Koh Samui is Thailand’s second biggest island and one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations. The island has beautiful beaches, waterfalls, breathtaking viewpoints, temples, an eclectic fishermen’s village, several world-class wellness spas, and home to many authentic Muay Thai gyms. If you are traveling to train Muay Thai at any gym, you want to be prepared with essential items to help make your training more effective and safe on the island. These items might be considered sensible and easy to attain in the States, but many consumer goods are not sold on Koh Samui (or they might not have your size), so come prepared! Here is a short list of 5 essential items to pack when traveling to Koh Samui for Muay Thai training.
- Neosporin – This commonly used ointment works wonders! Many bacteria float around the island’s air and water, especially during monsoon season. If you experience open wound cuts or skin scrapes while Muay Thai training or swimming at the beach, treat it with clean water, antiseptic, and Neosporin – then bandage it up to heal properly! There are many products in the local pharmacies, including “Betadine” that can help treat cuts, but it is not as effective as Neosporin. It’s common to see Neosporin in the states but not in the Thailand islands. Pack it, and avoid infections!
- Lightweight Shorts & Water Repellent Hoodie with Pockets – If you rent a motorbike or even hop on a taxi (or Tuk Tuk), ensure your shorts have pockets with durable zippers. Your personal belongings will fall out quickly while transporting from location to location. Breathable, lightweight, performance-type fabric shorts with zippered pockets work best on the beach and fast-paced traveling! Some travelers wear small messenger shoulder strap bags, which might not be your thing but are convenient. On the island, don’t be surprised if it starts to rain or even monsoon at any given time! A lightweight water repellent hoodie with pockets comes in real handy if you are walking on the streets at a night market or especially if you’re riding a motorbike from destination to destination.
- Sunscreen -The sun burns hot in Koh Samui throughout the day, and you can get sunburned early in the morning or even under the clouds! Name-brand sunscreen companies like Banana Boat are costly on the islands since they are imported, so pack a few bottles from home and apply them daily. Your skin and wallet will thank you!
- Electrolytes/BCAA’s – If you plan on training/running every day and you are new to the island environment, your body will be shell-shocked. The heat and humidity will affect your body, and muscle fatigue/cramping is highly probable. Pack your favorite electrolytes, BCAA’s, or amino acid products and have them ready whenever you train Muay Thai. Although there are now more health shops locally, it is best to bring your supplements to give you the best opportunity to train at full strength.
- Running Shoes – This seems common sense, but most people bring expensive running shoes and regret it later! Running during Muay Thai training is a requirement and a daily activity during fight camp. Expect to run on terrain, concrete, rocks, sand, water, unpaved streets, etc., so bring durable running shoes, but expect them to get thrashed up! Save your expensive Nike runners for the States, and bring an older, comfortable, durable pair instead.