Few tourists ever make it out to a Thai football (soccer) match, which is a pity, as it's a great way to see what locals like to do for fun, and is also one of the best deals in Bangkok. The Thai Premiere League was founded in 1996, but foundered for quite awhile before gathering steam and popularity as the talent level began to rise.
Thai Premiere League in action — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Today, it's made up of 18 teams who play each other twice a season while vying for the league championship. Competition is keen, as even on the lower end, if you end up in the bottom three, you get relegated to the Thai Division 1 league the following year (with the top 3 teams from there getting promoted in their place).
Raucous Thai Port fans — Photo courtesy of Dave StamboulisThai football remains a great deal, with tickets going for 100 baht a pop, and it is good family fun. Everyone goes to enjoy themselves and have a good time, and even though the fans may chant obscenities and make a sport of taunting the other team, there is no hooliganism like in Europe, nor any of the showboating and one-upsmanship that has become common in the money driven European leagues.
The top teams each year tend to be Muangthong United, Buriram and Chonburi, but the easiest one to go see is Thai Port, who play their games at PAT Stadium in Klong Toei; their fans are known for being raucous, fun and extremely devoted to their team. The stadium is a short jaunt from the Queen Sirikit Center, and can hold 12,000 people. At 100 baht for two hours of entertainment, just about the only thing left in Bangkok that can compare with that for value is a bowl of noodles on the street.Going for goal — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Take the MRT subway to Queen Sirikit and then a motorcycle taxi for 20 baht from there.