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The Comprehensive Guide to Training Muay Thai and MMA in Phuket, Thailand as a Digital Nomad

Guide to working as a digital nomad in thailand and training muay thai and mma

Embarking on a journey to Phuket, Thailand, for an extended stay filled with training, work, and exploration is an exhilarating decision. Whether you’re here for a few weeks or several months, this guide is crafted to ensure your adventure in Muay Thai and MMA is as fulfilling and smooth as possible. As a digital nomad, you’ll find Phuket a vibrant hub that blends the intensity of martial arts training with the tranquillity of beachside living.

Visas for Digital Nomads: Recommended Visas for Digital Nomads and Long-term Stays

Thailand warmly welcomes digital nomads with visa options tailored to suit diverse needs and durations of stay. Among these, the Digital Nomad Visa and the Elite Visa stand out as particularly appealing choices.

Venturing into Thailand starts with selecting the right visa. Given the diversity of nationalities and the specific reasons for your stay, it’s paramount to consult the official Thai eVisa portal to get the most current and relevant information tailored to your country. Although visa requirements may shift, here’s a snapshot of popular options:

Digital Nomad Visa (Thai Remote Working Visa)

With the rise of remote work, Thailand has recently introduced a digital nomad visa to attract foreigners who want to work and live in the country for an extended period. This visa caters specifically to the lifestyle of digital nomads, offering a legal avenue to live and work remotely in Thailand. The Digital Nomad Visa acknowledges the evolving nature of work and provides a stable base for those who wish to immerse themselves in Thailand’s rich culture and vibrant martial arts scene while continuing their global careers.

Tourist Visa

Ideal for those planning a short-term stay, this visa allows you to immerse in training while enjoying the tourist lifestyle.

Education Visa

A longer-term option for those engaging in more structured learning, including language and possibly martial arts courses.

Muay Thai Visa

Specifically designed for participants in intensive training programs, this visa caters to the dedicated athlete.

Company Visa

For digital nomads who are employed by Thai companies or have their businesses, this visa provides a longer-term solution.

Remember, your choice of visa influences your stay, so consider your plans carefully. Staying informed about any legal changes ensures a hassle-free entry and enjoyable stay in Thailand.

Elite Visa

Offering another layer of convenience and flexibility, the Elite Visa is designed for those seeking a longer-term stay without the need for frequent visa runs. With validity options ranging from 5 to 20 years, the Elite Visa is an investment in your lifestyle, providing ease of entry and a host of additional privileges that enhance your stay in Thailand. Though more costly than traditional visas, its benefits are unparalleled for those seeking a hassle-free, extended stay.

Laws and Regulations for Working in Thailand

As a digital nomad, understanding Thailand’s laws and regulations regarding work is crucial to ensure a trouble-free stay. While the Digital Nomad Visa allows for remote work, it’s important to note that engaging in employment within Thailand or performing tasks that compete with the local labor market without a proper work permit is not permitted. Stay informed about the legal framework to safeguard your status as a digital nomad and enjoy all that Thailand has to offer without any complications.

Check the official Thai Visa website to learn more.

Be mindful that companies may only look overseas for specialist skills (language, years of coaching experience to an English-speaking market, etc.). This is partly because the company would have to pay for the work permit. Additionally, for every work permit allotted, four Thai staff need to be employed under the company which limits the amount of work permits that Thai businesses can use.

Cost of Living in Phuket

The cost of living in Phuket can vary widely depending on your lifestyle choices, from budget-friendly options to more luxurious living standards. Here’s what you can expect at both ends of the spectrum:

Budget-Friendly Living: For those looking to maximize their experience without breaking the bank, it’s entirely possible to live comfortably on a budget. Accommodations such as shared apartments or modest studios can range from 10,000 to 20,000 THB per month. Street food and local eateries offer delicious meals for 50-100 THB, and motorbike rentals are an economical way to get around, costing approximately 3,000 to 5,000 THB per month. Engaging in free or low-cost activities, such as beach visits, hiking, and exploring local markets, can keep your expenses low while still allowing you to enjoy Phuket’s rich cultural and natural offerings.

Luxurious Lifestyle: On the other end, for those seeking a touch of luxury, Phuket can accommodate with upscale living options. Luxury villas or high-end condos can cost anywhere from 50,000 THB upwards per month (in some cases, 100,000+ THB). Dining at fine restaurants, enjoying leisure activities like yacht tours, and choosing private training sessions can elevate your monthly expenses significantly. However, even a luxurious lifestyle in Phuket offers value compared to similar standards in many Western countries.

Regardless of your chosen lifestyle, Phuket provides a wide range of options to suit every budget and preference, making it a favored destination for digital nomads and martial arts enthusiasts alike.

