Staying fit on Ko Samui

What we say: 3.5 stars

Being on holiday on Ko Samui doesn’t mean you have to give up on your exercise routine; you may even find inspiration to start one. Here are some suggestions on how to stay fit — or perhaps get fit — while travelling on the island.

No pain, no gain.

No pain, no gain.

Incorporating a traditional Thai sport into your holiday here makes good sense — a new experience can make for a great souvenir. Ko Samui offers several muay Thai training camps, all of which offer classes to visitors. The training doesn’t involve contact or fighting – unless you sign up for that. What you will get is an intense workout and you’ll learn some new moves at the same time. Some training camps offer packages including accommodation, nutrition and training.

The island has its fair share of gyms and fitness clubs, and midrange to upmarket hotels often have their own. But Samui’s climate is pretty much permanent summer so you aren’t restricted to indoor cardio workouts. Try an energising early morning run on the beach, which beats a treadmill any day; go for a long swim in the balmy sea for a full body workout. Of course, your resort may have a pool to work out in if you’re not a fan of salt water. And for good upper body conditioning, a paddle in a kayak does wonders.Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a great way to strengthen your core muscles and improve balance too; SUP yoga classes are offered on Samui as well.

No air-con required, just a gentle breeze.

No air-con required, just a gentle breeze.

If something a bit more relaxed is up your alley, then yoga might be what you’re after. Samui has several studios, indoors with air-conditioning or outdoors in the open with a breeze. If you know your yoga routine well, you may prefer to practise by yourself on the beach before the crowds wake up.

If you prefer exercising in a social environment, join the weekly salsa dance classes or just head out for a night of dancing at Samui’s nightclub scene.

Those with a competitive spirit can head to the nearest tennis court; if your hotel or villa doesn’t have one (several do) then there are a few courts to hire on the island, including at the tennis club down the Ghost Road in Bang Rak; several badminton courts can also be hired.

Golf enthusiasts will be pleased with the choice on Samui, including driving ranges, nine-hole courses as well as the spectacular Santiburi Golf and Country Club. Samui has a few mini-golf locations as well as football golf whereby, as the name suggests, a football is kicked from hole to hole with otherwise much the same rules as regular golf.

Good family fun.

Good family fun.

If you’re an avid cyclist, you’ll find a few places to rent bicycles on Samui. Watch the traffic; there are no dedicated cycle lanes. The same applies should you be running on the road, and in this case, rather face the oncoming traffic.

Last updated: 21st March, 2015

About the author:
Rosanne Turner relocated to Thailand in 2010 from South Africa. She enjoys sharing her discoveries of Samui after walking every beach, hill, coconut grove and forgotten path in search of that memory-making beach bar. You can follow her blog at Travelling Pen.
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