Phuket Thailand has quickly become one of my favourite health destinations. It’s inexpensive, the people are warm and friendly, and travel is just a hop skip and a jump from Hong Kong. I write about Chalong with some level of hesitation because I still feel as though Soi Tadied road is one of the BEST worst kept secrets in Thailand. In fact, being a resident of Hong Kong, you’ll find that this fitness street is a place where you are bound to run into a familiar face or two.
Last month I decided it was time to take my first trip without my baby boy. The anticipation of leaving him was pretty overwhelming, but I couldn’t be too upset because after all, this trip was my idea. The ladies and I left Hong Kong on a Thursday morning for a morning quick flight to Phuket. The 3+ hour flight was not anything special to my girlfriends, but for me it was the first flight in almost a year that I actually watched one (very bad) movie in its entirety and even nodded off to sleep. This flight involved no bottles, no crying, no snot, no diaper changes and no crawling child on my lap or face. It was basically bliss at 39,000 feet altitude.
The basis of our 4 day trip was simple, each day involved only four priorities: workout, eat clean, rest and get a good dose of vitamin D. Some days were filled with multiple training sessions whilst others involved an afternoon nap. My biggest problem while I’m here is when to fit in eating between training and pool time. Ah, what a life!
I can’t say I have tried many hotels in the area because this was my first true love and I will continue to go back to this hotel. Cocoville is quaint, inexpensive, clean and delightfully cheerful. The staff are incredibly happy and helpful and the owner, Filip, makes his presence known around his hotel. He chats with most guests throughout the day, making sure that everyone is happy and enjoying “Another day in Paradise”.
Three of us shared the Luxury room. Our Luxury room was located near one of the hotel pools. The Luxury room is large. It has a bathroom, sizeable bedroom, and separate lounge area with a small kitchenette. There are two lovely hotel swimming pools which are not overcrowded where you might sunbathe or take an afternoon dip.
The hotel café is my favourite part of this hotel. It’s a common place for hotel guests and visitors to meet and you’ll find during busier seasons that many locals and nearby hotel guests flock to Cocoville for mealtimes. The food offering is simple, healthy and so tasty.
There is a traditional menu with some western and Thai options as well as a Healthy Option for those tracking calories or macros.
A total conditioning and Crossfit box, Unit 27 has two main facilities. One larger conditioning gym on the Soi and another smaller (and more importantly Air Conditioned!) box just adjacent on the hill. The facilities in the main gym are a crossfitter’s dream. Lots of space to move, inside running tracks, climbing ropes, rigs, boxes, free weights, and more. Unit 27 runs multiple conditioning as well as Crossfit classes throughout the day, with only one group class offered on Sundays. Mobility and ice baths are also offered to aid with recovery, although I wasn’t brave enough to face a dip in the ice this trip.
I will certainly not claim to be a Muay Thai aficionado, but I did make it to Tiger Muay Thai on this occasion for a bootcamp style conditioning class as well as some Crossfit and weight lifting. I must say that although Tiger markets itself to cater to Muay Thai enthusiasts, their conditioning classes are of a very high standard and the coaching is incredibly attentive.
Tiger Muay Thai facilities are all located outdoor so prepare to get yo sweat on! Bootcamp/ conditioning classes are intense and usually quite popular. Most people training at Tiger are there for some serious training. Dormitory rooms line the perimeter of the training areas here so that its residents can come outside and walk directly into the ring or conditioning space.
Dragon Muay Thai is known as the “less commercial” place to train in Muay Thai. The facilities are basic and authentically Thai. They cater for hopeless beginners like me to skilled Muay Thai fighters. On this trip, the ladies and I opted for 4 simultaneous training sessions at once. My trainer, Pin, who I trained with on a trip earlier this year was my coach for the day. He is full of energy and humour, which are exactly what I needed to endure my lack of skill.
A range of massages (including sports massage) for those sore muscles are offered at Cocoville. You must inquire at reception about bookings but generally the availability is quite open. The massage room is small and located up the stairs in the back dining area. Two massage tables are set up and the therapists are quite firm so make sure to let them know about any major soreness before getting started.
Conveniently across the street from Cocoville is a small Thai massage and spa, Health Herbs House. We gave this place a try one evening in the 3 massage mat room. There are a handful of private massage rooms here and each room is tidy and clean. I opted for a Thai massage (which I like to refer to as “Passive yoga”) which was an excellent relief for my sore muscles at the end of our trip. All of the stretching and bending helped to loosen my stiff limbs.
Before we knew it, our four day getaway was over and it was time to head home. We departed on a Sunday afternoon, which I highly recommend to visitors, as this day is a very slow day for all gyms along the Soi. By the end of our long weekend, I felt rested, a little sore, mildly sunburnt and very ready to see my little man back in Hong Kong.