Phuket is that island known for a relaxing holiday destination, but also these days a party destination too (think Patong). See a show, visit the old and dilapidated zoo where you can stand in an enclosure with a crocodile, Go parasailing or tour to a nearby island. We were here primarily to relax, eat, get massages and do a bit of training!
Where we stayed
The Mercure Phuket is lovely and clean hotel, close to the heart of Patong. Whilst the area is in the busy part of Patong, the hotel is quiet. It is very big and has a good gym, huge pool and cafe. When you arrive, the complimentary welcome drink and choux pastry was a nice touch. Our room was small so I’d recommend the ones on the ground floor with pool access. They have good cocktails and they’re cheap in happy hour. The dinner buffet is absolutely outstanding and we’ve written a blog on this alone. See here for the blog https://aroundtheclockfoodie.com/2017/10/02/2056/
Naka Muay Thai
Naka Muay Thai is run by a Westerner from Amsterdam Tony (or Darryl) and his partner Noi. There are other professional trainers, including Thai’s working there too. Tony is a professional Muay Thai fighter and is currently also training for fights. The gym has been open around 3 years.
It is a small gym, but has a boxing ring, boxing bags and weights, perfect for a training session. It is very clean and also has a bathroom to get ready.
The gym is close to Karon and Kata beach, but you will need transport to get there. Tony was kind enough to pick me up from the hotel for only 100 THB, much cheaper than the taxis. I also got a lift back. He was extremely flexible with arranging my session and replied via email very promptly.
I chose to do personal training for 600 THB, which is extremely reasonable given that many of the group classes in the Chalong area are around 400 and this provided 1:1 training. It began with a warmup, stretching, and then some technical work, 4 rounds pad work and warm down. It was a marvelous session and Tony is a really technical fighter and teacher and was able to correct my technique, offer suggestions and I find this a valuable session. I have trained at a couple of places over Thailand and found this was a hard session (which is a good thing!), and although I went in with experience, I’m certain beginners would be suitable too as he’s a great teacher.
Highly recommended for your next training session in Phuket.
Chalong is an area that has grown a lot since my first visit more than five years ago. About 30 Mins from Patong, it’s a suburb in itself with plenty of villas, hotels and air bnbs to stay in. It’s lined with Muay Thai gyms, the most famous and commercial – Tiger, as well as some others and many types of gyms for the fitness enthusiast. To accompany your solid training sessions, you will find plenty of restaurants and cafes with a healthy and protein focus. You can also get a massage easily and cheaply to recover from your hard training. A trip to Chalong is perfect for those wanting to get fit and lose weight in an enjoyable and relaxing location.
Tiger Muay Thai
When I first went to Tiger Muay Thai, it was such a new and exciting experience for me. I went to lose weight, get fit and learn a new skill. It was a small place and It has grown a lot since then. Tiger Muay Thai intends to teach quality traditional Muay Thai to people. It now has a range of other fitness activities like mma, boxing, yoga and more.
They have professional fighters living and training too, so you’re able to learn from the best. Classes are segregated into beginner, intermediate and advanced to suit each level.
Classes are 2 hours with running, technique, bag and pad work. The trainers are really technical but also fun too!
Tiger is a huge set up – accommodation, a grill restaurant and a shop selling gear and merchandise. Its getting pricy but still cheaper than training in Aus.
Chockchai Muay Thai
I trained at Tiger Muay Thai many for years and did some PT with Chockchai a number of times. He was such a great trainer, kind and helpful and I was disappointed to see he’d left. But when I enquired, I learned that he had in fact opened his own his own Muay Thai gym and stadium, so we went to check it out. Smaller scale, but offering the same type of training in a more comfortable, friendly and less commercial atmosphere, it was also less expensive. I was thrilled to train with Chockhai again. Classes were 2 hours with running, technique, bag and pad work. It was extremely enjoyable but still tough. We really liked that each day something different is added like boxing sparring, Muay Thai sparring or cultural component, the Wai Kru. Staff are lovely too. You can rent rooms if you plan to stay a while and also head with them to a match at the Chokchai stadium next door.
This is a new stadium named after the legend Chokchai. It holds fight nights on Monday, Thursday and Saturday nights in the Chalong area, just 30 minutes from Patong. The stadium is an awesome local place to watch a few fights.
The stadium is amazing, brand new, comfortable seats, flashy lights, score boards and a great walk way for fighters to enter from. There’s a bar to purchase food and drink.
The show begins with a traditional Muay Boran fight and then a range of Muay Thai fights including children. The standard of fights was extremely high. At only 800 THB and to sit in the front row was extremely good value. You can buy tickets at the door or via Chokchai gym. We loved our visit to the stadium.
Food in Chalong
Mostly a mix of Local thai restaurants selling your regular thai fare on the cheap, there’s a number of muscle/protein type smoothie shops as well as a cafe grill inside Tiger Gym itself. We were recommended to go to Ali’s grill too.
We tried Ali’s bbq which is an expansive bbq, roofed but open walls and heaps of space to sit and enjoy your meal. Selling heaps of grilled meats, salads, wraps and more – it’s perfect for the protein eater trying to bulk up. Portions are massive and it is extremely affordable for what you get!
In Phuket Old town, you will find this old Thai provincial capital, reflective of the heritage of this area. It is historically rich with temples, old houses and tea houses which have remained outwardly authentic, whilst being used for modern purposes like hotels, cafes and galleries. We enjoyed our stroll through these streets, admiring the beautiful scenery and trying a lot of street eats and exploring the local markets. It’s easy to get a bus to Old town and worth a trip for the experience of culture and history.
Be sure to take a trip to Phuket sometime – it’s an awesome holiday.