How can I live and financially survive in Thailand for several months?
Almost every week we have receive inquiries from customers and Muay Thai fighters around the world that want to train and fight as Muay Thai fighters in Thailand. In this blog you will find a few helpful tips and most of the answers that we recommend.
Basically, here too, just talking and dreaming, is not going to work. It takes a little courage and the will to do it. Just dreaming about it, is not not going to make it happen.
Can I earn enough from fighting in Thailand to survive?
Unfortunately, this is hardly possible for 90% of foreign Muay Thai fighters. If you are not already a successful and well-known fighter, you don’t get enough money for a fight here in Thailand. It also depends on what kind of agreement you have with the gym where you train. If you train in a gym that mainly only trains fighters, you can often train for free, but the money from the fight is then split 50/50 with the gym. This means that you only get 3000 – 5000 Baht per fight for the first couple of months. As a rule, you cannot fight more than once a month. However, this also requires that you already have experience in the ring. If not, for a fighter who has been training for a long time but has never been in the ring, it takes two or three months to be fit and good enough to fight in Thailand.
For newcomers who have little experience, the career is even more difficult. The usual case is that you start as a normal customer in a gym for the first time and must work your way up to a professional Muay Thai fighter step by step. Same as in a gym in your country. That means, you first must prove to yourself that you have the will and the talent to do it. If you are seen as a talent after a few months and join forces with the Gym Management, you can find maybe an agreement with the gym. What the conditions maybe, very individual. The younger you a, the better chance of success. In Thailand you should have some experience as a fighter at the age around 20, as the Thai fighters usually have their first fights at the age of 8 and the fighters at the age of 20 have around 100 fights. So our recommendation is, after the apprenticeship, go straight to Thailand and try to assert yourself there and turn your dream into reality.
Can I work and train in Thailand?
Of course you can work in Thailand, but there are lot of hurdles in connection with the training. The first hurdle is that foreigners in Thailand need a work permit. The company you want to work for can make you a work permit. But these are relatively expensive and are also associated with a minimum wage (Europe 50,000 baht). In Thailand, this wage usually only has very well-qualified workers. So it can be very difficult to find a job like this if you are not there. In such a position, the working hours are usually 8 – 9 hours a day and 6 days a week and you have around 3 – 4 weeks of vacation per year. But then there is no more time to train and so this option is actually not an option.
Doing just a few freelance jobs on the side is possible, but also risky. You also need a work permit for small auxiliary work and we advise against this. As a guest in a foreign country, always stick to the rules and respect them.
The best option is to find a job that you can do online. Freelancer or self-employed in the field of graphics, marketing or call centres. So you do not officially need a work permit in Thailand, because you are working at home in front of your computer. As a rule, you are then independent of working hours and can work between training breaks. So you have the opportunity to combine both and to develop yourself as a top fighter in Muay Thai and also to grow in your work and become self-employed.
How can I get the visa if I want to stay over 3 months?
If you want to stay in Thailand for up to 2 months or longer, there is a tourist visa for 2 months (60 days) that you can apply for at the Thai embassy in your country before you leave your country. Visa extensions 1 month (30 days) can then be carried out on Koh Samui.
After 3 months you have to leave the country and get a new tourist visa for the next 2 + 1 months. In addition, there is an organized bus trip to Penang, Malaysia on Koh Samui, which includes all transport, meals and a hotel room for 1 night. The trip takes two days. You can apply for a 2 months visa.
The extension on Koh Samui costs 1900 baht and must be paid in cash on site. If you just want to extend only a month, a 1 day trip across the border and back is enough, there are also tours on Koh Samui.
Another option is to get a student visa in a language school to learn English or Thai. There may also be other languages, but English and Thai are possible here on Koh Samui. So you can apply for a visa for one year and you can then extend it again for 1 to a maximum of two years. However, the condition is that you also attend the language school. That is definitely the most comfortable solution, but also the most expensive one that you also have to pay for the language school.
What on-site costs do I have to expect?
The costs on site with normal, simple accommodation that is equipped with air conditioning and has a reasonably good standard, you must reckon with electricity around 12 – 17,000 baht. Then you need a scooter that you can move freely, you can buy it or rent it for a longer period of time, which costs around 2000 – 3500 Baht. Depends on the condition and model. Training depends on what kind of agreement you have. But let’s take an average of 5000 Baht. Eating and livelihood is of course very dependent on your lifestyle, but let’s assume that you fit into the average and do not spend in the shopping mall every day, so that will be around 10 – 15000 Baht. So you need around 40,000 Baht income per month to live well here on Koh Samui. This overview does not include health insurance. However, we highly recommend doing this.
What we can give you in summary on your Muay Thai professional adventure?
Prepare early for such a decision. It is best if you decide on an apprenticeship before you graduate, which will allow you to work in future regardless of the place of work, i.e. work that is possible in the home office. Go to Thailand for training for one to two months after completing primary school. The first two weeks you visit 2 – 3 different gyms to get oriented and to see which gym suits you best and which you feel comfortable with. Then choose your favourite gym and train there for another 2 – 3 weeks. Also let the owner or trainer know that you want to prepare to live and train in Thailand in future. So they keep a close eye on you and can certainly give you a few tips and maybe there is also a chance to fight if you already have a good Muay Thai level. A few days before your return trip talk to the gym owner or head trainer and ask him what he thinks about your project and try to convince him of your talent and will that he can make you an offer for the future right away. You have already achieved a lot there. However, it is important that you are sure in which gym you want to do this, and do not gym hop!
Then you go back with a lot of motivation and a goal. Get a professional qualification and then at 20 – 21 you can realize your lifelong dream in Thailand and grow professionally like a Muay Thai fighter. Of course, it is optimal if you work as a freelancer while you are still doing your apprenticeship, so you already have a few jobs right after graduation and can use them as a reference when you then emigrate. Every dream life has its price and you have to work hard for it. Therefore, when you are young, you have to make an effort early so that you can harvest the reward later!
The Punch it Muay Thai Gym team also hopes to see you here on Koh Samui soon and we would be happy if our tips helps you on your journey in becoming a professional Muay Thai fighter in Thailand.
124/666 Moo 3, Maret
Surat Thani 84310
Translation & Pictures:
124/666 Moo 3, Maret
Surat Thani 84310