When we visited Chalong Temple in Phuket a while ago, I saw three guys playing with a woven plastic ball outside the temple. I had no idea what they were doing, but I started filming them as it looked pretty impressive. I even had the chance to get into the game when the ball flew towards me. Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to show off my football skills á la Zlatan.
Then sometime later I watched Eurosport on TV, and I saw Thailand and Malaysia playing against each other in an insane sport that looked like ninja volleyball. I recognized the ball and some of the kicks and started to think about the three guys I met in Phuket. My wife was happy to see Thailand on TV and told me that the sport is called Sepak Takraw.
I was immediately interested and googled the sport and found out that Sepak Takraw is very popular in Southeast Asia where Thailand is ranked 1st in the world and Malaysia 2nd. The two nations have a long-standing rivalry, and for the last few years, Thailand has been utterly dominant. But it’s not just in Southeast Asia that this sport is played; the USA is ranked #10 and Germany #14. Take a look at the video below. How cool is this sport?!