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SANTAI OR HONGTHONG? - Chiang Mai

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SANTAI OR HONGTHONG? - Chiang Mai
Hello everyone!
I’m Priscilla, an Italian k-1 fighter (still at regional level at the moment, even though the fighting season is not done yet). I’ve been thinking about Thailand a lot in last months and made many resources. Santai Muaythai and Hongthong Muaythai came up to me as the two best gyms in Chiang Mai, in which I could find what I’m looking for. 
I want to improve my skills so much (and learn Muay Thai skills too) and to fight (if the teacher thinks I’mma be ready), due to covid here in Italy there are not too many chances. 
I’ve just read Sylvie’s opinions, which were so helpful (thank you champ).
But is there anyone who have trained at both gyms? 
Which one do you think could fit better for a girl fighter? Which do you think is the best, considering gym and accommodation facilities (I can’t find many pictures of the JR guest house, the Santai’s accommodation), “community” and trainings? 
Thanks:)

 
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Hi there!

I've just finished my first session at Hongthong this evening so I might not be the most qualified person to comment as I haven't trained at Santai but from my perspective things were really lovely at Hongthong.

I had some technical correction from my pad holder but not to the point where it seemed like I had been doing things wrong forever. In terms of fighting I've gone there expressly for the purpose of fighting and they seemed really happy and willing to let people fight (someone actually agreed to a fight at the time I was there so its not like it is a 'behind closed doors' deal).

Unfortunately, I can't comment from the perspective of being a female fighter in a gym but that being said it seemed like the women who trained with us today were included. I don't feel like they were as actively included as men were. I had to offer to spar with one of the women because she was left without a partner but I'm not sure if that is just a one-off or a long-term thing. I do know that women do fight out of that gym successfully so I imagine you would have opportunities to get rounds in and all that. But, from my perspective as someone who is openly, though not too openly, queer I felt comfortable. People were respectful and didn't seem to be creepy towards the women at the gym though I don't speak Thai and can't comment on whether anything was happening that I didn't understand. 

From a community standpoint they were lovely I was introduced to everyone, and they made an effort to remember my name. I got good treatment and jumped right into the group really, I've even been invited to a gym drinks on the weekend. So in terms of 'community' it seemed really nice but I can't say whether that will be universal as I'm able to pass as a cis-het man. 

All in all, after only one day of training I plan to go back, unfortunately I'm not staying at the gym but the facilities didn't seem to bad. I think they were only built in the last 5 years or so.

Sorry that I don't have all the info you need but I hope this helps! :) 

 

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1 hour ago, Tom Wakefield said:

Hi there!

I've just finished my first session at Hongthong this evening so I might not be the most qualified person to comment as I haven't trained at Santai but from my perspective things were really lovely at Hongthong.

I had some technical correction from my pad holder but not to the point where it seemed like I had been doing things wrong forever. In terms of fighting I've gone there expressly for the purpose of fighting and they seemed really happy and willing to let people fight (someone actually agreed to a fight at the time I was there so its not like it is a 'behind closed doors' deal).

Unfortunately, I can't comment from the perspective of being a female fighter in a gym but that being said it seemed like the women who trained with us today were included. I don't feel like they were as actively included as men were. I had to offer to spar with one of the women because she was left without a partner but I'm not sure if that is just a one-off or a long-term thing. I do know that women do fight out of that gym successfully so I imagine you would have opportunities to get rounds in and all that. But, from my perspective as someone who is openly, though not too openly, queer I felt comfortable. People were respectful and didn't seem to be creepy towards the women at the gym though I don't speak Thai and can't comment on whether anything was happening that I didn't understand. 

From a community standpoint they were lovely I was introduced to everyone, and they made an effort to remember my name. I got good treatment and jumped right into the group really, I've even been invited to a gym drinks on the weekend. So in terms of 'community' it seemed really nice but I can't say whether that will be universal as I'm able to pass as a cis-het man. 

