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What do I need to know if I want to train Muay Thai in Thailand?

Interested in traveling to Thailand and training at a Muay Thai gym there? We've broken down what you need to know before you go.

Traveling to Thailand for the first time to train Muay Thai can be an exhilarating and enriching experience. Just imagine: Beaches, Muay Thai, fight nights, street markets, motorbikes, temples, Thai food and Thai Ice Tea carts on every corner!

Here are some basics to consider before you travel.

  • Visa Requirements: Check the visa requirements for your country. Many nationalities receive a visa on arrival in Thailand, but make sure you comply with the latest regulations.

  • Health Precautions: Get vaccinated and take necessary health precautions before traveling. Thailand is generally safe, but it's advisable to drink bottled water and be cautious with street food to avoid stomach issues.

  • Explore Thailand: Take advantage of your time in Thailand to explore the country's rich culture, delicious cuisine, and stunning landscapes. Visit temples, beaches, and local markets during your downtime.

  • Have Fun: Most importantly, enjoy the experience! Embrace the journey and make the most of your time in the Land of Smiles.

When you can visit might affect where you want to visit within the country.

Thailand has a tropical climate characterized by high temperatures and humidity throughout the year. However, there are variations in climate across different regions of the country:

  1. Northern Thailand: The northern region, including cities like Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, experiences a tropical savanna climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. The dry season typically lasts from November to April, with cooler temperatures from December to February. The wet season occurs from May to October, with heavy rainfall, particularly in the months of July and August.

  2. Central Thailand: Central Thailand, which includes Bangkok, has a similar climate pattern to the northern region but with slightly higher temperatures. The dry season lasts from November to April, with temperatures peaking in April. The wet season spans from May to October, with the heaviest rainfall usually occurring between June and September.

  3. Southern Thailand: The southern region, including popular tourist destinations like Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Samui, experiences a tropical monsoon climate. There are two distinct seasons: the wet season and the dry season. The wet season typically lasts from April to October, with heavy rainfall and occasional monsoons, especially from May to September. The dry season occurs from November to March, with less rainfall and more comfortable temperatures.

  4. Eastern Thailand: The eastern part of Thailand, including cities like Pattaya and Koh Chang, experiences a climate similar to central Thailand, with a dry season from November to April and a wet season from May to October. However, the eastern region may receive slightly less rainfall compared to the southern region during the wet season.

Something to consider when planning your trip to Thailand is "burning season." What's burning season? Passport Health explains, "Burning Season in Northern Thailand is the time from February to April when the region's arid weather causes vegetation to dry up. Sometimes, the intensity of the weather makes vegetation catch fire. As a result, air quality during this period is very poor and can affect your breathing."

Elora Sullivan is an instructor at Hit House and coach at Queens Training Club, who spent extended time training and fighting in Chang Mai and Pai. She says, "March especially can be really bad air-quality-wise, especially in Northern Thailand. Phuket and the islands don't really experience it, and Bangkok from what I understand isn't quite as bad, but it gets particularly bad in Chiang Mai and anywhere in the north end of February into beginning of April when the rain starts. It was something I didn't consider (though I left March 1 and it was mostly fine!) but should have!"

Overall, Thailand's climate is influenced by the monsoon winds, with variations in rainfall and temperature across different regions. When planning your trip, it's essential to consider the weather patterns of the specific area you'll be visiting to ensure an enjoyable experience.

Training Muay Thai in Thailand can be challenging but incredibly rewarding.

Before visiting a Muay Thai gym in Thailand, there are several things you should know to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

  • Training Camp Selection: Do your research and choose a reputable Muay Thai training camp. Choose a gym that aligns with your goals and preferences. Look for reviews, facilities, and trainers' credentials. Some popular camps include Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Fairtex Training Center in Pattaya, and Sitmonchai Gym in Kanchanaburi.

  • Training Gear: Bring your own gear if possible, such as gloves, hand wraps, and shorts. While some camps provide equipment, it's always better to use gear you're comfortable with.

  • Respect Thai Culture: Muay Thai is deeply ingrained in Thai culture, so show respect to trainers, fellow students, and Thai customs. Learn basic Thai phrases like "hello" (sawadee ka/krab) and "thank you" (khob khun ka/krab) to show courtesy.

  • Respect Gym Rules: Follow the rules and etiquette of the training camp. This includes punctuality, cleanliness, and respecting the hierarchy within the gym. Bow when entering and leaving the gym, and listen attentively to instructions.

  • Warm-up: Prioritize warming up before training to prevent injuries. Stretching, shadow boxing, and skipping rope are common warm-up exercises in Muay Thai.

  • Skill Level: Be honest about your skill level and fitness level when joining a class. Beginners should start with basic techniques and gradually progress as they become more experienced. Noelle Nagales, instructor at Hit House, recently visited and trained in Chang Mai and says, "It's not just regular practitioners who attended classes, but people of all levels - even first timers." Don't be afraid to give training a chance, even if you're brand new!

  • Respect the Trainer: Show respect to the trainer by listening to their instructions and giving your best effort during training. Address them with the appropriate title, such as "Kru" or "Ajarn."

  • Safety: Pay attention to safety guidelines and use proper technique during training to avoid injuries. Don't hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification if you're unsure about a technique.

  • Consistency: Consistency is key to improving in Muay Thai. Attend regular classes and practice outside of the gym to enhance your skills and conditioning.

  • Hydration and Rest: Thailand's climate can be hot and humid, so stay hydrated during training sessions. Bring a water bottle and drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after workouts. Sullivan says, "When training in a warm or humid climate, water won't cut it for hydration. Make sure you're replenishing your electrolyte levels with sports drinks, supplements, and salt so you can keep your body properly fueled for warmer workouts!" Also, ensure you get enough rest to avoid burnout.

  • Adjustment Period: Allow yourself time to adjust to the training regimen and the climate. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Tobias Wong, head instructor at Hit House and Red Planet MMA, spent time in Central Bangkok and suggests, "The first week arriving in the new climate, do light exercises and cardio outdoors and see how your body fairs. If you're fine after a mile run, add an extra mile. If you're still fine, add another! Start to incorporate an ab or basic calisthenic workout (push-ups, squats, plank, jumping jacks, etc.) in addition. Alternate workout days and rest days. I started by doing light runs in the park and around the city to see where my cardio was at. If at any point I felt light headed or winded beyond just exercise fatigue, I'd end the session right there and rest."

By keeping these tips in mind, you'll be well-prepared to visit a Muay Thai gym in Thailand and make the most of your training experience (and Thailand adventure)!

What else is a must?

Wong reminds, "Sun screen please, we don't want skin cancer!"

After all that training and exposure to Muay Thai, see the action in real life.

Visit Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok and Rajadamnern Muay Thai Stadium in Bangkok, where fights are hosted every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday!

What gyms do our trainers recommend?

The Hit House staff has enjoyed traveling and training at many gyms throughout Thailand. Remember that there are so many different gyms with different styles, schedules and specialities. Try a few places to find the right one for you!

  • Dang Muay Thai, Chang Mai

  • Hongthong Muay Thai, Chang Mai

  • Charn Chai Muay Thai Pai, Pai District

  • Sangmorakot, Central Bangkok

  • Phuket Fight Club, Phuket

  • Sinbi Muay Thai Training Camp, Phuket

  • Yak Yai Muay Thai, Phuket

  • Diamond Muay Thai, Koh Phangan Island (on the beach!)

All photos courtesy


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