Thailand

Muay Thai at Master Toddy's

Muay Thai at Master Toddy’s| Must-Heed Tips for Absolute Beginners

We spent about a week learning the basics of Muay Thai at Master Toddy’s in Bangkok. Overall, it was a fulfilling experience.

We came in with zero knowledge about this wonderful Thai martial art, and finished more confident. We would definitely go back to continue training.

If you’re a beginner and would want to train at Master Toddy’s, here are some tips that can help you have a better first-time experience than we did.

Learn how to count to 10 in Thai.

All of you ( i.e., you and your fellow trainees plus the coaches) will start counting in Thai after each round/set. You don’t want to be the one who keeps checking the others to see who else is clueless.

Use this post and start memorizing today.

Master Toddy Gym Muay Thai

Training is the follow-what-I-do type. Read up on the basics of Muay Thai.

Master Toddy teachingWhen we received the confirmation e-mail from Master Toddy’s, we were promised to learn the fundamentals of Muay Thai, which include the following: 11 cobra punches, 4 axe elbows, 3 powerful knee strikes, and 3 Thai whip kicks. There was also a “free private lesson” waiting for us.

We did get the private lesson on our first day, but it was nothing fancy.

The lesson was done inside the ring, and it was a one-on-one session with an instructor to teach us two techniques that we’d have to practice at the start of every training – the “eye of the tiger” and the “toro” techniques.

After that “private lesson,” we were expected to attend two group sessions everyday – one at 7:30 in the morning, and another at 4:00 in the afternoon. The sessions run for two hours. If you skip a class, you won’t get reprimanded, but it’s your loss.

Perhaps it’s the instructors’ limited knowledge of the English language that makes the training a follow-what-I-do kind of learning. It was more demo than talk.

The only time we were treated to an English explanation of a technique was when Master Toddy himself – who has good command of the language – comes by and checks on us. If you get lucky and have a fellow trainee who speaks both Thai and English, you can ask unlimited questions.

That said, it’s better to do some research to at least know what happens during the training. This article is a good resource.

RELATED: Top Recommendations: Hotel Near Jim Thompson House Bangkok

Master Toddy Muay Thai

The gloves at the gym stink.

It’s not a requirement, but if you plan on training for more than a week, get your own gloves. You’ll be in the ring two times everyday except Sunday.

If you’re traveling light across Southeast Asia, it’s understandable that you want to keep your backpack as light as possible. You can always mail the gloves back home.

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Gloves at Master Toddy's

You don’t have to own a pair of Muay Thai shorts.

You might be tempted to buy Muay Thai shorts, but it’s not a requirement. Sure, you’ll look like a legit Muay Thai trainee, but if you’re on a budget, use your quick-dry shorts instead.

Muay Thai Shorts Master Toddy's

Prepare physically.

Group sessions always follow a routine. First, you’ll do some stretching, then you’ll practice the “eye of the tiger” and “toro” techniques. Next comes shadow boxing. After, you’ll spar with another trainee, and then with an instructor.

It’ll be exhausting, so you need to be prepared mentally and physically.

Do some cardio exercises at least two weeks before the training. Go out and spend some time jogging. If you can’t, you can always jump-rope or do some jumping jacks indoors. Check out the link to choose from other cardio exercises that you can do at home.

Learn to breathe properly.

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Headed to Chiang Mai next?

At the Old City, there are other Muay Thai gyms to continue your training. Here’s a list of cheap hotels in Chiang Mai near Old City.

How to get to Master Toddy’s

Take the BTS Sukhumvit Line, and get off at Bearing station. Take Exit # 3. Walk about 5 minutes to 7-11 along Sukhumvit 107 Road.

There, you’ll find motorcycle taxis with drivers wearing an orange vest. These taxis will take you to Master Toddy’s. Just say “boxing,” no explanation needed.

