I was awoken today not by an alarm clock, but rather, by the sounds of shins smashing against the leather Thai pads, grunts of exertion and of course, some Jay Z pumping through the stereo speakers. When you’re here to train, that’s a whole lot more motivational than a cell phone or a radio. I walked out of my tiny room which is situated at the back of the camp and saw a group of about 20 or so guys – who were decked out in Koral, Tapout and pretty much every fight related clothing line you can think of – rolling on the mat. One guy pulled off the slickest Kimura and by seeing that, I was more motivated than ever (and all this while I was on my way to take a morning shower).

While I was supposed to arrive here at Tiger Muay Thai two days ago, I ended up arriving yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. I missed my flight that was scheduled on Monday due to a lost cell phone, an “ice-addicted” prostitute and a forgotten wake up call. Actually, perhaps I should elaborate a little on that. At around 2am on Monday morning my cell phone went missing. Perhaps it just fell out of my pocket or maybe I was pick-pocketed – I’m not really sure. My cell phone is my alarm clock and I had a taxi scheduled to pick my up at my apartment at 10am (which meant I had to wake up at around 9).

Here’s the kicker: the taxi driver was instructed to call my cell phone upon arrival. I asked the security personnel in the lobby of the apartment if they would be able to come to my room and wake me up. “No problem” he says. I even offer him a days salary for doing so. I then started to have my doubts that the task would be completed. I really didn’t want to miss my flight over this. It was too late to buy a new phone and I couldn’t call any of my friends as I had just lost their numbers. So fuck it I thought, this was Pattaya, I could just rent a girl to stay the night and by doing so, I’d also be renting an alarm clock via their cell phone.

I headed down to insomnia nightclub, spotted an attractive girl and without hesitation, I approached her with my request. I think she was a little put off by it. “No sex? I just have to wake you up at 9am and you pay me 1000 baht?” she asked. I confirmed and we headed back to my apartment via a motorbike that her friend was driving. When we arrived, she asked me if her friend could come up because they had to “talk”. I really didn’t understand why they had to go to my room to “talk” when they could just do so in the lobby of the apartment but whatever, we went up.

Once in my room, the girls friend asks “can I smoke something?” “Something” being the key word. I assumed she was talking about a cigarette so I said “alright”. Well, I’ve never seen a cigarette being smoked like this. I honestly don’t know much about drugs but I think they were both taking hits of “ice” – as they call it here. I just told them to get the fuck out so I could get some sleep. In a country where drug usage can carry a death sentence, I don’t see why I’d even risk my freedom by placing myself on situations like that. Once they left, I went back downstairs to confirm that the security guard would indeed still wake me up. “No problem” he says again. So I put my worries to rest (literally), and go to sleep. I think you know where this is going. I woke up the next day at 12pm and obviously missed my flight!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand – Tiger Muay Thai. Upon arrival, I was instantly greeted by a friendly staff and a bottle of cold water. I had a look around the place and I have to say, this is the biggest Muay Thai camp I’ve ever seen. There’s multiple rings, a cage, a traditional gym area, a restaurant, and it’s all broken down into different sections (beginner, intermediate and advanced). They have all sorts of bungalows situated around the camp ranging in price from 4000 baht to about 22,000 baht per month. Of course, being as cheap as I am, I’m in a 5000 baht a month one (and that’s only because the 4000 baht ones are currently full).

I still haven’t had a chance to train yet as I spent yesterday unsuccessfully trying to sort out an issue with my visa (you’ll be hearing more about it later as it looks as though I’ll be doing an entry from Cambodia or Penang). My first workout begins today at around 4pm. One thing I’ve noticed here at Tiger Muay Thai is that they seem like they’re really on top of things in terms of organization. They have a detailed training schedule and the right staff in place to accommodate the needs of the guests. The guest relations manager (Samai) has been going out of her way to help me fix the issue with my visa. They have a free weight area and a friendly conditioning coach that roams around helping guests with their form.

