A Quick Guide to Training Muay Thai in Thailand: Training at Punch It in Koh Samui

Have you dreamt of training martial arts or have you been training and you want an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life?  Then pack your bags for Koh Samui.

Muay Thai in Thailand: Inside The Ring

Have you dreamt of training in martial arts, or have you been training and you want an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life? 

Then pack your bags for Koh Samui.

This trip isn’t about changing who you are but bringing out the best in you. And the trainers at Punch It Muay Thai are masters at that.

This isn’t your neighborhood gym or your ordinary vacation retreat. You will be headed to Koh Samui, a beautiful island in Southern Thailand. You’re not just learning a sport; this is total immersion in a rich Thai tradition. Here’s a quick guide to training Muay Thai in Koh Samui, Thailand, at Punch It.

My Personal Experience Training at Punch It


Punch It Muay Thai has impacted its trainees’ lives inside and outside the ring. It’s not just about the physical transformation you go through; it’s about the friends you make and the personal challenges you overcome.

I have trained 3x at Punch It Muay Thai and participated in beginner and fighters’ classes. It was a grueling and difficult but enriching experience. The cardio at 4 PM in the hot sun will test your endurance in the heat. That run in the afternoon is one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done. I gained a lot of confidence personally through the classes and lost a lot of weight each time. By learning Muay Thai and getting into better shape, you discover what your body can go through and that you aren’t made of glass. You can handle a lot more than you think without breaking. And I quite enjoyed the process. I made friends with many of the trainers (shout out to those guys for being a lot of fun!) I can’t wait to go back and train again. Richa (my fiancé) trained there and even fought a Thai woman in the ring! They provide different levels of fights, from beginner fights to fighting at the famous Phetch Buncha stadium.

If you’re a beginner, no fitness level is necessarily required, but it will be easier if you can at least run a 5k. Either way, it will suck in the heat, so get ready to sweat your ass off. Some tips from me would be, for the fighters class, you will need to be able to complete a regular class outside of the heat or run a 10k in average weather. From a mental standpoint, unless you are talented and have a lot of fights under your belt, you will be humbled. You need to come in knowing that you are walking into a gym full of trainers with a lifetime of experience and potentially hundreds of fights under their belt. They will make you feel like a newbie and get it 10x worse if you come in thinking you are the toughest guy there. 

Keep reading if you’re thinking of packing your bags and being a fighter.

Overview of Koh Samui’s Allure

Koh Samui, tucked away in the Gulf of Thailand, is a place that appeals to all sorts of travelers. It’s a clear spot to love – with good weather, beaches, friendly locals, and natural beauty that’s hard to miss.

With its more traditional Thai elements, including temples, local festivals, and historic sites – Koh Samui also has your modern comforts, meaning you won’t miss any conveniences. The night markets here are worth your time – lots of food to try, crafts to browse, and enthusiastic vendors to meet!

The island is known for its focus on health and wellness, explicitly training Muay Thai. This traditional Thai martial art is taught at various training centers on the island, including Punch It. As mentioned, training Muay Thai is more than fighting—it reflects Thailand’s history, culture, and spirit. You’ll learn the art through training and immerse yourself in Thailand’s vibrant cultural tapestry. This guide to Koh Samui contains resources and things you should consider when you visit, things to do, and experiences you shouldn’t miss out on.


Traveling to Punch It

Koh Samui has more to offer than its tropical landscape and serene beaches. The top-notch Muay Thai training at Punch It Muay Thai is a natural attraction for many. The island is an ideal spot for digital nomads and fitness enthusiasts.

Being near the islands of Koh Pha Ngan for chill vibes or parties and Ko Tao for world-class diving means you could conveniently travel to these locations between rigorous training sessions. 

In terms of weather, Koh Samui maintains a balance. While the Gulf of Thailand experiences a wet season from September to December, the rainy days are relatively manageable compared to other parts of Thailand. Expect it to get much hotter closer to May. These conditions make it a good place for outdoor training.

