Muay Thai Training in Thailand: 7 Best Gyms for Foreigners

Best Muay Thai gyms in Thailand for foreigners

Thailand, the land of smiles, also home white-sand shores lined with coconut palms and bathing backpackers. The country has long been a favorite of holidaymakers and travelers, but Thailand has more to offer than palm trees and Pad Thai.   

Muay Thai is Thailand’s national sport, and there are hundreds of training camps dotted around the country. Professional Muay Thai fighters have grueling training regimes and give their lives to the sport, much like Buddhist monks. But whether you’re living abroad or visiting for a few weeks, there are plenty of gyms for you to try your hand at the coveted martial art in however suits you. 

Depending on your budget, experience level, and where you’re based, there will be a training camp tailored to your needs. We’re here to take a closer look at the best Muay Thai gyms in Thailand for foreigners from the isolated northern countryside to the party islands in the south. Muay Thai is a great way to keep fit and build strength, and where better than its birthplace to learn about the ancient martial art? Let’s get into it.

Punch It Muay Thai Gym, Koh Samui

Punch It Muay Thai Gym, Koh Samui
Photo by Punch It Muay Thai

Koh Samui, one of Thailand’s biggest and most touristy islands, is saturated with Muay Thai gyms and training camps, but Punch It is one of the best. Punch It benefits from state-of-the-art facilities and some of the country’s top trainers, ideally suited to beginners and intermediate fighters.

Punch It’s intensive training camp-style courses are tailored for backpackers and holidaymakers, with weekly and monthly options including board and airport transfers. The flashpacker accommodation, complete with dorms rooms and a swimming pool, is perfect for visitors looking to tone up and develop their Muay Thai skills, all while meeting like-minded foreigners and staying on the backpacker trail. 

One week at Punch It in Koh Samui costs $231 and includes airport pick-up, twice-daily training sessions, gear hire, accommodation, and gym usage. The price for one month works out as excellent value for money at just $744. 

Punch It is for you if you’re dedicated to learning a new skill and want the proper Muay Thai experience, all while keeping one foot in the traveler scene. With Koh Samui’s tropical beaches and vibrant nightlife on your doorstep, you can have it all if you train at Punch It.

  • Best for: Beginners
  • Address: Maret, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84310

Sitjemam Muay Thai, Pai

Sitjemam Muay Thai
Photo by Sitjemam

Sitjemam is our favorite training camp for budget Muay Thai courses. This gym has a friendly atmosphere, laidback vibe, and charismatic owner, Ms. Mam, who will help you settle in.

Pai is a true backpacker haven in the north of Thailand with stunning rustic scenery and great connections to the cultural hub of Chiang Mai. Training in Pai promises northern Thailand’s signature lower costs, stunning countryside locations, and fellow bohemian travelers to get along with. 

The training style at Sitjemam is specially tailored to those who have never tried Muay Thai before, so there is low pressure and low expectations. Sitjemam provides weekly packages from just $145, including two daily training sessions, training gear, accommodation, and even food. A month at the camp with all the same benefits included costs just $450, making it the best value gym on this list.

  • Best for: Price
  • Address: 2 หมู่ 6 Mae Na Toeng, Pai District, Mae Hong Son 58130

Battle Conquer, Phetchabun

Por Silaphai Gym
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Where Muay Thai meets Crossfit, Battle Conquer is the whole package if you’re looking to knock yourself into shape and work up a sweat daily on your trip to Thailand. Petchabun is another spot in Northern Thailand, but this grueling gym is better suited to committed athletes than buzzing backpackers.

Get off the beaten track and immerse yourself in the world of traditional Thai fighting and modern mixed-martial-arts fitness. Battle Conquer is nestled away from it all, deep in the northern Thai countryside surrounded by farmland, lakes, and hills. 

