Thailand is renowned for it’s Thai Boxing and Muay Thai scene. Thailand is where it all started. The ancient art of eight limbs. They call it the art of eight limbs because you use not only both fists and feet (like kickboxing) but with the added element of both elbows and knees.
The sport is brutal and demanding. Therefore Muay Thai training is one of the best ways to build up all round body conditioning. Many people come to visit Thailand, specifically Phuket, to train with the best and most experienced teachers in the game. A mix of professionals, like George St-Pierre, Christine Cyborg to name but a few and many more year round have been seen training in Phuket camps such as Tiger Muay Thai.
Aside from the professional fighters who visit, the Muay Thai camps in Phuket welcomes anyone from all levels, all walks of life. Beginners who are just looking to get fit, lose weight and condition their body. As well as, people who want to learn the sport seriously with the goal of fighting in the ring. Through to intermediate and professional world ranking fighters.
Training in Phuket’s tropical climate and heat, combined with the twice daily two to three-hour training sessions, is one of the quickest ways to completely change your body. As well as to after reward yourself afterwards by visiting one of many of the finest beaches on the island.
The veterans of Muay Thai, who have trained since childhood, most having at least 200+ fights to their name, many championship holders, come and move to Phuket. They know it is a hotspot for tourists, and thus enabling them to share with a wider audience their skills, and teach the art. Let’s face it, where else in the world can you have a one-on-one session for 600 baht (circa $15) for a whole hour by a veteran of the sport. For example, London private one-on-one sessions can be anything up from £35 – £60. Depending on the reputation, experience and rank of teacher – i.e. his record.
Generally speaking, aside from the big name camps (to follow below in the ‘Best Muay Thai Camps in Phuket section) there are many smaller Muay Thai training camps. They are spread throughout Phuket and they are not as much commercialised. These camps are more like the spit and sawdust ‘raw’ training camps. Still with highly experienced trainers, slightly lower prices in comparison to the more commercialised camps. For example Tiger Muay Thai, and have only the basic Muay Thai equipment needed – a ring or two, some heavy sandbags, tyres, skipping rope, pads, gloves, etc. It is down to the individual, yourself, to decide what suits you best.
You will also find that in low season, these lesser commercialised camps are not very busy. Thus giving you more time with the trainer as an individual rather than a group so you certainly get your monies worth. Do not under-estimate these camps. They will put you through your paces, you will train hard, be pushed to your limits, and end up by the end of the session in a pile of your sweat. Nonetheless feeling somewhat accomplished in getting through it.
Upon arriving at Phuket International Airport, you will be greeted by many taxi drivers. If you ask they will all know where these Muay Thai camps are. Nonetheless, beware you may be charged more than what you should be paying. If you are serious about training Muay Thai, then you would already have picked a camp to train at before arriving. Thus the camp will arrange all transport and airport transfers for you, and at a cheaper rate than the regular taxies.
Regarding accommodation, while staying at a Muay Thai camp in Phuket, the main camps all have on-site housing. Therefore you will have a good choice of renting out whatever fits into your budget/criteria. For example, if you are on a tight budget, then you can room share, or get a single bedroom with a fan, no air con, and so forth. The best thing to do, to be safe, would be to find the Muay Thai camp you want to train at. As well as to book in a weeks accommodation with them. This will give you a chance to check out the nearby area.
In some cases depending on the season, you will find even cheaper accommodation. On the other end of the scale, you can rent out private bungalows. Or even deluxe rooms with air-con, fridge, showers, with access to shared swimming pool. There are many options to choose from but bear in mind the low and high season prices. The high and low seasons affect most of Phuket. Therefore concerning renting a room, some Muay Thai training camp prices, places to eat and excursions, should you choose to go on. High season the prices go up extensively compared to low season. However, the majority of the Muay Thai camps in Phuket will stick with their ‘training’ prices all year round.