Brace yourself for immersive Muay Thai training in Thailand experience at Punch it Gym. The island’s natural beauty and unique fitness opportunities are well worth the visit.

If you want to experience, document, and learn more about exciting endeavors as a lone traveler, check out our Digital Nomad’s Guide.

How To Get There – Reaching Koh Samui from Various Continents

koh-samui-travel-hub-maui-thai-training-in-thailand-map-punch-it-martial arts-fighter- tips

Getting to Koh Samui is relatively easy from different continents. Here are some general steps to follow:

From North America

Take a flight from major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, or Toronto to one of the Asian hub airports like Bangkok (Thailand), Singapore, or Hong Kong. From these hubs, you can get a connecting flight to Koh Samui.

From Europe

Direct flights are available from major European cities like London, Paris, and Frankfurt to Bangkok. Once in Bangkok, catch a domestic flight to Koh Samui.

From Australia

Direct flights operate from major Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne to Bangkok or Singapore. From there, you can take a connecting flight to Koh Samui.

From Africa

First, fly to an international hub like Dubai, Doha, or Istanbul. From these hubs, flights are available to Bangkok. Finally, catch a domestic flight to Koh Samui. Then get ready for some Muay Thai in Thailand!

From South America

First, fly from cities like São Paulo or Buenos Aires to a European hub like Madrid or a Middle Eastern hub like Dubai. Then, take a flight to Bangkok. Once in Bangkok, take a domestic flight to Koh Samui.

From Asia

Direct flights to Koh Samui are available from regional hubs such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, or Hong Kong for those already in Asia.

For budget-conscious travelers, consider flying to Surat Thani Airport on the mainland. From there, take a bus to the ferry terminal and hop on a ferry to Koh Samui. The journey from Surat Thani to Koh Samui typically takes 4-5 hours.

Alternative for Budget Travellers

Before you embark on your journey, don’t forget to check the visa requirements for your country.

Cost-Effective Travel Tips

training-muay-thai-in-thailand-punch-it-gym-hostel-accomodation- martial arts-fighter-tips

Traveling to a foreign country can be both thrilling and daunting. Planning and research are your best friends when saving on travel costs. With these tips, you should be well on your way to enjoying a cost-effective and convenient journey to the Punch It Muay Thai in Thailand.

Here are some essential tips to help you save:

Book early to snag the best flight deals.

Consider traveling during the off-peak season for lower costs.

Explore budget airlines like AirAsia for more affordable fares.

Pack light to avoid extra baggage fees and travel hassle-free.

Opt for public transportation like Songthaews or scooter rentals for local travel.

Venture off the touristy areas to find affordable local food markets and street vendors.

Grab a local SIM card for cheaper data and communication.

Consider rental apartments or guest houses instead of pricey hotels for more extended stays.

For all the solo travelers, you might want to think about grabbing some SafetyWing nomad insurance — it’s like your own personal safety net because, let’s face it, unexpected stuff can happen even when you’re halfway across the globe.

With some planning and these money-saving strategies, you’ll be prepared to enjoy a fantastic and budget-friendly adventure for training Muay Thai in Thailand!

Understanding the Art of Muay Thai in Thailand


Muay Thai, known as the “art of eight limbs,” has a fascinating history deeply rooted in Thai culture. It’s not just a martial art; it’s a symbol of national pride and resilience.

Dating back centuries, the history of training Muay Thai in Thailand evolved from ancient techniques used by Siamese soldiers during times of war. Passed down through generations, it became a means of self-defense and physical development for ordinary people.

In the 18th century, King Pra Chao Sua, the Tiger King, played a pivotal role in popularizing Muay Thai in Thailand. His passion for the sport led him to participate in local contests, inspiring its widespread appeal.

It goes beyond physical combat—a ceremonial spectacle accompanied by rituals and music. The ‘Wai Kru’ dance respects teachers, while traditional music sets the rhythm for the fighters.

