Muay Thai is Thailand’s national sport and a combat sport similar to boxing. The difference is that fighters are allowed to use their elbows, knees and shins in addition to their fists. The use of these has led to the nickname ‘Eight Limbs Art’. Muay Thai is faster than normal boxing. Professionals tend to be slighter then the average heavyweight boxer such as Deontay Wilder or Mike Tyson.
When top-level Muay Thai boxing fights are shown on television in Thailand it seems like the whole country stops to watch. Muay Thai fights come with a number of traditions. They typically start with the pugilists enacting a kind of dance routine called wai kru Thai muay which pays respects to their individual trainers. Sarama horn music accompanies this pre-fight ritual and starts off slow but increases in tempo as the fight starts.
Bangkok’s Rajadamnern and Lumpinee boxing stadiums are the main venues to watch muay Thai boxing in Thailand. In Chiang Mai there are several boxing arenas at which tourists can take in muay Thai boxing fights. Thaphae Stadium on Moon Muang Road is one of these. The boxing ring here is in a bar-beer centre and boxers trained at gyms in Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand stage exhibition bouts almost every night.
Interest in Muay thai has increased over the past few decades. Many foreign visitors now take muay Thai training courses at gyms in Chiang Mai as well as at other tourist locations such as Pattaya and Phuket. There are an estimated 20 gyms in Chiang Mai and the surrounding locality which offer fitness programmes and training in the intricacies of muay Thai. We have picked out the recommended muay Thai gyms.
Recommended Muay Thai Courses in Chiang Mai:
Burklerk Gym | Chay Yai Gym | P. Silaphai Gym | Chiang Mai Muay Thai Gym | Hongthong Gym | Lanna Gym | Santai Gym | Sit Thaharnaek Gym | Team Quest Gym | The Iron Lion Gym | Further Reading
*Note: Prices do change, we recommend you to check with the gyms before making reservations.
TEAM QUEST MUAY THAI GYM
Established by a trio of wrestling stars, Team Quest Thailand offers a full range of mixed martial arts (MMA), jiu-jitsu, wrestling, international boxing and muay Thai boxing training. Since Team Quest was founded it has produced champions in all genres. The muay Thai boxing coaches have long experience in teaching foreigners and are well versed in effective ways of relating techniques and moves. Two-hour sessions feature dynamic warm-ups, padwork, pure strategy and techniques, bagwork, sparring and clinches. Team Quest Thailand’s main training centre is located in the southern Phadad region of Chiang Mai and five minutes on foot from the Airport Plaza Shopping Mall.
Team Quest Muay Thai Gym: #114/3, M.1, T.Padad, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 | Open: 07:30-18:30 (Mon-Sat) | Courses: Weekly 2,500 B / Monthly 8,000 B | Tel: +66 86 091 1536 | Website | Facebook | E-mail | Map
SIT THAHARNAEK MUAY THAI GYM
Located in the Kalare Night market and across from the Night Bazaar, Sit Thaharnaek Gym is a good choice for those staying in central Chiang Mai. One-time Rajadamnern favourite Thaharnaek Chumpaetour oversees twice daily sessions which focus on body conditioning, and sparring training.
Sit Thaharnaek Gym: #41, The Night Bazaar Place Hotel (2nd Floor), Chang Klan Rd., A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 | Courses: Weekly 2,200 B / Monthly 8,000 B | Tel: +66 87 634 2070 | Facebook |[ Map
HONGTHONG MUAY THAI GYM
Twins Kru Joe and Kru Jen offer an authentic muay Thai training experience from the Hongthong Gym. It is located on the middle ring road in the southern Mae Hia area of Chiang Mai. The brothers say they are dedicated to preserving the traditions and techniques of the sport. The Hongthong Gym offers training ranging from one-hour private sessions to three-month group courses. Morning sessions are for all levels while late afternoon ones are split into novices and advanced.
Hongthong Gym: #150, M. 2, Middle Ring Rd., T. Mae Hia, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 | Open: 08:00-19:00 (Mon-Sat) | Courses: Weekly 2,500 B / Monthly 9,000 B | Tel: +66 53 261 354-9, +66 81 961 0028 | Fax: +66 53 261 363 | Website | Facebook | E-mail | Map
P.SILAPHAI MUAY THAI GYM
National Board of Boxing certified trainer Prasit Silaphai offers a choice of muay Thai training packages at P. Silaphai Gym (or Por Silaphai). The gym is on a side street close to Chiang Klan Road. It is equipped with a sparring ring, sandbags and all the accessories needed for effective muay Thai training. P. Silaphai offers four daily sessions, six days a week. Wai kru Thai muay tuition is a part of the advanced level sessions here. The Resto Café is right next door and a good spot to chill after a workout.
