) a couple weeks ago, upon recommendation we headed to Reggae Bar, a bar whose main feature is live Muay Thai boxing. There’s a ring in the middle of the bar, and if you sign up to box you get a medal and a free bucket after, win or lose.
Being ourselves, after pre-gaming at our hostel Sam & I decided that it was a great idea to hop in the ring for free buckets. In our defense, our wallets were painfully thin at the moment, as it was the week before pay day and Phi Phi was wringing us dry. It’s a beautiful little island, but the western amenities it offers also come with western prices. Not that we actually needed a free bucket, we just started foaming at the mouth upon hearing the word “free.”
After a few minutes of being at the bar, we realized that people were actually taking the Muay Thai fighting seriously. The spectators were getting really into the fights, and I don’t think I saw a single other boxer that had been drinking.
Discussing our strategy before hopping in the ring, clearly before we realized what a mess it was going to be. Note Sam’s stylin’ Muay Thai shorts.
We didn’t want to actually hit each other, so we had been planning on faking it. To be honest I was totally fine with boxing Sam, but she wasn’t cool with boxing me, since she’s actually a nice person, so I went with it. Considering the fact that we had had a few at this point, I’d say our acting skills were slightly less than sub-par. We were about to back out when the ref came over, handed us our clothes, and told us we had 2 minutes to get dressed and in the ring.
Then we hopped in the ring, her in one corner with her assistant(proper boxing terminology?) and I with my own personal Mr. Miyagi in mine, and we went for it. The bell rang, and our conversation went something like this(all done in a very loud whisper):
Me: PSSSSSST Sam just hit me!
Sam: I DON’T WANT TO HIT YOU I can’t!!!
Me: SAM just do it!
(Sam fake hits me, but judging by the boos in the audience beginning to become audible the didn’t believe her)
Me: GOOOOD!(always encouraging) Now hit me for real again, I can take it it’s totally fine!
Sam: OKAY OKAY okay okay okay (hits me a lil bit harder)
At this point I dramatically fall to the ground and roll over, before Sam fake hits me again and I pretend to be down for the count. The bell rings, and Sam is pronounced winner. At this point we’re both all like WOOOOO YESSS it’s over, because we just wanted to GTFO and get our free buckets, but to our disappointment, we were informed that there would be another round.
At this point the boos in the audience were getting a little louder, so the bell rings and I begin my own coaching once again.
Me: SAM hit me it’s fine!
(Sam throws a light punch)
(I fake punch Sam back)
(Sam hits me with the one-two)
(I fake high-kick Sam, before again dramatically falling over)
At this point whoever was running this pony show realized that we weren’t going to improve our fighting, and for the sake of his business(people were REALLLLLY booing at his point) and the sake of our last few shreds of dignity, the fight was called. Sam & I happily pranced on out of the ring and went to enjoy our free buckets.
Why anyone would get pissed about not seeing legit Muay Thai at a bar is beyond me? But whatever, no regrets. Oh, and our new British/Dutch roommates from the hostel got pictures of the entire fiasco.
Sam with our bucket, me with my medal and our British hostel mate Pete, who photographed this fiasco.
So if you’re ever in Koh Phi Phi, make sure you head out to Reggae Bar to check out the Muay Thai fighting. And if you’re in the mood to have both your ribs AND you ego kicked in, pop into the ring for a few rounds.