Today, Muay Thai in Thailand has gained international recognition yet remains deeply intertwined with culture. Thai youngsters embrace it to stay fit and preserve their cultural heritage. Gyms like Punch It Muay Thai honor these traditions while training fighters. You will likely train with kids as young as ten who are beginning their Muay Thai journey and hear the Thai national anthem played before your training session begins.

Benefits of Training Muay Thai


Training Muay Thai isn’t just about the physical aspect—it’s a transformative experience that leaves you feeling more assertive, confident, and mentally sharp. 

Physique Payoffs

Brace yourself for a head-to-toe workout that you will feel in every muscle.

After a week of suffering through the heat, say hello to insane cardio.

Kicking and punching will increase flexibility in ways you didn’t know were possible.

You’ll lose weight and get a nice shred from the intensive workouts.

Mental Gains

Sharpen your concentration like a pro – not just in the ring, but life in day-to-day life.

Swap stress for a full-blown endorphin high that’ll have you feeling on top of the world.

Cultivate the confidence from crushing your goals and learning martial arts skills.

Develop discipline and respect for yourself.

Training Muay Thai

Put simply; it’s about pushing your limits. Don’t expect a walk in the park. Training Muay Thai is rigorous, it’s intense, and it’s challenging. But it’s also an opportunity to unlock your hidden potential.

Your typical training session is a well-rounded mix of strength training exercises, flexibility routines, and learning and practicing Muay Thai techniques. You’ll work your entire body, improve your agility, and master various powerful moves.

But Muay Thai isn’t just about the physical. Mental fortitude plays a massive role in this game. Regular meditation, positive self-talk, and visualization techniques are all part of the training, helping you hone your focus and resilience.

And remember, rest is just as important as the action. Allowing your body to recover is essential to keep you in top form and prevent burnout.

Above all, training in Muay Thai is a journey. It’s more than just a workout routine – it’s a path toward personal growth and development. It challenges you, transforms you, and helps you discover your capabilities.

So, if you’re looking for a training regime that pushes you beyond your comfort zone and propels you towards new levels of physical and mental strength, Muay Thai is your answer. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but the rewards are worth every drop of sweat.

What is Punch It Muay Thai?


The Gym’s Top Draws

Tailored Training Programs with Expert Trainers

Punch It offers comprehensive training programs with experienced trainers suitable for all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned fighter, there’s something for everyone to learn and grow. Say hello to 4, Faz, Dom, or Bao, for me as they help you crush it.

Thriving Community

Prepare to join a diverse community of passionate students from around the globe. Forge lasting friendships, share incredible experiences, and immerse yourself in a supportive and vibrant atmosphere.

Personal Growth

Punch It Muay Thai believes in holistic development, focusing on physical training and mental fortitude. Embrace discipline and respect, and watch yourself grow inside and outside the training ring.

Comfortable Accommodations

To ensure a hassle-free stay, they provide comfortable accommodations with modern facilities. There are many options for the budget traveler, all the way up to the highest boogie level on the island. Relax and recharge, knowing everything is handled during your training journey.

Preparing for Training

Preparing for Muay Thai training at Punch It Muay Thai is an exciting adventure. Here’s a brief guide to get you ready:

Get Fit

Boost your endurance with cardio exercises like running or swimming, and strengthen your body with upper and lower-body workouts. But to be completely honest, the heat and intensity of the training are going to be hard for everyone.

Flexibility Matters

Stretch regularly to improve flexibility, especially in your legs and hips, for its dynamic kicks.

Learn Basics

Go to a local class in your city and try to learn the basics before arriving. Even if you don’t do this, you’ll be fine. They offer basic training and will help familiarize you with techniques that’ll be beneficial during your stay at the camp.  

Mentally Prepare

Embrace the challenge with a positive mindset. Remember, progress takes time and effort. Check your ego at the door, get ready to be humbled, and take it as an opportunity to grow.

