Soi Ta-iad’s traffic woes: Tiger Muay Thai urges govt interventionLegacy

Traffic congestion woes have hit the bustling Soi Ta-iad in Chalong, with Watchara Jaruriyanon, the Managing Director of Tiger Muay Thai training facility, urging authorities to intervene. The street, albeit petite, is a hub of activity, largely due to the parked cars lining both sides of the road.

Watchara voiced his concerns during a meeting aimed at backing the government’s initiative to issue special Muay Thai visas. This scheme allows tourists a 90-day stay in the country to learn and practice the revered martial art of Muay Thai.

“As a boxing camp operator, I am delighted that the government supports the issuance of special visas for tourists to practice Muay Thai for 90 days. This will attract more tourists and those keen on travelling to practice boxing in Phuket.”

He believes that this move will stimulate the economy, as boxing is largely viewed as a health practice in most provinces. Despite this, Watchara highlighted that there are numerous boxing camps in Phuket, some registered, others not.

“We would like government agencies to come and support us.”

The Soi Ta-iad area is home to many boxing training facilities and fitness camps, which unfortunately adds to the traffic congestion due to the narrow road, added Watchara.

“Therefore, if the province helps in this matter, it would be a very good thing.”

Phuket Governor Sophon Suwannarat reassured that authorities were ramping up their efforts to promote Muay Thai as a soft power to attract more tourists interested in practising the sport in Phuket during the meeting held at Phuket Provincial Hall last week.

Thammawat Wongcharoenyot, President of the Sports Association of Thailand Phuket office (SAT Phuket), commended the move to introduce a special 90-day visa for Muay Thai tourists.

“There are 43 boxing camps in Phuket, including Tiger Muay Thai, Rawai Jersey Boxing Camp, Kru O Muay Thai, Singpatong Dragon Muay Thai, Kangaroo Muay Thai, Ratchai Muay Thai, Phuket Fight Club, Chang Thai Gym, Sinbee Muay Thai and Eagle Muay Thai, as well as venues such as Patong Beach Boxing Stadium, Kamala Muay Thai, Bangla Revolution Boxing Stadium, Phuket Muay Thai, and so on.

“Each day, about 2,500 boxers train in these camps. The income generated by the boxing camps averages 500,000 baht (US$13,923) per day. Boxing stadium management groups report an average income of 350,000 baht (US$9,746) per match.”

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Author: Mitch Connor