LJ’S TIME IN THAILAND - PART ONE
In 2011 I spent a total of three months in Thailand. Two months from Feb to April and one month in September. I had a fantastic experience both times,
and did a bunch of stuff, mainly revolving around Muay Thai training. I get a fair few questions about my Muay Thai and Thailand experience so I’ve
decided to put together this account of my time there.
Arrived: Bangkok from Sweden. Had no summer clothing, one singlet that I wore as a dress for most of my time in Thailand. Bangkok, two nights. Stayed
at Soi 1 Guesthouse, would recommend. Very basic, but had a great time, started drinking beer as soon as I got there, and did not stop for two days.
Some of the guys came down the road with me to try to buy some summer clothing, shorts, short sleeve shirts, etc, and I also needed runners and
bathers. I got too fussy and decided I didn’t want to pay a certain price, and ended up buying nothing (but beer). That’s just me personally being a
dickhead really, prices were cheap, quality was street market, but really I was desperate and should of just bought heaps of shit.
Of course Thailand has all the good stuff, like;
We went and saw a “Ping Pong Show” while in Bangkok. Go see one, they are a bit of fun, don’t take in morals or expectations and you will be fine.
I flew to Phuket (technically an island on the south of Thailand, connected by bridge now). One half hour flight, or 16 hours by dodgy bus. Airplane,
Arrival into Phuket. I had already chosen the Muay Thai gym that I was going to train at on the internet before going, this is a good idea as the
smaller ones can book out. I had booked in for one month, so I caught taxi from Airport to Rawai, the area on the south tip of the island. The gym is
called “Phrom Thep Muay Thai Gym” (Phrom Thep), named after a look out point that is near by which is the most southern point of Thailand.
I had never done Muay Thai before, I had never done martial arts before, the last time I played or did any type of organized sport was in year 8
Netball, and I was shit. I had just come off 4 months eating and drinking my way around Europe, had not see a gym in years, but yes, decided Muay Thai
was a great idea.
A STANDARD DAY OF MUAY THAI TRAINING
6AM; If you are planning on having a real fight then you are required to do the 6AM run every morning. This is 5-7KM, including long uphills. Average
time 40mins, LJ’s time, 55minutes.
7AM: Morning training starts. Wrap hands, warm up, do some group stretching, then get into it. Generally there are four sections in group training.
Shadow boxing, bag work, peer to peer sparring / training, and one on one training with the Thai Muay Thai trainers. Five three minute rounds, then
move onto the next “section”. Depending on how many people in the class would depend on how many times you repeat the circuit, but ultimately you all
get equal time doing everything. The most important is the time with the trainers themselves. This is where you get to really improve technique and
learn. Each session they will show you a new technique to learn and practice. Warm down period and warm down stretches, and it’s over!
9AM: Training finishes and its shower time. Then breakfast. Depending on the gym you train at, a lot of them have on-site “restaurants” where you can
eat your meals. Most people converged at breakfast, sat around and made plans for the next few hours of the day.
10AM to 4PM: Technically this is FREE TIME! The gym will often have extra things that you can do between this time, at Phrom Thep they had Yoga on
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12 to 1PM.
Lots of people slept, seriously, napping was huge! And DVDs, they cheap and there’s always someone with one you haven’t seen yet.
Otherwise, it was the BEACH! Markets, shops, and finding somewhere new for lunch.
Yuni Beach - 15 minute walk from Phrom Thep, 4 minute scooter ride.
Nai Harn Beach, 10minute Scooter ride from Phrom Thep.
So whatever you may have chosen to do during the day, it’s generally pretty relaxing. There is of course massage places everywhere which is very
popular amongst people training. A massage can cost anything from 150baht, (average $5) to 300baht ($10).
FYI: I never really worked out the currency properly, as different ATMS charged different exchanges etc, so I just worked it out on a 30bath to a
Australian dollar. Me no good at mental maths, 3 times table, I could handle, ha.