Pack Smart

Bring lots of comfortable and durable training clothes. Some items are available in class or the gym store, including hand wraps, leg wraps, boxing gloves, mouth guards, and jockstraps, so don’t worry too much about the specifics.

Stay Hydrated and Nourished

Keep yourself hydrated and maintain a balanced diet with protein for muscle repair and recovery when training in Muay Thai. There are many healthy food options around the island to keep your body in good shape.

Consider trekking up Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand, to boost morale and get in shape before training Muay Thai at Punch It! Being only about a 2-hour drive from Punch It, you’d support local communities through eco-tourism. As you hike and immerse yourself in the Karen Hilltribe’s vibrant culture, you experience breathtaking landscapes and contribute to their economic well-being.

Packing List for Punch It


When packing for your training experience at Punch It, it’s essential to consider both the specific needs of your training and the island’s tropical environment. Here is a comprehensive packing list to help you prepare:

Clothing and Training Gear

Training Clothes: Pack as many breathable, lightweight clothes for your training sessions. These should be easy to move in and quick drying. Ideally, bring enough sets to cover the duration between laundry days.

Running Shoes: Cardio training is part of the program, so bring comfortable running shoes.

Hand Wraps: (available in class): Hand wraps protect your hands and wrists during training.

Boxing Gloves: (available in class): You’ll need these for most of your training. While Punch It provides gloves, having your own can ensure a better fit and hygiene.

Mouth Guard: (available at gym store): You must keep your mouth safe and secure during those sparring sessions!

Leg Pads: (available at gym store): Shield your legs with durable leg pads, ensuring maximum protection during intense kicks and strikes.

Jockstrap: (available at gym store) – Support and safeguard yourself with a comfortable jockstrap, ensuring a worry-free training experience.

Bug Spray:  Keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay while training outdoors. A good bug spray will help you focus on your punches instead of scratching those pesky mosquito bites.

Tiger Balm: Soothe your hard-working muscles with the cooling relief of Tiger Balm. It’s the perfect remedy for any post-training soreness or discomfort.

Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the tropical sun. Apply sunscreen generously before stepping into the ring, and stay protected during outdoor training sessions.

Swimwear and Casual Clothes: Pack casual clothes and swimwear for your downtime. Koh Samui’s beaches are not to be missed!

Health and Hygiene

First Aid Kit: Include basic supplies like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relief medication. Also, consider items specific to intense physical activity, like muscle relief creams and blister plasters.

Toiletries: While some may be provided, it’s best to bring your own, especially if you have preferred brands or specific needs.

Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial, especially during intense training sessions. There are countless stations to refill your water bottle for only 5 Thai Baht.

Other Items

Ear Plugs and Eye Mask: These can be helpful if you share accommodation or are sensitive to light and noise when sleeping.

Travel Adapter: Thailand uses Type A, B, C, and O sockets. Bring a suitable adapter if necessary.

Notebook and Pen: For jotting down any techniques, tips, or reflections from your training.

Local Currency: While many places accept cards, it’s good to have some Thai Baht for smaller establishments or in case of emergencies.

Snacks: Energy bars or your preferred snacks can help keep you fueled between meals.

NOTE: Koh Samui is a big island with a mall, and there is a Fighter’s Store at Punch It, so you can pack nothing and buy everything there if you’d prefer!

A Day in the Life as a Trainee: Muay Thai in Thailand


A Typical Day at Punch It

A day at Punch It Muay Thai Gym perfectly combines training, relaxation, and socializing. Here’s a glimpse into a typical day:

Morning Training

The morning starts with a light run in the cool morning air around the neighborhood. Then you will have a 1.5-hour class practicing techniques and sparring with your classmates.


Refuel with a satisfying breakfast with traditional Thai and Western dishes. My mouth-watering favorite is the chickpea pancakes at Annie’s. Trust me. You don’t want to miss them.


Take some well-deserved downtime to rest, read, or recharge your energy.


