Are Phuket Camps Worth It?

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I have trained muay Thai for only a year at home, so I am still a beginner and technical areas like my clinch are shit. I am not looking too drink and party at all, and I am committed to training my hardest.
I want to go to Phuket to relax on the beaches and be in a nice location. I have worked here at home to be able to afford Phuket for 3 months. But I often see people say Phuket is shit and if you really want to train hard Bangkok is a must.
What I want to know is if this is actually accurate? I was planning on training at gyms with good rep like Sinbi or Sitsongpeenong in Phuket, but there is still that feeling that to get the most out of it I need to go to Bangkok. The trainers at both of these gyms in Phuket are of very high quality, so I do not understand why people dismiss Phuket as a whole as not a serious training area. Am I missing something about Phuket or something?

You don't have to go to Phuket for beaches, pattaya has beaches and although I think pattaya is a shit place you have some really good gyms there such as petchrunruang and sorklinmee (really want to go there).
Or you can even look at other southern provinces such as Trang and Nakhon si thammarat.

If you've only been training a year, you'll be fine in Phuket at the gyms you named. The trainers will teach you things and there will be people there who are at your level or better for you to spar with. People mention Bangkok as having the 'hardcore' gyms because that's where the best active Thai fighters are, but you probably need to be a seasoned fighter to really need that. As a relative newcomer, you might get a bit lost in a Bangkok gym as they're generally more interested in their fighters.

Regarding Bangkok I highly agree with the above post, in Bangkok you get lost and half the camps are so hard to find even with maps etc taxi drivers don't know where to go or how to find them and in the heat and humidity of bangkok it is tought to keep going in circles.

Training wise yes they do tend to favour there own fighters u do pads with a trainer but half the time they aren't really bothered about you.

I trained my last 3 days at Sinbi and I must say I am shocked I didn't try this place out before it is absolutely spot on in regards to the training I was after, your pushed and you have a trainer with you at all times. You get a trainer to do shadow boxing with you. A couple of trainers and especially pot watching your bagwork. Then pads they let u do your techniques and correct when necessary I even asked my trainer to attack me and hit me and he hit me whenever I let my guard down and got too close. I will write a full review in a few days when I got a bit more time. But if you want to train sinbi I wouldn't sway you otherwise.

Thanks for the quick replies. I was thinking the same things about being sidelined to the fighters in Bangkok. If the gym has good well known trainers, and you are willing to work hard then I fail to see why the training would be of a less standard, especially as a beginner. I guess the number of bad gyms in Phuket makes people generalise.

I don't think the trainers are worse in Phuket I think they're used to people coming for a day and leaving so some can be lazy.
But its also a lot gyms in phuket don't have many if any Thai fighters so can have a lack of Thais to clinch with.
But I don't think its a bad place to go if you're into beaches and that sort of scene.

alot of BKK gyms do airport pick up...
I prefer Pattaya above Phuket becaause Pattaya doesn't pretend to be something it is not and the gyms seem better.
near Pattaya you also have nice beaches

For you my friend why not go all 3 and more. You stated 3 months. Never book in advance at any gym. Go in and feel it out, if it fits then do weekly deals. Here's a quick breakdown.

Bangkok- busy busy, many cars, allot of pollution. Gyms are more hardcore. Nothing really too do except trAin. Trainers vary, most don't know English except bigger camps. Less tourist. You will be so bored with nothing to do except trAin. They have nice shopping though, but expect the locals to know little English.

PattayA pattaya- busy at times, but less condense then Bangkok. Alot of distractions ( girls, or. If you're into ladyboys). Allot of bars, night life is great, party city, decent beaches. Did I already say a lot of distractions. Gyms here are decent also. They will work you as much as you want to.

Phuket-allot of nice beaches. Gyms are usually clean, allot of tourist. Spendy compared to other areas. Vacation training #1.

Chingmai- quieter, more authentic feel, cheaper, no beaches, I'm in Thailand feel to it. Cleaner air. Issan is where some of the best Thai boxers are bred and born.

Go to all places. 3 Months is allot of time. Why order, when you have the buffet.

I think you see more knee drills and clinching in Bangkok.

Also its rare to have many top drawer stadium Thai s actively training in Phuket, whereas you do in Bangkok. Not that means you will automatically get better, but to. be in their environment can be an eye opener.

but yeh Bangkok is a huge place and not as much to do there as people will have you believe, whereas Phuket has loads of nice places which have all been fucking ruined

Phuket gyms buy good BKK (ex) fighters but the gym structure itself can't compete with a good BKK or Isaarn equivalent. The gyms are specifically geared towards generating revenue off tourists as opposed to raising elite BKK stadium competing Thai boxers - fundamentally different operating models.

Phuket is just as expensive as BKK as well so price isn't an issue. Train at BKK the whole time and tack a dedicated 1 to 2 weeks beach holiday on your trip to tick that off too. You could easily have a fight and take a week off straight after to relax at the beach.

If your clinch is shit then BKK should be more of a priority as most gyms will do 30-45 mins clinch a day but you'd struggle to get that on the islands or up north.

I want to try out Kiathphontip and Sitsongpeenong one day, now that I started to like bangkok I might spend bit more time there in future, I definately loved it this time.

I think as very few if any of us were,are, or are likely to be, elite level fighters, then a decent "tourist" gym like Sinbi or Sumalee will be fine for 99.9% of trainees.


Well the only way you'll become an elite level is if you have good training partners which obviously includes the clinch, and good trainer.
It depends on your aim as a fighter as to which region you will go to.

I've never even trained with one let alone clinch in Phuket they keep there Thai s away from the foreigners. In Bangkok you're looked at like you just stepped on a 20 baht note and barely paid attention too.

If Phuket doesn't let you train with the Thais then that's pretty damn shit in my opinion. Chiang Mai and the north tends to just not have Thais around as opposed to avoiding training with you.

I'm of the philosophy that you pay money to train in Thailand in a Thai style with Thais. If Phuket can't offer that then I'd be inclined to scratch it from consideration and limit yourself to BKK.

As someone mentioned above Kiatphontip is a strong clinch gym. Omnoi who is there must be 65kg but would happily clinch rape any farang 80kg and under. Kiatphontip isn't central though if you're looking to tick off MBK and the central shops in your spare time.

"Phuket" not letting people train with Thais and not doing clinch seems to be a massive generalisation to me. Larger westerners. perhaps most of us, might struggle at times but it'll take a few million years of evolution to sort that one out. My philosophy is not that training with Thais is the be all and end all, rather the chance to train full time at reasonable cost is what's most important. A good/great trainer is just that whatever his nationality.

Having said that, of course the best training is in Bangkok, but I'd argue you need to be pretty high level in the first place to take full advantage of that and you're more likely to get poor training at a "fighters" gym if you're a beginner or low level/average fighter because they're not really set up to train people in the basics when producing Lumpinee champs is their goal. If you can give them a year or two rather than weeks then you might be worth their time, but if you're not ready to earn them money, then what motivation do they have to spend time on you just to get you to the point where you can win a few amateur fights in your own country or beat a chicken farmer in Thailand?

I can attest, that in Phuket I trained,sparred, clinch with upcoming, and current Thais. With the exception of Tiger, thats a whole different story all together. Most gyms will let you spar with Thais if you have the skill and understanding of sparring/clinching. If you are novice and show no skill, why would they put an upcoming Thai to train with you, it will be a waste of their time to spar with a novice if they have a upcoming fight? It will be the equivalent to why would you go to Thailand to have a foreigner/visitor on vacation hold pads for you?

Thai trainers can tell who is on vacation and who is serious. Another reason can be that they think you cant control your power. For example, I know for a fact at some gyms, they will ask if you are Russian, if you are they wont let their fighters spar with you. We all know Russians treat sparring sessions as real Muay Thai fights. Why fight full 100% when you can go fight for money in a real fight? I had a Russian elbow me for real in a training session once in Phuket, After that I delivered a hard knee to his liver and that put a stop to his ways. Like I said, Thai owners will not allow their fighters to spar with you unless you can show control, because they dont want to get injured for stupid reasons before a fight.

No Evolution needed
just let away the rubber

i went to a Pakron and Saenchai seminar last weekend, we did about an hour of clinch, I have never been so sore , took,e about 3 days to recover, it was also v intense on the lungs, all subtle stuff anns not onne pad was kicked that day

Did you learn that twisty throw they do where they just flick you from their hips?

I've never been able to do that. It works so effortlessly particularly against larger opponents. I'd spend a lot of $$$ to break that down with someone and master it.

That's wicked Hawkman! I would love to go to a clinch seminar by those dudes. So many little techniques to learn and yes, clinching is so taxing, always drains my energy....different type of cardio than padwork for sure!!!

It's crazy that now you are back in the Uk you get to go to such a good seminar with 2 superstars, while in Thailand you can only dream of it

haha can add them to my Samart and Yodsaenklai experiences as well.

tbh when you are practicing on westerners you are not going to have the same kind of learning. what we did was drill two types of clinch escape and locks, its all in the hips, and yeh knackering.

There is. bloke aT Suwit in Phuket whilst I dont rate it as a gym, he is wicked to clinch with cos he has the weight and strength( unreal strength) but also the sublety / technique. Nazee at Tiger also mental good in the clinch.

ah your Yodsanklai experience was not in Fairtex then?

no in Singapore

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