Golf and Other Popular Sports in Myanmar
It seems like the Burmese people are a collective of sports enthusiasts as they are regularly active in various sports activities. They often try to include a vigorous physical activity in their routines to maintain a healthy and fit physique. Burmese people are currently smitten by the following popular sports.
Golf: A Brief Background
One of the most popular sports in Myanmar is golf and the perfect time for golf fans to attend golf tours are from October to May. The country boasts of a long history in golf and it all started when the British colonial rule established the Thayet Century Golf Club in 1887 in Thayetmyo. You can find golf courses peppering the country. Prices vary depending on the course but expect to shell out around US$50 to $70 for the green fees and an additional $30 for the rental of golf set. Some of the most famous golf courses that you can visit are the Yangon Golf Club, YCDC Golf Club and the Pun Hlaing Golf Club in Yangon, Yedagun Taung Golf Club in Mandalay, Bagan Golf Club in Bagan and the Ayetharyar Golf Resort in Taungyi.
Aside from the ever-popular golf, there are other sports that the locals keep themselves busy with.
When the Burmese government opened the doors of the country to foreigners in the early part of 1990s, football has become a household item in the Burmese sports arena. At present, this sport has become so popular in Myanmar that many locals claim football has become one of the main tenets of the Burmese society! If you walk around town, you will surely see games being played literally on every street and corner. The Myanmar National League is the major countrywide football contest and this is joined by many players and enthusiasts every year. Tickets to football games can be purchased anywhere in the country and will cost you about 1,500K. Public establishments also show live football matches with some beer and food on the side.
Dubbed as the most famous Burmese martial art, lethwei (‘la-way’) is a kind of kickboxing, which had been influenced by other Southeast Asian forms like the Muay Thai. Gaining an increasing amount of popularity throughout the world, lethwei battles are often seen around Myanmar. It has two styles—traditional and modern. Traditional style relies on the battle wherein the winner is determined by the player who is the first to draw blood. Before victory is declared, the winner can be wiped out three times. On the other hand, the modern version is based on a points system.
Chinlone is considered the traditional sport of Myanmar. It’s a sport played with ball but its goal is not winning or losing—the focus is on playing the game in the most beautiful manner possible. Six individuals form a team and combine dance and sport. Using the knees and feet to manipulate the ball, the players perform movements similar to dance steps. The ball produces unique clicking sound when players kick it. Since there’s no opposing team, the players can focus on their meditation. Chinlone is usually played in numerous festivals around Myanmar.
With all these exciting and physically challenging activities occupying a significant amount of the people’s time, it’s no wonder why the Burmese people are generally happy and healthy. You can also try playing these sports, especially the lethwei and chinlone, when you visit the country with your family or friends. It’s never too late to learn a new sport that will definitely tickle your interest.