Thai Thae – Hurstville

Only a short 2 min walk from Hurstville station is Thai Thae. A causal thai eatery with a huge kitchen and fully stocked bar.

Not your run of the mill thai restaurant, the menu boasts authentic thai with Bangkok street dishes, showcasing a huge menu of with interesting entree additions and also some chefs recommendations for the mains. If you’re coming with a group, they also have a few different banquets.

The head chef Nikon trained under the winner of Iron Chef Thailand, Chumpon Jangprai, so he certainly knows his flavour combinations.

For the entree we had curry puffs, as well as one of their signature dishes, one of our favourites was the duck larb, a lovely combo or shredded roast duck tossed with Larb served on Chinese cabbage. It had a nice flavour kick to it.

We also really liked the Roast Duck Curry and whole steamed barramundi with lime, chilli and ginger.

We ordered a few extra things including a green curry and satay stir fry! Both were generous serves.

Drinks wise, they do serve alcoholic drinks as well as a great range of mocktails and juices. We loved the lychee mocktail and virgin mojito.

We finished off with a rice pudding topped with strawberries.

The staff here were kept busy with lots of customers and were friendly in all interactions.

Thai Thae

1/33 Macmahon st, Hurstville 2220

(02) 8971 0797

Thai Thae Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chalong’s food scene @ Phuket, Thailand

I thought I’d write this blog so if you’re staying in Chalong for a training camp, you’ll be well informed. I was here quite a while so tried lots of options. 

 The area also has a few places I didn’t go, but you may like, such as a Vegan restaurant and also an Acai cafe. There’s also plenty of bars, but they’re mostly empty given people are here to train, unless there is a big sports match on (or it’s Saturday night). The area really suits any diners. Given that people stay in this area to train, food options are predominately healthy based but you can also get a cheat meal or have a few beers if you so desire.

I also know people are hesitant to eat salad and fresh foods in countries like Thailand, but I’ve eaten salad almost every day and not sick at all. I think they understand the market and what westerners expect and wash salad with filtered water. 

 Overwhelming staff are a bit standoffish when you order, but get to know them and they’re super friendly. 

You can get incredibly cheap things but if you go to any of the healthy food style cafes, the price seems to skyrocket for the western diner. 

Tiger Grill

If staying at Tiger Muay Thai or you’re on an all inclusive package, you can dine at Tiger. They are open every day, from early until late. If you order a protein like a steak, you have access to the salad bar. They also do smoothies, protein shakes, refreshing drinks and coffee. They have a weight loss menu and regular menu. The food here is superb, albeit the most expensive for the area. I absolutely loved the whole-wheat pasta as well as the weight loss chicken salad. They have well developed flavours and extremely filling. I would have dined here more if the prices were cheaper. 

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Nommy yoghurt

 When you’re training in the fitness street of Chalong, eating health food day in, day out.. you sometimes need a treat! I saw this and decided to get some. It’s pretty healthy too! Natural yogurt or three protein options that change daily (when I was there it was bounty, melon and peach. You then add your favourite toppings. There’s some healthy options like fruit and coconut and nuts as well as protein balls, protein brownies (these are great), as well as Oreos, cookies and chocolate. Reduced sugar and gluten free (if you only add fruit toppings).

The lady working was friendly and the store is super clean. 

It’s 70baht per 100 grams. Worth it for a treat! 

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Real coffee 

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A great little coffee shop in the fitness district of Chalong. At the back of a little plaza. You can get your typical latte/cappuccino etc and they do some pretty good latte art. Or if thai coffee is your thing, they also sell that. Friendly service. They also have free wifi 

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Cafe de Kaiya

 A restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is indoors, so there’s air con and you can enjoy your meal without being too hot. There’s plenty of meals to suit your fancy but I really liked the shrimp Caesar salad – very fresh and flavoursome shrimp. Free wifi and service is quick. 

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Latte Caffe 

 Close to the entrance of the street, in a small space (though I hear it is moving), I really like this cafe.

You will too if you just accept the staff aren’t greatly friendly or welcoming (except the lady who takes your money). They open at 8:30 which is a tad late for those of us that want to eat before training. They have lots of breakfast options, particularly fitness fanatics choices like oats, protein waffles and scrambled egg, omelettes etc. For lunch there’s a range of baguettes, salads and more.  I ordered a tuna salad, a generous serve with toast on the side. One of my favourite things here is the apple snack – cut up apple topped with peanut butter, cornflakes, chia and nuts for only 85 baht. A great healthy little cafe. 

