Your #1 Best Guide On Popular Sports in Thailand

Popular Sports In Thailand

 Ever wondered what the most popular sports in Thailand are? There are many different sports that Thai people enjoy watching or taking part in. There are plenty of gyms, courts, and fields where they can play and practice. Despite how hot Thai weather can be, many sports are played outdoors in the fresh air. 

Of course, Thai people like many of the same sports as everywhere else, but there are some special mentions that you may not see abroad. Here is a list of some of the more popular sports in Thailand and what you are likely to see while you are here. Let’s learn Thai right now!

Popular Sports In Thailand Football

Quite predictably, Football or ‘fútbɔɔn’ (ฟุตบอล) is popular in Thailand. Just like in many other countries, there is a thriving football league with five levels, the top being ‘Thai League 1’. However, the locals also like to watch the big leagues, like the premier league in England. While there may not be the big names you see in the likes of Europe, there are still many talented players to be seen in Thailand.

You can find football fields in many cities and the countryside, some full size and some just a small area under a bridge. Kids and people of all ages play all throughout the day, seemingly unaffected by the heat. If you enjoy the sport, you should definitely look into watching a game live.

Popular Sports In Thailand Muay Thai

What Is Muay Thai?

We cannot talk about sports in Thailand without mentioning ‘Muaythayi’ (มวยไทย) . This is one of Thailand’s main cultural exports when it comes to sports. Also known as Thai kickboxing, Muay Thai is a combat sport that sees two fighters battle until one is knocked out or all rounds are played. They fight using a combination of their feet, knees, elbows, and fists to bring down their opponent.

There are plenty of gyms and arenas all around to learn and practice the sport. It often appears on TV, and there are live matches you can watch. You can even get a special student visa for learning Muay Thai. While a bit rough, you should at least give it a watch once. The rituals at the beginning can be an interesting insight into the Thai culture.

Popular Sports In Thailand Volleyball

Volleyball In Thailand

Volleyball or ‘wɔɔnlêebɔɔn‘ (วอลเลย์บอล) is popular to play, especially among women. Also, when there is a big volleyball match going on, you will find many people watching the game as you wander around. Especially during the Olympics, many Thai people will be filled with national pride due to the relative success of their volleyball team.

There are many local teams that people can join if they want to play. Whether Thai people are at school or just with friends, people can get together to practice their volleyball skills on the court and replicate their national team’s success.

Popular Sports In Thailand Sepak Takraw

What Is Sepak Takraw?

Now, this sport is one you have to see to believe. Also known as kick volleyball, or just ‘Tàkrɔ̂ɔ’ (ตะกร้อ) in Thai, these matches are renowned for their acrobatics. The name comes from the special ball that is used to play. The goal is to kick the ball over a volleyball net without letting it touch the ground. The rules are very similar to volleyball, except, of course, only legs can be used to touch the ball. This results in somersaults and bicycle kicks.

As with these other sports, you will likely find some people playing this where there are courts or on the beach. The sand is much softer to land on, making it ideal for this game. If you want to play, you will need to focus on your balance and practice ball juggling with your feet. Be polite with your Thai co-players, and some players may take the time to teach you some basics.

Popular Sports In Thailand How Do You Say Sports In Thai

How Do You Say Sports In Thai?

The Thai word for sports is ‘Kiilaa’ กีฬา

However, if you want to say, I play sports, you say chǎn lên kiilaa ฉันเล่นกีฬา.

Of course, won’t stop here! Do you want to learn more Thai vocabulary? Let’s check other words and phrases in Thai for you to memorize.

Other Vocabulary For Sports In Thai

To say ‘play’ in Thai, you can use ‘lên’ (เล่น). You can then place ‘lên’ in front of the sport to say that you are playing it.  When you want to explain about taking part in sports, you can try practicing these Thai phrases.

I play basketballฉันเล่นบาสเก็ตบอลchǎn lên baat ket bon
I play badmintonฉันเล่นแบดมินตันchǎn lên bɛ̀tmintân
I play golfฉันเล่นกอล์ฟchǎn lên kɔ́ɔp
I swimฉันว่ายน้ำchǎn wâaynám
I love runningฉันรักการวิ่งchǎn rák kaan wîŋ

Did you like this list of sports vocabulary? If you want to practice more of these popular sports in Thailand, download the Ling app from the Play Store or App Store now!


Has Thailand Hosted The Olympics?

No, Thailand has yet to host an Olympic event. However, there were plans to hold an Olympic event in Thailand last 2026, but it was postponed. As of now, both Bangkok and Chonburi Province are bidding for the 2030 Summer Youth Olympics.

What Is Thai National Sport?

The national sport of Thailand is the famous Muay Thai (also known as Thailand boxing). Used by Thai warriors, it originated from the Sukhothai dynasty. Over time, it became the national sport of Thailand to promote self-defense and a way to encourage fitness through rigorous exercise. Check out the national Mauy Thai day and celebrate it with your friends!

Which Is The Fastest Growing Sport Thailand?

Padel (also known as racket sports) is the fastest-growing sport in Thailand. It is a social sport that mixes squash and tennis. However, its techniques, strokes, and rules are different from similar racket sports.

As you can see, this list includes a couple of well-known and some more local examples of popular sports. They all make great options for friends looking to hang out in the evenings after the heat of the day has disappeared.

Looking for more Thai vocabulary? Try the Ling app to practice your listening and learn new words. You will then be well on your way to mastering the language.

Updated by: Gwyn

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

What makes learning with Ling special

Interactive exercises

Improve your pronunciation by starting a conversation with our app’s interactive chatbot

Engaging activities

Practice your skills with mini-games and track your progress with fun quizzes

Mix of languages

Choose from over 60 languages, both big and small, and listen to audio from native speakers

Proven results

Backed by linguistic research, our learning methods can help you achieve fluency in record time