I'm writing this entry about the entire month spent at Tiger so apologies if it turns into a long one! Absolutely some of the best times I've had whilst travelling- didn't expect to love it so much. If you want more information about the camp and the area then message me as I'll just skim over it here :)
We both stayed in fan rooms on the camp which were really basic- mine was a tiny bit more and had a tv and fridge which proved useful for the goodies that mum sent me and for my yoghurt/energy drinks. We bought our kit for 4500 baht (gloves, wraps, shins pads, shorts, t shirt, dettol) and the meal plan for 9000 baht (60 meals plus fruit and water with every meal but very limited meal choices; wouldn't recommend). We 'eased' ourself in to training on the first day with bodyfit bootcamp. Thank god it was Sunday the next day so there were no classes... as I could not move. We hired a moped for the month which I drove down the road on the first day with Kelz on the back- practically a motorway; mum would've died if she'd seen us!
In terms of accomodation if you're thinking of going I'd say stay in any of the 10s of hotels dotted along the road catered purely to people training- the road literally consists of 3/4 Muay Thai gyms, hotels, restaurants and massage parlours!
The Muay Thai classes are 2h 30m. The first 30 minutes warm-up is harder than any of my normal work outs at home. It was TOUGH. With the open air mats and no air con, we were actually dripping by the end. Really looked like we'd taken showers in our clothes. Lovely jubbly! Next is technique training in pairs, before bag/pad work with trainers in rotation followed by sparring, and warm-down. I had to sit out for 5 minutes because my eyes went so funny- like when you're going to faint!!
Besides Muay Thai they offer Brazilian JiuJitsu, bodyfit/crossfit (with ocassion beach and Big Buddha run sessions), Western Boxing, Yoga, Krabi Krabong, MMA (grappling and wrestling), as well as stationary bikes and an air-conned gym. We had a go at BJJ but felt like there wasn't much help for beginners and you felt a little like you were holding back the pros! Western boxing was great and very similar training to the Muay Thai. The fitness classes were, like I've mentioned, TOUGH but so worth it- you can feel the results!
The trainers are all AMAZING. They make you feel so good about what you're doing. One took to patting me on the head and when I did good 'Yes- champion'. It was crazy to think that not only were some other people training there world class but all the trainers had won championships in their day too. I couldn't believe how much I improved over the month. Me and Kelz got put up to Intermediate within 2 weeks and I felt so so much fitter. No weight loss because as well as discovering our love for Muay Thai, we found a love for caramel and cheese popcorn at the cinema... oh, and Mister donuts at the mall. Oh well, we still had fun and toned up! :)
We did a completely pain-free Visa Run to Penang staying in an incredible hotel near the sea whilst having all the paper work sorted for us. We were distracted by a coffee and chocolate shop where we had free samples galore- I got some Vanilla coffee which I can't wait to try! We were given some money to go to the night market with which had a selection of so many stalls. We had sushi!
Undoubtedly the best part of the camp was the amazing people that we shared the experience with. Everyone there has the same attitude- train hard, play hard! We had some great nights out in Patong, however seedy it is, and many many lazy days going in moped gangs along the motorways to Kata Beach to frolick and sunbathe.
The trainers and customers are basically one and the same outside of the camp. Nazee, one of the trainers, for instance, had a birthday party which catered for everyone at the camp- we all ate, drank and sung the night away with a special performance from the man himself.
The camp has a twice monthly 'BBQ beatdown' which is as it sounds- MMA cage fights and Muay thai fights in camp watched by onlookers eating meat and drinking beer! Taxis into Patong for the night out consisted of about 20 of us in the back of an open back pick up truck. Of course, all the girls arrived at the club with not a single hair blown out of place :/ haha had to laugh.
We were lucky enough to be there for the light festival which we enjoyed at Naiharn. It was so packed there. We all set off lanterns and there were lots of candles floating on the lake with flower petals everywhere- it was such a gorgeous sight!! There are lots of Thai festivals so you're pretty much guarnteed one if you go for more than a few weeks.