If there is one subject that comes up almost every time you discuss Muay Thai and training in Thailand and the cost of spending many months here, it’s the subject of how to live decently off your savings and maybe the little extra money you may make on top by fighting for purses here as a pro Muay Thai fighter. To help you plan your budget and give you a guideline on how to stretch your money just that little bit further, here are a few key points to consider. There are of course many ways to save money whilst living and training here in Thailand, but in general, these are the major one’s.
But before we get started, in 2022, at the time of writing, I would consider the baseline monthly cost of living in Thailand for a non-thai or want to be foreign fighter to be a flat $1.000 / 34’000 THB – minimum. This excludes travel, visas, visa-runs, personal health and travel insurance and any non sports related expenses but includes your training costs, living expenses, food and basic outgoings. So for want of a better budget guideline, $250 / 8’400 THB per week is a pretty good starter.
So let’s start breaking the budget down, for simplicity I have chosen to focus on 6 areas:
- Training expenses
- Food and drink
- Leisure time
- Medical services
- Other outgoings (like equipment, transport, travel etc.)
If possible, live at the camp you are planning to train at! Or if not at the camp, then stay as nearby as you can!
This is a common mistake made by many students when they come to Thailand for their first ever training and fighting trip, don’t make it! Most Muay Thai camps in Thailand have good budget accommodation on offer, often directly at the camp. Take a look at these options first and if you can, book one of these options. Without further ado – living at or very near the camp will save you money, reduce your local expenses and make everything easier for you and your trainers during your stay, especially so when you are in training for a fight. If you don’t believe me, ask someone who had a daily commute from too far away, it’s definitely a hassle and should be avoided.
2. Training expenses.
This is a tricky one. Prices throughout Thailand vary greatly, depending upon where you decide to train. (Samui is one of the best value for money island locations in the world to train Muay Thai, with year round good weather, fantastic beaches and many good gyms to choose from.)
The level or the name of the camp can also affect your budget, the length of your planned stay and whether you pay up front or not.
As a rule of thumb, a good camp – training twice daily and you staying for a month – shouldn’t cost you more than around $250 / 8’400 THB per month. Accommodation extra.
Here are a few examples of training package prices at Punch it Gym Koh Samui, as a general guide:
1x class 17$ / 400 THB
2x classes per day 23$ / 600 THB
1x week 77$ / 2’400 THB
2x weeks 134$ / 4’300 THB
3x weeks 182$ / 5’900 THB
1x month 225$ / 7’300 THB
3. Food & drink.
A twice a week visit to the local supermarket, covering most of your basics, will probably not cost you more than 1.000 Baht, your daily street food and maybe once a week cheat (with drinks!) another 1.000 Baht, so for about 50-75$ / 1’650 – 2’500THB you can easily budget your food for a week. There are always lots of cheap and very tasty options close by to most camps, so don’t sweat the eating.
4. Leisure time.
This one is pretty much up to you! But whatever it is you love to do in your Muay Thai free time, it’s definitely going to be cheaper than back home. Budgeting a little “pocket money” is probably a good idea, or you can treat yourself if you get a paid fight and want to party your purse! In general, you can only expect to get paid a small purse when fighting in Thailand without a big name, but you can still party hard here on 2.000 Baht so maybe a thought to keep in mind! After tipping your trainers, fight money in the party kitty and off to the beach!
5. Medical services.
A no brainer. Get your insurances sorted, with enough cover for Covid-19 treatment, accident or sickness. Should you get seriously ill whilst here in Thailand, you need to be covered for doctors and hospital bills, possible operation costs or even (worst case!) being flown home. Check all your paperwork before arrival, and pay up all your policies to be on the safe side.
6. Other outgoings.
Budgets one way or another, but we all have a need to splurge a little every now and then. So keep a small reserve budget for things like equipment purchases, motor scooter rental, maybe even a weekend trip into the jungle. Or if its a weekend away on an island or up in the mountains, budget a little money to do a few things that will make your trip memorable and as a gift to yourself for training hard and even maybe for fighting. Yes, life on Thailand has so much to offer other than Muay Thai, try to find a little time and a little budget to experience “Amazing Thailand!”
Another few tips to save a little more whilst here, just to keep in mind:
- Shop for fresh fruits, meats and veg at the local markets.
- Find a few of your favourite street food vendors and buy great food daily to take back to your room.
- Buy gasoline at the gas station, not on the street in bottles.
- Tip the cleaning staff at your accommodation a little every week, they will appreciate your gratitude and it won’t break the bank.
- Avoid the party zones, they are expensive and addictive and only distract you from your goals. Training!
- Shop around for bargains. If you are out and about, shop around for that extra discount or bargain.
- Negotiate everything, but stay friendly and you will be surprised what you can save!
And one last tip for “pro” fighters arriving at our camp: Bring your gear!! An ice hockey player doesn’t roll up to the ice before a game and has no gear in the bag, and a fighter shouldn’t roll up at our gym for training without his or her “tools.” Bring your gear or buy it here in Thailand before your training camp starts. Those who book online with us recieve a 30% discount voucher for their first purchase for example, a great way to get kitted out before your training holiday begins!
Enjoy your holiday planning, follow our guidelines and budget well. If you have any questions just drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org, we look forward to seeing you here at Punch it Gym Koh Samui soon!