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The Top Ten Muaythai Tourist Gyms in Thailand


 

‘Tourist’ destinations for Muaythai in Thailand tend to focus around exotic beach locations in the south, mountain regions in the north, or other destinations with slightly less exotic coastlines a little closer to Bangkok such as in Pattaya or Hua Hin.

The training environment in all of them will be different, but certainly a lot more relaxed than in some of the professional ‘working’ gyms of Bangkok. So it is most important for anyone wishing to pay a visit to any gym in Thailand to first establish their requirements before deciding on where to train.

As mentioned in a previous article focusing on some of the more hardcore, Bangkok gyms there are distinct differences between gyms and environments for ‘serious practitioners’ and ‘muaythai tourists’, so in order to get the most out of the experience it is a good idea to consider which category would be most suitable.

Although some gyms featured in this article may contain a mix of both serious practitioners and the more touristy variety (as do many of the gyms in Bangkok nowadays), for the majority of those wishing to combine a little muaythai training with an exotic, tropical holiday amidst either scenic beach backdrops or sprawling mountainous landscapes in the northern regions, it is the purpose of this article to present a few useful pointers.

1. Sinbi Gym

Sinbi is an established gym with a stunning location. In fact, it is right on the beach (Nai Harn Beach) in one of Thailand’s most prominent beach holiday destinations, Phuket Island. The gym has produced some well-known fighters over the years but is also welcoming to foreigners who are first and foremost holiday-makers, as most of the resort-type gyms will be, in comparison to the traditionally less-friendly, somewhat more hardcore approach of many Bangkok gyms. The infamous Thai fighter Saenchai trained out of this gym for a couple of years, helping in no small part to put it on the map.

Sinbi’s gym is expansive and open-air, like most ‘beach camps’, with bags, fitness equipment and a shop stocked with all the necessary muaythai gear required for training. The gym also has its own apartments with a swimming pool, with various sizes and rates available.

WHERE: 86/108 SOI SAIYUAN 9, MOO 7, SAIYUAN ROAD, RAWAI, PHUKET
WHEN: 7.00AM-6.00PM
HOW: EMAIL camp@sinbi-muaythai.com
COST: 500-800 baht per day (discounts are available for longer stays, i.e. one month is 12,000 baht)

2. Tiger Muaythai

This is a camp that has gained in reputation in recent years thanks to the legions of MMA fighters now heading out to Thailand to improve their striking skills. The camp, with its big-money backing and hence extensive facilities, has received visits from a number of ‘name’ fighters and ‘fitness celebrities’ including a few from the UFC.

Tiger is considered as one of the top destinations for different types and levels of participants from beginners to professionals who would like to train in the tropics. This establishment is more than just a muaythai camp though, which is one of the reasons why it attracts people from different backgrounds such as MMA fighters and fitness enthusiasts.

Along with muaythai MMA, the gym also offers crossfit and all manner of related varieties of training in its huge facility, but obviously is it somewhat pricey in comparison to the more strictly ‘Thai’ gyms as it offers programs and packages across a broader range.

WHERE: 7/35 SOI TALAAD, CHALANG, PHUKET 83130
WHEN: check website (according to requirements)
HOW: email info@tigermuaythai.com / www.tigermuaythai.com
COST: check website for details prices of various programs and packages

3. Por Promin Muaythai Camp

Owned and run by Thai husband and Western wife team Kru Kin and his wife Miriam, Por Promin is set in the beachside town of Hua Hin just a couple of hours away from Bangkok. It maintains a traditional approach with an emphasis on more of a ’community’ atmosphere than many other gyms, making it an ideal place to check out the art of muaythai for those in Thailand for the first time.

Hua Hin may also provide a welcome repose for those not wishing to venture into the regions with more of a ‘party’ atmosphere like Phuket or Pattaya. Hua Hin is not exactly sleepy though, and does offer a variety of activities in surrounding areas which have waterfalls, caves, temples and all the other usual charms that are to be found in Thailand, meaning that that the area manages to retain its ‘Thai-ness’ without necessarily entertaining the hints of decadence that some of the other places may have.

WHERE: 25/6 Soi Tippawan, Chonlapratan 24, Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110
WHEN: Between 9.30AM-7.00PM
HOW: Booking Form on website www.porpromin.com
COST: Check website for details

4. Superpro, Koh Samui

Superpro is also a huge training establishment and resort, this time on another island in the south that is hugely-popular with tourists. Offering a variety of classes, facilities and programs within reach of crystal clear blue oceans, Superpro is a top choice for anyone used to a lively, modern, often-packed training environment that offers programs in muaythai along with crossfit, yoga, BJJ and MMA, amongst others.

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With boxing gyms (including four rings), fitness facilities with weights and machines, and an MMA cage, this top tourist gym is one of the new-breed, modern varieties that cater to all-comers from all backgrounds and levels.

WHERE: 48/10 Moo3, Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui 84320
WHEN: According to requirements
HOW: www.superprosamui.com / https://superprosamui.com/book-now/
COST: Check website and/or email for details of programs and accommodation

5. Pattaya Muaythai Academy

This establishment is owned and run by a Frenchman called Stephane, who knows his way around the gyms of Thailand and the place in general, which is not always a bad thing if you are new to it all.

The gym is located in an easily-accessible area of Pattaya in the northern area of the city. This means that finding accommodation won’t be any kind of problem and there will obviously be no need to stay at the gym, there being a wide variety of options very close to the gym.

Pattaya Muaythai Academy is not that old, formerly operating under different ownership and a different name, and with not a huge amount of trainers, the gym has a pretty laid-back approach to training, meaning that you can go at your own pace if needs be.

Like any muaythai gym this one runs two sessions per day, morning and evening, and it is so close to the beach that if you want to run in the mornings then that might be the best option. This gym is also not that expensive, with sessions starting at around 300 baht, and again prices will vary according to how much or little you train.

