Meenayothin Gym Review

When I was looking into what Bangkok gyms to visit during my 3rd trip to Thailand, Meenayothin gym really struck a chord with me. It was top of my list of camps to visit but I put off heading there right away as I hadn't trained for over a year and I had turned into a skinny-fat man (it wasn't pretty). I feel that you waste a lot of time in gyms when you aren't in shape so I wanted to save this one until I was a little stronger and better conditioned. All of the reviews I had read…

Review Overview

Location
Facility/Equipment
Hygiene
Clinching
Pad Work
Technical Instruction
Training Partners
Price

Do it

Summary : Good gym. Needs matted floors! Apart from that, it gets reasonable scores all-round.

71

When I was looking into what Bangkok gyms to visit during my 3rd trip to Thailand, Meenayothin gym really struck a chord with me. It was top of my list of camps to visit but I put off heading there right away as I hadn’t trained for over a year and I had turned into a skinny-fat man (it wasn’t pretty). I feel that you waste a lot of time in gyms when you aren’t in shape so I wanted to save this one until I was a little stronger and better conditioned. All of the reviews I had read online seemed to be positive and all of the footage I had seen looked legit so I was eager to check it out.

Meenayothin gym is a well-established gym, having been around for more than 20 years. It was founded by Mr. Chaiyasit Kongkiatyong and, although it has undergone many location and name changes, it has resided in the premises of the Kasetsart University.

Bangkok Muay Thai Camp Reviews

It’s definitely the biggest camp I’ve visited in Bangkok so far in terms of square-footage. I have absolutely no square-footage prediction skills so I will just say that it is frickin’ massive, with about 8 bags and one boxing ring. To the right as you walk through the doors is the kitchen area, gym accommodation and bathrooms. The floors are covered in an variety of carpets and rugs, which I’m not a fan of but this is a pretty old school, traditional gym so I guess that’s what comes with it.

There were around 15 Thais training in the camp during my stay. As with every gym in Thailand, the Thai fighters go back to their home towns quite often so it’s a constant change of personnel at the gym. In total, there are 40 Thai fighters training at the gym, most of whom are fighting at a high level in Lumpinee or Rajadamnern stadiums. The world-famous Aikpracha Meenayothin still trains here, so you’ll get to mix it up with him, should you decide to stay at the gym. Another stand-out fighter at the gym is “Wanheng”. Wanheng has now retired from muay Thai to concentrate on Western boxing. Why did he retire? Because nobody would fight him, that’s why! There were no opponents left for him at Lumpinee so he turned to boxing instead. His western boxing record currently stands at 30 fights, 30 wins.

The Thais who live here are extremely disciplined. At 9pm the TV goes off in the communal area and everyone goes to bed – no exceptions. They also train 7 days a week…there is no day off in Meenayothin gym.

Meenayothin Gym Bangkok

I decided to stay for a week and stay in the gym accommodation with two meals daily. I didn’t think I would stay on-camp during this trip but it worked out pretty cheap at 1,000 baht per day so I gave it a shot.

Training sessions begin with 2 or 3 rounds of shadow boxing. Instruction and correction is given throughout by muay Thai trainer “Yod” and the boxing coach (more on him later). After that, we would glove up and move onto the bags or get called onto the pads with Yod. The way it works in Meenayothin Gym is that Yod takes all of the foreigners on the pads 90% of the time and a few other trainers take the Thais in the boxing ring. I guess that’s one of the examples of foreigner-Thai divide in this gym, but Yod is a good trainer so I didn’t feel too hard done by.

Yod is a decent trainer who adjusts your technique as you work, while pushing you physically. The first time I trained with him he just had me throwing techniques at him slowly for a couple of rounds, without pads. This way he immediately got a sense of my balance, control, style and timing before having me hit any pads with power. The three other trainers in the gym looked good but I didn’t get to train with them so I couldn’t tell you any more. You’ll see some footage of them in the video above. You’ll get 3 or 4×4 minute rounds on pads in Meenayothin gym.

Muay Thai Clinching at Meenayothin Gym

As I stated above, Meenayothin gym also has a western boxing coach. He coached the Thailand national boxing team to 4 Olympic games so, needless to say, he is a top notch coach! He doesn’t hold pads for any of the fighters but he helps everyone out on shadow boxing and bag training. He was telling me how he has helped Aikpracha utilise his hands more in his fights to become a more rounded fighter. He is a really helpful coach with good English speaking skills too.

After pads it’s time to clinch. Meenayothin gym place great emphasis on clinch training; they’ll clinch for 30 minutes in the morning and an hour in the evening. Foreigners tend to do less but it depends what Thais are training on the day; Aikpracha is 70kg+ so you’ll get to clinch with him and the other Thais, but the others are much smaller.

A I mentioned previously, one of the drawbacks of training at Meenayothin gym is that the floors are carpeted and they are really dirty. Also, there is only one boxing ring so the foreigners usually have to hit pads on the floor, rather than the ring. These are a few of the negatives with training at an authentic gym in Bangkok, but you have to take the rough with the smooth sometimes.