Grab some lunch somewhere nearby the gym to give your body some necessary recovery.

Afternoon Training

At 4 PM, the fighter’s class begins with a grueling run through the scorching island heat. Even if you are good at running, the heat will wreck you. Afterward, you have a 1.5 hours class of intense sparring and technical training. You will need some experience to join this class. If you are a newbie, there is a 6 PM class that teaches you all of the beginner’s skills and is much more friendly to those just starting to learn. It runs 1.5 to 2 hours but is much easier than the fighters class. 

Evening Relaxation

Wind down after muay thai in Thailand by exploring the neighborhood or venturing out to experience the beauty of Koh Samui. Catch the sunset on Lamai Beach or head up to the Northeast part of the island for a completely different, more commercial vibe.


Share a delicious dinner with fellow trainees and trainers, fostering connections and enjoying a well-balanced meal.

Social Activities

Participate in organized events like group outings to watch the fights at Phetchbuncha Stadium, movie nights, or beach barbecues, creating memories and friendships you won’t forget. 

What to Expect After a Day of Training


After wrapping up your training at Punch It Muay Thai in Thailand, here’s a peek at what you’ll be bringing home with you:

Supercharged Conditioning

Flex some newfound muscles, bend like never before, and feel good about yourself. Get ready to lose some weight and look good in the process.

Muay Thai Skills

You’ll leave with a toolbox of Muay Thai techniques up your sleeve. Whether you started as a beginner or had some experience, you’re sure to level up.

Mental Toughness

Muay Thai in Thailand isn’t just about the body; it’s about the mind, too. You’ll find yourself more resilient and mentally more robust, ready to take on whatever life throws you next. Somehow an email from your boss or an upset client doesn’t pack the same punch after surviving this experience.

A Boost in Confidence

All the new skills and improvements you’ve made will fuel your self-confidence. Don’t be surprised if you feel you can conquer anything when you return home!

Friends from Around the Globe

At Punch It Muay Thai in Thailand, you’ll sweat and spar with people from all walks of life. You’ll leave with memories, shared stories, and friendships that span the globe.

A Taste of Thai Culture

Living and training in Koh Samui offer more than just fitness. You’ll soak up Thai culture, traditions, and lifestyle, adding a unique flavor to your memories.

An Itch to Continue

Many trainees leave Punch It with a newfound love for Muay Thai in Thailand, eager to continue this journey. Who knows, you might already be planning your next visit on your flight home!

It’s an experience you’ll carry wherever your next adventure takes you.

Exploring Koh Samui Beyond the Gym

Experiences to Enjoy in Koh Samui

Koh Samui is a paradise for Muay Thai enthusiasts and a treasure trove of cultural experiences and picturesque spots. Here’s a list of some must-visit places and experiences you should consider during your downtime:

Visit the Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)


The Big Buddha temple is home to a 12-meter-high golden Buddha statue. A landmark of Koh Samui, it offers fantastic views of the surrounding area, particularly at sunrise or sunset.

Explore Fisherman’s Village in Bophut

Training-muay-thai-in-thailand-punch-it-camp-koh-samui- fishermans-village-bhoput-exploration-and-experience

This quaint and preserved area of Bophut has narrow streets filled with traditional wooden Chinese shop-houses, boutique stores, trendy restaurants, and a lively night market on Fridays.

Relax at Lamai Beach


Less crowded than Chaweng, Lamai Beach is a peaceful spot to unwind. You can sunbathe, swim, or enjoy the scenic beauty.

Explore Ang Thong Marine National Park


Ang Thong Marine National Park is a pristine archipelago of 42 islands. You can kayak, snorkel, hike, or soak in the natural beauty. I visited here in 2019, and it was one of his favorite activities on the entire island. Remember to check if the park is open, as it closes for restoration annually.

If you enjoy hiking and want to check out another great national park, check out our Albanian Hike guide here.