P. Silaphai Gym: #4, Viang Ping Rd., T. Chang Klan, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50100 | Open: 07:30-19:30 (Mon-Sat) | Courses: Weekly 3,500 B / Monthly 9,500 B | Tel: +66 82 274 2160, +66 89 633 6585 | Website | Facebook | E-mail | Map
SANTAI MUAY THAI GYM
Located in the eastern San Kamphaeng District of Chiang Mai, Santai Muay Thai Gym offers training courses in old-style muay Thai boxing. A dedicated team of former boxers and skilled trainers offer bespoke training sessions which focuses on building stamina and strength plus the basic skills and movements of muay Thai.
Santai Muay Thai Gym: #79, M. 9, A. San Kamphaeng, Chiang Mai 50130 | Open: 06:00-19:00 (Mon-Sat) | Courses: Weekly 3,000 B / Monthly 10,000 B | Tel: +66 82 528 6059 | Website | Facebook | E-mail | Map
THE IRON LION MUAY THAI GYM
The Iron Lion is home to a skilled team of muay Thai trainers who are well versed in teaching people of all levels. The Iron Lion is as good a choice for those who have never tried the sport as it is for skilled boxers looking to big up their fight skills. Group sessions are small to ensure individual attention while trainers tend to focus on moving rapidly, dodging blows and defence tactics, and hitting to maximum effect. The Iron Lion Gym is on Rodfai Road and easy to get to as it is barely two minutes on foot from Chiang Mai Railway Station.
The Iron Lion Muay Thai Gym: #46, Rod Fai Rd., Wat Ket, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 08:00-17:00 (Mon-Sat) | Courses: N/A | Tel: +66 84 905 1063 | Website | Facebook | Map
LANNA MUAY THAI GYM
Lanna Muay Thai, also called Kiat Busaba, operates from a gym at the foot of Suthep Mountain and close to Chiang Mai University. The professional team of trainers Lanna Muay Thai have years of experience and fights under their belts. The main gym is an open-sided pavilion designed to catch the cooler mountain breezes. Two fight rings are under separate roofs while punch bags and sit-up benches are among a huge selection of equipment utilised for body conditioning.
Lanna Muay Thai: #161, Soi Chang Kian, Huay Kaew Rd., T. Suthep, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50300 | Open: 06:30-19:00 (Mon-Sat) | Courses: Weekly 2,200 B / Monthly 8,000 B | Tel/Fax: +66 53 892 102 | Website | Facebook | E-mail | Map
CHIANG MAI MUAY THAI GYM
Chiang Mai Muay Thai enjoys a convenient location in the Old City and is just 500 metres north of Wat Phra Singh Temple. This gym is open, spacious and high-roofed and does not get too warm on even the hottest days of the year in April. Knowledgeable instructors are tuned to the needs of all levels of students and offer workouts and sparring sessions to suit each individual.
Chiang Mai Muay Thai Gym: #76, Vieng Kaew Rd., T. Sri Phum, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50200 | Open: (Mon-Sat) 08:00-10:00, 14:00-20:00 / (Sun) 14:00-20:00 | Course: Monthly 8,000 B | Tel: +66 95 915 7488 | Facebook | E-mail | Map
CHAY YAI MUAY THAI GYM
With more than three decades of experience in training muay Thai boxers and offering specialised courses, Chay Yai Gym is one of the top choices for novices and professionals alike. Many of the Nong Hoi District gym’s former course participants have gone on to fight at the Thaphae Stadium. The team of trainers have all had successful muay Thai careers and also have good English proficiency levels.
Chay Yai Gym: – San Pa Liang, T. Nong Hoi, A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 | Open: 08:00-19:00 (Mon-Sat) | Courses: Weekly 2,200 B / Monthly 8,000 B | Tel: +66 53 261 354-9, +66 81 961 0028 | Fax: +66 53 261 363 | Website | Facebook | E-mail | Map
BURKLERK MUAY THAI GYM
A one-time Chiang Mai favourite, Burklerk Muay Thai Gym has relocated to the city of Lampang. The gym is about 0.5km from Lampang Railway Station and two hours from Chiang Mai by train. Despite the distance, Burklerk Pinsinchai’s innovative hands-on training and techniques still entices muay Thai fans to head down to Lampang.
Burklerk Gym: #139, Soi 1, Nakuam Rd., T. Sop Tui, A. Muang, Lampang 52100 | Open: 08:00-20:00 (Daily) | Courses: N/A | Tel: +66 82 766 0682, +66 91 383 9577 | Facebook | Map