The tradition of kickboxing (myanma let-hwei) dates back hundreds of years. Special competitions are held during paya pwe (local pagoda festivals). Championship matches are held in Aung Saun Stadium in Yangon. In kickboxing, the fighters may use any part of the body except the head to strike an opponent. Before the match, the contestants perform certain rituals to pay homage to the Buddha. The winner repeats these rituals at the end of the match. During the match, people play drums, cymbals and bamboo clappers. As the match becomes more exciting, the tempo of the instruments gets faster.

 Another traditional sport is chinlon, played with a woven rattan ball about 12 cm in diameter. Six people stand in a ring and keep the ball aloft by hitting it with their feet, legs and knees. In another version of the game, the players stand on either side of a volleyball net and pass the ball back and forth using their legs and heads.

Many people enjoy a game called gonnyin. They throw large fruit pits to knock a target off a pole. At country festivals, people compete to climb a greased bamboo pole to collect a prize from the top. 

Khe pai kauk (leg rowing) is practised by the Inthas on Inle lake. The rower stands on one leg at the back of a flat punt, and winds the other leg around the oar. This leaves the hands free and allows the rower to rest his arms. Although leg rowing originated as a working technique rather than a form of recreation, leg rowing competitions may be held on special occasions. Soccer is a popular team sport in Myanmar. Golf and tennis are also played in the cities by the well-to-do. In the larger cities such as Yangon, marathons are organized in the cooler season. 

  Did you know?
Traditional Myanmar toys include a doll called the Thu-nge-daw, a fat jovial character with long hair, and Shwe Zegwet, a golden owl who is supposed to bring good luck. 
Because of high-rise buildings and heavy traffic, kite flying is disappearing as a recreational activity in urban areas. The colourful Myanmar kite is a triangle with a short or long tail. It is a metre long with multicoloured squares at the tail. Spinning tops are a popular pastime among children. The pear-shaped wooden Myanmar top is known as the kalatt gyin. Boys throw it from the shoulder level, but the girls crouch down, hold the top and use a string to get it spinning.
  Did you know?
U Kyaw Yin was a famous balloonist in the 1930s. He used five balloons to make 55 ascents and gave gymnastic performances in the air.