What better way to improve your Muay Thai knowledge and skills if not by taking a trip to its originating country, Thailand? If you have the means, just make sure to read this article to find out more about the sport before packing your perfect shorts for martial arts and flying over there.
Finding the right camp
Although there is much diversity in the country’s capital, Bangkok, when it comes to Muay Thai camps, there are other several places that you might want to look into. Do your homework and read as much as possible about the benefits of camps outside the capital in destinations like Chiang Mai, the Koh Yao Noi Island or Krabi.
Each of these destinations is unique, so make sure to find one that best caters to your needs and your training level. For instance, if you’re a beginner, it wouldn’t be wise to join a camp dedicated to professionals as the training sessions will wear you out in no time and you might even end up injuring yourself since you’re not used to their intensity.
If you want to learn more about Thailand’s culture and living style and even enjoy the local wonders, pick a camp with a light training program that offers enough spare time to visit or even try fitness and other recreational activities.
Although all camps come with their own dormitories for participants, if you’re visiting Thailand for the first time you may want to consider other options as well. Depending on your budget, you can choose a rented apartment in an area close to your training camp, a hotel or a luxury resort.
Luckily, prices are quite decent no matter your accommodation choice, especially if you book it in advance. There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to this country, so don’t forget to have fun as well.
If you’re traveling with friends or your significant other, accommodation rates will be even lower. We advise you to stay away from hostels or couch surfing services as Thailand isn’t the most secure place in the world, especially if you’re a girl.
If you do decide to opt for a camp dormitory, find out that there are various packages, according to your needs and budget. Some camps even offer private rooms with bathrooms, A/C, and WiFi connection so you can keep in touch with your friends and family from home. Just make sure you don’t party too hard at night as the wakeup call is at 5 am in most of these camps.
Prepare for the climate
Although you’re young and full of energy, the weather in Thailand can take its toll on you if you come unprepared. The climate is humid year-round, so don’t worry about your hair as you won’t be able to fix it (no matter how much you try). And, the only time your clothes will stay dry is when you’re entering facilities with A/C.
Bangkok remains hot throughout the year but other regions of Thailand such as Chiang Mai deal with a “cool” season from November to February. During this time, the days will remain hot and humid but temperatures will drop at night. On average, December and January are the coolest months of the year so, if you’re not a fan of heat, this is your window of opportunity.
April is considered the hottest month on the calendar with average temperatures of above 97 degrees Fahrenheit and no chances of raining. Therefore, pack light clothing and extra training shorts and tees as you’re expected to sweat a lot.
In order to keep your stamina level high and make the most of your Muay Thai training, you’ll need a balanced diet based on high-quality sources of proteins. Luckily, Thailand has one of the tastiest cuisines in the world, so eating a delicious and nutritious meal shouldn’t be hard.
Similar to most other Asian cultures, rice is the common dish and can be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Pork, chicken, and fish are highly common in Thai diets, so keeping your protein levels high is a piece of cake. In addition, you’ll find various restaurants in the vicinity of each Muay Thai training camp.
However, there are certain health concerns regarding food in this country. Thai cuisine is salty, spicy, and sweet at the same time, so you’ll have to watch your diet if you don’t want to come back home weighing 10 pounds more.
Thus, even though the food is delicious and amongst the cheapest in the entire world, you’ll still have to fight the urge to overeat.
As for the street food market, you may want to refrain from going there, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. You’ll be tempted to try delicious and exotic dishes but, unless you’re trained and used to the spices and mixes, this could turn into bad indigestion or diarrhea. Food poisoning is one of the most common affections tourists suffer from, so make sure to take it easy.
Join the festivities
If you want to enjoy the ultimate Muay Thai experience, try planning your trip during springtime. You’ll be able to watch the annual Wai Kru Festival and see some of the best international players competing in the ring.
The breaks between matches can be quite exciting too as you’ll have plenty of time to check the equipment line on sale, check on offers of training courses or learn more about the ancient weapons used by warriors. And, if you really want to go all the way, you may even get a hand-painted Sak Yant tattoo and participate in various rituals held by players.