At 60 meter high, the towering Ferris wheel welcomed us when we arrived at Asiateque the Riverfront. This trendy landmark sprawls across the erstwhile trading post between the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand) during the reign of King Chulalongkorn and European nations. Because of the treat of invasion of the Europeans, the King decided to befriend Denmark which led to the establishment of the wharf called East Asiatic Company owned by Danish national Hans Nille Andersen, a business dedicated to export of teak wood.
The cool cast of the Muay Thai Live: The Legend Live show
In 2012, this riverside pier situated along the Chao Phraya River wowed both locals and foreigners alike with its major face-lift. The name Asiatique emerged and since then, it has continued to make true to its promise of offering the best shopping and dining experiences in the City of Smiles. This mega riverside community complex is said to be the first and biggest lifestyle project in Asia, combining a night bazaar, a mall and events under one roof. It boasts of 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants housed in its four districts; The Waterfront, The Charoenkung, The Town Square and The Factory.
Watch the ‘Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives’ show at The Stage in Asiateque Riverfront
The main reason we visited the Asiatique was to watch the exclusively shown Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives, which tells the captivating story of the origins and heroes of Thai kickboxing through a fabulous blend of breath-snatching stunts, extensive drama and hyper-real fights. The Stage was actually built purposely for this gripping show. It is a state-of-the-art, air-conditioned venue equipped with the latest light and sound technology and ultra-modern, comfort-minded amenities including a bar, lounge, souvenir shop and private VIP areas.
At around 8:00 PM, we lined up outside the theater to watch the much-awaited play. Muay Thai Live: The Legend Live is a creation of Ekachai Uekrongtham, the celebrated director of the award-winning film ‘Beautiful Boxer’ and the hit musical ‘Chang and Eng’.
Muay Thai is the national sports of Thailand which is bounded by age-old traditions. It is famously known as the ‘art of eight limbs’ because it uses a combination of punches, elbows, kicks, and knee strikes in fighting, thus using the eight points of contact, unlike the two points and four points techniques in other combat sports.
During the show, we witnessed how a baffling stranger defeated champions in the Tiger in Disguise. The feats of a chained prisoner named Nai Khanom Tom was also featured along with General Pichai who confronted heavily armed warriors with his bare hands. Near the end of the show, the story revolved around the story of a kickboxer who rescued his girlfriends from the hands of attackers. And as the show drew to a close, the spiritual power of Muay Thai and its connection to the Thai people was revealed.
We got to meet the performers along with the director after the jaw-dropping show. Interestingly, when the latter learned I’m from the Philippines, he quipped, “Talaga?” Turned out it is the only Tagalog word he knows because when he was studying in Singapore, he had Filipino friends.
The preparation for the Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives took 5 months last year. “The 18-strong cast packs an incredible array of talent, including real life Muay Thai champs, black belt martial artists, professional stuntmen, extreme sports athletes and traditional Thai dancers’, Uekrongtham revealed.
When asked what is his goal in creating this show, he simply replied, “I want to instill the essence of muay thai to the world; to show what this combat sport really is. Sometimes people fight because they have to defend their family.” Indeed, the show taught me one important lesson, “When the weapon is gone, the only things left are the body and soul.”
How to get to Asiateque Riverfront:
You can choose to arrive at the wharf by cab or by boat. To catch the free Asiateque’s shuttle boat, take a BTS skytrain to Taksin Bridge Station, hop on the shuttle boat by the station. Asiateque is open from 5:00 PM to midnight daily.
Visit the official website: My Legend Muay Thai
Disclosure: The Muay Thai Bloggers Tours in Bangkok, Thailand participated by bloggers from Russia, Slovakia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Germany and yours truly from the Philippines, was held last September 22-27, 2014 and was sponsored by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
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