For expatriates living in Bangkok there is a big range of things to do - some may be out of town, in Pattaya or maybe Phuket and Chiang Mai, but for anyone who enjoys sport and games, then the city is full of opportunities.
Some nationalities have their own 'club' and most typical of this is The British Club where there is a range of sporting activities to join as well as entertainment. These places are also very good for making contacts in the foreign and local business community.
The International School Bangkok is very prominent in the American sports such as baseball and basketball. However the coaching is only open to children attending the ISB.
Asia has a strong interest in the American sports, with basketball being one of the favourites. The game is played at all levels, from juniors through to adults. For girls and boys there is a Bangkok Junior Basketball League, contact http://www.bjbl.org
This goes from ages 5and 6 through to 15 years plus. Also in the junior sector there is the North Bangkok Basketball League for similar age groups. Contact http://nbbl.ftml.net/
The game is well established in Bangkok and Thailand. With quite a large number of people from India and the UK, it is not surprising that the game is very popular.
At the top end of the scale there is the International 7’s tournament held each year in Chiang Mai, whilst at club level there is a Bangkok Cricket League.
The training facilities at the Bangkok Sports Club are excellent with indoor and outdoor practice pitches. Information is available from http://www.cricketthailand.com
Again, is it a sport or is it a game? Darts is not as commonplace as pool but there is a darts league where teams from bars such as Downunder (Soi 23) Larrys Dive (Soi 22) and Sports Corner ( Soi 20) play competitive matches.
Football & Rugby
Matches take place in various locations in Bangkok. The British Club has a number of teams in both sports, and they are a good organization to contact if n expatriate is lloking for regular sporting activities.
There is a good swimming pool, squash courts, tennis courts, badminton and an all weather soccer pitch.
The club has a membership program and is open to all suitable candidates – you don’t have to be British!! The contact details are http://www.britishclubbangkok.org
The golf in Thailand is some of the best to be found, either globally or regionally. In comparison to Europe and the US its also very inexpensive. Depending on the course, a weekday fee can be as little as 600 Baht for the day. Players have to have a caddy which usually adds another 200 baht, and a golf cart is a better way to get around.
There are few member only courses in Bangkok, but in the outskirts and in Pattaya there is a huge choice. There are some very good pro golf tutors in Bangkok such as Doug Hood who has a school operating from the Dusit Thani Hotel in Silom http://www.doughoodgolfschool.com
Not the most obvious sport to be found in a tropical climate, but there is a vibrant ice hockey following in Bangkok. Made up of a mixture of nationalities there is a team which represents the country in regional competitions called The Flying Farangs.
Alongside this more high profile group there is the Thai World Hockey League which plays every weekend at The Imperial Mall, Samrong. This is at the Bang Na end of Sukhumvit. For information on the league the contact is firstname.lastname@example.org
Muay Thai (Boxing)
In recent years there has been a strong interest in the sport, and some foreigners have taken up Thai boxing as a hobby. In some cases they have gone a step further and entered into the competitive arena.
Tuition in Muay Thai can be found at : The Muay Thai Institute:
336/932, Prachathipat, Thanyaburi, Pathum Thani 12130, Tel: 992-0096-9
To watch top class Thai boxing the Lumpini Stadium has some of the best events every weekend. See Muay Thai Venues in Bangkok
It may not be counted as a sport, but more of a game, but Pool is extremely popular across the city. It would be difficult to find a bar in Bangkok that does not have a pool table, whilst some specialise in the game, with 8 or 10 tables.
The Ball in Hand in Soi 4 Sukhumvit (Nana) is a good example, the Sports Academy near Soi 15 Sukhumvit, another.
Most places have just two or three tables. There is a Bangkok Pool League which is efficiently run with 8 ball and 9 ball games, usually held on Mondays and Wednesdays. It’s a great way to meet new people, both foreign and local. Website: http://www.bangkokpool.com
Courts are in the main in hotel and apartment complexes. Some can be used by non residents, and a good example of this is at the Supalai Park apartments near Lad Prao Central.
A day membership is 200 Baht or monthly and annual memberships are available. In the complex there is a very good gym/fitness room, 2 squash courts, sauna and a very big swimming pool. The annual membership is about 12,000 Baht per year.
Another good tennis club in Bangkok is the "Le Smash Club". The courts' surface is the same as the one used in the US Open and the annual fee is only at 9,500 Baht. For more information about the club, please visit http://www.lesmashclub.com/
Out of Bangkok
The sports found are often sea based, so for expatriates looking to get away from the traffic, and the hectic lifestyle of the city many enjoy a trip to Pattaya, Hua Hun, Phuket or Samui.
At any these locations there are ample opportunities to enjoy sailing, windsurfiing, and diving. In Hua Hin there are some of the best golf courses in the country, and in Pattaya there are 15 good courses to choose from.
As a spectator sport, the annual Elephant Polo takes some beating as a spectacle. This held every March or April and the winning team gets the Kings Cup. The proceeds go to helping elephants.
Another spectator sport which has international standing and is also called The Kings Cup is the major sailing event held in Phuket.
The competition attracts top yachtsmen from around the world, and is held in December