Muay Farang advices before You come in Thailand
If you are reading this article you are probably planning a trip to Thailand. If you are not sure if you should go and/or you are afraid of the trip or you just need some information on this different culture here is what you need to know.
What to take with you : The essential.
Thailand has everything you would need or want, from luxury objects to cheap ones.
It is ranked second in the world for number of 7/11s (24h minimarket) where you can find every kind of products. Bangkok is considered one of the best cities in the world for shopping, thanks to many and huge malls and markets where you can buy anything, really.
For what concerns Muay Thai products, at Lumpinee stadium in Bangkok there are different shops where you can find all you need at good prices; In Rayong You can find the first Muay Farang shop for all muay thai products. Therefore, if you don’t have a very strict budget, the suggestion is to leave home with your luggage half empty, containing only strictly necessary things, because on the way back you will need space for all the stuff you bought in the land of smile.
It’s highly recommended to get a medical insurance before leaving, because in Thailand hospital are private and the cost of medical expenses are quite high, therefore, going to the hospital for a simple acccident might cost a fortune.
Where to stay and/or train:
There are various types of gyms for any needs. If the purpose of the trip is to train and fight, the suggestion is to stay in a “real” traditional camp where there are not many distractions and the training is at the level of preparing a fight, like for example ‘7 Muay Thai‘ camp in Rayong
Normally, camps/gyms offer a complete package of training, accommodation and food, to experience camp life at its best.
If You can survive in a overflowed and polluted Bangkok , especially where the air is unbreathable, then You can, train in one of the historic camp of ‘real’ Muay Thai in the city.But be careful with your choice because by now many camps are became touristic/commercials . To distinguish commercial camps to the traditional ones, You have to be sure You will be able to train as Thai and Farang Nak Muays (professional fighters) who live in Thailand.
On the other hand, if the purpose is a training/holiday the choices are many and they are mostly found in touristic locations, gyms with good training to which can be added some other fun activities. Phuket, Ko Samui and Chiang Mai are the most popular tourist areas and are overcrowd and polluted almost as Pattaya and Bangkok.
Between touristic location in Thailand we don’t recommend Phuket, a very nice island which unfortunately during the years it has become inhospitable and expensive, because it is one of the most appreciated and visited destinations in the world. The same is for the typical tourist locations like Koh Samui, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, where you will be treated as ‘tourists’ and the Muay Thai training will be only 3 rounds of Pad work and maybe if you’re lucky some group exercise with a coach, for the reso of training you will be sent to kick bag alone and without any definite program of training.
About Rayong, there is an oasis of sea, nature and comfort you will find in Ban Phe, at 7 Muay Thai Gym.
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Thai people are really loyal to their culture and to the Royal Family, expecially to the King, who is often displayed in shops, houses and offices with photos or Royal symbols. For this reason, tourists must avoid any kind of disrespectful action towards the figures of the Royal Family, as it is considred a very serious crime.
The Thai culture is too vast and varied to be described in a few lines, the suggestion is to experience it in first person.
The main religion is Buddhism (even if it is more precise to describe it as a life philosophy rather than a religion) and with this come some credentials that have to be respected during the journey in Thailand. For example, the feet are the lowest part of the body and therefore are considered dirty and inpure, so it’s disrespectful to put your feet or shoes near, or on someone (expecially near the head) or religious objects. This of course isn’t the case of muay thai, even if during the training touching the face of someone with your feet, on purpose, is considered disrespectful.
Getting around in Thailand is the last of the problems as there is a wide choice of transports.
Tourists can choose between :
-Motorbike Taxi (taxi drivers that ride a motorbike)
-Taxi Meter (Classic Taxi)
-Song Teaw (public open pickups that go around certain parts of the city for 10-20 baht per person or they can be rented as private taxis by paying an amount discussed with the driver before getting on)
-Bus (classic buses that connect all the cities in Thailand with eachother)
-Minibus (Minivans that drive the same routes as big busses but in less time – not recommended if afraid of speed)
-Planes (Great to travel between different areas of Thailand in short time and at good price)
And if this is not enough, it is possible to rent scooters, cars and big bikes very easily in 10 minutes time.
If the journey in thailand is not longer than a month, most European citizens can visit Thailand without a visa (max 30 days). If the the stay is between a month to 3 month, tourists need to apply for a visa at the Thai Embassy before leaving.
To stay up to 6 month toursits must apply for a double entrance visa (which works like a classic tourist visa but can be used twice: 2 month + extention at the nearest immigration office, when this is over the toursit will have to cross thailand’s border by air or by ground and come back in the country to be able to use the second entrance of the visa, this can be done with services created for this purpose called “visa run” and it is much easier than it sounds).
Overstay in the Thai territory (staying in the country with no visa or with an expired visa) will be sanctioned 500 Baht per day to be payd at the airport before leaving. Relying on overstay is not recommended for more than a couple of days.
When arrived at the airport we suggest to buy a thai sim card because it’s quite cheap to call in Thailand and overseas. The best telephone companies are Ais 1-2 Call, True and Dtac.
Thai people are normally very kind and respectful towards law, culture, religion and the King.
Anyhow, like most touristic destination in the world it’s easier to find Thais that try to scam or ask for more money that they should with some smart tricks. For example, in Bangkok toursists have to be careful of the typical Tuk Tuks, (taxis that are nowdays mostly used by tourist) which try to make the trip longer or to stop in places you didn’t ask to go to.
Also in the touristic beach location (like Pattaya) is not recommended to rent jet skis, unless the person who rents them or the owner of the chairs on the beach is a friend and can be trusted 100%, this is because the renters use some tricks to make the tourist believe to have broken the vehicle during while using it, than ask to pay big amounts to fix it, when the jet ski was probably already broken before. Calling the police man seen around the area in this cases is pointless because most of the time will support the renter.
For what concernes Phuket we don’t recommend to stay at “Baan Kamala” hotel as we recieved differnet warnings on scams with motorbikes rented by the hotel owners; anyhow whenever a scooter is rented it is best to check for already existing damages.
Finally, tourist will not exceed their spending budged if expenses are handled with care.
Chok Dee by Muay Farang!