As you would expect from any cosmopolitan city, Bangkok is a hub for fitness activities for both locals and travelers alike. From Tai Chi in the park to spinning, Zumba and Pilates classes all over the city, Bangkok offers a range of options to keep fitness lovers entertained. While working out may not be your first priority while backpacking abroad, after a few too many buckets on the beach you may feel as though you need a detox and reboot before continuing your travels. If this is the case, read on to find out the best places to keep fit in Bangkok.
Although city life is often defined by working, commuting and shopping, Bangkok actually offers a great variety of outdoor activities. These are perfect for both nature lovers and fitness fanatics.
Rather than hopping on the BTS Skytrain each time you want to move around the city, why not opt to travel on foot? This is a great way to explore the city and stumble across areas or activities that you would otherwise miss. Whether you walk through tranquil parks or the hustle and bustle of city markets, there is action to discover, people to meet, and food and souvenirs to find along the way.
Alternatively, rent a bike for a few hours (approx. 20-30 Baht/h) or a whole day (around 100 Baht) to get your heart racing and legs pumping as you take in the city’s green spaces. Both Lumpini and Benjakiti parks have cycle routes that wind their way through trees and lakes, allowing you to switch off and get back to nature. If you really love cycling and have legs of steel, brave the hot, hard cycle all the way to the ancient city of Ayutthaya – a 76-kilometer ride from Bangkok!
Many of the parks around the city have these colorful outdoor jungle gyms that are surprisingly popular even in the Thai heat of the day! Free to use, these gyms have a decent range of equipment so you can get your fitness fix on the cheap – ideal for those traveling on a shoestring. Santiphap and Chatuchak Parks are both good choices, as they are located within a stone’s throw of the BTS Skytrain.
For those who need an instructor to keep them motivated, Bangkok has a wealth of fitness classes from yoga to CrossFit and everything in between.
If you head to Lumpini Park between 6.30 and 9 am each morning, you may be able to get involved in Tai Chi at the Siang Leng Tai Kek Club (a free trial is available) or if running is more your thing, the Lumpini Running Club usually meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for a 6.30pm jog. There are often semi-organized activities that may or may not happen throughout the week so you may stumble upon a class more by luck than judgment – a great reason to always be ready for anything!
While the practice of Muay Thai is particularly famous in Chiang Mai and on the islands, there are a number of classes and schools in the city. This is a great option if you want a taster of Thai boxing before enrolling in a full course. For those who’d prefer to simply watch the action in the ring, rather than stepping in themselves, there are regular matches held at the Rajadamnern Stadium and Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.
For those who are staying in the city for a while and who’d rather attend traditional fitness classes, the Guava Pass allows you to access a range of classes all over Bangkok, without having to tie yourself to one gym or company. Guava Pass gyms in Bangkok offer Hiit, spinning, Pilates and barre classes, along with a range of other activities so everyone can find their fit in the city!
Whether it’s a boozy press up competition with the lads, a walk in the park, or a Muay Thai fitness class, you’re sure to find something in Bangkok to get your blood racing and heart pumping.