The camp is excellent for detoxing, losing weight, making permanent changes to your lifestyle, and sharpening your Muay Thai skills. The gym is more expensive than others on this list, but for $380 a week, or $1,587 a month, visitors get daily Muay Thai and Crossfit sessions, accommodation, three meals a day, bike hire, excursions, and more. There’s even the option to sign up for a ‘raw fest,’ a raw vegetable and fruit diet designed to cleanse the colon.

  • Best for: Committed athletes
  • Address: 26 Nong Chaeng Sub-district, Bueng Sam Phan District, Phetchabun 67160

Tiger Muay Thai, Phuket

Tiger Muay Thai
Photo by Tiger Muay Thai

This guide wouldn’t be complete without Tiger Muay Thai making it onto the list. The world-renowned Muay Thai & MMA training camp is the number one spot for foreigners looking to take their Muay Thai training to a professional level. 

The camp has courses for all experience levels located in the center of Thailand’s biggest island, Phuket. Tiger is a great place for beginners to get a taste of authentic Muay Thai and the actual grueling training regimes behind this and other fighting styles. But Tiger Muay Thai has also become a destination gym for professional fighters and elite athletes. Among their clientele are several Thai world champions and foreign UFC champions, both male and female.  

Among their vast array of classes, Tiger Muay Thai offers MMA, BJJ, strength and conditioning, beach boot camps, and even yoga. Yet, if you’re visiting Tiger, trying one of their Muay Thai classes is a must. Revel in the pride of saying you’ve trained on the same ground as some of the world’s most elite fighters. 

One week of all-inclusive training classes costs 5,000 THB, or just under $150. While their all-inclusive packages with accommodation included start at 41,000 TBT a month, or $1,200, and can cost as much as 219,000 THB, which is almost $6,500 if you want access to all classes, deluxe accommodation, meals, and 50 private Muay Thai sessions for the month. 

  • Best for: All levels of experience
  • Address: 7 35 Soi Ta-iad, Chalong, เมือง Phuket 83130

Superpro Samui, Koh Samui

Photo by Superpro Samui

Superpro Samui is the very definition of a multi-disciplinary fitness center. They’re Monday to Saturday schedules are jam packed with all manner of activities. You’ve got CrossFit sessions every weekday and weekend day. There’s yoga practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They even do MMA training with sparring and Dojo matt practice from Monday to Friday.

The Mauy Thai boxing offering starts at 400 THB for a single session and ranges up to 23,000 THB for a 3-month package, which is perfect for folks looking to stay on the sun-kissed island of Koh Samui for a little longer than most.

They have some serious pedigree in the trainer department. Class leaders here include 89-fight veteran Sarikadong Keng, a 2018 Max Muaythai world champion, and head coach Charoon, who has experience training some of the leading fighters in the discipline in the last 20 years.

The location is a big selling point at Superpro. The spot is sat on the main road just south of ever-popular Chaweng Beach, but also a short scooter ride up from Lamai and only 20 minutes from Koh Samui Airport.

  • Best for: Facilities
  • Address: 48/10 Moo 3 Tambon Bo Put, Chang Wat Surat Thani 84320

Jitmuangnon Gym, Nonthaburi

Photo by Jitmuangnon Gym, Nonthaburi

If you’re searching for some top-quality Muay Thai training in the vicinity of the Thai capital then there might be no better option than the acclaimed Jitmuangnon Gym in Nonthaburi. It’s located about six miles north of the heart of the big city up the bends of the Cho Phraya River and it’s now considered one of the finest technical training spaces in the country.

Founded back in 2000, it’s churned out some of the most groundbreaking (and record breaking) fighters in the Land of Smiles in the last two decades. Today, the team roster includes the likes of Nuenglanlek Jitmuangnon (a former Lumpinee Stadium Fighter of the Year) and World Title pedigree Panpayak Jitmuangnon, also known as The Angel Warrior.

