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Best Muay Thai Gym for Beginners (Bangkok)

Are you planning a trip to Bangkok? Whether you are hardcore fan or just have a passing interest in Thailand’s national martial arts, fitting some Muay Thai training into your itinerary is a travel highlight not to be missed.

Bangkok is the sin city of the east: with the wildest nightlife, exotic foods, and amazing sightseeing, the city has it all. But even though it is often associated with all the hedonistic indulgence, Bangkok is also the Mecca for all Muay Thai fans. Here, you can attend world class stadium fights, indulge in glorious Muay Thai gear shopping, and train with legends and some of the best in the sport.

Guide to Choosing a Muay Thai Gym in Bangkok

best muay thai camp for beginners

You can find Muay Thai camps all over Thailand, but Bangkok is where the top level action is at. The capital’s stadiums like Lumpinee and Rajadamnern hold national level championship fights. This is where Muay Thai legends of the past, present and future are made. At some point or other, every Muay Thai kid the nation over, hopes to train in Bangkok and make it big in the capital’s fight arenas. Here, you can expect to train with -or be trained by- the very best in Muay Thai.

How do you choose an ideal Muay Thai gym?
That depends on what you are looking for. If you want to lose some vacation weight from feasting, or experience what it’s like to train Muay Thai, there are many modern gyms that would fit your needs like a glove. If you want to meet or get a training session with Muay Thai legends, there are also a few gyms where you can fulfill your dreams. In most places, you will find yourself quite welcome regardless of where you fit on the spectrum of needs.

Where do you find a Muay Thai gym?
Rather, where do you NOT find a Muay Thai gym? They are practically everywhere! Location, however, does play an important part in your selection. A centrally located gym is a lot more convenient if you intend to carry on with the sightseeing outside of your training hours. A gym that is located near to a skytrain (BTS) or subway (MRT) station will also make commute much more efficient than if you had to travel by taxi through the frustrating gridlock of Bangkok.

On the other hand, if you have plans to spend more than just a few casual days training and getting acquainted with Muay Thai, many gyms offer on-site accommodation and meals. Either way, you can plan to stay on-site if the gym is out of the way, or opt for a hotel-stay for an accessible gym. In short, you are covered whichever way you intend to train.

What else to look out for when choosing a Muay Thai gym?
Facilities and hygiene. Sorry to say, some of the gyms that churn out the best fighters aren’t necessary the most sanitary place to train. Before you hand over the Thai baht, you can ask to be given a quick tour of the gym to get a feel for the cleanliness and the maintenance. Some gyms are also really run down. So unless you want to bring back travel stories of you getting infected during Muay Thai training, you want to exit such sorry state of a gym. As much as possible, avoid pre-paying for your training before arrival. What you see online can sometimes deviate vastly from the truth. So unless you are darn certain the dilapidated gym has Bangkok’s best trainers, drop in at the gym before committing.

What are the training costs?
With the abundance of Muay Thai gyms in Bangkok, you can rest assure that training fees are competitive across the board. The costs vary only very slightly from gym to gym and even the very best and well-run gyms charge a very similar and affordable rate. You can pay for a day of training, and if you like it enough, the weekly or even monthly rates are usually more attractive. As a reference, the average going rate for a group training session in a well-maintained gym is 300-500 baht and duration is usually around 1-2 hours.

Bangkok Muay Thai Camp Recommendations

best muay thai gym for beginners

The following is clearly not an exhaustive list but these are reputable establishments that have received positive reviews from many who have trained at the gyms:

Banchamek Gym
Highlights: Meeting Buakaw, Muay Thai’s biggest international star
Pricing: 600 baht for group session, 1200 baht for private session
On-site accommodation: Available

Petchyindee Academy
Highlights: Well-run all-in-one training facility with gym, excellent trainers, hotel, sauna and food
Pricing: 350 baht for group session, 700 baht for private session
On-site accommodation: Available

Yokkao Training Center
Highlights: Meeting Saenchai
Pricing: 500 baht for group session, 1200-2000 baht for private session, 8000 baht for 1hr private session with Saenchai
On-site accommodation: Not available
Situated near Asok BTS station

Khongsittha Muay Thai
Highlights: Large, clean facility catering to all levels. Welcoming environment and dedicated staff.
Pricing: 450 baht for group session, 1000 baht for private session
On-site accommodation: Available

Legend Thai Boxing
Highlights: Large indoor gym catering to beginners and classes for children (6-10 years)
Pricing: 500 baht for group session, 800 baht for small group (max. 3 person) session
On-site accommodation: Not available
Situated near Chong Nonsi BTS station

RSM Academy
Highlights: Efficient gym managed by Rajadamnern (stadium) and Singha corporation. Children (5-10 years) class available
Pricing: 499 baht for group session
On-site accommodation: Not available
Situated near Thong Lo BTS station

The Fight Lab
Highlights: Offers BJJ, Boxing, Judo and MMA and classes for children (5-13 years)
Pricing: 500 baht for group session, 2000 baht for private session
On-site accommodation: Not available
Situated near Phra Kanong BTS station

(Updated this section on 18th May 2017)

Where to Stay in Bangkok

If you plan on training for a week or more, it makes sense to stay at the accommodation provided on-site at the gyms. However, if you look through the list, you will find that not all gyms offer accommodation. Additionally, if you are planning just a day or two of training, there is no compelling reason why you would want to stay at the gym. This is when it makes sense to base yourself at a convenient location, with quick access to the BTS skytrain or MRT subway. These city rail transports are the best way to get around and escape Bangkok’s traffic gridlock.

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If you have intentions to train Muay Thai seriously for a few months in Bangkok, then you definitely want to just do a drop-in session to get a feel of a few gyms and trainers before committing to a long term stay. Even with the recommendations above, deciding on a gym based on what you read online is like buying clothes from an online retailer: you won’t know how well it’s going to fit until you try it in person.

The weather can wear you down, the traffic can drive you nuts, but if you haven’t been to Bangkok before, this could be a great adventure for you. The training will no doubt leave you gasping for air, but the adrenaline and post-workout endorphin rush may just leave you looking forward to your next Muay Thai vacation as soon as it ends. Welcome to Bangkok, you can check-out anytime you like, but you will never leave.

Chok dee!

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