Thailand is the motherland of Muay Thai. Thousands of Muay Thai enthusiasts travel to Thailand every year to train and compete. Training Muay Thai is also one of the most popular activities for tourists who are visiting the country for holidays.
The major cities in Thailand all have the necessary infrastructure set up for Muay Thai vacationers. The most popular ones being Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and of course, Phuket. Each of these cities has its own character and vibes that appeal to different people, catering to different needs.
In this article, we explore the popular island city of Phuket and the best Muay Thai gyms on the island.
Why You Should Train Muay Thai in Phuket
Bangkok is not only the capital of Thailand, it is also the world’s Muay Thai capital. It is home to the most prestigious arenas such as Rajadamnern stadium and Lumpinee stadium. For this reason, you will find many of the country’s best Muay Thai camps clustered in the Thai metropolitan.
Many Muay Thai enthusiasts travel to Bangkok to train for this reason. It is a dream to see and train with the best Thai champions or trainers.
Although Bangkok Muay Thai gyms are becoming more receptive towards foreign visitors, their focus remains very much on grooming fighters who compete at the elite level. This is because the big money is in the stadium level competitions.
And as much as I love the city, it gets overwhelming at times. Bangkok is the most populous city in Thailand and like all big cities, all the noise, traffic and bustle can wear you down.
When it comes to having a right balance of high-quality training and a more chill atmosphere, Phuket is second to none. The island city, with its blue waters and sandy beaches can be more appealing for those seeking a slower pace of life. (Except for Phuket town and the entertainment district near Patong beach which are the hives of activities)
Phuket has a booming Muay Thai training scene that is set up for foreigners. Most -if not all- Phuket gyms cater to all levels from beginners all the way up to fighters looking to compete at the elite level.
Gyms and trainers on the island have years of experience in training foreign visitors and so communication is never an issue. While Phuket is set up for tourists, there is no compromise on the quality of the training.
Phuket has plenty of white beaches, small islands to explore and wonderful seafood to indulge in. Think beautiful beaches, lush jungle hills, crystal waters and azure skies. If that sounds like your kind of thing, you are going to fall in love with this place.
Costs to Train Muay Thai in Phuket
This may be one of your key concerns: how much does it cost to train Muay Thai in Phuket?
There are plenty of Muay Thai gyms in Phuket to choose from. This translates to very competitive costs between the different camps. There are some premium options such as the ones offered at a number of high-end luxury hotels.
If you are on a limited budget, it makes sense to seek out the best gyms to match it. Generally speaking, a group training session costs between ฿300 and 500 baht (roughly 10 to 17 USD) while private sessions go for around 600 to 800 baht.
Training costs work out to be cheaper if you are serious and want to commit to a longer term. Many gyms offer weekly and monthly packages that typically allow you to train up to twice a day, everyday (except Sundays when most gyms close).
Monthly passes are around 10,000 to 15,000 baht (350 to 500 USD) and are well worth it if you plan to train two sessions a day, everyday.
As a quick guide, here is a table comparing training costs (prices in Thai Baht) at some of the most popular gyms in Phuket (more details on each gym further down the article):
|Gym||Single Class||Monthly Pass||Private Class|
|Phuket Top Team||500||11,400||700|
|Phuket Fight Club||500||10,000||900|
Food is generally very affordable in Thailand and is not likely to break the bank. An average meal costs between 100 to 300 baht (3 to 10 USD) in Phuket. So other than the training costs, the real major expense will actually be your accommodation.
Where to stay in Phuket
Other than a flourishing Muay Thai and fitness training scene, there is also a wide network of hotels to cater to visitors. Long-term and short-term accommodations are aplenty and come in all levels of luxuries to suit every budget.
Some of the more popular areas on Phuket island are South, Patong Beach and Rawai. There are also spots scattered around the island which are more ideal for those of you who wish to focus on training.
However, Phuket is small enough an island and entertainment is always a short moped or taxi ride away.
Many gyms have their on-site accommodation or partner with hotels in their vicinity. If you want to get an idea of hotel room prices, try one of the many price comparison websites like Agoda.