Best Muay Thai Camps in Phuket
Tiger Muay Thai
The biggest and most well known Muay Thai camp in Phuket. Tiger Muay Thai situated in Chalong area on the famous fighters ‘Soi’ road has a state of the art training complex. Which caters for everything a student in training needs. TMT is not only a Muay Thai camp but a full mixed martial arts camp. They offer tuition and training in MMA (mixed martial arts) BJJ (Brazilian Ju-Jitsu), Yoga and other fitness activities based on strength and conditioning.
Year round, you will bump into famous UFC fighters who train here. The training schedule here is split into 2-time slots. Morning and afternoon. This is usually the same throughout all the Muay Thai gyms.
Tiger Muay Thai (TMT) has over 30 dedicated experienced trainers. As well as all the equipment, and supplements at your doorstep (on the Soi Road) this is fighters training paradise. There are a variety of options for accommodation, training plans, diet plans, meal plans etc… All of that to fit into one’s budget. This place is known for its reputation as being one of the best training schools/camps in the world.
Sinbi Muay Thai
The location of the camp is between Rawai and Nai Han. It has a formidable team of skilled trainers, excellent state of the art equipment and the on-site accommodation. The camp is all round a very decent Muay Thai Camp. Sinbi has been around for many years and built up an excellent reputation amongst the Muay Thai world in Phuket.
Their camp is one which is closest to Nai Han beach. On Thursdays, they take their students to train on the beach for the afternoon session. Prices and accommodation are very reasonable here, and the trainers will train you hard! Sinbi Muay Thai welcomes beginners, intermediate levels and professional level fighters.
Kingka Supa Muay Thai
Formerly known as Rawai Muay Thai, who have now moved to Kho Lak to set up a camp. Kingka Supa Muay Thai located in the heart of Rawai village is a fantastic Muay Thai – Tae Kwondo martial arts camp.
Solid all year round good training prices, and a variety of accommodation from a shared room to single deluxe bungalows. Not to mention a wealth of facilities including in-house cardio gym, weights section, and plenty of kick and punch bags and four large boxing rings. This is another top Muay Thai camp in Phuket not to be missed.
All trainers here are veterans with 100+ fights to their name.
They also offer for students who want to train long term, a Thai Education Visa. Where you pay a fixed fee for one year, which includes all the training, certificates, and the one year Education Visa, authorised by the Thai Government.
The training schedules are pretty much the same as most the Muay Thai camps. Morning training 7:30 – 9:30, and afternoon training 4:30 – 6:30. With the inclusion of Saturday morning training at the breathtaking Nai Han beach (about 3.5km down the road).
Phuket Top Team Muay Thai Training Camp
Phuket Top Team Muay Thai, a high-ranking training camp in Thailand. The camp is in the top 5 training gyms/camps in the whole of Asia. Located relatively close to Tiger Muay Thai, on the same Soi road, it is another gym/camp that offers not only Muay Thai. They offer mixed martial arts (MMA) and Brazilian Ju-Jitsu (BJJ), western boxing, wrestling and strength and conditioning training. With nearly 20 experienced trainers here, state of the art equipment – air conditioned matted area, three full-size Muay Thai rings that are outside, MMA cage, and also onsite accommodation for students.
Suwit Muay Thai Gym and Stadium
One of the best value for money Muay Thai camps in Phuket. The camp has a fantastic team of trainers, and excellent fitness and weight lifting area. Accommodation and training packages here can not be beaten in Thailand. Suwit Muay Thai gym is also the owners of a nearby stadium. Therefore if you train and stay here, every Friday you will have the opportunity to go and watch live fights for free at the stadium. Located in Chalong area, but slightly away from the main fighters street where TMT and PTT are located.
Siam Muay Thai Academy
Re-opened after full renovation mid-2015 a highly regarded Muay Thai camp. The camp focuses on traditional Muay Thai Combat training. However, it also embraces the newer form of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Opened to all levels of students, young and old, beginner through to intermediate and on to professional. Siam has state of the art facilities, inclusive of supplement and equipment shop for everyone’s needs. Based in a vast space – 7 Rai of land to be exact, it has plenty of on-site accommodation. Ranging from private to shared, a large swimming pool for a dip after training, and a very lovely garden to rest the mind in peace. One of the top 5 highly rated Muay Thai camps in Phuket Thailand.
