I arrived in Pattaya about 2 nights ago and I’ve honestly never seen anything like this. I don’t even know where to begin when describing it. I guess I can start by saying that the main attraction here is not Muay Thai and if it is, there’s certainly a lot of retired 50 year olds training to knock Fedor off his throne. While Pattaya hosts some of the best Muay Thai gyms in the world, all it takes is one look around and the main attraction here becomes quite evident – it’s sex! Sex sells and I suppose Pattaya is cashing in. The girls come to Pattaya from all over the country; the majority of which are from Issan, which is one of Thailand’s poorest regions. The average family income in Issan is about $800 US dollars. Since the Thai government isn’t structured in a way that the elderly are taken care of when they’re unable to work, the burden of being a provider is placed on the children – particularly the daughters.
And so they come here to Pattaya where they can earn upwards of $2000-$3000 a month depending on where they work and how “active” they are. The girls are also quite good at tricking guys into falling in love with them and collecting “sponsor” money. Sponsor money is when the guy returns to his home country and sends the girl money on a monthly basis to keep her from working in the bars. Some of these girls can have multiple sponsors at once all while secretly still working in the bars without their sponsors knowing.
Of course, there are exceptions. A lot of these girls are great, honest people that have just been dealt a bad hand in life and they’re just doing what they can to provide for their loved ones. I’ve asked them how they feel about things and they usually respond with “what I can do?”. And unfortunately, they’re right. The average factory worker in Thailand makes about 192 baht a day. To put that into perspective, that’s less than 1 dollar an hour based on a 7 hour workday. Sort of tough to take care of yourself and your loved ones on so little.
Anyway, now that I’m through with that little Thai economy lesson, I can finally talk about the training (hence, this is the “Thailand Training Journal”). I went to Scorpion Gym today and was put through my first Thai Boxing workout since I’ve been here. It’s funny, I trained my ass of for this. I’d run every single night in addition to my weight training workouts. Two-a-days for about a month straight and I couldn’t even complete 3-3 minute rounds on the pads.
I’m pretty sure it was the heat that was effecting me so much. It’ll probably take me a while to get acclimatized to it but after about 5-10 days, I should be alright. Here’s a video tour I took of the Scorpion camp…
It’s a nice gym but it’s f*cking hard to find! I went around asking motorbike taxi drivers to take me and the first 14 or so had no idea where it was. It was pretty frustrating actually. On a side note, they have an awesome pro-shop (perhaps the best I’ve seen at a gym in Thailand) and the prices are really good. I bought myself a pair of 14oz fairtex gloves for 1400 baht, which is approximately 43 dollars.
Tomorrow I’ll be going to the infamous Sityodtong gym. Hopefully it’s infamous with the Thai taxi drivers as well so I can actually get to it!
Might as well finish up this entry with a random video. Filmed this on “walking street”. I haven’t dated a white girl since um.. about grade 5 and although this an unfair comparison, this is how I see things in my eyes.
I present to you..
I’LL LET YOU GUYS PICK THE WINNER..
THINKING OF GOING TO THAILAND TO TRAIN?
I’ve developed a 70 page guide that profiles everything you need to know about training in Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya. In the manual, I discuss the visa issues, the Muay Thai camps, the different areas, the transportation, the food, the culture and customs, the girls, the scams, the safety issues and most importantly, how to save a ton of cash along the way!