It’s every Muay Thai fighter’s dream to be immersed in the culture that birthed the art of eight limbs. If you’re planning to undertake this journey, congratulations on what is potentially the best decision you’ll ever make in your life. But before you go, what can you expect to see and experience upon your arrival to Thailand?
Fighter Diets Vary According to Region
The regular diet of Muay Thai fighters depends on the fresh meat and produce that’s available at the local markets, typically paired with rice. As Natalie B. Compton of Vice News found out in her visit to Thailand, the Thai fighter’s diet is very similar to what most Thais eat. Instead of obsessing about supplements, local fighters go for street food classics like khao man gai – rice with roasted or fried chicken seasoned with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chili peppers, and other local spices. In places like Isan, fish soup with som tam salad is more common as fish is more available in the area. Meanwhile, because eggs are both easy to find and are a complete protein, they’re common throughout gyms in the country. Fighters who like tropical fruit smoothies will find lots of fresh produce for making healthy shakes.
Although this wasn’t the case a decade ago, the people of Thailand today enjoy one of the fastest average broadband Internet speeds on the planet. An article in The Asean Post notes that Thailand’s Internet speed averaged 76.6 Mbps in 2019 – the 27th fastest in the world. For visitors, this means that it’s easier than ever to live and train in Thailand while maintaining connections back home.
A Very Spiritual Culture
Over 95% of the Thai population are Theravada Buddhists, although no one – apart from the Thai king – is required to be one. The strong spirituality of the Thai people is also evident in the country’s many towering and ornate temples, the spirit houses that protect certain buildings and regions, and the very rituals surrounding Muay Thai fights. Being a Muay Thai fighter living and training in Thailand means embracing this spirituality and letting it be part of your journey as a fighter.
Thais Love to Wager on Muay Thai
Being an active Muay Thai fighter in Thailand means being part of the country’s strong wagering economy. In fact, Expatbets’ guide to Thai living and culture indicates that although the country has strict laws regarding gambling, an estimated 70% of the population engage in betting activities that are exempt from these regulations. Apart from horse racing and the state’s lottery, this includes Muay Thai fights at the country’s stadiums. Places like The Lumpinee Stadium, also known as the mecca of Muay Thai, are full of bettors during regular matches. Betting is done through a series of hand signals between bettors and bet takers, a language that even western fighters eventually pick up with enough time in the stadiums. This is vital for fighters who want to understand not just the techniques of Muay Thai, but the culture that surrounds it. By taking part in this aspect of Muay Thai you will also further improve your understanding of the sport.
Rent is Affordable
For $250 to $400, you can live comfortably in a fully furnished place in Thailand. This is why many visitors choose to rent long-term in the country. If you’re planning to live permanently in Thailand – including owning your own house – that’s a little more complicated as there are strict real estate limitations for foreigners. Our own Paul Banasiak can give you more details not just on owning property in Thailand, but also on the visa requirements you need to be aware of, and other living essentials for foreigners seeking to live and train in the country.