I’m not sure what the general perception is, but my presumption was that most of the hospitals in Thailand were going to be that of a third world variety. You know the kind of place I mean. The kind of place where they still use leeches, and drill holes in your head to “release the demons” when you have a headache. Well, my fears came into play almost immediately on my trip when I crashed my motorbike on my second day in Thailand. I ended up having cuts and scraps on my arm, leg and top of my foot, and was pretty sure that I had broken at least 1 toe. My first presumption was that if I went to the hospital, they would tell me they had to amputate my foot. Eeek! After about 3 days of laying around and trying to heal myself with peroxide and tylenol, I decide to give in and have the owner of my bungalow take me to the hospital.
Before I get into the services I received at the Phuket Hospital, let me preferace this with a little backstory of a recent experience at a hospital in the States. About 2 weeks before my trip to Thailand, I was receiving my immunization shots, and had an adverse reaction. As a result, I ended up having a seizure and had to be taken to the emergency room. Now mind you, I have health insurance, so I only had to pay for the copay, but let me give you a little insight into the experience of a US hospital.
Once I arrived in the emergency room, I got admitted, and sat around for almost an hour. I had my blood pressure taken, got a CT scan, saw a doctor for about 5 minutes, and was released. The entire process took about 3 hours, and I actually didn’t receive any treatment. I only ended up having the two tests. On top of that, it ended up costing about $5000. As I said, my insurance covered most of it, but that is still an insane amount.
Now fast forward about 2 weeks and I arrive at the Phuket Hospital in Thailand. As soon as I arrive at the hospital, I am admitted by two very pleasant nurses, given a free bottle of water, and taken to the emergency room. This only took about 10 minutes. Once I was in the emergency room, a doctor came to see me and talked to me extensively about my accident and my injuries. He prescribed me a pain killer, an anti-inflamatory and an antibotic, as I had an infection in my cuts. He also had a nurse clean and dress my wounds, and refered me to an orthopedic specialist. One my way to see the specialist, I stopped off to get X Rays. After I got the X Rays, the orthopedic doctor reviewed them with me, and explained to me that I had broken 1 toe, and chipped 2 more as a result of a ligament being torn off the bone. From there I proceeded to checkout, where I received my 3 prescriptions and received a card for 6 free wound cleanings at the hospital. All this only cost a little over $300. No, I didn’t leave a 0 out, it was only $300.
So let’s compare this real quick. In the US, I paid over 10 times as much, it took twice as long and I only received half the services compared to my experience at Thailand. Don’t worry, I won’t go off on a Michael Moore style rant here. It’s pretty clear to me that the overall level of service and care in a country such as Thailand, is far beyond that in the States.
My advice to you is if you get seriously injuried while on vacation in Thailand, do not hesitate to go to the hospital. It won’t cost you much, and you will receive some of the best quality and health care available.
I hope you found this information helpful. Feel free to comment below.
I just read an interesting post on a website that listed 10 reasons you should choose your Muay Thai Gym. This actually seemed more geared towards people in the states picking a gym, as opposed to picking one in Thailand, and since it was a gym that listed it on their site, you can assume that they met all the qualifications that they listed. lol.
It is a good point though, that there are factors that people should consider when picking their gym. Unless you have trained at the cam, or personally know someone who has, you won’t really know what to expect when you arrive at the camp to train, or even why you should pick Camp A over Camp B.
Here are some good tips to consider when picking your Camp.
1. Time Vs. Money – For many people, one of the biggest reasons they choose their camp is the price. You may compare a couple different gyms, with one being lets say 8000 baht, and the other being 10000 baht. A lot of people will make the decision to go with the cheaper gym, simply because of price. But what you need to consider is time. Let’s say the gym that’s 8000 only has 2 sessions a day, totallying 4 hours each day, meanwhile the gym that costs 10000 has 2 sessions, which are 3 hours each day. Essentially over the course of a month, you get more for your money with the gym that costs a little more, because you end up getting an addition 50 hours of training time. However, you do have to ask yourself how much you are planning on training. If 2 hours a day is enough for you, then go with the cheaper gym, and enjoy the beach. If you are serious about your fitness, training and possibly fighting, than consider the gym that gives you more time.
2. Location – This is extremely important. You have to consider not only where the camp is, and your travel to the camp, but also what is around the camp. Are you going to be able to fly directly into an airport with the camp a short taxi drive way, or do you have to take a long bus trip or ferry ride to get to your camp? What is even more important is what the camp is located near. Are their food and pharmacies and other shops within walking distance? If not, you may have to spend extra money on either renting a motor bike, or paying for taxis during your time there. Keep this potential extra expense in mind.
3. Facilities/Trainers – If you have never been to a camp before, you should try to look at pictures, or read a list of equipment they have at the camp. You want to look for how many rings and heavy bags they have. If they only have 1 or 2 rings, you may find yourself doing sparring or pad work outside the ring, due to space. You also want to find out if they provide equipment for you to train with, or if you must provide your own. It could either mean you have to pack more with you, or buy it when you arrive. Another thing that is over looked are mats. Do the floors have mats, or are you training on concrete? If they do have mats, you may want to ask how often they are cleaned, as you don’t want to get a skin infection. Finally, you want to find out what the student to trainer ratio is for the camp. The better the ratio, the more one on one time you get with the instructors.
