My Packing Tips For Training Muay Thai in Thailand
The time has come… I’m moving to Thailand in a week! But where do I even start?
I’m very tempted to add everything I own to my travel packing list, but I’ve learned my past travels and now know that the lighter I pack the easier my travels will be (especially since I plan on traveling all around the country).
If you plan on moving to Thailand like me, I would highly recommend investing in some quality luggage. Spending the extra cash on durable, long-lasting luggage will save you money and stress in the long run. You don’t want to be the asshole who has to pick up all his belongings in the middle of an airport because your the zipper on your crappy duffel bag broke… it’s the worst.
I’m packing 3 bags when I travel to Thailand; a backpack, duffel bag, and my Muay Thai gym bag. I find this to be the easiest and most efficient way to carry everything around and it also gives me enough room to pack everything I could possibly need. If you like the traditional luggage you can’t really go wrong with that either, I just find it easier to carry duffel bags.
Also keep in mind that you can buy almost everything you need in Thailand, and usually for cheaper than back home. If for whatever reason you can’t fit some of your clothes or other miscellaneous things in your baggage, no need to worry because chances are you’ll be able to pick it up once you get settled in Thailand.
Lastly, if you plan on buying things to bring home for your family and friends (or for yourself) make sure you leave some room in your luggage! However, if you overpacked, bought tons of souvenirs, and can’t fit anything in your bags, you can take another route and mail things back home instead.
My Travel Packing List For Training Muay Thai In Thailand
Clothing To Pack For Thailand
One of the most commonly overpacked things when traveling to Thailand is clothing. I’m sure you have some shirts you can’t imagine living without, but don’t feel like you have to pack your entire wardrobe when you are moving to Thailand. Most of the clothing you need you should be able to buy for good prices over in Thailand anyway!
This means a variety of shorts because this is pretty much what you’ll be wearing a majority of the time you’re there. Mesh, dress and workout shorts are the ones I bring, which typically adds up to around 6-8 pairs.
Honestly shirts are overrated, especially if you are traveling to the southern part of Thailand. That being said, I guess it’s important to have some shirts to wear on rainy days. Pack a variety of shirts that can be used for various activities like working out, relaxing and going out. If you’re training Muay Thai, you’ll almost never wear a shirt, but it’s good to have a few just incase. I tend to bring around 5 of my favorite shirts, but rarely wear them.
Like I said, any type of shirt is overrated in Thailand but having a decent amount of tank tops is probably a good idea.
I like to bring one pair of jeans for special occasions., but you won’t see me wearing them often.
Believe it or not, Thailand can get rather cold and wet during some parts of the year. I bring a pair or two of sweatpants for those rainy, wet days where you want to stay warm and comfy.
Usually I’d say underwear is overrated too, but it’s probably a good idea to pack a decent amount. If you train Muay Thai twice a day, that’s two pairs of underwear that you’ll go through. Do that 5-6 times a week and you’ll run out of underwear pretty quickly, and you don’t want to be that guy who free-balls it underneath his Thai shorts… that’s just nasty.
The sun and heat can be pretty brutal when your living in Thailand, so shading your beautiful face from the sun might not be a bad idea. They’ll have plenty of hats to choose from in Thailand, but you might want to bring some of your favorites over if you have any.
It’s sunny in Thailand.
Sandals will be your main footwear, but when you decide to strap on some shoes you’re going to need some socks.
A comfy, durable pair of sandals goes a long way, especially if you’re like me and wear them almost everywhere you go.
Having a nice pair of running shoes is important since you’ll be doing a decent amount of roadwork for Muay Thai (or at least you should be). Besides that, having another pair of shoes for other occasions is a good idea too. Don’t pack too many shoes though because they are bulky and take up a lot of room.
It rains a ton in Thailand, and when it rains, it rains hard. You can bring your own rain jacket or get one there, but either way make sure you have one!
Hot weather plus beautiful beaches makes it almost a necessity to take a dip the ocean.
Equipment You Need To Train Muay Thai in Thailand
Another smart thing when moving to Thailand is to invest in your Muay Thai training equipment. Since you’ll be training Muay Thai pretty often, you’re going to want to make sure you gear is durable, comfortable, and offer you protection. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can get pretty good deals on training equipment in Thailand, so if you have crappy equipment now, you can still wait until you make the voyage over.
Below I listed the Muay Thai training equipment you should pack along with my recommendations of the best brands to choose from. If you’d like a more in-depth breakdown for why I like certain brands of gear, check out my reviews here.