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Floraville

This is a good restaurant with a spacious area to dine. It is part of a hotel, but located on the Main Street. Serving western dishes, predominantly pizza and pasta, probably less healthy than other places in the area. They also have plenty of thai options. I had a mix of both, a shrimp Caesar salad and Tom yum soup. The salad was nice, and they bring you out a few dressings to add your own. The soup was good but very spicy! Staff here are very happy and welcoming, probably better service than most places in the area.

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Mangiafuoco

 I didn’t plan on going here as it’s an Italian restaurant and I wasn’t wanting to eat heavy carbs, but took it as a cheat meal as my friends wanted to go. They have an incredibly huge menu with plenty of pastas and pizzas, as well as salads and a few antipasto type meals. I ordered a bolognaise fettuccine with zucchini. It was delicious and a generous portion. The cheese focaccia was amazing – a really big focaccia too. The pizzas are also proper Italian style. You can also get wine and beers here to accompany your dinner. Not cheap nor expensive, about mid range. Staff are friendly and good at their job. 

 

BBQ Club

 The BBQ, next to the famous “Ali’s BBQ” has moved next door and it’s pretty much the same cuisine and menu (something to do with business partners falling out) but this is in an extremely western looking venue, quite trendy inside with a huge kitchen and grill and a basic outdoor area and dessert bar.

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Notorious for their meats, with accompanying sides, huge skewers and a range of other meals like wraps, pitas and burgers. They also do an amazing falafel and hummus plate, which I had, complete with pickles, breads and  it was awesome. Possibly the best hummus and falafels I’ve had (and not just in Thailand). I also got a side of chicken that was marinated really nicely. Safe to say, I’d highly recommend this.

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They also do delivery if you’re in a 2 km radius. Order through Facebook or Instagram. I was getting my hair done and had the food delivered there!

Ali’s BBQ

As explained previously, it basically serves the same food as BBQ Club but in a more outdoors type version (Covered roofs). They’ve recently undergone renovations, but when we were there it was raining and the place was not coping with that too well. Food is as good as BBQ hut, just has more average presentation on plastic plates etc. They also sell juices and protein ice cream as well as alcoholic beverages. 

Puding Lodge coffee 

They open early (6:30 am) which is great because most places do not, but closed at dinner. Extremely cheap options for breakfast and lunch. For example my breakfast set of tea (or you can have coffee), fruit, a plate of eggs, toast, bacon and sausage only cost $100 baht! Very friendly lady working there too. I came here a few times. 

Muscle Bar 

 I visited here a few times. It is super popular with the fitness guru tourists, as well as the trainers. Plenty of room, air con and a tv. The food isn’t cheap, nor outrageously expensive. I would say mid range (around 300-400 baht a meal and approx 100 for your shake.

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There’s breakfast, lunch and dinner foods; protein pancakes, wraps, burgers, proteins + choice of sides, healthy curries, pastas and more. 

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I tried lots of things, mostly had chicken with my choice of side – salad, quinoa, sweet potato. You can get add ons too. 

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I must say, before this trip, I hated anything that used protein powder. A friend I met here encouraged me to try a shake. The cookies and cream protein shake is superb. It is legitimately like having a proper milkshake. I am hooked. 

They also have protein pancakes which I tried today / made from egg white, protein powder, chia and served with a banana, cinnamon,  natural yoghurt and honey. You receive two and they’re so super filling. 

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Koko Hut

A small cafe serving whole-wheat based pizzas and wraps to suit the fitness and diet conscious in the area. They also do “champ add ons”. So order your choice of meat, and add sides. I elected to have chicken breast with mixed veggies and sweet potato. Chicken was a bit over cooked and sweet potato seemed reheated. However I revisited for a salad wrap, which was lovely. The sweet potato fries second time around were freshly baked and super good. I also tried a steak which was quite good too! Fairly cheap for all meals. Staff aren’t particularly friendly but efficient. I wasn’t drinking but the sign suggested a super cheap happy hour. 

They have a TV screen with mostly sports playing and free wifi. 

Circle Coffee

 I was staying in Chalong to do Muay Thai and found this cafe about 1.5 k walk away. Seeing as though it looked superb, I went for a walk.

A cute little cafe, nicely styled (reflective of Bangkok cafes), they sell good coffee and food – breakfast, lunch and dinner of both western, thai and Japanese cuisines. They also have a dessert menu.

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I had a lovely yoghurt pannacotta, compete with granola and fresh fruits and it was superb. The coffee is super smooth and not too strong. Staff are lovely too! Not expensive either! 