Lion Muay Thai
Catering for seasoned fighters to beginners, Lion Muay Thai, situated in Rawai Phuket. The camp sits hidden away in a jungle type atmosphere, offering a multitude of training options for anyone to join in on. Muay Thai being the heart, but also Western Boxing, Crossfit, and Strength and Conditioning. Similar training structure as with 99% of the Muay Thai camps you will find in Phuket. Split into morning and afternoon training, great equipment, Muay Thai rings, sandbags, added to this, highly regarded veteran trainers. Lion Muay Thai Offers fantastic value for money for training and on-site accommodation packages.
Less Commercialised Muay Thai Camps in Phuket
A short list of a few highly recommended off the beaten track Muay Thai camps that are situated in Phuket:
-Kaewphitak Muay Thai Camp
-Asia Muay Thai Camp
-Vorvichanchai Muay Thai Camp
-Yudtajak Muay Thai Camp
You will find these Muay Thai camps excellent to train at, the trainers here are all veterans in the sport, many with championship records. Most of them have left the bigger camps to start their own Muay Thai camp. Therefore the prices won’t be beaten for this type of training. The best way to find the details of these Muay Thai camps in Phuket would be via Google or Facebook. These camps have set prices for training all year round, be it the high season or low, pricing won’t change. Just because they are not commercialised as much as the bigger names, does not mean in any way that you won’t receive just the same amount of training and put in the same amount of effort.
The Thai trainers know the drills and understand how to develop a fighter or student in training to the highest levels. Don’t be surprised when you go and watch ‘Live’ matches at Bangla Stadium or Rawai Stadium and see fighters from these gyms fighting and in many cases winning. Many say this captures the true essence of Muay Thai training. Pure Muay Thai, back to its routes, and not mixed with MMA or BBJ for that matter. However, this may change, and they may incorporate more fighting styles as the camps grow over time.
Bangla Boxing Stadium and Muay Thai Matches (where to watch live fights)
Ever wanted to see live Muay Thai fights? To watch the action unfold in front of your very own eyes! Then you must check out fight nights at either Bangla Stadium or Rawai Boxing Stadium for the fantastic experience.
Bangla Stadium located in Patong is a vastly popular Muay Thai Boxing Stadium. Usually, with weekly fight nights on the Friday and Saturday, but also with some fights in the midweek. You can capture the real essence of Muay Thai competition by visiting here. These events bring fighters from all the camps to compete with each other in the ring. The night would usually consist of 8-10 fights on average. They showcase many levels from beginner/amateur up to professional and veteran fights.
Depending on whether you are part of a camp, or simply just to watch out of interest, the experience is fantastic.
A little tip, if you are part of a camp, a lot of the time you will get a discount to go with the camp. You can support the fighters who you train with. Ranging from 500- 1000 baht per ticket, and if you are not with a Muay Thai Camp in Phuket, then the ticket can be anything from 1500- 2000 baht per ticket.
Another growing venue is the Rawai Boxing Stadium. It is situated in the fishing village of Rawai, the southern tip of Phuket. Recently opened its doors for Muay Thai camps and fighters to compete against one another.
The Round Up
Whichever Muay Thai camp or venue you choose to visit or train at, you will undoubtedly have an experience of a lifetime. You will meet some great people along your journey. Be it for personal fitness goals, to learn a martial art, or to progress as a fighter. There is no right or wrong Muay Thai camp to train at. Since it is all about personal preference and what you want to get out of it as an individual.
Perhaps you want a less busy camp with more focus on your abilities to grow, or maybe you like the larger scale camps to train alongside a large number of pro fighters. The choice is yours and yours only, and there is a lot to choose from.
When you arrive in Phuket, you can spend a few days visiting each camp watching how the training sessions go. Exploring the facilities they all have, and making your own decision.