Martial arts in Thailand…Right in our neighborhood…Who knew?…Great new photos and video…

Adam, a martial arts trainee from the UK, tells his story of visiting the Kingka Supa Muay Thai, training and performance facility located down the road from us. Click here for the interview.
Each time we’ve traveled down the bumpy road in the less-than-stellar rental car we’ve both been preoccupied in observing the depth of the potholes in the road. 

While I hold on for dear life, Tom navigates each rut in the road with the greatest of care.  While in this process, until we reach the smoother main highway, neither of us has paid as much attention to the neighborhood as we would under different circumstances.

Having shot a few photos along the way as we maneuvered down the road, I’d noticed a few points of interest. I hadn’t asked Tom to stop to investigate, until yesterday, preferring to stay on course to get the bumpy road out of the way.

This martial arts ring reminded us of the facility shown in the excellent Showtime series, Ray Donovan, which we’ve been watching lately (season 4). 

Yesterday, on our return drive from shopping, I asked him to stop so we could get out of the car to check out a particular scene I’d noticed during a few of our comings and goings over this past month. More on that in a moment.

With only one more shopping trip required before we depart Phuket on September 1st and based on my slight improvement in mobility, yesterday was an ideal day to get out of the car to scope out some scenery for photos to post on the upcoming days in Thailand.

With beefed up security at the supermarket, we felt safe while shopping but with the recent 11 bombings in Thailand, some nearby, we stayed on alert as much as one could in the circumstances.  We knew with certainty, there was no reason to visit any highly populated tourist areas.

Having never been to a match, this was all new to us.

Not surprisingly, we noticed a considerable reduction in traffic on the highway. Could it be a result of the fact that many tourists had decided to end their holiday/vacations earlier than planned, as was reported on the local news subsequent to the horrific bombings? And, were the locals being more prudent in getting out, only when absolutely necessary? 

We left the house around 11:30 am, usually a busy time of day. It was Friday here in this part of the world which is often a busier day on the roads. We stopped at the Seven Eleven for a few toiletries that aren’t available at supermarkets. 

According to this site, “taking part in a real Muay Thai bout is just about the most dangerous thing you can do without holding guns.” Click here for more details.

Once we arrived at the Makro superstore which doesn’t accept credit cards (nor do many of the other markets we’ve visited in this past month) Tom stopped at the ATM for cash. 

With lower prices than we’d experienced while living on most tropical islands (Hawaii is the exception) most shops refuse to pay the credit card fees and only accept cash for payment. 

While in Fiji, we paid a 2.5% surcharge at the markets when using a credit card. During that period we determined which was more cost effective; paying fees at ATMs or paying the surcharge. In Fiji, the surcharge was the lower cost option. 

Gloves are lined up at the edge of the ring.

Here in Phuket, we don’t have that option to choose when cash is required at most locations. Each time we’ve used the ATM we’ve paid a flat fee of US $5.77, THB 200, regardless of the amount of the withdrawal, charged by the local banks providing the machines (not our bank in the US). 

Also, most ATMs restrict how much cash you can withdraw at any given time requiring the user to have to get cash more frequently paying the fees over and over again. Its the nature of the beast. 

After spending US $154, THB 5323 at the grocery store and US $3.44, THB 119, at the Seven Eleven for toiletries we were content with the “bang for the buck.” 

Heavy punching bags.  Living quarters on the premises in the background.

We purchased all the food items needed for the upcoming week; tons of organic vegetables, full fat dairy including a variety of gourmet cheeses, baby back ribs enough for two nights, ground steak (mince) enough for two nights, and yellow fin tuna for two nights. 

Included in the above total were the three delicious gluten free roasted chickens, which although small, (free range chickens are usually small) would see us through two evenings. 

Anyway, back to the photo taking on yesterday’s outing. We stopped at a few locations where we both got out of the car and walked for a bit, seeing an exquisite local beach and a lovely resort. 

More heavy punching bags.

Then when closer to our villa, we visited the scene I’d noticed on the road where we live, a local martial arts facility, as we’ve bounced along the bumpy road on several occasions.

Tom parked the car while we got out gingerly walking on uneven terrain to make our way to the martial arts boxing ring with equipment scattered about, on the grounds of the Kingka Supa Muay Thai

The site is not only is a training and performance facility but also a clean, well appointed camp for the participants many who travel from all parts of the world to train as described in the above video.

The buildings on the premises at Kingka Supa Muay Thai appear to be well maintained and spacious which are used by those in training  and participating in the dangerous sport from all parts of the world.

Today, we’re including our photos from the Kingka Supa Muay Thai. There’s a match tonight. If I were able to sit on bleachers (not quite yet) it might be interesting to attend but the degree of violence is off-putting.

We have many more new photos to share over the next several days. Please check back!

Photo from one year ago today, August 20, 2015:

Sunrise over Trinity Beach, Australia. One year ago today, we wrote about a negative comment from a reader. Please click here for details.