Coworking Spaces

While Phuket’s coworking spaces are fewer than in digital nomad meccas like Bangkok or Chiang Mai, they offer unique environments for work and socializing. These spaces are not just about a desk and Wi-Fi; they’re community hubs where ideas flourish, and friendships form. In areas like Patong and Phuket Town, you’ll find coworking spots that combine the essentials with workshops, events, and networking opportunities, enhancing your digital nomad experience.

However, the island’s cafes often double as informal coworking spaces. With stunning views, delicious coffee, and a laid-back atmosphere, they provide a perfect backdrop for productivity. Just remember, during peak hours, it’s considerate to make room for others or limit your time if it’s particularly busy.

Check out this list of Top 10 coworking spaces in Phuket HERE


Phuket’s cafes are not just about good coffee; they’re a lifestyle. For many digital nomads, these spaces become a second office, offering the perfect blend of relaxation and productivity. From the bustling streets of Old Phuket Town to the serene beachfronts, each cafe has its unique charm.

Here, you’ll find cafes with a vibrant, youthful vibe, ideal for inspiration and while enjoying these spaces, it’s important to support the local business by purchasing regularly. And, if you find yourself in a cafe during its rush hour, consider freeing up space for new customers, as a gesture of goodwill.

We’ve got a cafe on site as well stocked with healthy foods to help you reach your fitness and training goals, so go ahead, swing by, and check out what we have to offer at Ringside Cafe!

Location Recommendations

Phuket is not just a place to train and work; it’s a world of experiences waiting to be discovered. Here are some must-visit spots that will enrich your stay:

Elephant Sanctuaries: For an ethical encounter with Thailand’s majestic elephants, visit one of the sanctuaries that prioritize their welfare. It’s a heartwarming experience that allows you to learn about conservation efforts.

Beaches: From the vibrant Patong Beach to the more serene Kata and Karon beaches, there’s a stretch of sand for every mood. Sunset viewings at Promthep Cape are a must for breathtaking vistas.

Waterfalls: Escape the heat by visiting one of Phuket’s many waterfalls. Kathu and Bang Pae are popular choices, offering refreshing pools and shaded areas for a picnic.

Shopping and Markets: Phuket Town’s weekend market is a treasure trove of local crafts, food, and clothing. For a more modern shopping experience, head to the Central Festival Phuket.

Food and Dining: Don’t miss out on the local Thai cuisine, from street food stalls to high-end restaurants. Seafood is particularly good here, and dining by the sea can be an unforgettable experience.

Island Hopping: Use Phuket as your base to explore nearby islands such as Phi Phi Islands or the serene Phang Nga Bay with its iconic James Bond Island.


Finding the right place to stay is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable experience in Phuket. Here are some tips:

Start Short-Term: Initially, book a place for about a week. This gives you the flexibility to explore different areas and find the accommodation that best suits your needs and budget.

Facebook Groups and Marketplace: These are valuable resources for finding rentals. Join expat and digital nomad groups in Phuket to get insider tips and possibly better deals than you’d find online.

“For Rent” Signs: As you explore, keep an eye out for rental signs. Some of the best deals aren’t advertised online and can only be found by walking around the neighborhood you’re interested in.

Consider Your Needs: Proximity to training centers, coworking spaces, cafes, and the type of community you want to be a part of (expats, locals, etc.) should influence your decision.

Find out more about our available accommodations here or book your accommodation now.

Motorbike Rental

Navigating Phuket on a motorbike not only gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace but is also a practical way to commute. Here’s what you need to know:

Shop Around: Rates and terms can vary significantly between rental services. It’s worth checking out a few places before deciding.

Understand the Rates: Daily, weekly, and monthly rental options are available. Longer-term rentals usually offer better value, so consider your stay’s duration when choosing.

Check the Bike: Before committing, inspect the motorbike for any existing damage and ensure it’s in good working condition. Taking photos can help avoid disputes later.

Safety First: Always wear a helmet, not just for safety but because it’s the law in Thailand. Consider additional insurance that covers you in case of accidents.

Hotel Rentals: While convenient, renting directly from your hotel might be more expensive. Local rental shops often provide the same service at a lower cost.

Training Muay Thai and MMA in Phuket, Thailand

Your journey to mastering Muay Thai and MMA begins with finding the right gym. Phuket is home to world-renowned training facilities that cater to all levels, from beginners to professional fighters. Here’s how to get the most out of your training experience:

Selecting a Gym: Look for a gym that not only offers high-quality training but also matches your vibe. Some gyms are more focused on serious fighters, while others are welcoming to hobbyists and beginners. Visit a few to get a feel for the place before making a commitment. We may be slightly biased, but our gym has earned a reputation as a friendly, welcoming space for everyone to train and learn a variety of combat sports including Muay Thai and MMA. But don’t take our word for it, see what our previous customers have to say here.

