I went out with my friend Lee and his family and after discussing what we should do during the weekend, we finally concluded that it would be a winning formula if we went to see Chiang Mai FC play football.
So off we went; kick off was at 7 so I left at just before 6 on my bicycle to get to the 700 year old stadium (I didn’t get any pictures of the stadium. Hmm.. maybe I should have shown you what it was like. Anyway, take my world for it; it’s an exact replica of The Bernabeu…) and I arrived in a pretty knackered state at 6:30. Once I’d caught my breath we bought the tickets. My mum has a bad back, so we bought tickets in the nice part of the stadium with a roof just in case it rained, and they were only 120 baht a ticket (£2.40). The other ‘seats’, which is pretty much a terraced area, were only 80 baht (£1.60) a pop.
You may be wondering why the tickets were so cheap. Well there are two reasons for this; firstly, We are in Thailand, so everything is much cheaper over here. Secondly, The standard was slightly above Sunday league football. It was fun to watch, but there was more than one time where the ball sat up nicely for the striker 10 yards out right in front of the goal for both sides, only for the strikers to sky it or scuff it…
There were lots of treats being sold outside the stadium too so that was nice. One year ago Chiang Mai must have been either in a higher league or fighting to be champions, because I distinctly remember McDonalds having their own stall outside the stadium. There was nowhere near the same amount of attention this time around, but there was still ample choice for us to choose from.
At half time despite Chiang Mai dominating, They found themselves 1-0 behind. We joked that the three men in our group could play as the front three strikers, only for me to shit myself when one of the guys upfront got injured and called for a substitution. “Shit, this is Thailand, anything’s possible…” I thought to myself jokingly.
In the end Chiang Mai scored from a set piece from just outside the box and drew the game 1-1. They had a chance to snatch victory at the end but were unlucky when a shot from 20+ yards out cannoned off the bar. Overall I think 1-1 was a fair result. I think I’m going to enjoy coming to see Chiang Mai more often now I’m not working. It’s good to support the local team!