Exit Bearing Station

Motor Taxi Master Toddy's

Hotel Near Jim Thompson House Bangkok

Top Recommendations: Hotel Near Jim Thompson House Bangkok

Jim Thompson was an American architect who was sent to Thailand as a military officer after WWII. He was instrumental in the worldwide recognition of Thai silk. He was born in 1906 and disappeared in Malaysia on March 26, 1967.

The Jim Thompson House is a “lasting reminder of his creative ability and his deep love of Thailand.”

Unfortunately, taking pictures of his art collection and the interior of the house isn’t allowed, so if you wish to see the pieces, know that the house is open everyday, from 9 am to 6 pm.

RELATED: Hotels in Khao San Road with a Pool (Bangkok)

Jim Thompson Bangkok Flyer Information

Top Picks: Hotel Near Jim Thompson House Bangkok

The Jim Thompson House is near a train station – the National Stadium BTS Station – from which you can walk a few minutes to reach it.

Some top attractions and landmarks nearby include the National Stadium, the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, and the MBK Shopping Center. The nearest public park is Park @ Siam. One train ride takes you to Central World and to Master Toddy’s Muay Thai Academy.

That said, hotels within the area may not be considered cheap for the average budget-traveling fellow. Here, we give you a list of the cheapest we can find.

A One Inn

A One Inn is exceptionally located, giving you walking access not only to the Jim Thompson House but also to other top shopping attractions such as Central World. It’s also a hotel near a train station – the National Stadium BTS Station.

Image: Agoda

Muangphol Mansion

Directly across ION Plaza Pratunam, Muangphol Mansion is only 300 meters away from the Jim Thompson House and about one kilometer from Central World, making it one of the hotels near a popular mall. If you want a well-located hotel giving you quick and easy access to almost everything, this is the place to be.

Image: Agoda

Chao Hostel

Chao Hostel is one homey and cozy hotel. From the dorm rooms up to the common areas, the layout has obviously been well thought out. The wooden furniture pieces are a feast to the eyes.

Image: Agoda

Lub d Bangkok Siam Hostel

If you’re a blogger or a digital nomad, you’ll love the business center area of Lub d Bangkok Siam Hostel. You can have access to the Internet and work a few hours before checking out the city’s top attractions.

Image: Agoda

Siam Square House

The Siam Square House is ideal for couples and groups. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a dorm room for solo travelers. The small reception area has been described as “arty,” giving you a welcoming vibe.

Image: Agoda

Santi Chai Prakan Public Park Khao San Bangkok

A Quiet Afternoon at Khao San’s Santi Chai Prakan Public Park

During the day, Khao San Road “goes to sleep.”

The blaring music is gone, and most of its nightlife-loving guests are out to see and experience other top attractions and activities that Bangkok has to offer (e.g., Jim Thompson House and Muay Thai training at Master Toddy’s).

That or they’re beating the heat in one of those Khao San hotels with a swimming pool.

Within the Khao San area, there’s a riverfront park that you can go to for a quiet afternoon. Unlike the night markets in Thailand, only a handful of people come here. It’s called the Santi Chai Prakan Public Park.

What can you see at the park?

First on the list is Phra Sumen Fort, which according to Wikipedia is one of the remaining original forts installed to guard the Rattanakosin Kingdom (1782–1932). From afar, this structure looks impressive. At a certain point, it reminds us of our trip to Galle in Sri Lanka.

RELATED: Top 7 Picks: Cheap Hotels in Chiang Mai Near Old City

Phra Sumen Fort

Bangkok Phra Sumen Fort

The park also gives you a glimpse of Rama VIII Bridge, an iconic bridge in Bangkok that opened in 2002 to help ease traffic at the Phra Pinklao Bridge.

Santi Chai Prakan Public Park Overlooking Rama VIII Bridge

Choose your bench.

Bench at Santi Chai Prakan Public Park

Our favorite spot is the reliefs that can be found at the western side of the park. These art works are, for the most part, a depiction of the Thai people.

