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gym/accommodation advice in BKK - 105kg 6'4" (11 years experience)


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Hi,

I'm looking for advice regarding a gym to train in, i've trained 6 months in phuket (back in 2010) and about 3 months in chiang mai (san kaempheng, specifically,) i'm 105kg 6'4 and have had 4 fights in thailand (i've been very inactive and have around 11 years experience), from looking online gyms in BKK seem to be very expensive? often near 40,000 for training and accommodation,

firstly, can anyone recommend a good gym in bkk, for western fighters. as i don't know bkk at all how easy is it to get accommodation? (as with everywhere in thailand i found you might pay 12,000 through the gym or 5k for somewhere you found of your own merit)

looking to go for around 90 days and ideally fight,

 

any help would much much appreciated, thank you kap

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Maybe think about Santiennoi's Gym outside of Bangkok? He's handled some higher profile westerners (Samon Dekkers for instance), is a legend of the Golden Age. It's also a pretty traditional gym, probably a little unlike your past two experiences, which might be cool.

In general though, checking out accommodation through AirBnB is always good. You can see the general cost of apartments and rooms around wherever you choose, and get a foothold that way. 

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9 hours ago, Jonnylaw89 said:

Hi,

I'm looking for advice regarding a gym to train in, i've trained 6 months in phuket (back in 2010) and about 3 months in chiang mai (san kaempheng, specifically,) i'm 105kg 6'4 and have had 4 fights in thailand (i've been very inactive and have around 11 years experience), from looking online gyms in BKK seem to be very expensive? often near 40,000 for training and accommodation,

firstly, can anyone recommend a good gym in bkk, for western fighters. as i don't know bkk at all how easy is it to get accommodation? (as with everywhere in thailand i found you might pay 12,000 through the gym or 5k for somewhere you found of your own merit)

looking to go for around 90 days and ideally fight,

 

any help would much much appreciated, thank you kap

Hi there. There are quite a few options in Bangkok, as you mentioned most cost around 8000-12000 month for 2 sessions/day. 

My advice is to check gyms you are interested in on facebook or instagram to get an impression of what kind of people train there at the moment. It is so hard to recommend a place as trainers change, students change and so on. Organize accommodation for the first few days in Bangkok and visit a couple of gyms to get the feel for it. And then pick the one you prefer. 

If you want to fight, ask other foreigners at the gym if the gym helps you arrange fights and how well they prep you. Some gyms let their students wait forever, promising them fights that never happen...

Also at the moment it rains quite heavily now and then in BKK and some places get flooded easily. Might be worth to keep in mind when looking for a place to stay. 

Some gyms in the city that might be of interest to visit are: 

FA Group in Chatuchak (thai fighters and foreigners, they sometimes have quite a few larger guys)

Attachai (Onnut)

Muay thai academy/Rompo (Klong Thoey) Superbon trains there

Numponthep (also in Klong Thoey. Mix Thai fighters, Japanese/Chinese and some westerners. Currently no one heavier than 65-70 kilo training there)

PK Saenchai gym (Thawanchay, Rodlek and others train there)

Sathian gym (Sangmanee trains there if I am not mistaken)

...and then all the camps found here: https://muaythaicampsthailand.com/category/bangkok/

You can also ask here:  https://www.facebook.com/MuayThaiCampsThailand/

Good luck!

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1 minute ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

Do they accept foreigners? I always got the impression - from afar - that this was a closed gym.

Have not tried it myself but a friend has and yes, seems open to foreigners. Apparently very nice and clean. If you look at their instagram there are some westerners training, but I do not know whether there are certain conditions attached. 

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5 minutes ago, LengLeng said:

If you look at their instagram there are some westerners training, but I do not know whether there are certain conditions attached. 

It's crazy that people aren't drawn there, and instead all flock to something like Yokkao. I mean, Yokkao is great for a certain kind of traveler. Lots love it, but many are looking for a fighters gym. Very interesting. I had no idea, to be honest. Would love to hear someone's personal experience there. I just assumed that because I heard nothing, nobody was going and there was a reason for that. I thought it was something like Pinsinchai gym.

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15 minutes ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

It's crazy that people aren't drawn there, and instead all flock to something like Yokkao. I mean, Yokkao is great for a certain kind of traveler. Lots love it, but many are looking for a fighters gym. Very interesting. I had no idea, to be honest. Would love to hear someone's personal experience there. I just assumed that because I heard nothing, nobody was going and there was a reason for that. I thought it was something like Pinsinchai gym.

I am also surprised, but maybe they do not market heavily as they focus on their thai fighters? I also heard something about 24000/month for training and accommodation (and food at the gym if I am not mistaken). I haven't heard from anyone who has been there long-term though. 

I have never been to yokkao but the image they send out on social media is not really what I am looking for. And I feel a lot of thai gyms do not get the reach what they deserve, but maybe that is why they are so nice haha. For example, there is one gym in Saphan kwai (Punrith) I used to go to when I first started out. Only girls working there including admin, PT and two tomboy trainers, one of them a member of the thai national western boxing team who also became a friend. Sadly both trainers left and I have not been there to try it out since. Back then I did not understand how great that was for me to have women as trainers. It is not a camp though and currently targeting Thai middle/upper class.  

 

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19 minutes ago, LengLeng said:

And I feel a lot of thai gyms do not get the reach what they deserve, but maybe that is why they are so nice haha.

This right here. It's very hard to preserve gym culture, and have "reach". It's one reason that for several years Sylvie pretty much said nothing about her own gym, and promoted so many others...hahaha.

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1 hour ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

This right here. It's very hard to preserve gym culture, and have "reach". It's one reason that for several years Sylvie pretty much said nothing about her own gym, and promoted so many others...hahaha.

I can understand that. (Also because her gym seems incredibly nice.) But also gym culture being so dependent on atmosphere and the people training. A group of people coming to train can easily change things. I used to train with my husband, but now I am more or less alone training due to his work. And I feel my current gym changes with each group of people that comes and goes. I always wonder how it is for the thai fighters who sleep and train at the gym. 

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Just a note on FA Group, one of my friends who was training there recently just left because he said there weren't many people training there at the moment. As has been mentioned, all gyms go through cycles so it can be tough to determine what it is like without physically going to see the gym. Accommodation is plentiful in BKK, though finding somewhere that will let you pay month to month can be a hurdle. Check on the BANGKOK EXPATS Facebook group, there are some real estate agents who might be able to find something for you. You can also try DDproperty and Renthub. Figure out your gym situation first, then find a more permanent housing situation. You definitely don't want to be traveling across town every day just to get to the gym. 

Attachai's would likely be a good gym to check into though their prices are pretty high (22k a month last I looked). That area should have lots of cheap apartments/food around, and the gym (or Emma if she has time) might be able to help you find a room for a short term stay. 

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1 hour ago, Tyler Byers said:

Check on the BANGKOK EXPATS Facebook group, there are some real estate agents who might be able to find something for you. You can also try DDproperty and Renthub.

You're not a fan of AirBnB? It is so huge for us. We can find places to stay in the middle of nowhere in Thailand? Fighting in any city we can find a short term room. It's incredible. (I have to thank @Kaitlin Rose Young for totally converting me on this, it's been a life changer.)  I guess though it would be a weak option if you are looking for super low budget, which is probably where you run into those 6 month lease barriers.

