I trained at Arena Gym in Koh Phangan a few times on different trips to the island. It is situated in the heart of the Full Moon Party beach, Haad Rin. The gym itself is okay and overlooks a lake. The bags were extremely soft and there weren’t any group sessions, only one-on-one classes. The pad work was okay but nothing special. I would only recommend this gym if you happen to be staying in Haad Rin anyways for the party and wanted to get a workout in or kick some bags while there.
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I checked out Jungle Gym, also in the Haad Rin area, but it’s more a weight lifting gym that also offers some Muay Thai on the side – I didn’t train there. If you want to live and train in Koh Phangan I would recommend you train in the Thong Sala area, which is the main town about a 30 minute drive from the Full Moon Party beach. It’s only a 100 baht ($3.33US) shared taxi ride to the party, so don’t risk drinking and driving on a motorbike to go to the party – it’s not worth it and would be stupid to do so. The three gyms I would consider are Diamond Muay Thai, Korba, and Muay Thai Chinnarach. Kobra has its own stadium which is always a good thing if you plan on actively fighting while you’re there. Chinnarach recently built a brand new gym a few blocks away and Diamond has decent reviews.
Since they are all pretty close to each other, near the main pier, I would just get a random hotel for a few nights; then you could rent a motorbike and train one day at each before making any decision on what the best gym is. I’ve considered living and training in Koh Phangan simply because it is such a cool island. The monthly Full Moon Party is seriously one of the best parties in the world, and there are smaller jungle parties every other week. For me, though, I think it would be fun to train all month – as the island is completely dead for 25 days each month – and then go all out for 2- 3 days to let off some during the full moon. I wouldn’t even go down to the party on the night of the full moon itself as it gets too hectic and crazy. The parties on the two nights before would be just fine. I could also work as a Divemaster part-time, as the nearby Sail Rock is a good advanced dive site near Koh Phangan.
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