You can also pre-book a hotel stay for the first few days of your visit while you explore the island and train at different gyms.
If this is your first time visiting Phuket, here are some of the popular regions in Phuket to help you with planning:
This is the “entertainment” district for those who want something more than just Muay Thai training. Patong is basically Phuket’s “Sin city” with nightclubs, cabaret shows, and raunchy activities.
Beyond the exciting nightlife, there’s Patong beach, Bangla road, the Patong and Bangla boxing stadiums. Patong is also home to Singpatong Sitnumnoi Muay Thai gym that has had a number of notable local and foreign champions over the years.
It’s not the most ideal or popular area for those looking to focus on training but might be worth staying a few days towards the end of your trip.
Chalong is a vast area on Phuket that is well-known for the Wat Chalong temple, the Big Buddha statue, and Soi Tai-ed Muay Thai street.
Soi Tai-ed is also known among foreign visitors and in guide books as “Fitness street” or “Fighter’s street”. It is a roughly 1-mile street dotted with Crossfit clubs, fitness gyms, and health food restaurants. It is where you will find several well-known Muay Thai gyms including Tiger Muay Thai and Phuket Top Team as well as Rattachai gym nearby.
Loads of fitness enthusiasts and tourists base themselves around Soi Tai-ed so this place is very well set up for foreigners. If you are a first-timer to Phuket or Muay Thai training, this area is a good option for all its convenience.
There’s also the benefit of making friends quickly with people from around the world.
Rawai beach is one of the best beaches in Phuket. Lying on the southern tip of the island, the area is also home to a seashell museum, plenty of restaurants and everything you need to enjoy your stay in Phuket.
Again, there is no lack of Muay Thai gyms here with the most popular ones being Sinbi, Kingka and Absolute MMA not far away.
Rawai has a -somewhat- less commercial feel especially if you compare it against the beaches on the west coast of the island or Soi Tai-ed.
Getting Around Phuket
The most convenient ways of getting around Phuket are by tuk-tuks, taxis and hire cars (download the Grab app as there’s no Uber here). There are also Songthaews (traditional truck-bus hybrids) and buses which are cheaper.
If you plan on being here long-term, and explore the island extensively, then you may want to consider rental cars and motorbikes/scooters. You need to have an international driving permit and riders need to wear a helmet.
Do consider the risks of riding as the rate of road accidents is high in Thailand. If you have no experience riding a motorbike or not confident riding in Thailand, it is best to steer clear. Or at least wait until you are more familiar with the road rules and customs.
Best Muay Thai Gyms in Phuket
There are plenty of Muay Thai gyms on the main Phuket island. You can find many of the gyms near one of the island’s many beaches or just a short hop and ride away. Here are some of the most popular along with the best Muay Thai gyms in Phuket:
Tiger Muay Thai
Tiger Muay Thai & MMA is the premier name in Phuket and a world-famous Muay Thai gym. It is very popular among beginners and tourists but the camp also sees plenty of experienced competitors who train in the advanced classes.
Tiger is set up to take care of all training needs with Muay Thai, strength & conditioning, Yoga, MMA classes. There are accommodation on-site as well as a restaurant. Tiger sees visitors from all over the world and is a great place to meet new friends if you are a solo traveler.
For more details, check out my in-depth “Tiger Muay Thai Review“.
Phuket Top Team
Phuket Top Team is another popular and big establishment gym on the island. Like Tiger Muay Thai, PTT is a world class gym offering a full scope of training including Muay Thai, BJJ, wrestling, MMA and conditioning.
PTT is well set up for both the beginners and advanced martial artists alike. There are separate sessions for general technique/padwork and sparring so you can pick and choose as you like.
The gym is also home to legendary Muay Femur, Lerdsila Chumpatoir when he is not on tour hosting seminars abroad.
Revolution Muay Thai
Muay Thai industry veteran, Tim Fisher runs this professional camp that is known for training many top foreign fighters.