Having a durable gym bag is important, especially if you are constantly having to carry your Muay Thai training equipment and gear around. My girlfriend bought me a ‘Fighting’ gym bag that has been decent, but it ripped at the seems after I over packed it (probably my fault it broke), but it’s still a great bag and I use it to this day.
Other bags I’d recommend just from asking around the Muay Thai community is the Top King, Twins Special and Fairtex brands. Like I mentioned earlier, you can’t go wrong with any of the training equipment from those brands.
Muay Thai shorts
At first I dreaded wearing Muay Thai shorts, and all I would wear is MMA shorts to cover my white, skinny legs. But when my first fight was in Thailand, I knew that I had to make the change to Thai shorts, otherwise I’d be one of those assholes fighting Muay Thai in Thailand with MMA shorts. After that fight, I realized my legs looked sexy as hell!
Picking Thai shorts can be tough, and each brand has a different sizing chart that you need to consider before buying. Some shorts are K-1 style, others are traditional Muay Thai style (they kind of flair out more). I personally like the K-1 style more, but I also have a good amount of traditional shorts. If you don’t have any Thai shorts before you head to Thailand, you’re best option is to probably check out your gyms store and try out their shorts.
Obviously you’re going to need a quality pair of boxing gloves. Don’t get that shitty Everlast or Title gloves, invest in brands like Top King, Twins Special, Yokkao and other Muay Thai brands.
Most people tend to go with the generic brands of Everlast and Title, which is fine and all, but I know from experience that they don’t last as long and the quality of the wraps aren’t even close to the quality that top Muay Thai training equipment brands like Top King and Twins Special have to offer.
Most gyms will have extra pairs of Muay Thai shin guards and boxing gloves, but you’re better off having you’re own for safety, cleanliness and comfort. I’m a big fan of my Top King shin guards but have also have gotten good used out of Fairtex and Twins Special brands as well.
I’ve used a couple different types of mouth guards throughout my athletic career in hockey and Muay Thai, but none have been as comfortable or breathable as the Shock Doctor I currently use. Don’t skimp on a mouthguard because it will make a huge difference in your health.
They aren’t as comfortable as compression shorts, but they will protect your junk a lot better. Take it from someone who has been kicked or kneed in the balls in over 20 fights, buy a steel cup from either Twins Special or Bad Boy.
First let me go on record and say that I am not a fan of headgear. I think it gives people a false sense of security, slows down your head movement, gives your opponent a bigger target and obstructs your vision. That being said, I have used headgear before and if you want to protect your pretty face your should look into Twins Special or Top King headgear.
Having a pair of elbow pads to work on your elbows inside and outside the clinch is key to become more comfortable throwing them in a fight. The two brands of elbow guards I’ve used the most are Boon and Venum. The Boon elbow pads are really tight and snug, but they do cut off some circulation from my arms which can cause my hands to drop.
The Venum elbow pads are the ones I ended up going with though because they are more comfortable, cheaper and I’ve also used them during a fight. They don’t suck the blood out of my arms as much, but I still ripped the elastic to give me arms more space.
By no means a necessity, but a lot of fighters love wearing anklets to help with comfort. This is another piece of equipment that would be easy to pick up at a shop in Thailand.
Electronics To Pack For Thailand
If you’ve decided that you are moving to Thailand, you’re going to want to document your journey in one way or another. I like to blog, do some photography and shoot video, so making enough room on my packing list for Muay Thai in Thailand is key. I’m also a big fan of reading on my Kindle and listening to my iPod too… I don’t know what I’d do without them all!
Keeping in touch with family and friends back home has never been easier than nowadays with the internet. Having a laptop on your trip will make life a lot easier when it comes to documenting your journey, sharing it with friends, and keeping in touch with people at home.
If you plan on doing a decent amount of reading during while your traveling in Thailand, buying a kindle is a great idea. Instead of packing a handful of books that will take up space and add weight to your luggage, buying a small, sleek kindle will make packing and even buying new books so much easier! If you think you’re going to do a decent amount of reading, you should buy an affordable kindle on the Amazon store!
Neglecting to take pictures and videos of your Muay Thai training and adventures in Thailand is the biggest mistake you can make. Trust me, you’re going to want to relive your journey and have some kind of visual record of your time training Muay Thai in Thailand. If you invest in a solid camera and a tripod, you can get some beautiful pictures that your camera phone won’t be able to handle.
Basically a camera, laptop, and kindle all in one. If you want to pack light then investing in an iPad is a smart idea.
