Where to train Muay Thai in Thailand: Bangkok vs Phuket
Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and practised all around the world. The country also happens to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world with over 30 million visitors in 2016 alone. With the increasing popularity of fight sports and the rising trend of Muay Thai as a fitness workout, more and more people are traveling into Thailand just to train in the Thai combat arts. There are hundreds over hundreds of Muay Thai gyms all over Thailand. In every province and every town, it is easy to find one. While the majority of gyms in the past used to train solely Thai fighters, more and more are opening up to foreigners due to the obvious financial gains. These days, there are gyms that forgo training Thai fighters to cater purely to a foreign clientele. Some camps continue to persist in the old ways maintaining their focus on raising Thai fighters for the elite stadium fighting circuit. Then there are those that strike a delicate balance between the 2, and are usually the best gyms to train at. With so many gyms to choose from, the general consensus has decided on Bangkok and Phuket as the 2 most popular destinations for training Muay Thai. Both spots have their own sets of pros and cons and in this article, a comparison is made to find out which is better for the perfect Muay Thai-training vacation.
BangkokThe Thai capital receives about two-thirds of the country’s visitors every year. As the main entry point with the efficient Suvarnabhumi International Airport, many of these visitors eventually make their way out of the city across the plains into the the northern reaches of Chiang Mai or a domestic flight out to the many idyllic beach getaways. However, as the main gateway that is also known for its numerous world-famous sights and an exciting nightlife, almost every visitor end up exploring the city at some point. As the Muay Thai capital of the world, it is the dream destination for fighters everywhere to compete in. Many foreigners come here specifically to train but there are just as many whose main objective is to see the city, training Muay Thai on the side just for the experience. Pros:
- The country’s top Muay Thai camps are found here.
- Easy accessibility. Getting around the city is never easier, thanks to an efficient network of sky trains and subway.
- For the best Muay Thai fights IN THE WORLD, Bangkok is the place to be. The best Muay Thai fighters congregate here from around the country to compete at the top stadiums like Lumpinee and Rajadamnern.
- Diverse and world-famous attractions from ornate temples to frenzied markets.
- Unparalleled shopping.
- World’s best street food. Period.
- Overcrowded. The city can feel overwhelming during the rush hours.
- Polluted. The city is well-known for its notorious traffic jams, particularly downtown.
- Distractions. With so much fun and action going, it can be easy to derail and get distracted from training.
PhuketNestled in the Andaman Sea sits the rainforested and mountainous island of Phuket, the largest of Thailand’s many beach getaways. The island is peppered with picturesque beaches decorated with swaying coconut trees, for which Thailand is famous for. Although, the once-blissful beaches are now overrun by tourists during the peak seasons. Due to its long-standing popularity with tourists, Muay Thai camps on the island cater almost exclusively to the throngs of vacationers, casual Muay Thai practitioners and only a small band of full-time Thai fighters. Pros:
- Lots and lots of Muay Thai gyms to choose from.
- Beaches. Top off a tough session of Muay Thai training with a round in the sun for the perfect vacation bronzed beach bod.
- No language barrier. English is spoken everywhere here.
- Scenic views and fresh air.
- Scams, ripoffs, hassles.
- Tourist trap with tourist prices.
- Overrun with tourists.
VerdictFor those who are looking to bum on the beach and get a bronze tan, then Phuket is the obvious choice. But for authentic Muay Thai training and everything else, Bangkok is the epicenter of the sport and truly the place to be. As the Muay Thai capital of the world, Bangkok takes the win easily. The city also features the best of the country with its inhabitants coming from all over Thailand to ply their trade. It’s a foodie paradise, it has world-class attractions, the best Muay Thai fights in the world take place here on a daily basis, and most importantly, the best camps in Thailand are found here. Bangkok is a perfect destination for everyone: for those who come to specifically to train or those who come to sight-see.
YOKKAO Training Center BangkokYOKKAO Training Center Bangkok is situated in the heart of the capital’s most popular Sukhumvit district. The area is well-known for the country’s best shopping, best dining options, best nightlife, and also the best Muay Thai gym in downtown Bangkok, YOKKAO. YOKKAO is home to world champions and legends of Muay Thai including Pakorn, Singdam, Manachai, and Saenchai. It is a real fight camp with a balanced focus on producing the best Muay Thai fighters and offering authentic training for its visitors. At many Thai gyms in the capital, the focus is often on their own in-house Thai fighters. Even if they accept foreigners coming to train, there will usually not be a lot of attention given. This is certainly not the case at YOKKAO. The center hires the best trainers in the industry, like Kru Manop and Kru Petchdam, both of whom oversee the training of the YOKKAO Fight Team. At the same time, they invest the time to make sure everyone who drops in improves from their training here. Fighters are also often seen going around to offer advice. It’s a camp like no other. There are very few fight camps in Bangkok that can claim to be as accommodating as YOKKAO. The training center caters for all levels as well as intimate 1-to-1 private training with all of its champion fighters. Located just 5 minutes walk away from the sky train station, it is the most convenient spot in the city to drop-in for a session of world-class, authentic Muay Thai training. To become the best, train with the best. Book your training or drop in and experience the best Muay Thai training experience in Bangkok.
That feeling when the sun goes down and you know that this camp has helped train more than 10,000 Muay Thai lovers from all around the world in less than 2 years! Thank you to all who make this dream a reality ❤️? We will soon export the Muay Thai culture, opening new gyms worldwide! ??Happy Songkran, Happy Thai New Year everyone! ? #guessthenext #gym #muaythaicamp #fighterlife #muaythai