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Phai Thai / Ooops Shakes

This little shack has a little hut selling smoothies and protein shakes at the front an the inner part of the shack selling thai and some western food. The food is extremely cheap, 75-100 baht a meal. The servings are fairly small, so I ordered two. A chicken cashew stir fry, brown rice and also a pad thai. Service is super fast. It is a covered facility with fans and can be hot in the day so I’d recommend going at night. 

O Cha Dee

 

The food here is outrageously cheap. Most things are around 60-80 baht and you can get a whole breakfast set including tea and juice and fruit for only 150!

A menu of predominately thai food with some western choices, they say all the food is match from scratch using proper ingredients like olive oil, sea salt, brown sugar, grass fed butter, coconut oil and they tell us they don’t use MSG, refined sugar or artificial ingredients.

I ordered chicken with sweet and sour sauce as well as “prawns” with broccoli. think she misheard, because it’s pork, but all good. Both added up to 160 THB. I didn’t have rice, but you can get normal rice or brown for the health conscious! 

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The Shack

This place is a lovely healthy food restaurant, spacious inside and decorated with heaps of chalk drawn images and information about healthy eating. The menu is awesome, they have plenty of health food smoothies,  breakfast bowls and omelettes and for lunch and dinner you can order a salad or your choice of protein and sides, plus a marinade. I had lean mince chilli con carne (absolutely delicious!) with broccoli, corn and baked sweet potato fries. This was awesome. 

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 Hogfather Palai

 

Located about 2 km from Tiger Muay Thai, you could probably walk, but in this instance I got a taxi for 100 baht. It is a smokehouse serving brisket, ribs, pulled pork, burgers and more. You can see the big smoker outside! Quite a big venue with plenty of space to dine in. I ordered the sampler of low and slow bbq which had 2 slides of brisket, 3 ribs, 180 g of pulled pork with slaw, mashed potato and bbq sauce. The meats were beautifully smoked and it was the perfect way to try everything.

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IMG_4094Drinks wise there’s soft drinks and a range of beers, many on tap from Thailand, Singapore, Belgium, Germany and even little creatures from Australia. 

 

 What a great place to visit for dinner. The lovely staff member offered to give me a lift home when I asked about getting a taxi. How kind!

Salad Labz

This can be found close to Tiger Muay Thai (owned by one of the trainers) at the back of a small plaza. Only a small store with two benches to eat at. You can also order take away. Basically you order the base of your salad (lettuce or pasta), and select any add ons (like chicken, ham, cheese, etc)and a dressing and they mix it up for you. The portion was enormous and super tasty. Lovely lady working the shop too. (TIP – she also sells some pretty cool and amazing yoga tights).

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Well there you have it – hope this helps future travellers 🙂

 

Tiger Muay Thai training camp

Tiger Muay Thai and Mixed Martial arts is well reknowned, predominantly for its Muay Thai training facilities. Located on Phuket, about 30 mins from the airport (also 30 mins from Patong) in the local area called Chalong. I call it fitness street (with all the nutrition cafes, protein shake stores, everything protein related, physios, massage and more).

It has far more than just Muay Thai. It has all types of training, accomodation, weight loss programs, food programmes and more. You’ll find a range of people training here, from the beginner to the professional athletes and fighters.

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You can sign up for a single class, full day, week or by a month. I came for a week and got an all inclusive training package (not accomodation or food). This meant I could attend any class I wanted to. Classes include CrossFit, strength and conditioning, ambush fitness, yoga and some outdoor sessions like s run to big Buddha, stair work or active pool recovery. The timetable tells you the appropriate level of class, though most are very mixed.  In the martial arts there is Muay Thai, Western boxing, Krabi Krabong, MMA and BJJ.

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For Muay Thai, classes run each day from 8-10 am and 3-5pm. This is probably to combat the middle part of the day really being too hot to train. You can also pay for 1:1 sessions if you wish. The classes begin with 15 minutes of running, then stretching.

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If you’re at beginners they then do basic technique, followed by combinations of technique.

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Then in beginner and intermediate you do 3 rounds of pad work with a trainer, then either Muay Thai or boxing sparring or some days they teach you the wai kru. The main difference between these two levels is the beginner one is fairly basic and has quite a fun atmosphere to it and the trainers really want to get to know the customers. I think the gap between the two classes really is too big, because intermediate was great for me for technique but fitness wise, an extremely high level is needed. I think somewhere in between the two would be perfect. There is also an advanced and fighter class if you are of that standard.

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For the classes, you need your own wraps, gloves and shin pads. You can hire them if you’re only there for a class, any longer than that it is worth buying.