4PM: Afternoon training. No compulsory run, too hot. Warm up, often skipping, group warm up stretches, and repeat a very similar session as the
morning. They would show you a different technique or concentrate on different area of Muay Thai, such as they would do clinching training.
6PM: Finish training, shower, wank, whatever, and head down to dinner. Same as breakfast, a lot of people hung out at the restuarnt to socialise and
chat, and see if anyone was doing anything, night markets, scooter joy rides, or, drinking.
Yes, you heard, drinking, drinking alcohol, at bars.
Oh no, do not be fooled my friends by thinking that you are going to these serious Muay Thai training camps and everyone will be health conscious
and no drinking and temptation, there is temptation A PLENTY!
8PM +: Bedtime. Well, you have trained for 6 hours and have to be up at 6AM, so you know, sleep is pretty good.
8PM +: Go out drinking. This didn’t happen all the time, but sure as sure can be, if you were looking to head out, you could drag someone along with
you no worries. I successfully dragged out many people on many occasions.
That’s a pretty standard day, generally pretty relaxed in the down time, and hardcore training when you train.
On day three I had to strap up my toes and feet due to blisters.
In Muay Thai you train with barefeet, and the constant twisting and piviting on certain points of my feet just causes blisters. I strapped up for
about 4 days and then was fine once I toughened up (literally). Bruises too, even though you wear shin pads during sparring, I always managed to come
So there’s still a whole heap of other stuff you can do either during your time off, or on Sundays. You’ll find nearly all the gyms do not train on
Sundays. This is the only day off for the thai trainers, and you will find you need the break. It is also a great opportunity to get wildly drunk on
Saturday night and not feel bad about missing training.
Day Time Activities Around Rawai
“Ood”, one of the experienced and lovely trainers often took me along to the weekly “bird fights”. Not as exciting as it sounds. You will see these
bird cages EVERYWHERE in Thailand. The birds compete against each other based on how many “Chirps” a bird will tweet in a “round”. Your bird will get
knocked out if it didn’t chirp as much as the others, process of elimination until there is one one winner! Pretty interesting to see, and big money
involved for the buying and selling of the birds, however you can not actually gamble on the outcome.
Bird competition, back streets of Rawai.
Guns and Archery
There’s a joint on the way to Phuket Town that is the gun range and also does archery. It’s 1000baht for 10 shots (bullets or arrows), so it’s not
exactly cheap, but as a once off (or we went a few times) then it’s okay. You can choose your gun type, most of us all did the 9MM. I also did the bow
and arrow as I fancy myself a bit skilled at it, ha.
Lara Croft eat your heart out.
9MM. I got them all on the paper and got one pretty close to bullseye!
Personally I was lucky to not have any run ins with the local authorities, but I certainly heard a few stories about people who did, and was there
when one of the blokes got done for driving with out a helmet.
In Thailand the driver must wear a helmet but the passenger does not have to. This is at a large and busy round about called “Chalong Circle”, cops
sit at one exit and just get people without helmets. They then make you walk over to the Police Station with is down the road, and pay the fine. You
then return to your bike and the cop with the receipt, and they will let you keep going.
This guy played poor and said he would go back and pay it later, after 25minutes of back and forth the cop finally let him go. This guy left the
country a few days later. Suckas.
You can see it for most places in Rawai, and Phuket, that I visited. Sits a top a mountain and its pretty freaking huge. They are still constructing,
its pretty cool to go have a look at, and see the area from the look out points. You can not climb the Buddah.
There’s a few animal places, there’s a snake “zoo” that does shows, which I did not visist but heard about. There’s a marine zoo somewhere, again I
did not visist, and of course there are the elephant parks, you can go on an elephant trek, which I again, did not do. However we stopped off at a
joint on one of our scooter joy rides and you pay a few baht for some bananas and soy milk and feed an elephant. This was is a “baby” apparently,
about 2 years old.
PART TWO COMING SOON...including "Night Life Activities"