I’ve been training at Tiger Muay Thai and living and eating on ‘the street’ for 5 months now and I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how much it costs, where to stay, what to eat and what’s there to do, etc. Especially when compared to the costs of living in Chiang Mai! I’ve stayed in several different places, eaten at most of the restaurants and tried out different gyms. Over time I’ve developed a cost effective, exercise and nutrition routine which is getting me solid results so rather than keep answering the same question, over and over, I’m putting it in to one blog post.
What is your cost of living in Phuket whilst training at Tiger Muay Thai?
I’ve stayed at several different places now on the street Tiger Muay Thai is on but the location I’ve settled on, for the moment, is the B&M Guest House a few hundred meters away from Tiger Muay Thai and opposite a restaurant called Tony’s.
B&M offer a variety of rooms, in different sizes, some with windows and some with out but I’ve opted for the large size room with a balcony on the top floor. It comes with air conditioning, my own shower room and unlike most of the other hotels in the area the door key doesn’t cut the electricity off when you leave the room, so I’m able to leave my laptop on doing things whilst I’m training.
There is also a small safe which some of the other hotels don’t have. There is no pool and the TV is quite far away from the bed, making it not worth using but the table and chairs on the balcony make for a great desk, which again is something some of the other hotels are lacking. Rooms are also cleaned once a week and you can choose the time, I normally get mine cleaned around 2pm on a Saturday whilst I’m having lunch!
Internet is reasonable, but the only place on the street that I’ve tried with better Internet (Signature) is 4 times the price, so I can deal with that.
The total cost for the month is 12,000 THB / $366 / £248
Generally I always eat at the same restaurant across the street from where I’m staying, called Tony’s. I eat their 3 times a day, and I eat the same things each day. I’m eating to train and eating to lose weight so eating the same things each day gives me the opportunity to adjust my diet to improve my results. The restaurants don’t exactly have nutritional information on the menus so you’ve got to think for yourself.
For the first few months when I was just doing Muay Thai I had a lot more carbs, each meal came with rice and more often than not I’d add additional sweet potato mash or morning glory to the mix. Now I’ve lost a lot of fat, and muscle, I want to put that muscle back on, so I’m ramping up the protein.
If I ate random, whimsical meals at all the different restaurants on the street it would be impossible to tweak my diet to improve performance as I wouldn’t actually have a diet to tweak!
For breakfast I’ve been heading over to Tony’s and getting the fruit platter along side the large grilled chicken, with brown rice, 2 fried eggs, coffee and a 1.5 ltr bottle of water for about 220 THB / $6.70 / £4.60.
On the way back from training I pass the Protein Vitamin Bar which does an awesome array of fresh shakes and smoothies. I always go for the Green Shake, which contains an apple, a cucumber, spinach, lime and ginger for 120 THB / $3.70 / £2.50.
Penang Chicken Curry
After I’ve downed the Green Shake, it’s shower time then off to Tony’s again for lunch. I’ve been having a Penang Chicken Curry with brown rice, 2 fried eggs and a 1.5 ltr bottle of water for 120 THB / $3.70 / £2.50.
Phad Kra Pao
For dinner I’m back at Tony’s for a 3rd time for their Phad Kra Pao with brown rice, 2 fried eggs and a 1.5 ltr bottle of water for 120 THB / $3.70 / £2.50.
This brings my food total for the month to about 15,000 THB / $458 / £310 for 30 days.
You probably noticed that I don’t have that many vegetables in my diet, hence the green smoothie! I also take one multivitamin a day, currently using the Blackmores brand. There are 120 pills in the bottle and the bottle cost about 1,500 THB, so for one month that’s 500 THB / $15.20 / £10.30
Despite the prevalence of tasty, cooked, chicken breast, I still supplement with whey, as I’d never have any time to do anything if I had to actually go to a restaurant 6 times a day! I’ve been buying Muscle Pharm’s Arnold Whey Protein in 5lb containers, each container costs 2699 THB and has 56 scoops in it, offering 25g of protein. One container will last me about 2 months so the price per month works out at 1,350 THB / $41.40 / £28.
I don’t really eat fish so I’m missing out on some essential fats that are good for the body and brain! For my Omega supplements I’m again using Muscle Pharma’s. Not due to brand loyalty but due to the limited range of supplements available in Thailand! There appear to only be 3 brands available, Muscle Pharm, Reflex and Blackmores. 1 bottle will last me a month and cost 1500 THB / $45.80 / £31.
This brings my supplement total to 3,350 THB / $102.40 / £70
Private Muay Thai Sessions
I have 5 private Muay Thai sessions a week, for an hour each, so roughly 20 a month. Tiger Muay Thai sell them for 600 THB each but you can buy packs of 10 for 5500 THB. By the looks of things, everywhere on the street are the same price whether you’re training at TMT, Dragon or Top Team. I buy 2 packs of 10 a month for 11,000 THB / $336 / £228
After my hour of Muay Thai I then do an hour of weight lifting, for size rather than strength. Muay Thai will strip you of all muscle other wise! If you’re not doing one of Tiger Muay Thai’s inclusive training packages you can just get gym membership by itself. For a month this costs 2500 THB / $76.40 / £51.80
The total cost of all my training, for the month, is 13,400 THB/ $412.40 / £279.80
Total Cost Of Living Whilst Training At Tiger Muay Thai
Accommodation: 12,000 THB / $366 / £248
Food: 15,000 THB / $458 / £310
Supplements: 3,350 THB / $102.40 / £70
Training: 13,400 THB/ $412.40 / £279.80
Grand Total: 43,750 THB / $1337 / £905
It works out at a little more than that as a trip to Central Festival to go to the cinema, including the taxi, will cost at least 800 THB and I guess I go about twice a month. Some times I double up on coffees too at breakfast for an extra 20 THB and then there’s the little things like additional packs of water, shampoo, Dettol, new clothes (now that my old ones are far too big for me). Also every cash point withdrawal, regardless of amount, costs 180 THB so I try to withdraw about 15,000 THB at a time to mitigate the damage there. Snorkeling and scuba trips also ramp up the cost out here, but they aren’t necessities. I do usually do one a month though. There are several places on the street that will do laundry for you, usually at 40 THB per kg. Including a towel I usually spend 60 THB a week to get my laundry done.
You can probably do it cheaper, I’ve seen accommodation at half the price I am paying, 5,000 THB a month. Possibly hiring a scooter for 4,500 THB might lead you to cheaper food options and depending on your goals and diet (i.e. if you eat fish) you might not need the whey or omega supplements. Just today I noticed the Family Mart shop sells cans of Tuna in Spring Water for 40 TBH which is probably the cheapest source of protein on the street, I might start making my own lunch!
I do stick to the street and don’t go out too much though, I read a lot! Some of the English guys I’ve spoken to that live in the same guest house as me, eat at the same restaurant as me and train at the same gym as me are burning through £1,500-£2,000 pm. But they have scooters and have fun adventures away from the street that I don’t, they also treat their experience as more of a holiday than I am.
I love how I’m living, it’s easy and quite luxurious. My meals are cooked for me, my room is cleaned for me, my laundry is done by someone else for me. The training is amazing, the food is delicious and the people I meet are incredible. Oh and that £905 I’ve math’d up as my approximate monthly cost .. that’s roughly the rent I was paying, each month, with out bills, when I was living in England.