There is a shop at Tiger selling all tiger themed gear, and unless you specifically want a tiger branded gear, get your clothes and gloves elsewhere as you’ll find that to be cheaper.

The front desk staff sort out all your bookings efficiently, but I do think they need to be more familiar with the classes run, as many times I asked about them and they didn’t know.

They have BBQ beat downs (ie BBQs and a Muay Thai show) on site at the end of the month and arrange other activities at times as well.

If you’re at the camp for a month, you get all inclusive packages with your accomodation (on site in rooms and separate bathrooms) or off site in rooms with air con and fridges etc. These packages tend to include PT sessions as well as meal plans from Tiger Grill.

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They are open every day, from early until late. If you order a protein like a steak, you have access to the salad bar. They also do smoothies, protein shakes, refreshing drinks and coffee. They have a weight loss menu and regular menu. The food here is superb, albeit the most expensive for the area. I absolutely loved the whole-wheat pasta as well as the weight loss chicken salad. They have well developed flavours and extremely filling. I didn’t have a meal plan and would have dined here more if the prices were cheaper.

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Cleanliness wise, I found the camp to be A + rated. As soon as the class is finished, the staff are waiting there to bleach and clean the mats and bags etc. There are warnings about keeping yourself hygienic too. The gear that is hired is also cleaned after use.

If you’re considering coming, save your pennies, but it is certainly worth it for the whole experience. Don’t worry if you’re travelling solo, its extremely easy to make friends from all around the world.

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Give it a go! Train at world class facilities, close to the beach!

Tiger Muay Thai & MMA Training Camp
7/35 Moo 5, Soi Ta-iad
Ao Chalong, Muang
Phuket, Thailand, 83130

Phone: +66 (0)76 367 071 or Skype
Email: info@tigermuaythai.com

https://www.tigermuaythai.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Kata Thai Cooking class by Sally @ Kata: Phuket, Thailand

Now anyone who knows me, knows that (a) I don’t try to cook & (b) when I try, I am terrible. However, I was in Thailand and thought it would be a fun experience to learn. I was apprehensive about making three dishes in 1.5 hours from scratch knowing my cooking abilities, especially when thai dishes have about 20 ingredients per menu item. But I do recommend you participate in a class as it is much easier than you first think, it is enjoyable and you might just prove yourself wrong, like I did.

Kata Thai Cooking Class by Sally is located in Kata, just on the hill as you head down into town. Open Monday – Saturday, they offer a morning (11am-1:30pm) or an afternoon session (3:30-6pm) for approximately $1700 Baht (at the moment that’s around $70). The cost includes the ingredients for cooking including meat, a cooking station, recipes, chefs hat, the meal, a soft drink & water as well as the chef’s time. It also includes free transport if coming from the kata and karon area.

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Sally was in Bangkok for a work conference/cooking seminar so her business & life partner Jim taught my class. The class can be mixed in numbers depending on the day, sometimes big and sometimes small. On the afternoon class I visited, I was the only one there, so it was especially good for me to learn. It has a table set up to prepare the food and workbenches to cook the meals once preparations have been finished.

The menu options change depending on which day you visit, but they are predominately popular thai choices like a Red or Green Curry, Massamun (though as I learn, this isn’t typically Thai), cashew nut chicken, tom yum soup, pad thai and spring rolls to name a few. The classes are also possible for vegetarians as the choices can be adjusted.

Jim is entertaining and I find his banter most suitable to the experience. He quizzes me on each ingredient before explaining what it is, a little bit of the history and how the ingredients grow and where they can be found. What I find extremely interesting is that you simply swap out a few ingredients only and you’ve got yourself a whole new curry. Basically, you prep the ground work and can make 3-4 different curries at home. For example, basically the difference between a green and red curry is the green uses green chilli (not dried) and the red uses dried red chilli for the paste. Then for a green curry you also add dried roasted coriander seed, cumin seed and a basil leaf. That is the simple difference! A penang curry is similar to the green without the basil leaf and add more green chilli.

So I begin with the Red Curry, and after we’ve discussed each ingredient, I soak the dried chill in water, then pound the dried chilli, black pepper and salt, followed by the galangal, lemongrass and a skin of kaffir lime. Later, add the garlic, shallot, turmeric and add the fresh chilli and shrimp paste (keep the paste out if vegetarian). It is awesome that you are making your own paste. You add as much chili as it pleases your taste buds.

Once this is done, you can cook. Jim took me to the cooking station and taught each step, one by one. I heat up the vegetable oil, add the coconut milk and dissolve the curry paste, once it starts boiling, pour the rest of the milk in. Add the meat, veggies and wait until it thickens. It was interesting to cook as I was able to watch the curry thicken and taste the flavours as they developed.