Tiger Muay Thai is situated in a very isolated environment and that has both its positives and negatives. The positives are fairly obvious as their aren’t many distractions. The negatives, well, I find that things aren’t as accessible as I’d like. The other night, at around 10pm, I was hungry and the tiger muay thai restaurant was closed. There were no taxi’s around, I don’t have a motorbike and the nearest 7-11 is about 3km away. It was my first night here and I wasn’t even sure exactly where the 7-11 was so rather than just walk around in the dark aimlessly, I ended up going to bed hungry. Needless to say, my fridge is currently stocked up with all sorts of snacks and drinks so I won’t have the same problem again. I suppose the solution to that is simply to rent a motorbike for about 100 dollars a month. Actually, if you’re staying in Chalong, renting a motorbike is a must. A second negative is the fact that I’m unable to access the wireless connection from my room. However, in all fairness, I’m staying in one of the new budget rooms (pink rooms at the end of the video tour below) and these are brand new. I imagine they will likely be getting a strong wireless connection to service these rooms later on. They actually just installed the cable TV today so I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

Other than the internet connection and the accessibility of things, I’d have to say – so far so good. Of course, it’s a little premature to fully assess things as I haven’t even started my training yet. One cool thing though – I was just informed that Jon Fitch (the worlds number 2 ranked welterweight) arrived today and will be training for a month. I’ve already had the opportunity to train alongside Muay Thai great; Yodsanklai Fairtex – and now I have the opportunity to train alongside one of MMA’s elite as well.

Here’s a brief video tour I took of the facilities at Tiger Muay Thai. In a future entry, I’ll take some video tours of the rooms and bungalows that are available here (there’s a lot!).

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!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

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21 COMMENTS

  1. I trained at Tiger last year. great facility but the staff is far too business oriented (i.e I want your money) and some of the guests had serious attitude problems. I was a beginner and one of the guests wanted to spar and I had never sparred before. This guy was touted as being a future K-1 prospect. He didn’t take it as easy as he should have on an absolute beginner. 2 minutes later my nose was broken. Oh well.

  2. Sumchai,

    That absolutely shouldn’t happen. I’m still learning about this place (only been here 1 day and I haven’t even trained yet). One thing I notice is that they have different areas throughout the camp and the students are grouped together according to skill level. Was it like that last year? Perhaps incidents like yours were happening a lot and thus, this is their solution to that sort of thing.

  3. My folks are in the process of moving out to Phuket and when i go visit I will def be looking at training at Tiger Muay Thai so am going to be keeping an eye on this.

    Great blog by the way, Pattaya is now on my list of places i must visit 🙂

    Keep up the great work

  4. Tiger has been a dream of mine for a long time, you’re certainly doing well to keep it there. I can’t wait to hear about the training they offer. Everything I’ve heard about it touts it as a complete camp, nutrition, fitness, strength conditioning in addition to the training itself, I’m anxious to hear if this holds true!

    Great work as always, you certainly have a way with the ladies, I’m not sure it’s the right way but it’s definitely a way haha

  5. Bill, Ph# for 24 hour taxi is on front door of office. You are right, most guests rent bikes to get arond the island and see sights, go eat, relax at the beaches.

    Yes, WI-Fi is coming, just as cable came today. Just getting lines and extender put in and you’ll be surfing in no time.

    Sumchai, lets not forget, TMT is a business.
    We carry more trainers than any camp in Thailand to provide as much one-on-one training as we can for our guests. The better business we run, the better camp you will have to train.

    as for your nose, the head trainer in your ring should have handled anyone with a bad attitude. each guest is as important as the next. I apologize if one of our trainers did not reel the guest with bad attitude. It happens. Not everyone is friendly in a camp that promotes contact sports, but your safety is a priority concern for us.

    Were you wearing headgear?

    More training area coming to TMT as well before new year.

    Chok Dee

    TMT

  6. Nice. TMT is the future of martial arts in Thailand.

    BTW Where were you in Pattaya? was there a gym near walking street – as I see scorpian is about 1.5 miles away

    ALSO, I have a gym recommendation if you haven’t scheduled this already: Lanna’s Doi Modt hillcamp http://www.muaythai-hillcamp.com/ <— tell me that doesn’t look siiiiiiiiiiiicccccccck

  7. I would like to go to Thai Land to train it has been a long time dream. I am married and have two kids. The wife finally said next year I could go. Usually I means we. Which camp could be considered a family freindly atmosphere I was thinking somewhere around Phuket so they can go to the beach and stuff? Any suggestions?

  8. Mike,

    The food at the Tiger Grill is actually pretty good. The prices are on par with the rest of the island as well which is nice. Phuket in general is more expensive than Pattaya. In Pattaya I was paying 30 baht per meal at a Thai restaurant and in Phuket, the average cost per meal is around 60-90 baht which is around 2-3 dollars.

    They have a meal plan here. I believe it’s around 6000 baht per month and I’m sure that works out to be cheaper than if you were to buy each meal seperately.

  9. Ambert,

    There’s a regular gym just off walking street (weights) but for Muay Thai, their isn’t. However, it’s extremely easy to navigate through Pattaya as there’s busses running constantly. You just hop on the back and give the driver 10 baht when you get off. One bus will get you from Scorpion Gym to walking street. It’ll take about 5 minutes.

    When I was in Pattaya .. I spent the first month on Soi Baukow and I spent the second 5 weeks or so in Jomtein, which is right next to Pattaya. Jomtein is a lot less hectic than Pattaya so you can relax with less distraction. However, when you want to go out, you just hop on one of those baht busses.

  10. I just wanted to say I thought it is a bit off that the staff of TMT is able to offer rebuttles to the “review” and thoughts from customers posted on the entries, I was under the impresiion that this was a review not a question and answer with the TMT staff were they are given a chance to refute anything that people are finding wrong with their camp

  11. Im planning on coming in january i think im going to tiger for a month and both fairtex camps for a month each not sure which is the best to get better at muay thai at though

  12. Fuck’s sakes that is a HUGE gym!!! Looks like very good facilities, and I’ve had good dealings with the owner of TMT through MuayThailand forums in the past. I’ll definitely be spending some time there on my next trip. I’ve heard they’re good to their fighters so that’s a plus for me also…

    Thanks for the info and vid man! Keep up the awesome job brother!!

    Cam “The Razor” Fraser
    http://www.worldmuaythaimagazine.com

  13. I spent 3 months at Tiger this year and had an great time. The trainers are all really friendly besides moo he’s a angry one at times, lol. The gym shop is expensive compared to Patong Stadium and Tesco, significantly more expensive.
    (500 + baht markups on some items)

    The food at camp is ok but I really do not reccomend the 6000baht per month option. You will not want to eat there every day and there is places close by that are cheap and have good food ie Forrest Bungalow or “Mumma’s”.

    I find is really hard to imagine that sombody had there nose broken, sparring is with 18oz “micky mouse” gloves and the beginners wear head gear.

  14. UFC vet Brodie Farber is also at the camp currently training for his Dec. 10th UFC fight.

    Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Tony Eduardo who won a the ADCC Brazilian Trials in 2005 is also staying at TMT until Dec.

    Bernueng Sakhomsin and Nomphon are both ranked in the top 10 of their weight classes for the entire country of Thailand in Muay Thai and TMT will be adding a new trainer Nov 5th who is currently ranked #2 in the country in his weight class.

    Chris~~~>I think it should be encouraging TMT gets on and reads what its guest think about the gym…that shows that while it is a business they are always listening to the concerns of guest and looking to improve.

    TMT has a comment box that is checked everyday by the office staff and topics are covered weekly in group meetings.

    I think TMT is constantly trying to improve…not because it wants more guest…but because we want to give the best training experience to the guest that are already coming to the gym.

  15. Sorry if this sounds like a noob question… I’m planning on heading out to Pattaya and Bangkok for about a week and wanted to get in some Muay Thai training, probably in Pattaya moreso than Bangkok from Bill’s blogs so far. I am headed off to other parts of Asia afterwards so didn’t want to have to lug around my gloves, headgear, jockstrap, shinpads, etc with me…. If I stopped in one of the gyms to do a day session, etc, will they supply the equipment?

    Has anyone created a “google map” with the various gyms that Bill has spoken of or any other essential Thailand sites in Pattaya and Bangkok that they would like to share the links to? I tried to locate some of the gyms from the addresses on Google maps and I wasn’t very successful.

  16. Denny,

    Most of the camps will have shinguards, handwraps and gloves available for public use. The gloves prob. smell awful terrible though and I’m sure you’re out of luck with the jockstrap .. haha

    Which gyms did you try to locate?
    I can give you directions..

  17. Hey guys I’m an aussie beginner to mauy Thai, I’ve been training for about 6months and befor I pick up to many bad habits I would like to travel to Thai land and train at tiger as I’ve not only heard great things about it, it looks like a great gym. Anyway ill cut to the question…. Although I have a long way to go, my fitness is not my main focus if I make the trip to Thailand, I will souly be wanting to focus all my attention on technique and learning the correct way to do things, is there a class based on style and technique? And not so much focused on fitness.
    I will throw it out there that ofvourse I know there will be a certain degree of fitness involved in training alone.

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