Muay Thai Training Guides
Many foreigners come to Thailand to study muay thai (Thai boxing). Training regimens can be extremely strict. See www.muaythai .com for more information. Fairtex Muay Thai Camp (0 0 2755 3329 www .muaythaifairtex.com 99 8Soi Boonthamanusorn, Th Theparak, Samut Prakan) Training from 500B a session to 7700B-a-week residence.
Reggae Bar (Tourist Village S lOpm-late) The most popular nightspot on the island recently expanded. It has three floors of Rasta colours, drinking competitions, a muay thai boxing ring with regular show bouts (where you can fight for free booze) and the occasional kdthoey (ladyboy) cabaret - you either love it or hate it.
Ko Chang feels a world apart from most of Thailand's islands. There are no megaphone announcements for Thai boxing (even though some of the country's best fighters hail from Ranong Province), no streets designed entirely for farang. No, Ko Chang isn't selling knock-off Ray-Bans and Playstation games. Its marketing scheme focuses squarely on seducing buyers with an older, slower version of Thailand. Electricity is sporadic, and tourists few and far between.
Although the climate is not conducive to exercise, Bangkokians like to work up a sweat doing more than just climbing the stairs to the Skytrain station. All the popular Thai sports are represented in the capital city from the top-tier muay thai (Thai boxing) to a pick-up game of takrdw (Siamese football).
Classical central-Thai music (phleng thai doem) features a dazzling array of textures and subtleties, hair-raising tempos and pastoral melodies. The classical orchestra or pii-phdat can include as few as five players or more than 20. Leading the band is pii, a straight-lined woodwind instrument with a reed mouthpiece and an oboe-like tone you'll hear it most at muay thai (Thai boxing) matches. The four-stringedphin, plucked like a guitar, lends subtle counterpoint, while rdndat ehk, a bamboo-keyed percussion instrument resembling the xylophone, carries the main melodies. The slender saw, a bowed instrument with a coconut-shell soundbox, provides soaring embellishments, as does the khliii or wooden Thai flute.
Throughout the three days of the festival Lao visitors climb around the hillside, stopping to pray and leave offerings of flowers and incense. The festival is more commercial than it once was and for much of the time has an atmosphere somewhere between a kids carnival and music festival. Events include Thai boxing matches, cockfights, comedy shows, and plenty of music and dancing. Food is available from vendors who set up along the road from Ban Thong Khop, and after dark several areas are cordoned off for open-air nightclubs featuring bands from as far away as Vientiane. After dark the beer and lao-ldo (rice whisky) flow freely and the atmosphere can become rather rowdy.
Although it sounds relaxing, traditional Thai massage (nuatphaen boraan), will seem more closely related to muay thai than to shiatsu. It is based on yogic techniques for general health involving pulling, stretching, bending and manipulating pressure points. If done well, a traditional massage will leave you sore but revitalised.
Festivals are drawn out, enjoyable affairs in Myanmar. They generally take place or culminate on full-moon days, but the build-up can last for a while. There's often a country-fair atmosphere about these festivals - at some convenient location there will be innumerable stalls and activities that go on all night. Pwe (festivals and feasts), music and Myanmar kickboxing bouts will all be part of the colourful scene. The normally calm Myanmar people can get really worked up during these festivals - at a full-moon festival on one of our visits to Yangon the supporters of the defeated favourite in a boxing bout were so enraged that they wrecked the arena, and subsequent bouts had to be cancelled.
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Kick Boxing Guide
This is a guide that will help you learn everything you are needing to know about kick boxing. You will learn such things as all the safety tips, misconceptions, perfect workouts, all the basics and so much more.