Dress Appropriately: Training in Thailand’s tropical climate means you’ll need breathable, comfortable athletic wear. Check out our article on what to wear for class for specific recommendations on gear and attire.

Hydration and Nutrition: Training in Muay Thai and MMA is physically demanding. Stay hydrated and follow a nutritious diet to keep your energy levels up. Many gyms offer onsite or nearby cafes with healthy food options tailored to athletes.

Rest and Recovery: Incorporating rest days into your training schedule is crucial. Phuket’s beautiful beaches and leisure activities offer perfect relaxation opportunities.

Connect in Groups

Phuket’s vibrant community of digital nomads, expats, and martial arts enthusiasts means there’s always an opportunity to connect. Here’s how to find your tribe:

Facebook Groups: Join Phuket-specific digital nomad, expat, and martial arts training groups. These forums are excellent for meeting people, sharing experiences, and finding training partners.

Networking Events: Keep an eye out for meetups, seminars, and networking events. These gatherings are not only great for socializing but can also offer professional opportunities.

Gym Community: Your training gym is likely to be a hub of social activity. Engage in gym-organized events, seminars, and casual gatherings to deepen your connections within the community.


Health and safety are paramount, especially when training in a physically demanding sport like Muay Thai or MMA. Here’s how to ensure you’re properly covered:

Health Insurance: Before arriving in Thailand, make sure you have health insurance that covers both emergency and routine medical care. Consider plans that offer comprehensive coverage, including medical evacuation.

Accident Insurance: Given the nature of Muay Thai and MMA training, accident insurance can provide peace of mind. Look for policies that cover sports-related injuries.

Local Healthcare: Familiarize yourself with Phuket’s healthcare facilities. There are both public and private hospitals, with private ones offering shorter wait times and English-speaking staff. For more detailed information on what to bring and how to prepare for your training holiday, including healthcare tips, visit our guide here.

Clothing and Gear

Equipping yourself with the right gear is essential for a productive training session. While many gyms offer rental equipment, having your own gear ensures comfort and hygiene. Essential items include gloves, hand wraps, shin guards, and appropriate athletic wear. For a comprehensive list of what to pack for your training holiday, including recommended gear shops, refer to our detailed holiday essentials guide.

SIM card and Payments

Staying connected and managing finances smoothly are key aspects of the digital nomad lifestyle. Upon arrival at the airport, you can purchase a sim card with a data plan that suits your needs. As for payments, while cash is widely accepted, more businesses are adopting digital payment methods. Be aware that some places may charge a fee for credit card transactions, and consider setting up a Thai bank account for convenience and to avoid additional charges.

Who We Are

Welcome to Bangtao Muay Thai & MMA – your home away from home in the northwest part of Phuket. Nestled amidst the island’s breathtaking natural beauty, our gym stands as a beacon for those passionate about Muay Thai, MMA, and the myriad martial arts disciplines. At Bangtao Muay Thai & MMA, we’re more than just a gym; we’re a community, a family that’s grown from diverse backgrounds to share a common love for martial arts.

Many of our coaches and staff are non-Thais who have embraced Phuket as their home for many years. This melting pot of cultures and experiences makes our gym unique, offering a blend of global perspectives on training, discipline, and living the martial arts lifestyle. Our international team brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise, ensuring that whether you’re a beginner or an aspiring professional fighter, you’ll find guidance, support, and camaraderie here.

Come Train!

As you embark on your martial arts journey in Phuket, remember that Bangtao Muay Thai & MMA is not just about training; it’s about experiencing life to its fullest, surrounded by people who share your passion. We understand the needs of digital nomads and martial arts enthusiasts, which is why we offer not just top-notch training facilities but also comfortable accommodations to make your stay as seamless as possible.

Spaces are limited, though, as we strive to maintain a close-knit, supportive atmosphere. To ensure you don’t miss out, we encourage you to book your stay and pay for your membership upfront online. This way, you can secure your spot and focus solely on your training and personal growth upon arrival.

We’d love nothing more than to welcome you in person at our gym. Swing by to train with us, and let us give you the warm welcome that’s become a hallmark of Bangtao Muay Thai & MMA. Whether you’re here for a few weeks or planning a longer stay, we’re excited to be a part of your journey and to include you in our ever-growing family.

Join us at Bangtao Muay Thai & MMA, and let’s embrace the spirit of martial arts together. Your adventure begins now, and we can’t wait to see you thrive.