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The Thais 'biggest rivals are from Myanmar, where a traditional sport called chinlone parlays smoothly into hoop takraw.
The fundamentals of chinlone are simple: a slowly rotating circle of six strive to keep a 12cm ball of rattan aloft without using their hands.
While sepak takraw is raw and powerful, chinlone -- though closely related -- is exquisite, almost ethereal.
A little further east in Myanmar Burma, the ancient sport of chinlone takes the graceful aspect of the beautiful game and adds an almost spiritual element to it.
In essence chinlone is non-competitive, yet it's as demanding as the most competitive ball games.