From Australia I arrived on Phuket Island, mainly known as a paradise for dirty German tourists, it is also home to some of the best Muay Thai gyms in the world. I had always wanted to gain some experience in this Martial art, and since this would also help me rehabilitate and strengthen my ankle (that I broke last year) even further, it was time to get stuck into it.
I hadn't booked anything when I arrived in the small town of Chalong, but knew that I wanted to work out at TIger gym, and they helped me find a nice room in a beautiful place called 'outback guesthouse'. Tiger was the first Muay Thai gym to open up on this street which was completely deserted when they did so 10 orso years ago. Nowadays there are 6 gyms, 9 tattoo artists, countless restaurants, lots of places offering accommodation and heaps of other small shops, all on this one street. They all tailor to the ever growing group of people who spend anywhere between a few days and a couple of years in Chalong.
Some people come here to become a professional Muay Thai fighter, some to get more boxing / Muay Thai / MMA / Jiu Jitsu or other skills, some to drop weight and others to rehab (like myself). Muay Thai boxing is an excellent sport (in my opinion) to serve all these purposes. All restaurants around cater to the fighers with special healthy meals, protein shakes, etc. I chose Tiger gym over other gyms because they offer a large variety of classes and cater for beginners to pro's. Their facilities are dilapidated though, lots of wear and tear, the rooms they offer are well run down and hygiene is very questionable with Staph infection spreading like crazy and some people finding living-maggots in their cooked chicken... But like I said before: the classes are good and the trainers excellent.
But I'd met enough people before I got here who spent time in Chalong and they recommended me to use Tiger for all classes etc. but to eat and stay somewhere else, which seems indeed to be the ideal way to go. You pay per day, week or month and can then join any number of classes you want. Mainly just limited by how tired you are. Most people take morning classes, eat, sleep, afternoon classes, eat and sleep again. 6 days per week.
My days mainly existed of Joga at 7 AM to start the day, Muay Thai from 8 to 10.30 and in the afternoon Body-fit, cross-fit or some other variety of work out. 2.5 hours were spent between warming up (running and exercises), technique, bags, sparring, bag-work, etc. After a while, all you hear is leb, light (left, right) yelled out by trainers, and students trying to hit anything as hard as they can....
Twice per week I did a special body-fit class, either running up the big Buddha hill or exercising on the beach (all with a big group), great fun and excellent workouts. I haven't done any sightseeing or partying yet though, except for the occasional trip to beach with some guys from my guesthouse... It sounds quite chilled-out, but in actuality it's extremely tiring and next to training I'm not really able to do a whole lot else!