Whether visiting Thailand or already a resident of this magnificent Asian country, there is certainly no shortage of things to see and experience. This guarantees plenty of ways to enjoy our free time, from watching or participating in physical activities, to more relaxing ways to engage and interact with our surroundings. These are some of the most popular pastimes keeping people busy in Thailand.
Akin to most other countries around the world, association football or soccer has become hugely popular in Thailand, where you will often see locals wearing the shirts of their favourite European teams. Wide coverage is available for the English Premier League and Spanish LaLiga on television, while the domestic and international of Thai football is constantly improving. Bururam United are the most successful team, and thereigning Thai League 1 champions.
Traditionally the most followed domestic sporting activity is Muay Thai, sometimes referred to as Thai Boxing, which is a full contact combat sport. This popular martial art has also spread far beyond the borders of Thailand and worldwide, particularly amongst mixed martial arts practitioners.Muay Thai equipment brand Yokkao has a list of where to watch fights in Bangkok: https://eu.yokkao.com/blogs/news/top-5-places-watch-muay-thai-fights-bangkok
One of the fastest growing sports in Thailand in recent decades is golf, earning the country a reputation for having become the golf capital of Asia. This makes Thailand a popular destination for keen golfers from around the world, as the country boasts more than 200 world-class golf courses nationwide. Amata Spring Country club is one of the most famous, as host venue of the annual Royal Trophy team competition, between Asia and Europe.
Often regarded as one of the most popular board games is Makruk, also known as Thai Chess, descended from the original Indian game of Chaturanga, brought to Thailand by Persian traders in the 14th century. Although bearing many similarities to Western chess, there are slight differences including how pawns can move, while the queen can only move one space diagonally.
Pok Deng is a Thai gambling card game, supporting anywhere between two and seventeen players, including the dealer, using a standard 52-card deck. Regarded as a comparing type of card game, somewhat similar to baccarat, players bet on their hand in each short round. Interestingly, given that gambling is actually prohibited in Thailand, players often use chips or small token objects instead of cash when betting.
In the digital age, E-Sports have become phenomenally popular, which involves playing video games competitively. Although the world of E-Sports is often associated with the I-Gaming industry, the latter tends to focus more on gambling at online casinos. While gambling is currently considered illegal, many still want to play poker or slots online. Covering all the laws and regulation, Asiabet has published a comprehensive guide to online casino gaming (in Thai) here: https://www.asiabet.org/th/
Given the importance of Thailand as a destination for Western expats and tourists, learning languages has become one of the most immersive hobbies in Thailand, both amongst foreigners keen to learn Thai and locals who want to learn a second language such as English through those with TEFL courses in the area. While there’s no substitute for practicing with real people, there are sites available offering free beginner courses in Thai online: https://l-lingo.com/free-lessons/en/learn-thai
Thanks to the plethora of wonderful and beautiful beach destinations in Thailand, numerous activities geared towards the sea are readily available. Kitesurfing in locations like Hua Hin is excellent, as there are plenty of schools which are geared towards helping learners. Scuba diving is also a fabulous way to explore beneath the waves, especially in Hoh Tao, which remains one of the cheapest places in the world to earn your PADI certificate.
Easily one of the most visually stunning countries in the world for visitors and locals alike, visiting natural wonders is undoubtedly up there amongst popular pastimes in Thailand. There are quite simply too many great locations to mention here, although exploring Phang Nga Bay or Khao Sok are unmissably beautiful places to visit.