Healthy Thailand Travelling Guide
Last Summer I went travelling around Thailand, I wanted to throw myself into the travelling experience and make the most of it but still keep my fitness up and eat well.
This blog is all about how I kept fit, some great foodie places in Thailand and how to embrace the experience.
A few things I brought with me to keep me on track were
- Resistance Bands
- A Skipping Rope
- Gym/running kit
- HITT timer app
All these things would help me stay fit without a gym, I knew HITT and tabata style training would be essential as I wouldn’t have much time so I needed a quick intense workout ! I looked up exercises so I could come up with full workouts whilst I was away.
At various places I got up before the sun, warmed up did a 15-20 minute circuit and then stretched it out, this allowed me to get in a workout without intruding on my day.
I found a gym on Kho San Road, it’s in a hotel called “Buddy’s Lounge” for anyone looking for a gym. It’s 200 baht entry and has some free weights, cardio machines and also a few weight machines. I did a full body lifting session to hit as many muscles as possible, so I used supersets. 1 superset for each body part leaving me ridiculously sweaty and in need of a shower (they provide towels) Surprisingly they also sold Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein at 50 baht a scoop so I had a shake.
When it comes to food I found the best I could whilst also discovering my favourite thai dish – Cashew Nut Chicken. This is Chicken ad vegetables in a thai sauce with toasted cashews and I tried this everyone after this.
Koh Tao- The Island
Ko Tao a beautiful island. I was staying in a lovely resort with a pool which was a highlight and having researched before hand I knew of 3 gyms in the nearby area.
Crossfit Ko Tao was an amazing complex offering foundation classes, daily WODs and beast classes as well as holding open gym sessions. The trainer there was absolutely amazing, I did three foundation sessions and learnt more about form and technique than I ever could have imagined. I also learnt about the concept of crossfit, stretching and nutrition. I took part in two WODs which were taxing but great fun and I still hope to try crossfit in England.
Gym and fitness. One of the best gyms I’ve ever been to, downstairs has all the free weights a girl could want as well as a large variety of weights machines, squat rack, bench press ect… Upstairs has a mat area with cardio machines. This gym has great air conditioning and you get a free towel and bottle of water each visit. They also sold protein shakes and protein bars not to mention being situated next to the fitness cafe ↓
Right outside gym and fitness which is handy for a post workout meal or shake or even a takeaway. The fitness cafe made me feel so at home the staff there are so lovely and really try to accommodate any requests. Whilst on Ko Tao I tried the Greek yoghurt and superfood granola which I had multiple times and could have quite happily died for, it was so amazing. I also had the superfood porridge which was not that similar to porridge at home but still tasted great, the highlight though was the protein pancakes, who would have thought protein pancakes at the top of a hill in Thailand. They tasted and looked amazing and hopefully contributed to some gains whilst here in Thailand. I also had a takeaway peanut butter protein shake and takeaway omelette whilst I was there. Their menu is large and diverse including smoothies, juices, lunch, breakfast, snacks, desserts and protein shakes. I defiantly recommend this place for anyone going to Ko Tao.
This is a healthy food bar serving Raw Living Green, Vegetable and Healthy Fruit Juices, home-made raw and dark chocolates, vegetarian breakfast and lunch menu, SuperBoost Trail Mix, oat balls, nuts, seeds, superfoods, avocados and more. So make sure you stop here for a truly natural experience in Thailand.
Exercise in Thailand
Alternative exercise I took part in whilst in Thailand was Thai Boxing. I spent a week doing boxing sessions with a Thai family who didn’t speak english so it was very traditional teaching. Boxing really gets your heart rate up whilst also embracing the culture. There are loads of thai boxing gyms about so give this one a go !
Hiking was another favourite, wherever I went I tried to go hiking. I met people all the way that were active or just wanted to do something different and roped them in to my adventures. Through some quick online searches I found some great routes. The viewpoints in Koh Tao are a must and are easy to find as they are signposted. One of the best hikes I went on was in Chang Mai where I found a hidden temple like no other, no tourists, no one selling you anything and amazing views, don’t miss it.
Lets talk about street food. Don’t be afraid ! Yes stay safe by using your common sense and looking at how things are cooked but you can pick up the best food here. I often found Chicken Kebabs grilled on an open bbq that were super healthy, cheap and convenient. I also stopped at fruit stalls where they cut the fruit up for you and serve it up. In many places there were buffet street food cafes if you like, most of the dishes are just full of vegetables and really tasty. Also when your in Thailand you must try Pad Thai, the quality various vastly but a good one is a real winner and I highly recommend you try it.
A great vegetarian Cafe in Chaing Mai called AUM was a highlight as all the food was fresh, nutritious and health was the focus, which made a change from most dishes being deep-fried something or other.
I was also adament that I couldn’t survive a summer without Nut butter so I brought some with me to add to yoghurts and oats that I bought in supermarkets. When I was travelling sometimes I needed food with me, I bought yoghurt, oats, almonds and cashews to make breakfast bowls.
The beaches in Thailand are beautiful and its the best way to relax in my opinion, take a towel, a good book and lie in the sunshine. Another great experience is yoga, they really embrace their spirituality and yoga is a big part of it. I tried Grounded Yoga, the instructor understood I was a newbie and really helped me with the movements. It really helps you to relax and also stretch out your muscles. You cannot go to Thailand without having a traditional thai massage. These are odd, they pull you into strange positions and even sit on you but the are really good and a definite ‘experience’ you can get these almost anywhere at a very cheap price.
It’s important to remember that if you keep mindful then you can enjoy all the local delicacies around, your travelling after all and you don’t want regrets ! P.s If you go to Koh Tao you must try the street food pancakes.
I hope you enjoyed my little insight into Thailand, It’s a great place to travel so wherever you end up enjoy it !