4. Read Reviews (Good and Bad) – Do a Google search for the name of the camp you are considering, followed by the word “reviews”. Most camps will have a decent amount of reviews whether it be on message boards, blogs, etc. Read ALL the reviews you can, both the good and the bad. Don’t ignore either because you already favor the camp. If someone has something bad to say, there is probably some truth to it. That shouldn’t necessarily steer you away from the camp, but you may want to keep it in mind, so you can address it if it happens to you. At the same time, if you find 10 good reviews, and 1 or 2 bad reviews, the chances are it’s a worth while camp.
5. Contact The Camp – Contact the camp via email or phone, and ask them any questions you have. They are the number one source and will give you the exact answer. Also, if you contact them via email, and they respond, you have some writing from them that you can refer to should a problem arise. You can also tell a couple things from this. If they respond quickly, and throughly, then it is a good sign that they are well organized. You should also be able to tell how well the office/administration staff communicates in English. That is important as you could avoid any unecessary miscommunications.
6. (Don’t Just) Read The Website – This is almost a catch 22. You want to read the website, as it will give you an accurate depiction of how organized and professional the camp is. You would be surprised how many Muay Thai Camp websites I have seen that simply don’t have their training prices or anything regarding accomodations on their site. Even if the camp itself doesn’t have accomodations, they should list local places on their site. If they do, they are making it as easy as possible for you to have a seemless, enjoyable experience. If not, it sends you a more negative depiction of the camp.
However, even a camp with a great website, may not necessarily be a great camp. I’ve seen websites that are professionally done in a really nice Flash design, but has limited facilities and very small clientel. There is an advantage in that, as it will give you more one on one time with the trainer, but it also limits you on things like sparring and your social experience. With that being said, as I stated above, do your dilligence and research the camp(s) that you are considering, beyond just their website.
I hope that information helps you out in your adventure. Please feel free to post any comments or questions below.
A good rule of thumb is to only pay for between 25-33% in advance. There are several reasons for this, but the most important is injury. In most of the camps you will train in, there will be no refund if you are injured during your training. Additionally, the chance of getting injuried is pretty high. Let’s face it, we aren’t training in ballet, it’s Muay Thai, and there is a good chance you may get injuried in the ring.
There is also the chance you will get an outside injury, such as a stomach virus, staph infection or even a motor bike accident (Yes, I had all 3 on my first trip). Any of these injuries could keep you out for only a few days, or as long as a week. If you paid for 1 month of training up front, and you miss an entire week, that’s 25% of your training that you paid for and won’t receive.
I’m going to give you the prices for 1 gym from Bangkok, and 2 from Phuket, and show you the differences in discount for training daily, weekly and monthly (where applictable).
1 Week – 2300 baht
1 Month – 8000 baht
1 Day – 500 baht
1 Week – 3000 baht
1 Month – 10,000 baht
1 Day – 500 baht
1 Week – 2500 baht
1 Month – 9000 baht
As you can see, there is usually only a small discount 10 – 15%, if you pay for the entire 1 month in advance, at all 3 of these places (usually around 1000 baht) however, if you miss a week because of injury, it will have cost you a larger portion of that payment, even after the discount (2000 – 2500 baht).
My suggestion is if you are going for a month, then just pay for the first 1 to 2 weeks in advance. If you are going for 3 months, then pay for only the first month. Best of luck in your training. I hope this tip helps.
A very popular traveling job is being a Scuba Diving Instructor, especially in tropical enviroments. There are several diving certification companies, but the most popular is PADI, which stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors. If you are a PADI Instructor, you can teach at any PADI location in the world, as it is an internationally accredited company. Here are the requirements to become a PADI instructor:
To qualify for training as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, you must:
Be certified as a PADI Divemaster or a PADI Assistant Instructor or be an instructor in good standing with another training organization for at least six months (check with a PADI Course Director or Contact Us for qualifying credentials.)
Be at least 18 years old
Be certified as a diver for at least six months
Have 60 logged dives that include experience in night, deep and navigation diving to participate in the Instructor Development Course. You’ll need 100 logged dives to take the Instructor Exams
Have proof of CPR and First Aid training within the last 24 months. The Emergency First Response course meets this requirement
Be fit for diving and submit a Medical Statement (PDF) signed by a physician within the last 12 months
There are many locations where you can get work as a Scuba Diving Instructor. Working at vacation resorts is a very popular option for those looking for work. Also, Cruise lines are always looking for diving instructors. Many college students travel to international locals for summer work as a diving instructor as well, and basically live solely off the money they make as an instructor. This is a great job because it requires little time, and usually pays great.
For more information on how to become a PADI diver, or to find a location near you, visit: www.padi.com
This seems like a pretty simple tip, but it’s one that people often overlook. I was watching a TV show related to traveling, and they made a suggestion that you should take out everything that you plan to pack for your trip, lay it on your bed, and then take only half.
Depending on the amount of time you will be away for, you will be surprised on little clothes you can get by on, as long as you do your laundry. Here is an overview for the usual amount of clothing a backpacker will pack with them. Keep in mind this is for a mild tempature or warm location. If you are headed to a cold climate your apparel needs will be different.
5 – 7 pairs of underwear (you should always have a weeks worth)
2-3 pairs of shorts
1-2 singlets/tank top shirts
2-3 T shirts
1-2 long sleeve shirts
3-4 pairs of socks
1 bathing suit
You will obviously have tolietries needs, as well as certain other every day devices (phone, ipod, etc.) But for the most part, you can get by on these simple items for anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks.