Posted in Thailand, Travel

Koh Tao’s fight club 

It took another painful overnight no-sleep sleeping bus followed by a 3 hour freezing cold ferry but we made it back to Koh Tao! And what a fab 10 days we’ve had, we took a different approach this time, we like mixing in a bit of fitness with our travelling so we stayed at a Muay Thai gym. Best decision ever! Our room was literally ring side so there was no excuse for not turning up to training. Fortunately we’re on an island so the beach was only 5 minutes away for in between training chills!

We’d booked a week at the gym but we ended up staying for 10 days so we didn’t miss fight night! Training was twice a day at 8am and 4pm, it was exhausting! Everyday day was stretching, followed by skipping, followed by lots of punching, kicking and kneeing things and finally some abs work to finish you off. It ws brutal but it was awesome. Everyone training there was super nice too, it was nice to find some normal people who weren’t hippies or permanently drunk. One of the girls at training was having her first fight that week after only discovering Muay Thai a couple of months ago so it was nice to be a part of.

When we weren’t at the gym we spent most of our time at the beach. The weather was good and there’s plenty of places to snorkel, we could almost relax until we remembered we had to be back at Muay Thai in a couple of hours! At least it gave me a good excuse for getting a massage, a special tiger balm one too! It was an interesting experience, how I imagine it would feel if you were freezing but on fire at the same time, still, my muscles felt good after it!

If we weren’t at the gym or on the beach we were probably eating. The food markets did a decent pad thai but we also treated ourselves to lots of Italians and even an all you can eat pizza buffet when we’d finished our week of training! And we wonder why we didn’t lose any weight! Rob ate 12 slices!

We got talking to an Israeli couple, Doreen and  Arseny, on the beach one day so ended up spending a few evenings with them. Another reason to eat dinner out, we also ended up watching a fire show and proving that Brits are better than Israelis at beer pong and snooker. No brainer.

We took one day off from the training to put our new diving qualifications to good use. At 5am we joined Mojo divers for a 2 hour boat trip to sail rock, supposedly the best dive site in the gulf of Thailand. From the boat it didn’t look like anything special but once we were under water it was amazing, just like being in a giant aquarium! So many fish! We saw huge schools, some small and pretty but some massive barracudas thrown in the mix too. We also spotted a Moray eel which was fascinating to watch, I didn’t let it get too close though, those things are ugly! We did two amazing dives and then Victor the singing Mexican cooked us a tasty mussamun curry for the journey home. A day well spent.

The highlight of the week though has got to be fight night. Because we were staying on site we really got to be a part of the whole set up and evening. Ptoon the gym owner invited us to eat and drink with him before the night and then let us sit next to him right at the front of the ring. I even got a job on the ticket desk with Samorn one of the trainers!

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We were so close to the fights we had to have one hand over our drinks to stop the sweat flying in but it was so much fun! The stadium was full and the crowd was buzzing and everyone really got behind Wendy for her first fight. She’s only trained for 2 months but she was fierce, the fight went all the way for 3 rounds but it was a unanimous decision that Wendy was the champ! Cherry on top of a fab week. Of course when you’vr trained with a Muay Thai champ you have to go out and celebrate their victory. Everyone who’d trained that week went out to party on the beach even the trainers! Perfect way to finish off the week!

Constant’s epic photography 

It was quite emotional when we had to say goodbye to everyone at the camp. I’ve found a love for Muay Thai I never thought I’d have. Yeah it’s pretty brutal (elbowing people in the face is encouraged) but it’s actually a really  respectful sport too. The fighters normally dance before the match to thank their trainers and then there’s always hugs between the two fighters at the end. Definitely will never catch me in the ring though but I’ve enjoyed the fitness aspect and it definitely feels good to whack out a few punches every now and again!

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