Bangkok would seem the logical choice for the best or, at least most, authentic training in Thailand. There are at least 45 Muay Thai gyms in Bangkok, and also a bunch of Thai-only gyms none of us have ever heard of. The two best and most respected stadiums in Thailand, Lumpinee and Rajadamnern Living in Bangkok would also seem a good idea as they have a sky train, an abundance of metered taxi cabs, great restaurants, nightlife and culture. However, Bangkok is usually the last choice for most people coming to Thailand to train.
The Best Gym in Bangkok Photo Gallery
Anyway, training in Bangkok is best for people that have to be in Bangkok for some other reason – such as work or school – although, I suppose it would also be good for people that love to live in big cities. Fairtex Bangplee and Sitmonchai are regarded as the two best Muay Thai gyms in Bangkok but both of them are a far drive away from the city. Fairtex is around 30 minutes away and Sitmonchai is 60-90 minutes away. The problem with Fairtex is (because they have a famous name) they are also extremely expensive at 18,200 baht ($606US) per week per person for training, a private room with air conditioning and two meals a day. That equates to 72,800 baht a month which is $2,426US. You can share a room with someone else, forgo the ‘aircon’ and save a bit of money but you’ll still end up spending 30,800 baht a month which is $1,026US – either way, it’s over priced and expensive. Sitmonchai is regarded as the best Thai-style training out of any gym in Bangkok, and possibly all of Thailand.
It’s situated in a small, quiet town an hour and a half away from the city, and charges a flat rate of 30,000 baht ($1,000US) a month for training, shared accommodation, 2 meals a day, and they even include motorbike rental which I’ve never heard of anywhere else. You can upgrade to having your own private room for 6,000 baht ($200US) more a month, or you can find an apartment close by for a lot cheaper, although you may have to furnish it yourself. Then there’s Sitsongpeenong, which is around 20 minutes from the city, and is a little bit cheaper than Fairtex for the same package (including your own room, training, and 2 meals a day) at 48,000 baht ($1,600US) per month – still a bit on the expensive side.
A good friend of mine trained at Sitsongpeenong and, although it’s a very nice looking gym, he didn’t recommend it, mainly due to the feel and vibe of the gym and trainers. I’ve heard good things about Fighting Spirit Gym, which only has shared rooms but is significantly cheaper at 14,000 baht ($466US) a month including training. Fighting Spirit doesn’t include food but the food included isn’t worth more than 4,500 baht ($150US) a month anyway; still making it significantly cheaper than the top two gyms. I’ve trained at 13 Coins in Bangkok which used to be the gym of the legendary, Sanchai Sor Kingstar, but ever since he’s left the training and reputation goes up and down – depending on who’s there at the time. The 13 Coins gym is actually better known as an airport resort and restaurant that local Thais often frequent.
The hotel room I stayed at (in 2011) was really nice, brightly lit and the food at the restaurant, although expensive, was really good. However, in recent years the gym is getting old and a bit dated. Training has suffered a bit as well, but they now have an MMA program with a guy named B.K. Brandon Kesler. I would recommend checking out 13 coins if you only have a few days layover in Bangkok. Even though the gym is in the city, there is almost nothing around the area and not that many other people training there, so you might get really bored. In my opinion, the best Muay Thai gym in Bangkok would be Sitmonchai, although it’s quite far outside of the city. Personally, I would live and train there and my blog a hotel in the city every other weekend to get away . The runner up best gym in Bangkok would be Fighting Spirit Gym: for their location within the city center, their low prices, for having MMA/BJJ, and for the fact that they are one of the few gyms that train on Sundays. I’ve heard that the training itself is decent.
MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gyms in Bangkok
BJJ and MMA are getting more and more popular around the world, and in Thailand. Bangkok has the most BJJ schools anywhere in Thailand including 3 Monkeeez Jiu Jitsu, Bangkok Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Bangkok Fight Club, BJJ Boxer Rebellion, EMAC Thailand and Fighting Spirit. There are also quite a few BJJ tournaments popping up in Bangkok, mainly through BJJ Asia.