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Whether you’re visiting or living in the Thai capital, it’s easy to keep on top of your fitness regime while you’re here. From high-end membership-only gyms to more local-style workout facilities in the city’s parks and beyond, these are our recommendations for gyms in Bangkok.
This huge, immensely popular park in downtown Bangkok is great for many things – running, cycling, or simply a slow, reflective walk – but it’s also the perfect spot to keep up with your gym routine absolutely free of charge. For some decades now, an assortment of fairly basic fitness equipment installed in the centre of the park itself by workout enthusiasts has attracted a loyal crowd of Thai gym rats.
You’re admittedly working out in the sweltering Bangkok heat (there’s also an indoor, air-conditioned gym – it’s not free, but is still ridiculously cheap) but, whether you’re here to work on that six-pack or simply to check out the ripped talent, the Lumpini Park gym is worth a visit.
Daily, 4.30am-9pm; Wireless Road (BTS Sala Daeng/MRT Silom or Lumpini)
Perhaps Bangkok’s most high-end (and therefore expensive) gym, international chain Fitness First has branches all over Bangkok, mostly within shopping centres – including signature ‘platinum’ locations like Asian flagship Siam Paragon. Fitness First is a relatively new addition to the Bangkok fitness scene, but its wide range of up-to-date equipment and its selection of membership packages make it a popular choice. Along with We Fitness (see below) and other chain gyms, membership rates can vary wildly between different customers and sales reps – negotiation is key.
A relatively new brand springing up across town, We Fitness is another high-end Bangkok gym option. WE currently has six branches across the Thai capital, including at Ekkamai, Thonglor, and Ratchada. Expect the usual medley of modern equipment and a range of fitness classes like yoga, anti-gravity yoga, and Pilates.
If you’ve spent any time at all in Bangkok, chances are you have stumbled across an outdoor aerobics class – perhaps in a park or, more likely, on a Tesco Lotus supermarket forecourt. These popup classes, especially popular with elderly Thais but open to anyone who wants to join in, often take place around 5pm as the sun is starting to set and the temperature is beginning to drop.
Usually led by an instructor with the crowd following his or moves – or, more often, simply doing their own thing with wild and wacky moves – these are fun workouts to music blared from large speakers, and are a Thailand-only kind of spectacle to behold even if you don’t actually take part.
GuavaPass is a self-styled all-access programme that allows you to use fitness facilities and take classes at gyms and other venues right across Bangkok. The service, which also operates in Singapore, Dubai, and Shanghai, is a monthly subscription service that includes activities like yoga, muay thai, dance, and CrossFit – with a no-commitment approach that means you can cancel whenever you feel like it.
Though not a gym, Sathorn’s trendy new opening Beatroot is nonetheless a great place to get in shape – while you also indulge in a head massage, get your nails done, and have a bite of something healthy to eat at the on-site café. The main focus here is on regular yoga and Pilates classes on the rooftop – you can pop in for one-off classes, or take out a regular membership.
Thursday to Tuesday, 9am-8pm; Chan Kao Road, Sathorn (BTS Chong Nonsi); www.facebook.com/beatroothome/
Where is your favourite place to work out in Bangkok? Let us know in the comments!
Photos by istolethetv; Fitness First; WE Fitness; Lukas Bergstrom; GuavaPass; Beatroot
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