Here’s a very helpful post by a friend of mine training out of Phuket Top Team. His name is Johnny Jen and he isn’t a stranger Training and traevling in Thailand. He’s currently at Phuket Top Team for a 3 month training camp and just created a blog post on his blog site http://myfightcamp.blogspot.com, that breaks down the sort of money you can expect to spend during a training trip in Phuket. I generally tell people at you can survive here easily with $1000 USD a month. And you’ll find yourself with money left over to spend. What Johnny has written is a more detailed explanation of where your money is going to go and any what extra activities you can spend it on.
The actual living costs of a fight camp is often very different from what guys budget for. Living in Thailand can be very very cheap but there are also many ways to blow your six months savings in half that time. Here is a breakdown of actual real life costs. The monthly training costs are roughly the same whether you are training at Tiger Muay Thai, Phuket Top Team, or even the smaller gyms like Dragon Muay Thai and Suwit. Places like Fairtex are a bit more expensive and places in the north like in Chiang Mai are a bit cheaper, but the training cost itself is only half of it.
Monthly Budget for Training Muay Thai and MMA
Strict Budget – Cheapest Possible per month
Monthly Training – Muay Thai and MMA – 9,000 baht ($300US)
Accommodation: Fan Room with Shared Bathroom – 5,500 baht ($185US)
Breakfast – Eggs, Omelette or Oatmeal with Fruit – 40baht per meal x 30 = 1,200 baht ($40US)
Lunch – Thai Food – Chicken Basil with Rice, Fried Rice Chicken, Mixed Veggies with Chicken and Rice 50 baht x 30 = 1,500 baht ($50US)
Dinner – Chicken, Broccoli and Brown Rice – 100 baht per meal x 30 = 3,000 baht ($100US)
Drinks – Only Water which you refill yourself from 10 liter jugs – 80 baht ($2.65US)
Entertainment – Visit temples, the big buddah, relax on the beaches, go hiking, sneak into a resorts pool, play board games, watch TV and DVDs, internet – all free.
Total Cost for Month for Training on a Strict Budget - 20,280 baht – $676US Dollars
So yes, it is possible to live super cheap out here in Thailand which is what I’ve been doing for the past three years now on and off. After reading the book by Tim Ferris, “The 4-Hour Workweek” I decided that for the cost of one month’s rent alone back in Los Angeles, I could live, train and eat out here, I made the move.
However, here are common add ons that will eat into your budget: Some of them are necessary to live and others are out of convenience and comfort.
Pharmacy – Ibuprofen, Muscle Relaxers, Pain Killers, Anti Biotic Cream, Tiger Balm, and Re-hydration Powders (powdered Gatorade) 570 baht a month on average. $19US
Motorbike Rental - If you want to get around the island you’ll most likely rent a scooter. Learn to ride a semi-automatic (manual) and save yourself tons of money, it only takes a few days to get used to. 2,000 baht a month for a manual, 3,500 for an automatic. $67-$117US a month. (Prices are current as of June 6th 2011 but are a bit higher if you rent through some gyms)
Tips on motorbikes: What Thai’s call Manual bikes are actually semi-automatic since there is no clutch. If you are staying for three months or more, it is much cheaper to buy a 2nd hand motorbike because you can sell it when you leave for roughly the same as you paid for it. Buy a Honda Wave, Honda Dream, or a Suzuki Swift for easy repairs and resale for about 10,000baht $334US and sell it for 8,000-10,000baht when you leave.
Massages - If you are in Thailand and you are pushing your boxing in Muay Thai and MMA, you really should treat yourself at least once a week to a Thai Massage. Prices range from 150 baht an hour if you go to local places, and up to 300 baht an hour at Phuket Spa, where you get to use their steam room, jacuzzi, and swimming pool for free. $5US – $10US per hour.
Movie Theater/Cinema – The theaters in Thailand are very nice, play new western movies in english (with thai subs) and are much cheaper than back home. On Wednesdays it’s even cheaper at only 80 baht, normal price is 140 baht. $2.65-$4.65
Actual Comfortable Budget per month including Training, Accommodation, Food, and Extras – 24,110 baht per month including weekly massages, movies, and a motorbike. $804 US Dollars.
However, there is an evil that will kill you budget and about 50% of guys that come train Muay Thai and MMA end up falling for it. It’s called Patong. If you start going there, you will not stop. Luckily most guys will only go on Saturday nights, but many end up going a few times a week. Here’s what to add to your budget if you do.
Taxi - 100 baht there, and 500 baht return, as going there you’ll be in a big group but coming back you’ll usually be solo or with one other person. $20US
Motorbike Accident – If you think you’ll save money driving there, you have a big chance of getting into an accident, even if you only have one or two drinks. 20,000 baht or more. $666US.
Alcohol – Drinks are much cheaper in Thailand than back home. But if you compare it to food it’s actually really expensive and it’s terrible for your training. 60baht per drink $2US.
Strippers, Bar Girls, Whores – If you’re a single guy, drinking in Patong, after spending all week with a bunch of dudes in a house training, you spending 2,000 baht won’t seem like such a bad idea. $67US.
Actual Monthly Cost if you go to Patong once a week - 35,710baht (1,191US Dollars)
So even with going crazy every weekend, it’s still relatively cheap to eat, sleep, train, and have fun in Thailand. But if you’re serious about training and getting in shape, I’d suggest you make a pact to yourself to not go to Patong until the last week before you leave, which is what I’m going to try to do.
My Fight Camp.
Remember to check out Johnny’s Blog as he updates it regularly and always has some video’s and info that’s extremely useful for those wanting to come train in Thailand.
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