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Once it was cooked, it was served in a bowl and ready to eat, they provided some rice too. I wasn’t a fan of the thai eggplant and probably at home would use carrot or broccoli. But the taste of the red curry was superb and despite it’s colour, really wasn’t that spicy at all.

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The chicken cashew nut is my favourite. A very easy one to make – prepare your ingredients and chop up the vegetables. At the cooking station you lightly fry your nuts and chilli and remove, then add and lightly fry your chicken. Add your sauce (fish paste, chilli paste, water and sugar), as well as all your other ingredients and it is ready in no time. Garnish with nuts and dried chilli and it’s ready to eat. This had a beautiful taste and so much better than ordering from the store.

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The last dish was the pad thai. Also, very easy to make once you know how. The noodles had been previously soaked and softened and so then prepare all your ingredients to cook. The sauce is made with tamarind paste, fish sauce and palm sugar. When you’re ready to cook, remember this takes a lot of tossing the noodles to get it all to mix without breaking the noodles. This dish has egg, tofu and I had shrimp. It can be vegetarian if you please. Once it is ready, top it with chives and serve. Another delicious meal.

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I thought the whole experience was wonderful. It was great to learn about Thai cooking and how to make the meals from scratch, in particular the curry pastes, prepare the ingredients and make step by step. Jim was a great teacher and made it an enjoyable cooking class.

I’ll probably go home and make some thai food when I have time (you can even freeze your curry paste to use later if you are time poor)!

When you come to Thailand, I thoroughly recommend this as a worthwhile activity.

Kata Thai Cooking class by Sally

1/4 Patak Road, Karon, Muang Phuket 83100 – THAILAND E-Mail: katathaicooking@gmail.com

http://www.katathaicooking.com/

Phuket – for a beach and training holiday

Phuket

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.

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Chalong

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!

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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.

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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.

Chockchai stadium

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.

Ali’s bbq

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!

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Old Town 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A short trip to Bangkok

Bangkok is not only a stop over, it is a great place to visit.  There is plenty of culture, it is a food lovers dream and there is plenty to see and do on any budget. Bangkok is a well developed city that is easy to get around. Trains are cheap and stations are easy to find.

Whilst you’re there, enjoy the sights, eat some street food, take in the happening cafe scene, visit some great restaurants and bars, stroll through the huge shopping malls, watch some muay thai and even get a PT session from some of the fighters. Get a cheap massage, or maybe 10 and maybe even get some work done on the cheap, like teeth whitening (or more 😉

Foodie suggestions 

Street food

To be honest, some of our favourite food was that we found at the street stalls.

You can also try fried insects at Khao San Road. Keep in mind its a party district, so not suited to children there.

Bitterman 

This is a trendy little place in Sala Deng. It is a house converted into a cafe with a cool vibe to it. They serve brunch and lunch and often have Dj’s playing some tunes. We tried a salad, roti, curry and more. It’s a mostly tapas style menu, a western influence but Thai flavours too. They also have a great range of drinks. We really liked it.

 Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

Ceresia

Here’s where to go in Thailand for some top coffee! Great brew and good latte art too. We didn’t get food on this occasion, but you certainly can!

TISCO Tower 48/49 North Sathorn Road Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand

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Namseeh Bottling Trust

One of the best eateries we went to. Thai food served in a cool pink cottage style house. See our blog for more information.

soi 7 401 Si Lom, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

Rocket Coffee 

We loved this place for good coffee, juices and interesting food choices. Service was lovely and efficient.

147 Sathon Soi 12, Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand

Gagan

Rated the top restaurant in Asia and #7 in the world, this restaurant does a 25 course degustation, on this occasion matching an “emoticon” theme. It is certainly worth a visit, though keep in mind it is approx $250 each. See our blog for more information.

68/1 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road Lumpini Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand

Cafe Reverie

We were visiting the muay thai next door and saw this beautiful little cafe. It is so pretty with white furniture, tea cup themed chandeliers, flowers and more. They serve dessert sweets and thai influenced lunches. It would be best described as whimsical. Owned by a Thai Rnb celebrity, she certainly has style. The food was really good, particularly the sticky rice balls and chicken. The tea was also good, you select your type after smelling the aromas and they make. The earl grey lavender was lovely.

23/1 Soi Rongrian Phet Thanom, Khwaeng Lat Phrao, Khet Lat Phrao, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10230, Thailand

Unicorn Cafe

For a bit of a gimmick, be sure to check out the Unicorn cafe where you’ll be met with a room full of unicorns and rainbow inspired food.

