The 96 Penang Muay Thai gym is the training home to Samramchai 96 Penang. Samranchai is a former Lumpinee and Thailand champion and his success provides inspiration to the other kids training in the gym.
Samranchai’s cousin, Sakmongkol, is currently ranked in the top 10 in the bantamweight class at Rajadamnern stadium. A fighter from the gym named Bangpleenoi is ranked number 2 in the 108lb weight class at Rajadamnern stadium as well (at the time of this writing).
The head trainer at 96 Penang is Kaisuwit Suan Kela Nongkhi. Kaisuwit is a former Rajadamnern champion who has won the prestigious “fighter of the year” and “trainer of the year” awards.
The gym is located within the infamous Klong Toey slums and serves as a glimmer of hope for the young boxers that train here. Despite the location, accessing the gym is quite easy and can be done safely as well.
To get here, just take the MRT (subway) to the Klong Toey station and take a motorbike taxi directly to the gym. It will take between 5-10 minutes and will likely cost you 20-30 baht.
In my experience, regular taxi drivers had no idea where the gym was (as there’s not an address to go by) but the motorbike taxi drivers who were stationed in the area knew how to find it.
Given the location of the gym, you’re better off staying outside the camp and just commuting to training. The gym isn’t too far from the MRT station, which makes commuting there relatively easy from a lot of different areas in the city. There are plenty of accommodation options in central Bangkok, and around the MRT stations, so you can go apartment hunting when you arrive in Bangkok.
Training Info & Photos
The training sessions start at 3pm (from Monday-Saturday) and the cost per session is 300 baht (or 5700 baht for the month). I believe they have a morning sessions as well (though the details aren’t listed on their Facebook page) so you can discuss that with the trainers in person if you wanted to train 2x per day.
The session starts off with either a run or skipping. Following jogging/skipping, you’ll do some technique drills with a trainer to get yourself warmed up further. They do clinching before pads here (approximately 30 minutes), which is followed by pad work and bag work.
Once everyone is finished up on the pads, you can find a partner and do some sparring if you wish. The trainers here are very technical and pad work can be frustrating at times because you’ll constantly be stopped and corrected (which is a good thing).