Chiang Rai is one of the oldest cities in Thailand, making it an exciting destination for historians.
There are many temples and museums including the "White Temple". The city and the surrounding areas are very photogenic as well, if that's your kind of thing.
Although not far from Chiang Mai which is the more popular destination for tourism, a major difference is the lack of nightlife and Muay Thai gym in Chiang Rai. The area around the "Clock Tower" is considered by many to be the heart or center where we can find many coffee shops, shopping, northern style sausages, and much street food. The area is vegan friendly too, here's our suggestions:
Kunda Vegan Restaurant Chiang Rai - Kunda's dishes are well presented and we like the open face sandwiches the best!
Full Moon Welness - Full Moon has a variety of smoothies and granola based bowls!
Connect Cafe - Located by the bus station (in town) offers many soup choices for vegans
Advantages of Muay Thai training in Chiang Rai:
Easy navigation - little to no traffic most of the time and getting into downtown is quick
Thai culture with a bit of Western influence e.g. restaurants - many burger, steak, and pizza restaurants -
Hungry Wolf - Steak and Pizza!
Surf N Turf Bistro - Sandwiches and located steps away from clock tower in down town!
Easy border runs having a METV visa (include details to Mae Sai)
Cheap housing/accommodation - see this Facebook Page
Sor Choawolit Camp - Chiang Rai, Thailand
Small - 1 ring, 5 bags, matts, tires, sit up benches
3 adult fighters, 2 kids, 1 designated pad holder
Typical Practice - Afternoon 7 kilometer run (40 minutes total) beginning around 16:30 - 17:30 depending on the sun
10 Minutes skipping rope, footwork drills, or jumping on tires two 4 minute shadow boxing rounds
3 four minute bag rounds with last 20 seconds of round being power
3 four minute pad rounds
30-45 minutes clinching
20 minutes of variety of conditioning exercises - high volume of kicks on the bag, skipping knees, volume punching on the bag, core work
900 meter sprint
Sor. Chaowalit Muay Thai gym sets under a corrugated steel roof that is joined by Kru Ar's home.
Like a typical camp the fighters live here when not in the home village.
"Pii Nan" who is the head trainer is a retired fighter born and raised in Korat. When outside the gym he loves to chat about his time fighting sharing pictures from Thai magazines.
Inside the gym he tends to the fighters, watching their bag work, holds pads.
He knows when it's time to be serious in the gym but also when to keep the atmosphere playful.
This dude loves to walk around in his boxers until its time to hold pads.
Pii Nan is working with me here on swinging the knee around and "closing" the hip as it lands on the bag in Chiang Rai, Thailand during conditioning.
The video above is from Miah's Muay Thai fight at Chiang Rai Boxing Stadium in November 2018.
Miah just weeks before this fight won the Ch. 3 Championship belt and a purse of 100,000 Baht!
I felt very fortunate to be cornering such a well known and dedicated fighter.
Sor. Chaowalit Muay Thai Camp more so than any other camp I've been to includes boxing into the training.
Routinely we put headgear on and only box 5-8 rounds.
Miah and I worked together for two weeks in preparation for this fight on his boxing where I'd hold pads for him focusing mainly on his left hook, footwork, and distance.
Video below is of a typical four min pad round with Pii at Sor. Chaowalit Muay Thai Camp. Including many kicks, disrupted rhythms, choreographed combinations, and free style pad work.
Pii stops me when I throw knee's because he wants me to grab his shoulder with the same hand as the knee being thrown.
This helps me with balance and he also explains to me the cue for this knee is when his posture is severely broken. In Thai telling me "You need to study first" which essentially I need to make the minute adjustment before striking.
A few pictures from my fight during the 2018 Loy Krathong Festival in Chiang Saen, Thailand near the Golden Triangle.
Grateful for the opportunity to fight in the 2018 Loi Krathong Festival this Thanksgiving!
Although I lost via split decision against a Max Muay Thai veteran, I’m feeling fortunate to be part of such a great team and continue to have the opportunities to compete in such events as these!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, I’m thinking of my friends and family in the USA!