44/1 ซอย สาทร 8 สีลม Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

To do 

Raja Stadium

If you want to see some top professional Muay Thai (Thai boxing) matches, definately come here. It’s the closest to the city central and a tuk tuk or taxi will get you there. Its fairly expensive at 1000 THB for ringside, but you really must get ringside for a good view. Definitely do not get C class, as it’s behind a fence and hard to see. There’s a bar there for beers and snacks. The fighting is superb quality and they have about ten fights. The fighters spend their lives preparing for this and are seasoned fighters. The crowd fully gets into it too. This sport is an art form and a must see activity in Thailand.

1 Ratchadamnoen Nok Rd, Pom Prap, Khet Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand

Khongsittha Muay Thai 

Khongsittha Muay Thai gym is about 40 mins out of the city. The gym is owned by Matthew Deane and staffed by quality trainers. The facilities are high quality state of the art and clean. There are separate areas for muay thai, weights work and more. It was extremely clean and even the bathrooms were immaculate. We just went for a personal training session and loved it. The trainers are amazing and highly skilled and we’d be keen someday to train for longer term.

Sky Bar

This bar is pretty cool. There are few different sections to it but find the one near the restaurant. It’s really high, infact 64 floors and the view is worth it. Drinks aren’t cheap, around 750 THB but you’re going for the experience, not to drink a lot. Take it for what it is. Worth a visit. Be sure you dress up and men have to wear closed in shoes. They take you to a bar first which is not the real sky bar (money making venture), so make sure you ask to go to Sky bar (where the Hangover 2 was filmed)

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

We booked a tour here with Click2Go. This was very reasonable. For 300 THB we were picked up and taken there and went on a motor boat through a village. We did have to pay extra for a paddle boat but at least got it cheap from our driver 150 THB.

I would agree with all the other reviews though, I think if you’re there as an individual not on a tour, it’s easy to get majorly ripped off. It’s not a real authentic floating market as you don’t really need to be on a boat to buy stuff. It’s also not much food stuff, just tourist junk. It’s also extremely far away, like 1 1/2 hours from BKK. The tour we did was good and fair, but it’s not worth the trip overall.

Click to Go Tour – link

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Where to stay

Lebua State Tower

We chose to stay at the Lebua State tower as there were good deals out for this hotel. It is a wonderful hotel. Staff are amazingly friendly, rooms are high quality and very big. The staff kept it beautifully clean and turned down the beds each night. A huge pool and gym on site. This hotel also has the sky bar. We would happily stay here again.

 

We love Thailand and recommend you pay the nation a visit!

Where to @Ko Samui

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Ko Samui is an island about 1.5 hours off the east coast of Thailand. A great place to unwind and have relaxing holiday by the beach. It has a tropical climate and we visited in September, which meant a bit of rain in the afternoon. This island has many nice beaches to explore, there are plenty activities available including; jet ski hire, go carting, parasailing, golf and Muay Thai gyms to train at, and stadiums to watch this traditional martial art.

Where to stay

Chaweng Beach is the busy part of the island with plenty to see and do. There are a range of options lining the beach to suit any budget including resorts, and other hotels that are less fancy with clean rooms and the much needed air conditioning. Whilst on this part of the island we stayed at both types of accommodation. The B2@Beach Samui was only AUD$40, which was a great option as Kurt was on his own for a couple of days. With beach frontage, a clean bed, aircon and a bar with cheap cocktails. This no frills option was low budget and the perfect for lazing by the beach sipping on a cocktail and reading a book. The hotel had a small pool and spa, however with Ko Samui being a beach destination, I recommend swimming in the ocean instead of a pool.

http://www.b2samuibeachresort.com/

We came to Ko Samui specifically for a wedding, and thus later relocated to the western side of the island in Taling Gnam, a quieter part of the island, where the wedding was held. We stayed at The Sunset Beach Resort for AUD $220 a night. Sunset Beach Resort is a lovely option if you want to stay in a quieter part of Ko Samui. It is a 5 star resort, complete with buffet breakfast, a pool with a bar, you can also order food by the pool. The resort has beach front access, which has a nice outlook, but not the best swimming option as the bottom is reef which is not the best to walk on. However, the pool is amazing and many deck chairs to relax by the pool. Stick to canoeing if you want to be in the ocean. You can also wander next door to the Intercontinental for a beverage and to enjoy the pool which has a stunning beach view and pool bar.