If you want authentic pro-level training, you can’t go wrong with Revolution. Head trainer Pipa JockyGym has trained many legendary Muay Thai champions including Silapathai, Lerdsila, and Saenchai.
Revolution has several foreign fighters who compete regularly on weekly Thai promotions and also ONE Championship. If you are a intermediate or advanced level fighter, then you will easily find training and sparring partners here.
The gym is also welcoming towards beginners so feel free to stop by for some serious training.
Phuket Fight Club
Along with Revolution, Phuket Fight Club is one of the top gyms on the island with an acclaimed fight team. Some of the camp’s notable fighters include ONEFC Muay Thai women’s world champion, Allycia Rodrigues, 2018 Toyota Marathon Tournament winner, Julio Lobo and 2019 WBC world champion, Luis Cajaiba.
This gym is popular with serious practitioners but just as welcoming towards beginners. Just get ready to be inspired and put in the work.
If you are at an intermediate or advanced level and looking to up your game, Phuket Fight Club and Revolution (above) are two of the best options on the island.
Sinbi Muay Thai gym is another well-established name on the Phuket training circuit. The camp offers an authentic training environment with a balanced focus on both its Thai fighters as well as foreign visitors.
The camp itself is big and airy, and well-maintained. The trainers and fighters are friendly, always makes the effort to impart their knowledge. Whether you want to train for fitness or to fight, Sinbi is well set up to help you reach you goals.
On a side note, Muay Thai legend, Saenchai was a fighter at this gym for a brief period.
Great atmosphere overall and highly recommended if you like the big gym vibes.
Located in South Phuket is this gem of Muay Thai gym. Run by Australian fighting couple, Eddie and Brooke Farrell, Powerhouse Phuket is fast becoming a hot training favorite. If you are a serious practitioner looking for an authentic Muay Thai experience with a hint of Aussie flair, this is it.
Both Eddie and Brooke come with many years of actual ring experience. Together with their team of experienced Thai trainers, the gym has attracted passionate enthusiasts and competitors. Beginners are welcomed with open arms in this gym.
Powerhouse is just a quick 10-minute run to the nearest beaches where there are opportunities to surf. There’s also a skatepark in the back of the gym. Great vibes all around.
Sutai has a great family feel with equally great training. Started in 2015, Sutai is a welcoming place for visitors of all levels. It is a relatively big gym and well-equipped.
There’s also a kids class so families can drop by to train and everyone gets fit and have fun. Even if this is going to be your first time training Muay Thai, you will have a wonderful time here.
The gym is located just 1km away from Surin Beach where they hold a beach training every Saturday morning.
If you are looking for a family-style gym with a less commercialized feel, Phuket King is your place. Muay Thai veteran trainer, Kru Pot runs this lovely joint that sees a mix of both local and foreign visitors.
Kru Pot is a legit trainer who worked with Saenchai during his time as a fighter at Sinbi Muay Thai. Phuket King comes highly recommended if you want world-class coaching without all the frills and over-crowded feel.
Website: Phuket King Facebook Page
Balance Gym is a new joint on the scene. It’s a friendly place with a great overall vibe for those looking for a less commercialized/crowded feel .
Whether you’re looking to train for your first fight or just want to sample Muay Thai training, Balance Gym has everything set up.
The gym is currently led by its head trainer, Thepinit Sitmonchai who is a well-known fighter from the world-famous Sitmonchai Gym.
If you are planning to train for a few months, you don’t have to be quick in making a decision. Shortlist a few gyms, then spend a week or so training at each of the gyms to get a feel. Every gym has its own vibe and you may want to experience in person before committing to a long-term stay.
Phuket is great for Muay Thai practitioners of all levels including complete beginners or tourists who just want a sampling of the sport.
As you become more advanced, there are also many opportunities to compete as almost all the gyms are connected to the competitive scene.
As you can see, there is no lack of great-quality Muay Thai gyms on Phuket. Planning your trip to Phuket and deciding where to train is the easy part. The difficult part is leaving.
Start planning for a Phuket Muay Thai vacation now!