It’s probably one of the most asked or most researched questions over the years, and if not, it’s definitely one of the most important. As everyone is different of course, (levels of fitness and Muaythai skills differ enormously too) and everyone has a very personal opinion on what is just right for them, it’s not an easy one to answer in just one sentence.
So how do you really go about finding the right gym or gyms to train at when you’re getting into Muaythai and planning a trip to Thailand? Especially if it’s going to be your first time in the land of smiles!
Are you a first timer or already a Thailand pro?
Exciting things ahead, congratulations, you are planning a trip to Thailand! Just before we get started, it’s important to know if you are a first timer or are already an experienced Thailand traveller. If you are the latter, then you may already know most of what lies ahead, but feel free to read on, maybe you’ll find a tip or two that helps you too!
If you are planning your first visit to Thailand though – with Muaythai training at the core of your holiday – then this blog is the one for you! Also up front, if you need any further information or assistance with your trip, please let us know, we would be glad to help you plan. So let’s get into it!
Next up is location – where do you wish to travel to?
Heading down south to enjoy your holiday on one or more of the beautiful islands? Or off north, mountains, jungle and some of the most amazing natural parks and forests in the world?
Whatever you decide to do on your dream trip, this decision will obviously affect your choice of gyms. Heading south, check out the many great Muaythai camps on Koh Samui or Phuket. If it’s up north, take a look at the many good training opportunities in Chiang Mai for example. Just sayin!
Check out gym websites.
Can’t be stressed more – check out the gym websites of the places you are interested in. Read more about the gym, the location, the training and the accommodation options. This will give you an idea of what to expect if you train there. There may also be a YouTube channel for this gym or a link to a few videos that will give you an even better feel for the gym. On the website Muaythaiadvisor.com, you can find almost all the gyms in Thailand – why not take a look?
Write an email to the gyms you are considering. Ask them a few questions, make a few enquiries. If they reply, it’s a good sign! If they don’t, well maybe you should reconsider your choice and whether you will get enough attention when you are actually there. Attention, sometimes emails from Thailand or from Muaythai-gyms can land in your spam folder. Always check your spam folder to see if an answer is there!
A no brainer. When you have selected a few gyms on your shortlist, check the Google reviews. Seriously. Don’t just read the first one, read a few. Get a feeling for the gym you are interested in, as reviewed by others. It might tell you just what you want to know too. You can usually find many good reports and reviews over the years, by customers from all over the world.
Ask a friend.
Now things are moving! You know roughly where you are thinking of going, have checked the websites, gotten email replies, read some great reviews. Next step, ask a few friends if they have been there, what it was like, how the training went etc. Get some real life feedback from those in the know. It’s invaluable input before making a decision to book! You are probably going to spend at least a month of your Muaythai life there, maybe even longer, so get as much information as possible.
This is the subject of so many stories over the years, and some shocking endings too. Thailand is a tropical country, with high temperatures, high humidity, different vegetation, animals and insects. Different foods, different bacteria and different risks make things tricky sometimes too.
Make sure that the place you book for your Muaythai dream holiday is clean! Clean means clean. Try and avoid beaten up, run down, back street gyms if you can. The charm is magnetic of course, but sleeping on a concrete floor with other fighters in a mosquito infested room is not good. At all.
Without dwelling on this subject further, in Thailand cleanliness is next to holiness. Take this subject seriously and make sure you stay healthy. A good gym is a clean gym. Repeat!
The types and the quality of accommodation options at Muaythai camps in Thailand varies greatly, depending on location, size and style of the camp. Also, depending on your budget, you can live anywhere from a bamboo hut on the beach to a five star suite with your own pool. Check out all your options before booking and select what you feel OK with. Bamboo huts are cool for a while but a few luxuries after hard training sessions are cool too. And if you are living close by a great beach, go there to run, swim and relax after training. Priceless!
How much does an overnight stay in Thailand cost? Believe it or not but for just 500 Baht you can get an overnight stay that’s clean and high-quality. And a little luxury in impeccable surroundings doesn’t have to cost 5000 Baht per night. Our recommendation for clean and affordable accommodation lies between 600 – 1’200 Baht per night or between 14,000 – 23,000 Bath per month, depending on the region you visit and the season. Also make sure that the price includes electricity costs and cleaning services. Otherwise you may suddenly get a surprise when you leave, as electricity costs in Thailand can run very high due to air conditioning. Many gyms also offer you a complete package, which certainly simplifies travel and organization.
Pick up services.
Does the gym you are interested in offer pick up and transport or transfer services? Can they help you with motor scooter rental or do you even have any at the gym? Do they collect you at the airport? All helps when you arrive tired and hungry.
No it doesn’t! The Thais get by with enough English to teach you Muaythai, and your English will be enough to understand what they tell you. And the rest is history, everyone speaks Muaythai!
Don’t sweat on who the trainers are! Just about everywhere in Thailand, all the Muaythai trainers are pretty much “same same.” They all have similar experience, have been doing this since their childhood and have years of experience teaching foreigners. So unless you are looking at preparing for a world title fight, don’t sweat the trainers! Respect them and their culture and way of training, and you will be very well looked after. Don’t be the one that knows everything better, take in the knowledge and learn as much as you can. Egoism doesn’t go down well in Thailand, if you behave like that, you won’t get much attention from the Muay Thai trainers in the gym. All good.
A trip to Thailand is always worth it in every way and will certainly not be your last. Once you have trained in Thailand, you will forever be wanting to come back.
Another advantage is you don’t have to worry about where to plan your next holiday, as it will probably be Thailand forever! You also no longer have to worry about where to go and for how long and your travels will positively change your life attitude, towards martial arts and towards Muaythai.
In Thailand, Muaythai is part of national culture and it is lived that way. The fighters and trainers live from the sport and the feeling of training in a warm climate outdoors and surrounded by tropical nature will amaze you.
So here’s our final recommendation:
Don’t plan too much, live now, just come here, do and enjoy. You only live once, and when you retire it’s probably too late.
Welcome to amazing Thailand!
In cooperation with Markus Muster
Owner Punch it Co., Ltd.