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The sunset has a spa on site, you can borrow bikes and there is a muay thai facility. nearby. We ate in the restaurant too and the food was excellent. There is a well fitted out gym, though you do you workout getting to it, but worth it for the view. It was our anniversary and they decorated our room with flower petals and a provided a fruit bowl. The rooms are large, ours had a jacuzzi and there are also villas too. The staff were lovely and eager to assist.

http://www.thesunsetbeachresort.com/

For a bit more extravagance, the Intercontinental is situated higher on the cliff top here at a hefty price, but it is an amazing as a honeymoon location. The hotel is beautiful and the view is incredible. We visited here for a wedding which was superb.

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Getting around

If in Chaweng there are plenty of options to get around: you can walk grab a taxi, a tuk tuk or scooter. If staying in Chaweng, walking is your best bet, you can take the scenic route and stroll along the waters edge or take the main road to take in the boutiques, street food and the action of the bars and restaurants, we loved checking out the live seafood on display.

Cafe Picks

Our pick of cafes for good food and coffee include Spearhead and Cream Cafe.

Cream Cafe

This place is a modern cafe with awesome coffee, smoothies, ice cream and both Thai and Western Dishes. The pick of the dishes being the southern Thai rice salad. Beautifully presented blue and brown rice with served with an assortment of ingredients that are added to taste. The added ingredients which are sprinkled into the bowl and mixed together to create a tasty textured dish. The granola with fresh fruit and yoghurt, is a good option if looking for a western style breakfast. The food was beautifully presented and super tasty. Staff were delightful.

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https://www.facebook.com/creamcafesamui/

Spearhead

Another place to get your coffee fix is the cute little cafe that has just opened in Ko Samui. A trendy and stylish place, selling good filter coffee, cold drip, cold brew and your regular lattes of course. A range of food available and on this occasion we shared the Tokyo Rose, a fluffy blueberry pancake topped with fruits and cream.

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https://www.facebook.com/SpearHead-Cafe-Koh-samui-119850758666499/?ref=page_internal

Galangal

For Thai cusine Galangal is a good option if you are after restaurant food. If you are more adventurous there are plenty of street vendors and a street food market behind the Cental Festival mall Chaweng.

What to do

Taling Gnam Muay Thai

We went here for a group class whilst in the area. They replied to emails quickly and when we arrived were so welcoming and helpful. Warm up, one on one technical training and pad work. Super hard and relentless. We loved it, some
fun sparring at the end. For one hour it was about $10. The trainers were awesome and I highly recommend this place. Small group at 7:30am meant it was practically 1-1 class.

http://kohsamui-muaythai.com/

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Best buffet in Patong @Grand Mercure

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How did we find out about an awesome seafood buffet in Patong, Thailand? It was more by luck than our usual method of putting in time researching. Whilst in Phuket Thailand we stayed at the Grand Mercure Patong, where this buffet was located.

 

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We were enjoying some cocktails by the pool where the mojito’s were amazing. Made with local award winning rum distilled at the Chalong Bay Distillery, a place you can visit, enjoy a bite to eat and tour the facilities. The chocolate and mint mojito a clear standout, made with Hershey’s sauce and the passion fruit mojito, also very good. 

 

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Whilst lapping up the beautiful weather with beverages in hand, we were starting to research and discuss options for a seafood dinner. Whilst in discussion, we noticed the Taste of Asia buffet and seafood BBQ being set up for the evening, with the stations including cuisine from Thailand, China, Japan, Vietnam, and India. 

 

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We further investigated and discovered the price was THB 999 which converts to roughly AUD $40. There was also a promotional 25% discount for downloading the Accor hotel group App. Done and done, easy decision. This option not only convenient, it had a clean and hygienic set up and the food was beautiful displayed and prepared. We were chomping at the bit to get at some fresh seafood and were into it as soon as the buffet opened at 6pm.

 

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The spread was out of this world with a Japanese sushi and sashimi bar prepared whilst you wait, with top quality salmon, tuna and octopus, and this was our first check point. There was a salad bar and cold seafood section including NZ mussels and fresh prawns which also made the first plate.

 

 

This plate of food was conveniently finished, just in time to sample the fresh seafood that was being served straight off the BBQ. There were large river prawns, whole fish, squid and blue swimmer crab charred over hot coals. This was the perfect way to enjoy the natural flavours of the seafood. There was also a range of tasty sauces to accompany the seafood to add even more flavour.

 

The hot food bar could not be passed up with a range of local specialties including curries, the pad thai freshly prepared, as well as tom yum kung. In addition to this there were also satay chicken skewers served straight from the BBQ. With a enticing selection of Chinese BBQ meat including succulent duck and chicken, which had our mouths watering.

