What you should expect to spend, Phuket vs. Chiang Mai.
The actual living cost 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. Following is a breakdown of actual, real-life costs of what I spent while living in Phuket.
The prices at Tiger Muay Thai, Phuket Top Team, Rawaii and Sinbi were all about the same – plus or minus 1,000 baht ($33US),
Strict budget – Cheapest possible training in Phuket per month
The Budget Guide to Phuket – Everything You Need To Know to Travel Phuket Photo Gallery
• Monthly training – Muay Thai and MMA = 9,000 baht ($300US)
• Accommodation – Fan room with shared bathroom = 5,500 baht ($185US).
• Breakfast – Eggs, omelet or oatmeal with fruit – 40 baht 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 per meal x 30 = 1,500 baht ($50US).
• Dinner – Big chicken, broccoli and 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 Buddha, relax on the beach, go hiking, sneak into a resort’s pool, play board games, watch TV and DVDs, internet = all
Total cost for a month of training on a strict budget = 20,280 baht ($678US Dollars) You can save $133 a month by paying for 20 classes per month, instead of
unlimited, which will be good for 1 class a day, 5 days week and training on your own on your off time. New total: $545 a month. 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 my blog 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 – so, 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 relaxant, pain killers, antibiotic cream, Tiger Balm, and rehydration 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 baht for an automatic per month ($67-$117US). N.B. Prices through Tiger
Muay Thai’s TKO Bike rental service are higher than what you would pay through renting a bike at Tony’s restaurant, Ja-Ja’s or any shop on the street.
Tips on motorbikes : What Thais call manual bikes are actually semiautomatic, since there is no clutch. If you are staying for three months (or more) it is
much cheaper to buy a second hand motorbike because you can sell it when you leave – for roughly the same as you paid. Buy a Honda Wave, Honda Dream or a
Suzuki Swift – easy for repairs and resale – for about 10,000baht ($334US) and sell it for 8,000-10,000 baht when you leave. Bicycle – Having a normal bicycle
isn’t very practical in Phuket unless you only use it on the street between Tony’s Restaurant and Tiger Muay Thai; however, on Koh Lanta and in Chiang Mai
(where it’s relatively flat) you can get away with just having a pedal bike – which is what I have now in Chiang Mai. You can rent them for less than 1,000
baht per month ($33US) or you can buy one, like I did, at Big C Supercenter for 3,000 baht ($100US). 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 subtitles) 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 (weekly massages, movies and a motorbike) = 24,110 baht per month
($804 US Dollars). However, there is an evil that will kill your budget – and about 50% of guys that come to train Muay Thai and MMA end up falling for it –
it’s called Patong. Be warned, 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 – Don’t think you’ll save money by riding there; you have a big chance of having an accident, even after only one or two drinks = 20,000
baht or more ($666US). Alcohol – Drinks are a bit cheaper in Thailand than back home; however, 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 – As a single guy drinking in Patong, after a week in a house with a
bunch of dudes training, 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 ($1,191
US) per month . 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 with yourself not to go to Patong until the last week before you leave – which is what I did when I
trained in Phuket.
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