Art Reliefs in Santi Chai Prakan Public Park

The Santichai Prakan Pavillion is another structure in the park besides the fort. It’s a Thai-style building, complete with a beautiful roof that includes the characteristic sloped eaves.

Santichai Prakan Pavillion

Hotels in Khao San Road with a Pool

Hotels in Khao San Road with a Pool (Bangkok)

Khao San Road is a famous backpacker street that in itself is an attraction. It’s a go-to place for people who’d like to experience the nightlife in Bangkok.

During the day, the street is a mini market littered with stalls selling shirts, souvenirs, and Thai food. Within the area, there are spas for your massage needs, Muay Thai gyms, and a nearby public park to spend a quiet afternoon.

At night, Khao San Road transforms into a noisy, fun-filled party haven. This is the best spot to try eating exotic food while downing a bottle of Chang or Tiger and mingling with other budget-traveling folks.

RELATED: Top Recommendations: Hotel Near Jim Thompson House Bangkok

Images below: Khao San Road during the day (left) and at night (right)

Khao San Road During the Day Khao San Road at Night

Nitan Hostel Khaosan: Where We Stayed in Khao San

Nitan Hostel is located on an alleyway a few meters from Khao San Road. Finding it wasn’t supposed to be difficult, but it was at first because of the vendors blocking the way.

Surprisingly, we were able to get a good night’s sleep. Not only was it quiet inside the room we were assigned in, but the hostel stuck to its no-lights-after-midnight policy.

Nope, Nitan Hostel does not have a swimming pool.

Here are images that show the other parts of the hostel.

Nitan Hostel Bangkok Nitan Hostel Khaosan BangkokNitan Hostel Khaosan Nitan Hotel in Khao San Road

Hotels in Khao San Road with a Pool

A swimming pool is the perfect hang-out place during the day when Khao San Road feels “dead” and Bangkok’s tropical heat becomes unbearable. Here’s a list of hotels in Khao San Road with a pool.

D&D Inn Khaosan

D&D Inn is one of the few hotels along Khao San Road with a swimming pool. The pool is located at the rooftop, which makes it an ideal setting to watch the sunrise or the sunset.

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Headed to Siem Reap next?

Spend some time in Pub Street, also a famous street located in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Angelina Jolie used to chill out in one of its bars while filming Tomb Raider. Check out this list of boutique hotels near Pub Street.

Image: Agoda

Sleep Within Hotel

Sleep Within Hotel is directly behind Khao San Road, or about 200 meters away. Although the hotel has been described as “small” or “nothing fancy,” it does have a rooftop pool if you want to relax.

Image: Agoda

Khaosan Palace Hotel

Located along the famous backpacker street, Khaosan Palace Hotel has a small swimming pool at the rooftop. The pool has beach beds and towels, and it affords a nice view of the surrounding areas.

Image: Agoda

New Siam II Guest House

New Siam II Guest House is about 600 meters to Khao San Road, making it close to the famous street yet far enough to give you a quiet sleep at night.

Image: Agoda

Royal Rattanakosin Hotel

A bit “dated” as noticed by some previous guests, but the Royal Rattanakosin Hotel has an outdoor pool to beat the afternoon heat. Plus, the hotel is located 300 meters from Khao San Road, which translates to a 5-minute walk.

Image: Agoda

Trang Hotel Bangkok

About one kilometer from Khao San Road, Trang Hotel Bangkok has a nice, welcoming ambience. The rooms are divided according to the views they provide. Some rooms give you a nice view of the city and others overlook the swimming pool.

RELATED: Top Recommendations: Cheap Hotel in Chiang Mai Near Airport

Image: Agoda

Mango Lagoon Place

Mango Lagoon Place has been given a “very good” rating by previous visitors/guests, with location getting the top mark. It’s within walking distance to Khao San Road.

Image: Agoda