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Karen Burfoot

Santai and surrounding area

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At the start of the year I decided one aim would be to go and train in Thailand.  I didn’t have anyone to go with but that wasn’t going to stop me.  I started doing some research and asked my new coach for recommendations.  Sadly WPT where she trained mainly is no longer running but she recommended Santai.

A month or so ago a friend who has not been doing Muay Thai long said she would love to come.  I had given her the links to a gym in Phuket and Santai in Chiang Mai.  I thought she would pick Phuket as the website is very impressive, the reviews great and it looks very clean with access to the beach etc.

 

Last night we sat down and went through the pro’s and cons and we settled on Santai.  We are going in November and plan to stay 2 weeks (well just under). We will arrive on the Sunday in Chiang Mai and leave on the Friday to spend our last day in Bangkok before flying home on the Sunday.  I have emailed the gym asking about availability and we are looking at flights now.

 

Does anyone have any good tips on what to see in the region (Although we are there to train we would like to fit some kind of sightseeing in on occasions), places to eat, drink, visit or avoid!

 

Neither of us has been to Thailand before but I am hoping the gym will suit both of us training wise (I did a lot of research on female friendly gyms that would suit a relative beginner and an intermediate).  We are pretty similar that sunbathing is not of interest nor is partying every night and we want to train as much as we can manage.

 

I think I will be wishing the year away!

 

 

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At the start of the year I decided one aim would be to go and train in Thailand.  I didn’t have anyone to go with but that wasn’t going to stop me.  I started doing some research and asked my new coach for recommendations.  Sadly WPT where she trained mainly is no longer running but she recommended Santai.

A month or so ago a friend who has not been doing Muay Thai long said she would love to come.  I had given her the links to a gym in Phuket and Santai in Chiang Mai.  I thought she would pick Phuket as the website is very impressive, the reviews great and it looks very clean with access to the beach etc.

 

Last night we sat down and went through the pro’s and cons and we settled on Santai.  We are going in November and plan to stay 2 weeks (well just under). We will arrive on the Sunday in Chiang Mai and leave on the Friday to spend our last day in Bangkok before flying home on the Sunday.  I have emailed the gym asking about availability and we are looking at flights now.

 

Does anyone have any good tips on what to see in the region (Although we are there to train we would like to fit some kind of sightseeing in on occasions), places to eat, drink, visit or avoid!

 

Neither of us has been to Thailand before but I am hoping the gym will suit both of us training wise (I did a lot of research on female friendly gyms that would suit a relative beginner and an intermediate).  We are pretty similar that sunbathing is not of interest nor is partying every night and we want to train as much as we can manage.

 

I think I will be wishing the year away!

The Loi Krathong and Yee Ping festival will be around November 14th this year, which is an incredibly beautiful event. It's floating baskets on the river and fire balloons in the air. It's really a big deal up in the North, so try to figure out through the gym where everyone is going to be to witness and take part in the festivities.

Santai should be able to accommodate both you and your friend's different levels. I've spoken with a number of people who have gone through that gym and most have been super happy and satisfied with their experiences, although from the few complaints I've heard I would just advise you to be patient. Because that gym is very technical and adheres to a single style, they will push you toward a fairly uniform method. So don't take it personally - it doesn't mean your technique is "wrong" or "bad," but they're trying to move you toward their style. I'd recommend you consider that there are TONS of techniques and ways of doing things in Muay Thai, a million different styles; so learn what they teach you and then decide whether you like this way or your old way for the long run, but it's about having options, not right and wrong.

Have fun! Chiang Mai is beautiful that time of year.

Some options of what to see: 

Hot Springs in San Kamphaeng

Doi Suthep / Phu Ping Palace / Hill Tribes (don't do a "trek", just drive up and visit on your own)

White Temple in Chiang Rai

The "Sunday Market" in the Old City is overrated in travel suggestions, but seeing it one time for an hour or so is worthwhile, just to see what it is. But don't make a whole trip of it, unless you LOVE crowds

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Thank you for the info.

I don't think it's much different to most gyms, they have a style and they teach it. I know my kick has changed since changing gym because my new trainer focuses on different aspects.  Neither is wrong.  Also sometimes people explain things differently which helps something click. I quite like repetition too as I am a perfectionist.

I have read as many reviews etc as possible and most seem positive which is great but I am aware that different people can have different experiences in the same gym.  My friend has just come back from a gym in another region.  She went with 3 friends but her trainer was really difficult and got angry with her a lot even though she was trying her hardest to follow his instructions.  She ended up in tears a few times. All the others had a great time.

Thanks for the sightseeing tips too, I also saved a post you put up on facebook the other day about Chiang Mai.

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I would suggest checking out Muang On Caves in San Kamphaeng - I didn't get to see them myself during my visit but I saw photos from others who went and it looked really cool.

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Hey Wibble

I'm looking at training in Chiang Mai for 3-4 weeks later this year and Santai is one of the gyms I'm considering. Are you able to tell me about your experience training at Santai last year? What did you like about the training there, was there anything you didn't enjoy about it etc.?

Thank you for the info.

I don't think it's much different to most gyms, they have a style and they teach it. I know my kick has changed since changing gym because my new trainer focuses on different aspects.  Neither is wrong.  Also sometimes people explain things differently which helps something click. I quite like repetition too as I am a perfectionist.

I have read as many reviews etc as possible and most seem positive which is great but I am aware that different people can have different experiences in the same gym.  My friend has just come back from a gym in another region.  She went with 3 friends but her trainer was really difficult and got angry with her a lot even though she was trying her hardest to follow his instructions.  She ended up in tears a few times. All the others had a great time.

Thanks for the sightseeing tips too, I also saved a post you put up on facebook the other day about Chiang Mai.

 

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    • Sparring was each day, it's part of the training, also each day you go the bagwork and the pads, so i don't know where you got that idea from.  You never go  without hiting the pads or having spar in the Thailand, unless you're in a really bad comercial gym, but the spar there is way different than in other countries, you develop technique there and go sparr without power, by either legs, hands or clinch, depending on the day . As for technique, they always correct you and try to teach it the correct way, they made a good amount of adjustments in my kicking techniques, sweeps and clinch while i was there, i didn't go into such small details because it would take a whole book to write about how much small things they see and try to work on that. Also i don't think you fully read what i wrote in the blogs, because i don't really remember now all the things i wrote, it was a long time ago, but i went on and re-read the first day i wrote, and it already said i did a lot of pads and clinch , knees and elbows , so i don't know where you got the idea that i didn't do pad work. 
    • Hey mate sorry for bumping old thread, im thinking bout going to Manop for 3 months in nov-dec-jan. Everything you described in your posts are what i'm looking for, but there was some things bothering me.   1) From what I read you barely got to spar? Sparring is a huge deal and important for me.. Why didn't you get to spar in the beginning? 2) You seem to spent ALOT of time hitting the bag, why didnt you get more pad-time in the beginning of your training? I really don't know your level and it was hard to tell from the fight 3) (Probably most important) How are they on instructions? Do they correct your technique? how much do they emphesise on that? Do they teach you proper form, sweeps, techniques, tricks, etc? cause from your posts it seemed like you were on your own pretty much the entire stay     Cheers!
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