Bringing your cell phone or purchasing one in Thailand is a good idea if you want to make things easier on yourself. I didn’t have a phone the first time I traveled to Thailand, and although I was fine without one, it would’ve made my life easier to have one. Roaming charges are a bitch though, so make sure you get a sim card so your not overcharged for local (and international) calls.
iPod or MP3 player
If you don’t have your music on your phone, then having a portable MP3 player of some sort is a good idea for running, relaxing on the beach or even hitting the heavy bag.
What good is an MP3 player if you don’t have headphones to listen to it? You can choose between a running pair of headphones (preferably sweat resistant), or a quality pair like these Bose headphones which are perfect for your plane ride over.
Power outlets in Thailand are different than the ones used back in the US, and without any type of power adapter, you will not be able to use any of your electronic equipment. Power adapters are super cheap so make sure you pick one up before you leave!
External Hard Drive
If you’re like me an use your computer for a lot of things, having an external hard drive will make life a lot easier. If you’re taking a lot of pictures or videos and you want to keep them on your computer, chances are a small USB memory stick won’t do the job. Plus having this as a backup can soften the blow incase your laptop gets lost or stolen.
If your beard gives you strength like mine does, then keeping care of it is one of the most important aspects of your life. Even if you don’t have a beard, you should consider investing in an electric razor if you want to keep your face smooth like a baby’s bottom.
Music can dramatically improve my mood, especially when it’s blasting loudly in my small bungalow. Instead of using headphones to contain the noise, I like using my wireless bluetooth speaker to share the love!
Toiletries To Pack For Thailand
Most large department stores (ie. Target, Cosco etc.) have small, travel-sized versions of all the toiletries listed below. You don’t necessarily have to buy mini-sized everything, but if you need room in your luggage it’s a good alternative to overpacking. And like I’ve said numerous times, you can buy almost everything you need in Thailand.
- Hand sanitizer
- Body soap/Body wash
Miscellaneous Stuff To Add To Your Travel Packing List For Thailand
Having a small backpack or nylon drawstring bag will be useful when you take a trip into town or to the beach and need to carry some essentials with you.
I get motion sickness like no other, and without dramamine I would be throwing up on everyone in the mini-bus from the airport to my Muay Thai training camp.
Your training is going to be intense, and if you fight, that will be rough on your body as well. Having some ibuprofen to help with the swelling and pain will help you get back into training as soon as possible.
Sore back? Beat up shins? Tiger balm is a great remedy to help alleviate muscle pain, bruises and swelling. Tiger balm can be found in pretty much all pharmacies in Thailand and is a must if you’re training Muay Thai consistently.
Another absolute necessity for training Muay Thai in Thailand. It helps the increase blood flow throughout your body and loosen you up before training sessions and fights.
Do I really need to explain why you should have aspirin?
Infections are very real and could do some serious damage if not taken care of immediately. Having antibiotic cream for scrapes, cuts and other injuries could mean the difference of being healthy or ending up in the hospital.
Vitamins + Supplements
Chances are that your diet in Thailand is going to be vastly different than your diet back at home. You’ll be missing out on a handful of key nutrients, vitamins and minerals, so making sure you add vitamins and other supplements to your daily routine is important to stay healthy and energetic for training.
First aid kit
Head over to a camping store and you’ll most likely find a compact first aid kit that has everything you need in case of an emergency. Do not assume you will be perfectly healthy your entire trip while you’re in Thailand, because you wont. Be prepared!
Thai phrase book
If not a book, then downloading apps on your phone or tablet is a great idea for when you are out in town trying to communicate with locals. Learn the basics and read over the “Thai vocabulary” section of this guide for important words and phrases.
Extra batteries, chargers
Electronics die. Nuff’ said.
Copy of passport
Losing your passport would suck, but losing your passport without a photo copy would suck a hundred times more. Make copies of your passport and other important documents incase you lose or misplace them!
I’m a white boy and turn red like a lobster when I’m in the sun for 5 minutes of longer. Without sunscreen I probably would have already died due to over exposure to the sun. Also, skin cancer is no joke and making sure you’re protected from UV rays is no laughing matter.
In case you forget about putting on sunscreen, you’re going to need to ease your pain and suffering by rubbing some soothing aloe vera on your burns.
Although you can find this stuff most places in Thailand, it can actually be rather expensive. If you bring your own condoms or feminine products over, it can save you a few bucks.
Are you planning on moving to Thailand to train Muay Thai?
Do you want to know what to expect and what steps you need to take to make your dream of training Muay Thai in Thailand a reality?
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- Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan owns & operates the largest online Muay Thai community and the #1 training resource for nak muay of all levels.