Many visitors that come to Thailand come to enjoy the beautiful beaches, warm waters and impressive hospitality of the Thai people. And for a good reason. Thailand is an amazing holiday destination. However snorkeling, tanning and diving are not the only things one can do here very well. Being the origin of the more and more famous Martial Art of Muay Thai, or Thai Boxing, Thailand sees a bigger share of martial artists coming to the country in order to hone their skills.
When first coming to Bangkok it might be quite tough to find the right gym to get started with your road to Muay Thai perfection. Hence here a list of five very good gyms in the Bangkok area. There are obviously way more and it’s up to everyone’s individual taste to choose the best one, but those five have proven to be famous choices for a reason.
When talking Muay Thai one obviously has to talk about Buakaw Banchamek. He’s THE household name in Muay Thai thanks to his global success in K1 and other promotions. With all the success he had and still has he also decided to open his own gym. There is one in his home province in Surin and one in Bangkok. It is said that he spends more time in Surin but the one in Bangkok sees more fighters since BKK is the hub for important fights.
More info: FB Banchamek Gym.
Sitmonchai is quite a big name in Thailand’s Muay Thai scene right now. It produced and still produces quite a lot of successful fighters and champions. So if you’re looking for a ‘real’ gym that gives you the chance to step up your game, Sitmonchai is certainly a good choice.
Opening times and videos can be found one their FB Page.
Yokkao Training Center Bangkok – taken out
With 500 THB / drop in session (cheaper when you buy packages) Yokkao is certainly not among the cheap gyms but in this case you get what you pay for. The teachers (led by Kru Manop) are really (!) good and able to give you advice and correct you on the fly by showing you how and what to do in ways that are easy to understand.
I really like this place, the facilities are top, the coaches great and you get to hang out and train along real (!!) good fighters.
For a more detailed review and contact information check my “Yokkao Muay Thai Gym Review“.
Due to recent news that emerged about Yokkao’s business tactics I don’t feel like being able to recommend this place any longer.
Petchyindee Academy is, as the name suggests, a highly professional ‘academy’. Everything is top notch and Petchyindee has been in the race for ‘gym of the year’ quite a few times while also producing ‘fighters of the year’. It’s not cheap but the quality speaks for itself. The approach, however, might be a bit different from ‘traditional’ gyms.
A few more infos here on their FB page.
Luktupfah has seen quite a few owners over the past decades. For quite a while now it’s under the management of Grandmaster Woody Sirisompan (with help from his daughter Jade Marrisa Sirisompan) and attracts lots of high profile fighters as well as amateurs and beginners. Luktupfah is a bit further away than some of the more ‘hiso’ gyms but definitely worth the trip.
Infos also on their FB page.
Mankong Phranai Muay Thai
MKPN is different. In a good sense. At least speaking from a personal perspective. It’s rather small compared to most other gyms you’ll find on this and other lists but the coaches there are pretty great and aren’t only there to hold pads but also to actually correct you with your technique and give you some real fight tips that can improve your game dramatically. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go there, especially foreigners are often a bit scared / surprised by how small the place looks (and it can get crowded after work), but the quality here is top notch and right now that’s where you find me most often.
If you want to check it out, get in touch and make an appointment via FB (response rate is very high and quite fast) – a more detailed review can be found here: Mankong Phranai Muay Thai Gym – Muay Thai in the middle of Bangkok.
Update July 2017. It’s getting really crowded by now which speaks for the success of the gym (probably because of this article :P). You won’t see me there anymore as I don’t feel too comfortable when there’s too little space around me + my three favorite coaches all left but that doesn’t mean it’s not for you.
What’s your favorite gym? Shout out in the comments!