  • Best for: Top quality training
  • Address: RGH7+VJ9, Bang Khen, Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi 11000

Lamai Muay Thai, Koh Samui

Lamai Muay Thai
Photo by Lamai Muay Thai

Lamai Muay Thai is a traditional Muay Thai camp and school that’s been going since the late 1990s, making it one of the oldest on the whole island of Koh Samui. It’s certainly got the classic look – the spot is operated out of a big hangar-style shed with corrugated roofs just a couple of blocks back from Lamai Beach on the east coast.

The schedule here is simple. Mornings are given over to the popular two-hour group training sessions for beginner-advanced level fighters. The rest of the day is for free training and private training sessions. Then there’s a separate section for kids’ Muay Thai in the evenings, followed by another group training session.

The packages are also easy to get your head around. You’ll pay 300 THB for a single session or 500 THB for two sessions in one day. You can also plump for one of the more comprehensive training packages, such as the 2x daily sessions throughout a whole month for 7,000 THB. All classes include multiple aspects of fighting, from pad work to endurance training. 

  • Best for: Overall experience
  • Address: RGH7+VJ9, Bang Khen, Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi 11000

Where is the best place to train Muay Thai in Thailand?

The best place to train Muay Thai in Thailand is Bangkok. It’s the capital city but also the heart and soul of Muay Thai, home to the most famous arenas and training gyms in the country. You’ll find leading gyms where you can train among world champion fighters and spectate elite-level Muay Thai events that take place daily. 

There are over 60,000 full-time Muay Thai fighters in Thailand alone, and most fights occur in the capital or nearby towns. The Lumpini Stadium hosts regular and spectacular fighting displays with lively crowds of tourists and locals alike. Still, no matter where you go in Thailand, you won’t struggle to see fights advertised on flyers, in bars, or on trucks in a bid to draw tourists in. Attending an authentic Muay Thai is one of the best ways to find out about your local gyms.    

How much does it cost to train Muay Thai in Thailand?

Muay Thai training classes can start from as little as $3 for an hour or two-hour-long sessions but average at $10-20 per class. Depending on where you train, this typically works out as $60 to $100 per week or $200 to $300 a month. Yet, the most popular way to train Muay Thai is tramping camp-style, which mimics the traditional regimes of professional fighters, where they eat, sleep and breathe Muay Thai every day. 

In Thailand, there are a number of leading Muay Thai camps where foreigners can train daily with experienced coaches and even former world champions, for around $400 a week on average and $1000 a month. This price usually includes equipment, accommodation and sometimes even food. Training camp-style is the best way to fully immerse yourself in Muay Thai and get an authentic taste for how the professionals give their lives to the sport from a very young age. 

What is Muay Thai training like?

Most Muay Thai bootcamps or regular training regimes consist of twice-daily sessions that last for around two hours each. It’s not uncommon for sessions to start very early in the morning, sometimes at the break of dawn, to avoid peak sunshine hours. Likewise, your second session will likely be in the afternoon when the weather is cooler, and the sun is lower. 

Lots of Muay Thai training consists of morning runs, and you could have a strict tailored diet, depending on the camp you choose. The sessions include intense cardio-style training, using lots of power and mental stamina. You’ll build up a sweat in every training session, and it’s not uncommon for beginners to be nauseous and even throw up after their first session when your body enters the fight or flight adrenaline mode of cardio.  

Muay Thai is not for the fainthearted and familiarity with cardio, and martial arts training is preferred. Still, you can jump into most Muay Thai courses with no experience and at any fitness level. Muay Thai training will whip you into shape, improve your overall fitness and strength, give you invaluable fighting skills and reward your mind, body, and soul.  

Joseph

For more than 11 years, Joe has worked as a freelance travel writer. His writing and explorations have brought him to various locations, including the colonial towns of Mexico, the bustling chowks of Mumbai, and the majestic Southern Alps of New Zealand. When he's not crafting his next epic blog post on the top Greek islands or French ski resorts, he can often be found engaging in his top two hobbies of surfing and hiking.

View stories