Muay Thai training in Thailand: a list of important things that you should know before you travel to Bangkok.
I went for a Muay Thai training in Thailand to level up my game. I didn't know what to expect and I didn't find many reliable sources of information online. I would like to share a few observations with you about training in the homeland of Muay Thai. I hope this will make your decision of training in homeland of Muay Thai easier.
2 reasons why training in Thailand may be difficult at the beginning:
Reason number one is a tropical weather. It may be your greatest adversary until you get used to it. 37 °C and humid all day long. 32 °C in the night-time. One hour of training in an open air gym in Bangkok takes as much effort as two hours (if not more) of a regular training in Europe.
So don't get discuraged by that - you will only feel weak at the beginning.
On the bright side, once you arrive in Europe/US you will feel like a superman for a week or so. That's how long it will take to fully readjust to a different climat conditions.
Reason number two: you will train with the best. You will get a chance to learn from - and spar with - great native Thai fighters. They've got a great stamina and abs made of steel so you really need to push yourself to be up for the task.
Once you adjust to the new weather conditions you will soon start making a great progress. What is fascinating is that local instructors are teaching Muay Thai in a different way than European trainers do.
They pay attention to a different technical aspects of your training. Some flaws that might have been overlooked in Europe will be picked quickly by a local Khru.
Muay Thay training in Thailand: how much does it cost?
Muay Thai training in Thailand is not very expensive.
A single training session in Fighting Spirit gym has costed me around 300 baht, which was roughly £6 or $8 for an intense 2 hour session.
The gym was run by an American expat living in Bangkok and had all the necessary equipment for training. All of the instructors were local Thai fighters
You can also start training in one of the Muay Thai camps. They are located outside of Bangkok and provide everything you need to focus just on your training.
For the price of around 15000 (£295/$420) baht a month you can get a full-time training plus accommodation and meals.
Some gyms, like Master Toddy's Muay Thai Academy, will even provide you with a one-year student visa when you book a training course with them. This is really useful since you would not have to do an expensive and time-consuming visa runs.
There are plenty of training opportunities in Thailand, but that's not all the city has to offer. One of the great things is that you can relax and relief your sore muscles after the heavy day of training with a proper Thai massage.
Cost of living in Bangkok:
For those who are planning to come to Thailand but are not convinced yet - life is not very expensive there either:
a food from shops and Thai 'fast food' from street stands is very cheap. And more healthy on top of that since most of the 'fast food' in Thailand is based on rice and veggies. In Bangkok, there are plenty of convenience stores like 7 Eleven that are open 24/7.
Restaurants are more expensive but they serve a delicious traditional food in big portions. Some of them are open till late night so you can have a proper meal at 3 AM in the morning. I especially liked Lao cuisine - sweet and spicy chicken tastes great. I would also highly recommend sticky rice and mango and Thai coconut ice cream.
public transport: skytrain, motorcycle taxis and cabs - not to mention buses which are dirt cheap - is not very expensive. A typical taxi fare for a few miles ride in the city is about 50-100 baht (£1-£2/$1.5/$3).
Tuc tuc rickshaws are a more pricey tourist traps and their drivers are reckless. I took it once and I think that full-power sparring with Buakaw is far safer than taking a tuc tuc in Bangkok in rush hours.
the accommodation is pretty cheap too. For the first month of stay, I have rented a room in the hotel with a swimming pool for one month for around £300/$430. You can pay much less of course if you rent a room in a shared house. Just be sure that you find a place which is not too far from skytrain or an MRT station.
Clubbing may be more pricey: 150-250 baht for a pint (around £3-£5, $4-$7) and around £10/$15 entrance fee depends on the location. Some famous night clubs like The Levels or Insanity are more expensive than the rest.
Local pubs are cheaper than established brands like Hard Rock Cafe, which is probably the most expensive pub in Bangkok. But hey, you are going there for a Muay Thai training, not drinking, am I right?
*a word of advice: due to tropical weather when you drink alcohol in Thailand always be sure to add a lot of ice or to drink it with the water, cause if you don't the hangover may be severe.