For those interested in learning Muay Thai while traveling in Thailand, there are countless gyms to choose from throughout the country. The little beachside community of Ao Nang in Krabi features one particular school, offering private lessons to foreigners and locals of any skill level, as well as group classes.
Wondering around the streets of Ao Nang Beach as one would do as a tourist, I stumbled upon a flyer for classes in Muay Thai. The price was fair at 400 baht per lesson, which is about $12 US. So I Google Mapped it and headed over to arrange a class for the following day.
Krulek Muay Thai Gym – Aonang Krabi Thailand
All ages and skill levels are welcome at the Krulek Muay Thai Gym. Speaking with the instructor, Krulek or Lek for short, people from all backgrounds come to try it out, from doctors and lawyers, to seasoned fighters.
The instructor is super welcoming, with a fantastic attitude and energy and you’ll love your time here. The gym may be on the smaller side, but your burning legs and abs won’t care. It’s definitely a feel-like-family type of academy. Free bottled water is included with your training.
As shown by the flyer above, prices run 400 THB per class, and are either 9am to 11am or 5pm to 7pm. Just check with the instructor Lek about his availability on the day of your choosing. If you’re in-it-to-win-it, you can get the weekly package for 4,000 THB (~$120) and train 12 times, morning and afternoon, 6 days per week. Or sign up for the month at 9,000 THB (~$270) and take one class per day, Monday through Saturday.
There is also a VIP option for a 1-hour private class, for double the daily price at 800 THB (~$24). This is not a group class.
NOTE: Prices are subject change. On the official website, weekly rates are listed at 3,000 THB and 7,000 THB for the month, versus 4,000 and 9,000 shown on the aforementioned flyer. The same daily lessons of 400 THB and VIP Private Lesson for 800 THB. So just ask Lek, who knows.
Monday – Day One
My first lesson was set up for Monday at 4pm and I was joined by a Spanish guy named Adam. Krulek asked if it was cool if we trained together, which was more than fine by me. He split his time evenly between us and always gave us something to do while the other was being instructed. And I was happy to have the other student there to give me a chance to sneak some rests.
It was a sweaty, exhausting time. Coming from a more traditional kickboxing/grappling background, it was definitely a great learning experiencing, working in those elbows and knees
The lesson was varied between shadow boxing, heavy bag and a lot of mitt work. He helped hone our techniques as we threw a variety of combinations. At the end of class, he led me via motorbike (I followed his) to a local spot for seafood (because I asked him what was good) and then he quickly raced by to lead his group class at 5pm.
Thursday – Day Two
After a few days off sightseeing (Tiger Mountain and Krabi hot springs), I arranged another lesson with Krulek via Facebook for Thursday at 4pm. This time it was solo, and a tough, but fun workout. We worked on everything from roundhouse kicks to elbows and knees.
If I were staying any longer, I wouldn’t hesitate to come back and train several times per week. Time well spent! After class, it was off to find a strawberry smoothie for 40 baht.
The gym is easy to find on Google maps, so any Tuk Tuk, Grab or taxi can make it happen. Or better yet, rent a motorbike and cruise there in style.
Nearby there is the Aonang Guest House, a very nice looking homestay f those wanting to be right next to the gym. For food, stop by the Ton Ma Yom, a Thai restaurant right across the way.
Follow and learn more on Krulek Muay Thai’s Facebook page.