WHERE: North Pattaya (www.pattayamuaythaiacademy.com)
WHEN: morning/afternoon
HOW: Bike, walk
COST: 300 baht per session or less depending on training frequency

6. Lanna Muaythai

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Lanna Muay Thai has been established in the mountainous, natural environment of the northern region of Chiang Mai for more than two decades. The gym is ideal for Western visitors in that the owner is Canadian and runs it with his wife. The gym has had many travelling visitors over the years and was once featured in a national geographic documentary.

Lanna is obviously well-known in the region and has been a popular destination for muaythai tourists wishing to visit the northern reaches of Thailand for a long time, while maintaining a traditional approach and environment. One of the gym’s other claims to fame is the fact that the well-known ‘ladyboy boxer’ ‘Nong Toom’ (featured in the movie ‘Beautiful Boxer’) once trained out of there.

WHERE: 161/2, Tambon Chang Phueak, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300
WHEN: 8AM-7PM
HOW: https://web.facebook.com/Lanna-MuayThai
COST: Message for details #DONE

7. Lanta Muaythai Academy

Koh Lanta is another dream Thai tourist destination in the southern region. It is slightly less well-known than Phuket and Samui, so there is a little more space to enjoy the long-stretching, pure-white sandy beaches and pristine clear tropical waters.

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Lanta Muaythai Academy is one of many on the island, but this one is certainly ‘tourist-friendly’ and teaches basic muaythai techniques to vistors who want to try their hand. It also has a fitness facility and runs other classes such as yoga, and on the gym’s Instagram page you can check out their ‘technique of the day’ to give some insight into what they do.

WHERE: 245 Moo2, Saladan, Koh Lanta 81150
WHEN: morning/afternoon/optional (8AM-8PM)
HOW: motorbike, bicycle, walk
COST: message for details https://m.facebook.com/lantagym/

8. Charn Chai Muaythai Gym

Pai is a small northern town that has steadily gained in popularity as a tourist destination, particularly with Thai people, over the last decade or so. It is over 100km further north than Chiangmai, and is not that difficult to reach from the bigger, more well-known northern city by bus, minivan or domestic flight.

The picturesque Pai is located in a mountainous valley surrounded by lush, tropical jungle foliage and rice paddies and is renowned for being particularly laid-back compared to many other regions. Pai is also known as something of a backpacker destination with a variety of accommodations from budget to luxury abounding, and there is much surrounding natural beauty to be enjoyed.

Charn Chai Muaythai Gym is run by former Lumpinee and Rajadamnern fighter ‘Bee’ (real name Mongkoldej Sitthepitak), who is apparently very friendly and accommodating and has reasonable English skills. The camp itself is quite simplistic, but is located very close to a resort, and is just a short walk away from the centre of the town. The gym contains the usual punchbags and fitness equipment along with its own Pro Shop which sells all the required equipment for training.

Although most of the Westerners or other passing tourists in the gym are unlikely to be serious enthusiasts, the opportunity to train to fight is available, with those looking to challenge themselves choosing to represent the gym by competing in a local tournament. If any higher-level fighters do want to train at the gym of course they can be accommodated, with the possibility of competing a bit further away in Pattaya or even Bangkok if they so wish.

WHERE: 174 Chaisongkharm Road, Pai, 58130
WHEN: 8AM-5PM
HOW: https://www.charnchaimuaythai.com/ charnchaimuaythai@gmail.com
COST: Check website or email for details and booking information

9. The Muaythai Institute

Located in Rangsit, just on the furthermost outreaches of Bangkok, The Muaythai Institute is an ideal place for anyone wishing to learn the art of muaythai from the basics up in a slightly more structured and formal setting. The huge Institute is located within Rangsit stadium (or vice versa), which is an active fight venue, and runs various courses which culminates in certification sanctioned by the World Muaythai Council (WMC).

Image by Mark Philip

The Institute offers courses at different levels from beginner to advanced, along with instructor courses (again at different levels), and is it quite popular with younger locals not wishing to attend the traditionally more hardcore (‘Kai Muay’) gyms that Bangkok has always been famous for, preferring instead the certified, structured approach.

Accommodation is available within the institute and is a useful option for those intending to complete longer courses or perhaps go through the different levels. (It might be worth noting though that the complex also contains a nightclub of the local variety which runs pretty much every night at the usual high-decibel volume that anyone familiar with Bangkok is accustomed to). There is a fitness gym and a Pro Shop containing all the required equipment and more.

Image by Mark Philip

WHERE: 323 Phahonyothin Road, Prachathipat, Thanyaburi, Pathumthani 121303thani 12130
WHEN: Once or twice daily according to requirements between 6.30AM and 6PM
HOW: www.muaythai-institute.com / Email: muaythai911@hotmail.com
COST: Check website and/or email for details and booking

10. Nong Khai Muaythai Gym

Nong Khai is a great place for people who wish to see all the different aspects of Thailand as it is situated in the Northeastern region on the border with Laos, which is easily-accessible from the region via a bridge.

Nong Khai Muaythai Gym was established by a muaythai enthusiast Frenchman married to a Thai, and accommodates all levels of participant from rank beginners to those wishing to fight. Like the majority of gyms in this region, it is quite simplistic and sparse, but the trainers are experienced and include the well-known Petchboonchuay (from FA Group in Bangkok). Accommodation is available on the site, along with training packages to suit all levels.

WHERE: 1162 Soi Nitapat, Nong Khai 43000 Thailand
WHEN: Morning and afternoon/To suit
HOW: https://web.facebook.com/SorNanthasukmuaythaigym/
COST: Contact for details https://nongkhaimuaythai.jimdofree.com