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2 hours ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

You're not a fan of AirBnB

AirBnB might be a good option, but for 90 days I think it would get expensive since the rates are typically similar to nearby hotels. I've only used AirBnB a few times in BKK though so my experience is limited. The one thing I would caution about AirBnB in BKK is that it is technically illegal and you can have issues with the building jurisdiction. Last time I used AirBnB I stayed for two weeks while a friend was visiting and we basically had to sneak past the front desk every time we wanted to enter or leave the building. Security didn't care, but the management hassled us a lot even though we went with the owner of the room and told them we were friends with the owner and would be staying for a couple of weeks. My building rents rooms on a monthly basis for about 9,000 baht plus electricity/water but I'm in Thong Lor and pretty far from most of the gyms so it's probably not a great option. I'd check around On Nut area though, there are a lot of places close to the BTS that are renting for 5,500 and lower. 

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1 hour ago, Tyler Byers said:

The one thing I would caution about AirBnB in BKK is that it is technically illegal and you can have issues with the building jurisdiction.

We haven't run into this, though we've only used it a few times in Bangkok. But, it's very funny, there is a condo unit we rent out in Chiang Mai sometimes when we can't find a room and when you park your car and head to the elevator you see LOTS of signs that say: "This is ONLY for residents, no short term stays". What's so hilarious is that almost nobody you run into in the halls, or by the pool, looks like they live there. They put up those signs because the entire place has kind of turned into an AirBnb hotel, I'm guessing. But very interesting that you've had that experience. I suspect that AirBnB has become so prevalent and grown so fast it's basically over run all the customary ways of doing things. Even hotels now are on AirBnB trying to give the impression that they are residences. 

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Like everything in BKK, enforcement is super hit or miss it seems. That's crazy that hotels have hopped on to AirBnB lol. We were staying in Asok so I'm not terribly surprised that they were doing things a little more "by the book" where we stayed. I'm sure on the outskirts no one would bat an eye. Money talks 😀

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There's places to rent listed on here as well: https://www.bahtsold.com/

If you're after a cheaper room you're probably best off asking a local to point a place out to you once you're there, as a lot of places with cheap rooms won't advertise. When I was after a cheap place to stay a Thai translated my request to a taxi driver and he dropped me at an apartment block. I think I paid about 4K plus bills for a month for a basic room with cold shower.

As has been suggested elsewhere, try a few gyms out first before committing. Once you've found your gym you can ask around about accommodation.  

 

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Thank you to everyone who replied to this post, it has been hugely helpful and i appreciate you taking time out of your day to do so.

I'm going to try those gyms listed and just 'gym hop' for a week or so, book somewhere for a week for 10k baht or so to find my bearing in BKK

for 3 months i'd like to keep it under around 5k USD. The pound is awful at the moment (thanks to impending brexit) and shows no sign of a changing any time soon. I looked at Samarts place which is something like 49K baht for a month or training/accommodation and food, attatchi is around 18k for training (I can live with that providing it's good training and i can find somewhere nearby for 10k or so).

Having only passed through BKK on my way to pattaya (to fight) i guess i need to become accustom to the area, it looks like theres an abundance of muay thai gyms there, kiatphontip has been recommended.

If i can't deal with BKK, SKP in chiang mai has been excellent training thus far so i'm only an hour flight away from a familiar and good gym/area.

Thanks again, Jonny

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18 hours ago, Jonnylaw89 said:

. The pound is awful at the moment (thanks to impending brexit) and shows no sign of a changing any time soon. 

38 baht to the pound, that is awful! I started going to Thailand in 2003, and for years it was always around 72 baht to the pound. It got up to about 90 baht in 2004. It was a great time to go back packing! Pound dropped right off after the GFC though and has never got up anywhere near were it used to. Aussie dollar is weak as well now.

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On 6/29/2019 at 4:47 AM, Jonnylaw89 said:

Thank you to everyone who replied to this post, it has been hugely helpful and i appreciate you taking time out of your day to do so.

I'm going to try those gyms listed and just 'gym hop' for a week or so, book somewhere for a week for 10k baht or so to find my bearing in BKK

for 3 months i'd like to keep it under around 5k USD. The pound is awful at the moment (thanks to impending brexit) and shows no sign of a changing any time soon. I looked at Samarts place which is something like 49K baht for a month or training/accommodation and food, attatchi is around 18k for training (I can live with that providing it's good training and i can find somewhere nearby for 10k or so).