 Visit Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks


These naturally occurring rocks, also known as Grandpa and Grandma Rocks, are unique formations that surprisingly resemble *cough* male and female genitalia. For some reason, tourists enjoy visiting them…

Sample Local Cuisine


Don’t miss out on local Thai dishes like Tom Yum soup, Pad Thai, or Massaman Curry. Street food stalls are a great place to experience authentic Thai flavors. Countless night markets are around the island to sample the delicious Thai cuisine.

Experience a Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan


If your stay aligns with a full moon, consider ferrying to Koh Phangan to experience its world-famous full moon party. It’s a wild night of music, dancing, and meeting people from all over the world. There will be large crowds of people, buckets of liquor bottles and mixers, happy mushroom shakes, and countless DJs.

Visit the Mummified Monk at Wat Khunaram


It might seem a bit morbid, but it’s an intriguing part of Thai Buddhist culture. The mummified monk, Luang Pho Daeng, died in a seated meditation position, and his body has been preserved in a glass case at the temple. This isn’t the actual picture of the monk. While editing this I thought that it might scare some of the readers so just a disclaimer, best to go see it on your own but not for the faint of heart.

Participate in a Thai Cooking Class


Take a Thai cooking class to recreate your favorite dishes back home. Many classes also include visiting the local market to source fresh ingredients.

Must-Try Street Food Stalls and Restaurants in Koh Samui

Exploring the local food scene can be an adventure when you’re not training at Punch It Muay Thai Gym. With its rich culinary landscape, Koh Samui offers everything from traditional Thai dishes to international cuisines. Here’s a short guide to some must-visit food spots suggested by Punch it Trainees!

Street Food Stalls

Local street food is a delicious and budget-friendly way to sample authentic Thai cuisine. Here are a couple of places worth checking out:


Chaweng Street Night Market: Open every night of the week, this bustling market offers a wide variety of Thai dishes like Pad Thai, Grilled Pork Skewers, Mango Sticky Rice, and more.

Lamai Night Plaza: Active on Sunday nights, this market in Lamai is known for its fresh seafood, Thai curries, and local desserts.

Local Thai Restaurants

For a more sit-down meal experience, consider these local favorites:

Khaw Glong Thai Restaurant: Located in Chaweng, Khaw Glong is known for its delicious, authentic Thai cuisine in a lovely garden setting. Perfect for dinner after training in Muay Thai.

NaNa: A quaint Thai Restaurant in the Bo Put, Koh Samui District, has an amazing Green Curry that is a must-try when visiting the area.

Daras Kitchen and Cafe: A local culinary haven in Koh Samui, where authentic Thai flavors come to life with delectable traditional dishes.

Barracuda Restaurant: In Bophut, Barracuda serves a fusion of Thai and Mediterranean cuisine. Their fresh seafood dishes are highly recommended.

International Cuisine

If you’re craving a taste of home, Koh Samui has plenty to offer:

Prego Italian Restaurant: Offering some of the best Italian food on the island, Prego is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Stacked Burger: Also located in Chaweng, Stacked offers a wide range of gourmet burgers and is a hit with those looking for familiar Western-style comfort food.

Little India: Experience the vibrant tastes of India on Koh Samui’s tropical shores with aromatic curries and tandoori delights that transport your taste buds.

Vegan and Vegetarian Options

Koh Samui is also friendly to those with dietary restrictions:

June’s Art Café: This small café in Bophut is loved for its vegetarian and vegan-friendly menu, offering delicious homemade food and a cozy atmosphere.

Art of Life: A raw vegan café in Lamai, Art of Life offers an array of healthy and delicious dishes made from fresh, local ingredients.


You’re now armed with the insider’s guide to tackling your journey to Punch It Muay Thai in Koh Samui. It’s not just about learning the thrilling art of Muay Thai, but embracing the local Thai culture, relishing the local food, absorbing the stunning views, and creating bonds with people from across the globe. This journey promises to leave an indelible mark on you.

You May Also Like