With so much delicious food it was going to be a case of our eyes being too big for our stomach. However we did manage to spare some room for dessert. There were many bite sized custard filled Chou pastry profiteroles, tiramisu, creme brulee, a fruit salad selection, a station preparing freshly made fritters and local specialty desserts made with sticky rice.

 

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The buffet at the Grand Mercure is must visit especially if you are after a seafood feast. You are spoilt for choice with delicious, freshly prepared food. The buffet  is one of the best we have tried and it was also great value.

 

Grand Mercure Patong

 

25 courses @Gaggan

 

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After a recommendation from instafoodie friend It’d_be_rude_not_to ,  Gaggan was on our list of places to visit in Bangkok. We were lucky enough to secure a table at this acclaimed restaurant, rated the best in Asia and # 7 in the world in 2017 by Restaurant. It is described as progressive Indian, and we felt it was infused with other Asian influences. Make sure you book ahead of visiting as it is well sought after. Having read mixed reviews which is usually the case online, we went in with an open mind and a hungry stomach. Our booking was 9:30 pm which is pretty normal  in Bangkok.

 

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Our driver missed the unassuming entrance to Gaggan, with a small lit up sign the only give away, so make sure you’re on the lookout. We walked to the entrance down a long dark driveway and at the end stood a well lit two storey converted cottage painted white, with pained glass windows and doors, an out door garden and water feature which was extremely picturesque. 

 

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We are met by the wait staff and led to our table up stairs. Once seated the staff introduced themselves and provided us with the wine list. On the table, the glassware and tableware, a cold refresher towel and transparent strip of paper printed with 25 emoji’s representing the bites to be served for the evening, which was explained by the waitress. Whilst 25 does sounds like alot, however as a hungry diner, amount of food was spot on.  Each dish was a bite sized piece, and paced out it was completely apt. Whilst it is clear this would be a mountain of work for the kitchen to prepare, given the molecular gastronomy techniques being displayed with each dish, each dish arrived presented impeccably and with precise timing as to the dishes received by other diners. This alone is impressive! 

 

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The restaurant is nicely set up, with white linen and staff in generic black and white, not unlike any other fine dining restaurant. We liked the vibe to this place, the staff displaying whimsical humour which complemented the playful menu and food arriving at the table.

 

The meal started on a high note with a large pink salt block arriving at the table with what looked to be an oyster. We gathered the oyster was paired with water melon going by the first emoji on the list. We were amazed when it was confirmed the oyster shell was edible and no oyster present. This dish was like nothing you could imagine, with an opaque purple edible pearl on top. 

 

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We’re not going to outline each dish on the menu, that would spoil the fun for your visit, we will outline some notable dishes for us. 

The tom yum kung which was a cold tom yum puree served in a crisp rice paper and prawn head shell, the vindaloo beef croquette had a nice crisp panko crumb for texture and rich slow cooked vindaloo inside, the cold scallop curry was another stand out.

We also really enjoyed the eggplant cookie and the carrot waffles filled with froi gras and yuzu chutney.

 

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There were two firsts for our dining experience, with one dish called ‘lick it up’ which came in with it’s own 80’s rock theme song which was cool. This dehydrated mushroom dish also inscribed with ‘lick it up’ in green pea puree. This led diners to having to lick it off the plate like a dog. Quite funny to look around the restaurant at this time. 

The fire portion of the menu was an amazing spectacle, the waiter taking to a wooden tray with a blow torch setting the banana leaf outer layer on fire. At one point I was thinking this would not fly in Australia due to OH&S or some fire safety regulation. But this is Thailand and what visitors love are a lack of over restrictive measures and a care free attitude, with a little sprinkle of danger thrown in. We wait for the embers to clear and unwrap the outer banana leaf and inside a melt in your mouth piece of sea bass.

 

 

The desserts were all presented nicely and our favourite would have to be the beetroot and chocolate rose which came to the table in a box that looked like a book. Coincidentally the title of the book including our surname. The minion wasabi ice cream on a stick also added a bit of fun to the meal. The other desserts while nicely presented didn’t really do it for us.

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Other than a dodgy bathroom, this was an interesting and enjoyable experience. The crockery was as impressive as the skill involved in preparing this degustation. The food hit the mark for the most part, as to be expected with a 25 course meal there were going to be some items that didn’t suit our taste. 

 

Is it worth the price tag? Yes. Given there were 25 courses of intricately prepared food that hit the table in our two hour seating, which was an impressive feat and the work involved is nothing to sneeze at.

 

Gaggan