Having only passed through BKK on my way to pattaya (to fight) i guess i need to become accustom to the area, it looks like theres an abundance of muay thai gyms there, kiatphontip has been recommended.

If i can't deal with BKK, SKP in chiang mai has been excellent training thus far so i'm only an hour flight away from a familiar and good gym/area.

Thanks again, Jonny

If you do check out Attachai's, let me know if you need any help! I moved to the area for the gym and checked out a lot of accommodation before landing on my place, so might be able to give you some tips with that. Best to message me on Facebook, though. 

Also, I second your woes about the current baht/pound exchange rate and Brexit. Ugh...

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Last week I came across this gym: TFC Muaythai Gym

It is a little bit outside of Bangkok but you can easily reach it by bus or grab. Since it is not centrally located the prices are lower and you will find cheap accommodation around. I can highly recommend this place because they focus on technique and make sure you will no wrong movements or postures - no matter what skill level you are on. Moreover, English is spoken quite well. 

Before I had tried many gyms in downtown and everytime I felt I had wasted my money. So if you dont mind being outside of Bangkok and working out in a rather small gym, you should give this place a try. You can send the headcoach of the gym a message through FB or Instagram.

Cheers, Steff

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21 hours ago, Tyler Byers said:

What are they charging for a month of training? And what area is it in?

One month is 9000 Baht. This includes morning and afternoon professional session. Professional means that you work out with the fighters and is comparable to private class. There is someone with you nearly all the time and watches you. So if you want to work out on your own, this might not be the place. However, between morning and afternoon session you can use the gym at any time and hit the bags. 

It is a safe area with a big University close to it. So you find many street food stands, student dorms and supermarkets. For me it seems a suburb for rather wealthy Thais. But there is no party or much other activities around. If you have more questions, feel free to write me a PN

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

On 6/25/2019 at 6:27 AM, LengLeng said:

For example, there is one gym in Saphan kwai (Punrith) I used to go to when I first started out. Only girls working there including admin, PT and two tomboy trainers, one of them a member of the thai national western boxing team who also became a friend. Sadly both trainers left and I have not been there to try it out since. Back then I did not understand how great that was for me to have women as trainers. It is not a camp though and currently targeting Thai middle/upper class.  

 

If you ever would go training there again, please give us an update  It is close to the place I stay normally.

 

On 6/25/2019 at 9:37 AM, Tyler Byers said:

Just a note on FA Group, one of my friends who was training there recently just left because he said there weren't many people training there at the moment. As has been mentioned, all gyms go through cycles so it can be tough to determine what it is like without physically going to see the gym. Accommodation is plentiful in BKK, though finding somewhere that will let you pay month to month can be a hurdle. Check on the BANGKOK EXPATS Facebook group, there are some real estate agents who might be able to find something for you. You can also try DDproperty and Renthub. Figure out your gym situation first, then find a more permanent housing situation. You definitely don't want to be traveling across town every day just to get to the gym.

I follow their IG and FB (since I liked my training with them very much. And they improved their social media appearance A LOT) it looks kinda busy to what I see them posting these days (and you always have the fighters).
But yes, a gym keeps changing all the time.
 

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2 hours ago, 515 said:

 

If you ever would go training there again, please give us an update  It is close to the place I stay normally.

 

I follow their IG and FB (since I liked my training with them very much. And they improved their social media appearance A LOT) it looks kinda busy to what I see them posting these days (and you always have the fighters).
But yes, a gym keeps changing all the time.
 

That's good to know. I'm likely moving again at the end of the year and am thinking about moving nearby. It would be nice to have a good gym close.

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On 7/26/2019 at 7:35 PM, 515 said:

 

If you ever would go training there again, please give us an update  It is close to the place I stay normally.
 

For sure! It's also within walking distance for me so I'll likely check it out again. 

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