There were 5 or 6 other foreigners training at the camp during my visit. I can see a big influx of foreigners to the gym shortly, indeed, it’s already began due to the positive reviews that the camp has been receiving online. Hopefully, that won’t affect the standard of training here too much but there will inevitably be a decline in training quality to some degree.

To sum up; great gym. Great authenticity and great people. My advice would be to get there sooner, rather than later.

Meenayothin Young Nak Muay

PROS

Great atmosphere

Lots of high quality Thai fighters

Very authentic

Family feel

Good trainers

Staff includes a western boxing coach

Good attention to detail

Lots of clinching

Good equipment

CONS

Unclean

Carpeted floors

Separation between westerners and Thais

Notable Fighters

Dentoranee Sor Weerapon
Mondam Sor Weerapon
Dernchonlek
Aikpracha Meenayothin
Wanheng Meenayothin

Meenayothin Gym Photos

Accommodation

The gym rooms are pretty basic; I had an air-conditioned room which had a large refrigerator and a couple of beds. Prepare to be woken up by cockerels in the early hours.

The food package here is awesome. Lots of food and lots of variety. The food is bought from the shop/restaurant opposite the gym and is really nice. The foreign visitors eat at a table in the gym, while the Thais sit together on the gym floor.

Prices

Training Only
One session: 300 baht
Two sessions (daily) 500 baht

Package
Two sessions, shared A/C room + two meals: 900 baht per day, 6,300 baht per week.
Two sessions. private A/C room + two meals: 1,400 baht per day, 8,000 baht per week.

Location

The gym is located on the premises of Kasetsart University on a quiet soi. There is a couple of 7/11s within walking distance.

Meenayothin Gym Address: Near Kasetsart University, Paholyothin soi 45, Bangkok, Thailand 10900

Meenayothin Gym Map


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Contact/Social Media

Phone: +66 (0)812598584 | +66 (0)83 1336821 | +66 (0)89 9936488

Email: meenayothinboxing@hotmail.com | Chaiwitlove179@hotmail.com
Facebook profile

 

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About Aaron Jahn

Aaron is an active muay Thai fighter and coach from the UK. He holds a BSc (hons) degree in Strength & Conditioning and is currently studying a Sports Therapy Master's degree in Leeds, UK. Aaron has fought over 20 times in Thailand and has spent years training at different muay Thai camps all over the country.

9 comments

  1. Nice review as it doesn’t appear much information about the gym on internet!
    This is one of the gyms im really looking forward on staying in my next trip to Bangkok.
    Also, is there any chance of doing a Sitmonchai Gym review if you ever go to the Kanchanaburi province?

    Regards,
    Matias

    • Hi mate, yes, I know what you mean. SIAM Fight mag did a good report but, of course, he doesn’t comment on the actual training in his reports. Meenayothin gym is definitely worth a visit but, as I said, I think it will fill up with foreigners pretty soon.

      Sitmonchai is definitely on my list!

  2. I created an account to post about my friends’ experience and hope that the information here can be updated.

    Background: 3 Korean fighters asked me to help them communicate that they wanted to train at this gym. They speak minimal English and are seasoned fighters preparing for a fight couple of months later. I used this site as a reference for information before selecting Meenayothin, and the gym has vastly changed since your review.

    Some points:

    – training and accommodation and meals is now priced at 36000THB a month. Because my friends went in a group of 3, price was reduced to 34000THB. Daily rates were quoted at 1200THB thereabouts. Overall, drastic price increaSes.

    – Hardly any Thai champions around and many foreigners. I understand that the Thais going home may be a seasonal thing and that the gym has grown in popularity among foreigners. A little bit of disappointment conveyed from my friends.

    – Only 3 rounds of padwork. Considering how we have heard it is a rigorous gym, the padwork didn’t measure up. Major source of disappointment for my friends who had a big fight coming up.

    – perhaps it is suitable for people already in Bangkok to visit. A little difficult to communicate as the gym owners do not speak English. In the end they got a visiting Chinese student at the gym to translate for me in Chinese. Might be hard for those located abroad to communicate and arrange a trip.

    Overall a pretty disappointing experience with thr gym so far as what my friends experienced did not match up with expectations from the info they got.

    Rachel

    • Hi Rachel, thanks for the update. As you said, gyms can change pretty quickly in Thailand, especially when you consider the amount of good reviews Meenayothin gym has got in the last couple of years. It was inevitable really. Still, I’m sorry to hear about the poor training there. Are you trying out any other gyms in Bangkok?

      • Hi, thanks for your reply! I really enjoy reading your site and appreciate the time and effort behind it.

        Yes I understand gyms in Thailand do change quickly. Just wanted to update. I asked a friend who had been there previously and he told me that unless you specify you are training for a fight, you get 3 rounds of padwork. Otherwise they tend to focus more on their stable of Thai fighters. That said, the morning runs and conditioning are pretty intensive.

        Not yet, but Sitmonchai is next on our list. See you at the Z1 event (my fiance is slated to be on the fight card; as yet we are waiting for the promoter to confirm things)!

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