What? Thailand’s iconic fitness street.
Where? Phuket, Thailand.
When? December 14-29
At the start of 2015, I wrote down a few fitness goals which included running my first half-marathon as well as going on a fitness holiday before the year was up. And while I did the former in March, come December I had yet to go on a proper “fitness” holiday. So, when my boyfriend asked me if I wanted to head to Thailand to train in Phuket’s well-known fitness street, it was a no-brainer.
Training, sleeping, eating and sunshine? It sounded like the perfect way to close 2015 while jump starting my fitness goals for the new year.
Soi Tad-Ied is the famous fitness road I found myself on for ten days. And the truth is, there is really nothing negative I can say about my experience. While there is a myriad of gyms you can choose from on the 1.5km long strip, I chose to spend most of my time at Unit 27, the streets first CrossFit gym. (a blog post about them soon to follow)
What to expect: The Positives
Endless choices: You have an amazing range of choice when it comes to getting fit on Phuket’s “fitness street.” Places like Unit 27 CrossFit offer not only CrossFit and olympic lifting classes but they also provide a huge range of conditioning and bootcamp style classes. You will also find a hot yoga studio as well as several renowned Muay Thai gyms. Expect to work hard and sweat more than you ever thought possible. But also expect to have fun and get results.
Healthy food at your convenience: While the streets of Thailand are known for being filled with Nutella pancakes, ice cream and fried foods galore, the street vendors on Soi Tad-Ied road offer instead fresh fruit alongside protein shakes. Even the restaurants have tapped into this health-conscious market, providing menus with an assortment of healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners that include smoothies, juices, home-made energy snacks, healthy dessert alternatives and more. My favourite on the street? Head to the Unit 27 Muscle Bar.
Photos from Unit 27s Muscle Bar.
A strong support system: Making friends is easy here. Whether you are re-fueling at one of the local health restaurants, in class, or stocking up on litres of water at the local Family Mart, you will begin to see familiar faces everywhere you go. What’s more, everyone you meet has a story to tell. They could be here for 3-6 months to start their weight loss journey or just passing through for a few weeks to re-focus their training. Everyone is in it together and it feels like you are part of a big, strange, fitness-crazed family.
Massages galore: Almost every night we found ourselves getting a massage for under £6. Need I say more?
What to expect: The (one) Negative
The sweltering heat: It is freaking hot in Thailand and I can’t remember the last time I sweated as much as I did during those ten days. It might make you feel a bit puffy and lethargic, but you will soon love having sweat dripping down your face as you face the last 3 minutes of your workout with reckless abandon.
What to remember
Hydrate! and do so like there’s no tomorrow. It’s a no brainer, but 2 litres just won’t cut it when the humidity index is soaring and the sun is blazing. The heat is brutal so don’t take staying hydrated lightly.
Travel & Relax! If you decide to stay for a long period of time, I suggest traveling to some of Thailand’s islands during the weekends. It is a nice break and you get to see some of Thailand’s stunning scenery. We ventured to Koh Phi Phi for 5 days and it was the perfect way to wind down after 10 intense days of training. Also, don’t forget to enjoy the occasional treat. Afterall, if you are making your holiday one that focuses on fitness, relax and enjoy the odd cheat meal from time to time!
The Breakdown: Where to eat, sleep, train, chillout & repeat.
Recommended place to stay:
Recommended things to do around Phuket:
Recommended places to eat: