Sweating it out at Bangkok United

By
Updated: March 8, 2016
Bangkok United v Buriram United

Bangkok United 3-5 Buriram United; March 6, 2016

We lost half our body weight in sweat getting there, but it was well worth the effort to witness reigning champions Buriram United thump Bangkok United 5-3 in a thoroughly entertaining encounter involving two hat-tricks and some hapless defending, particularly from the home team.

Our journey to the ground started easily enough. Bangkok United’s ground, Thammasat Stadium at Thammasat University’s campus in Rangsit, is within “easy” travelling distance from our respective condos on Sukhumvit Road.

Jumping in a taxi in the Udom Suk area of the city at 4pm, we insisted our taxi driver take us via the toll roads, setting us back a total of 150 baht in fees at three different barriers, which was worth it given the non-toll roads were bound to be rot dit maak. We flew along and our fears of missing the 6pm kick-off looked unfounded.

Our problem was the place where we got out of the taxi. With some kind of stadium in view, and with a big wide grin on his face, our driver insisted enthusiastically that we had arrived at our destination. Having given him 400 baht for the ride (the meter was nearly at that), we left the taxi with some skepticism, sure enough learning quickly he had dropped us at the wrong “stadium”. This was in fact – an admittedly large and impressive – sports hall. The football stadium was a 15 minute walk further up the road. And as everyone knows, 15 minutes in the Bangkok sun might as well be 10 miles.

I had heard beforehand that there is a shuttle bus somewhere in the university complex to take you to the football stadium, but in the heat of the moment I had forgotten that rather important detail (a red and yellow No.2 shuttle bus will take you to the football stadium from the university entrance). So there we were, two mad farangs, trekking in the 4.30pm heat with no shade in sight along a red-hot tarmac road. It nearly finished off my companion bless him, soaked through in sweat as he was. I wasn’t faring much better, and we felt even worse when we saw the aforementioned bus whizz by with passengers enjoying air conditioned bliss.

Bangkok United v buriram stadium

Main stand for Bangkok United fans (opposite our seats)

Unfortunately, that was not the end of our travails. On reaching the stadium, we picked up our tickets no problem (200 baht bought on the gate). However, we quickly realised our stand was in the blazing sun, and both of us needed that like a hole in the head. So, we traipsed down the steps again, and asked if we could access the stand opposite which was bathed in glorious shade. Assuredly told by the security guards we could in fact walk round by the pitch to the other stand with the tickets we had, we traipsed up the stand again to discover there was no way of doing this.

My companion was literally melting at this point, and we had drunk the last of our water, having had to empty our plastic bottles on getting into the ground. Exasperated but still determined to find our ideal viewing spot, we walked down the stairs for the second time, deciding to exit the stadium and walk all way around the perimeter (again in the blazing hot sun) to our desired destination.

It was a great atmosphere outside the ground, with the vibrant Buriram fans forming a long snaking queue waiting to buy their tickets. Little stalls were dotted outside, selling snacks and cold drinks, including beer. However, it was approaching kick-off, and we neither had the time nor inclination to partake.

Reaching the other stand (not very populated and in shade), we flashed our tickets and somehow gained entry no problem, and took up our spot in a quiet part. Finally, we could recuperate a little and take in the atmosphere before kick-off. There were no refreshments available in the stand, but we were both too tired to venture from our seats again. We were content with our lot, but the strange quietness of our spot didn’t last long, as a large group of fans came from god knows where and filed past us incessantly for the 10 minutes before kick off. It was busier than Piccadily Circus, though the melee thankfully was gone by the time the game finally started (following the national anthem and numerous huddles by both teams).

Bangkok U v Buriram national anthem

Players standing for the national anthem before kick-off

The atmosphere in the ground was no less energetic, the away fans chanting “Bur-i-ram” and seemingly jumping up and down throughout the whole 90 minutes. It was knackering just watching it. It was certainly a good turn out from their fans, but the Bangkok United fans were more subdued. With a running track around it, the ground lacks a little in atmosphere, and one whole stand (in the sun before kick-off) was totally unoccupied.

On the pitch, it was men against boys really, with Buriram clearly the superior team, cutting open the home team at will. At half-time, the score was 3-1 to the away side, and I went off in search of refreshments.

Bangkok U v Buriram penalty

Buriram’s Andres Tunez tucking away his penalty

I couldn’t find any within the ground, and was wary of leaving the stadium in case I couldn’t get back in. I remained parched; even a can of warm Leo would have been acceptable at that point.

The second half was much like the first, though Buriram were even more dominant. Their fans celebrated every goal wildly, Venezuelan Andres Tunez claiming a hat-trick. There was a little dissent from home fans, a kwai (buffalo) insult threw from one at one point, though most didn’t seem too bothered by proceedings. The final score flattered Bangkok United a little, though Dragan Boskovic scored a tidy hat-trick for them.

We beat a hasty retreat 10 minutes before the end to locate much needed water and grab a cab before the chaos from departing fans occurred. We hailed down a taxi on the main road outside the ground no problem. The return fare was again just shy of 400 baht, our taxi driver this time trying to take us via the non-toll roads (we insisted otherwise). We were back home by 8.30pm, content to have seen a good game of football but desirous of a cold shower and an even colder beer.

Factfile

Ground: Thammasat Stadium (Bangkok United). A nice stadium, though with the running track fans are some way from the pitch. One whole stand was unoccupied.

Taxi from Sukhumvit Road: About 400 baht for a single trip (tolls for roads 150 baht). Get the taxi driver to drop you at the actual stadium! Further details about getting to the stadium available here.

Atmosphere: A little soulless; the away fans made all the noise and brought the colour.

Ticket price: 100-200 baht (buy on gate).

Refreshments: Can buy beer, water and Thai snacks outside the ground. But can’t take bottles inside and I couldn’t find anywhere to buy water inside the stadium.

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

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

Thai Goals, ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures, Thailand National Team, Thai Grounds, Thai Division One

Thai Goals

Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup, AFC Champions League, AFC

ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures

Thailand National Team, Thai Grounds, Thai Division One, Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup

ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures
Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup, AFC Champions League, AFC
Thai Goals, Thailand National Team, Thai Grounds, Thai Division One, Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup< ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures
Web Statistics