Santai muay Thai gym (previously named Siam No.1) is a rural camp situated in a small village called Sankamphaeng in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. Santai was the first muay Thai camp I visited in Thailand and its where I had my first fight.
When I arrived at the camp, I was greeted by the owner, Nick, a Swedish guy who runs the gym with his wife. There were about 5 other foreigners training at the gym on the first day I was there, but after a couple of weeks, I was the only foreigner in the camp so I got a lot of private tution with the trainers Kru Phon and Kru Do.
The gym is spacious and well equipped, with 2 large boxing rings, matted floors, about 10 bags and mirrored walls. The training was really relaxed here. I had the misconception that I was going to get shouted and screamed at to work hard in Thailand, so I was surprised when I turned up for the morning run at 5am to find just two westerners rolling out of bed at 6am.
The running route was really nice. It’s around 5km long and is definitely one of the most scenic routes I’ve experienced in Thailand, I just wish I had taken some more photos while I was at this gym.
Once back at the gym, the trainers had everyone shadow box for a few rounds. The best aspect of the gym for me was the technical training I received. The only other gym that came close to Santai for technique training was Lanta Muay Thai in Koh Lanta.
The trainers at Santai muay Thai would actually stand (or sit) there while I hit a bag. They would continually demonstrate the technique for me and then correct me over and over again until I made some kind of improvement. It drove me crazy, but it was exactly what I needed.
Pad training was pretty technical too. I received instruction throughout and always got 5×5 minute rounds. Clinching was a sore point, however. There was only a few Thai fighters training at the gym when I visited, and the other foreigners there were beginners too. I did get kneed in the face a lot by a big crazy Russian guy, though.
Overall, the training just wasn’t intense enough, especially if you’re fighting out of the gym. However, it was definitely one of the best gyms I’ve visited in terms of technique training.
The gym can also arrange accommodation nearby for 4,000-9,000 baht per month. I paid 4,000 a month and I got a nice, air conditioned en suite room about a 10 minute drive from the gym. If you need a motorbike during your stay, the gym can provide you with one for 3,000-4,000 baht per month.
Two sessions: (daily): 400 baht
One week: 2,200 baht
Two weeks: 4,200 baht
One month: 8,000 baht
Private lesson: 500 baht per hour
Fan room: 1,500 baht per week/4000 baht per month
A/C room: 2,000 baht per week/6,000 baht per month
Sankamphaeng is a district of Chiang Mai, which is divided into 100 small villages. I trained twice a day while I was here an didn’t stray too far from the village except a visit to the waterfalls (somewhere?) and Chiang Mai city, but there really isn’t much to do in Sankamphaeng village itself.
Santai Muay Thai Gym Address: 79 Moo 9 T. Sankamphaeng, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50130
Santai Muay Thai Gym map
*Update* Santai has undergone a lot of growth in the last few years and is very busy with foreigners all year round. It now has an extra training area and an apartment block right next to the gym for visitors to rent at pretty affordable prices. All rooms are en suite and there are A/C and fan rooms available.
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