All in all, after only one day of training I plan to go back, unfortunately I'm not staying at the gym but the facilities didn't seem to bad. I think they were only built in the last 5 years or so.

Sorry that I don't have all the info you need but I hope this helps! 🙂

 

Thank you so much Tom! Hope you’ll have that fight! 
This helps a lot, as I am travelling alone, one of key points is community, so I’m happy to hear this!
About the girl being left out of sparring, that could never be me, I always find the way to be in, even though I work out with all men. 😄

During last days, I have also seen in HONGTHONG instagram feed, that there are two girls working out there to fight. 
I guess HONGTHONG will be a good choice.

thanks again and have a good (training) stay 🙂

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Santai Muaythai suffered significantly from covid, many trainers have left, and they don't seem to prepare fighters these days. Their accommodations were quite good before covid, there was a newly built hotel right next to the gym, but I doubt it's still operational.

As to Hongthong, there's an American woman who trains there and fights regularly. This, I think, answers your main concern. I cannot say anything about the gym's accommodations, but it's closer to the town and there are more options to choose from.

Btw, check their Facebook pages. Facebook is the main social network in Thailand, and they share everything there.

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On 3/5/2022 at 2:10 AM, priscilla.eva said:

Thank you so much Tom! Hope you’ll have that fight! 
This helps a lot, as I am travelling alone, one of key points is community, so I’m happy to hear this!
About the girl being left out of sparring, that could never be me, I always find the way to be in, even though I work out with all men. 😄

During last days, I have also seen in HONGTHONG instagram feed, that there are two girls working out there to fight. 
I guess HONGTHONG will be a good choice.

thanks again and have a good (training) stay 🙂

Hi Priscilla,

I'm sorry for not replying, I completely forgot after reading your own reply!

I'm glad that Hongthong looks like a good option for you they have been really lovely to me the last couple of days and have even tentatively suggested that I could fight mid-late March depending on the covid situation. In terms of 5 round Muay Thai fights I'm unsure how those opportunities will go as I and few others at the gym have been offered weird mixed Boxing/Muay Thai fights. But there are definitely those opportunities out there, its just that you gotta take what you can get at the moment.

Thanks for your support I'm in Chiang Mai till late April so if you're looking to come around April I'll see you at the gym! 🙂

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Hi Priscilla,

I know it's a while back but this is my experience

In January 2020, I went to Chiang Mai to train for two months. Sadly, COVID arrived and forced me to come home 1 week sooner. When I arrived in Chiang Mai, I visited both gyms. I arrived at Hong Thong between sessions, I guess, because it was completely empty. I didn't train there so I can't give any advice. I ended up training at Santai. It was a particularly busy time and they had 8-10 coaches. Some of them were still fighters so they would purposfully pick women to train and just do the basics. There was 1 coach who refused to train women altogether because 'Not strong enough'. instead of mentionning that to the person in charge of pairing, he would just swap with another coach and make the women feel like crap. 1 coach was completely jaded and didn't even look at us when holding the pads. There were 4 coaches I liked because they actually cared in teaching you something. Poye and Sak were my favourite. Sak mainly trained fighters. I know quite a few have left over the last two years but I don't know what the situation is right now. 

Not being a fighter yet, I often felt I was put in the 'women tourists not worth training' category. My experience there was bittersweet, especially that I went to Thailand only to train. 

Also, this might not be an issue at all but information worth knowing 1. Being beside a temple, women are not allowed to train in a sports tops. 2. The morning sessions were at 6am.

As for the accomodations, they varied depending on the building. One has a nice pool. The mattresses in the rooms were hard and plastic-covered, but I think that's common. Many washing machines available. Quite a few restaurants within walking distance.

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Thank you Jessy! 
I’ve booked everything, I’ll be there in September and I’ve texted with HONGTHONG, I think that’s the choice. 
I’m so sorry for your experience, hope you’ll ho back there and have what you were searching for💪🏼
 

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