Famed for its nightlife, friendly hospitality, vibrant street culture and yes, delicious but questionably nutritious noodle dishes, you could be forgiven for initially passing over Bangkok as a health and wellness destination. Until that is, you land amongst the teeming metropolis and join the burgeoning fitness community sweating it out at studios all over town. Receiving more visitors per year than any other city in the world and a population double that of Sydney, though just one eighth of the size, Bangkok’s fit-focused oasis has been rapidly expanding with an influx of boutique fitness brands cropping up alongside health-focused cafes and ancient wellness rituals that put our Sunday face-mask obsessions to shame! Read on as we dish up the Fit Girl’s Guide to Bangkok, so you know where to stay, sweat and recover—Thai style!
When checking in for a wellness-centric city stay, your first stop ought to be the sumptuous elegance of the Como Metropolitan. Rated by tongue-in-cheek industry insiders, Mr and Mrs Smith Hotels as one of their top picks in Thai capital, booking into this stylish downtown Bangkok location will meet, then exceed, all needs of the health-minded explorer. A peaceful inner city escape, the luxe touches of the Como Metropolitan heighten the rejuvenating atmosphere of the sleekly sophisticated and exclusive retreat which, thankfully, feels far removed from the crushing traffic of the streets below.
Your stay here fuses wellness into the serene state of every experience. From the specifically designed meditation chair (magnetically charged to help you drop into a deeper state of meditative trance) in every room, to the mindfulness cue cards helpfully reminding you to relax and the health-focused GLOW menu, that is a far cry removed from the buffet breakfasts of hotels past. Then of course, for the self-care fanatics, there’s a luxurious spa with personalised treatments on offer and a bespoke fully-equipped gym alongside complimentary daily yoga led by some of the leading instructors in town!
As the local fitness scene has taken off exponentially in the past few years, fitness-addicts in Bangkok can find their pick of workout studio’s, rivalling just about any other major international capital. From Yoga to Pilates, Spin to Barre, there’s plenty of options to get your heart racing!
You couldn’t really come to Thailand and not hit up a Muay Thai class, could you?! As the only Muay Thai Academy certified by Rajadamnern Stadium (Thailands first official Muay Thai stadium and home to the most coveted championships). RSM Academy is the place to train with the masters of the Thai boxing tradition. Mixing the heritage of the sport with modern fitness techniques, whether you’re a total novice or advanced pro, you’ll be put through your paces in the martial arts full-body, high-intensity, skill-focused workout, guided by renowned trainers and competitors in their own rights!
Surfset is making serious waves with their unique style of fitness classes with their surf-inspired exercise studio that is the first of its kind in Thailand! Here, you’ll jump on board a spring-loaded surfboard, which immediately challenges your core, balance and co-ordination skills and then put your surf prowess to the test, sans the water and you know, sharks…For first timers, check out the original balance class, or you can up-level to try out the HIIT burn or bodyweight resistance circuit which mixes up surf drills with yoga, resistance training.
1derland is home of the alternative workout class for the adventurous workout enthusiast who’s bored of the same usual HIIT or weights class. With the first wall yoga class in Thailand, here you can find aerial silks, aerial hoop or aero jump. Their unique claim to fame though is their specialist Trinity Board Yoga – a specific piece of workout kit that will challenge your balance and core control by displacing your centre of gravity on its angled slope, extending your skills as you Vinyassa and arm balance away!
BlissBody is Bangkok’s premier Pilates studio, where you are guaranteed to find traditional Contrology, reformer and apparatus Pilates techniques alongside a fusion that blends Pilates principles with functional training methods. The cross-training hybrid amplifies your Pilates experience, where with the added layer of power and resistance, you’ll reach a whole new level of Pilates burn. One class here and you’ll be left with a seriously engaged powerhouse and some shaking stabiliser muscles!
Absolute is the Spin studio to go to in town, adored by Bangkok locals and visitors alike. The energetic and uplifting rhythm cycle format will have you out of breath and high on endorphins as you sweat your way through the 45-minute session. The instructors at Absolute are at the top of their game within the South-East-Asian region, so expect waitlists and packed FROW’s for the crowd favourites, who will undoubtedly hype you up to smash your own barriers each and every ride. If spin doesn’t quite feel like your workout du jour, then book into the adjacent hot yoga studio or try out one of their dynamic Reformer Pilates sessions, where you’ll still feel the Absolute burn!
Consistently voted the top barre studio in New York, Physique 57 took the best of the original Lotte Berk barre method and created an empire that has sold-out waitlists the world over. Now in Bangkok, this workout will push your limits on the barre within 57 minutes of strengthening and toning. Using just your bodyweight for resistance, here you will pulse, plie and releve to a whole new barre body. Warning: expect some serious muscle-definition from Physique 57’s signature style of sculpting.
View this post on Instagram
If you’re after a HIIT burn, then head straight to BASE Bangkok. This leading studio is the favoured workout for local fitness enthusiasts thanks to their unique high-intensity sessions that work with MetCon or resistance building principles. The total body conditioning sessions will leave you out of breath, sweating and shaking—but feeling the post-workout buzz for sure. With focused, small group class sizes, you can expect individual attention and form correction in each session, making sure you get the most out of every.single.second of your training!
The best way to check out most of the top studios in Bangkok? Jump onto GuavaPass, the local class subscription platform that unlocks you to unlimited classes at the hottest workout spots around town.
For an after-class refuel, check out one of the various Broccoli Revolution locations dotted around the city. The vegan eatery relishes in serving up nutritious and clean options for plant-based diners. Whether you swing past for brunch, grab a smoothie on the go or sit down for a warming lunch, Broccoli Revolution has an option for all. Regardless of whether you are a vegan or not, you will definitely be satisfied here. Hint: try the vegan banana bread—it’s a game-changer!
When one of Bangkok’s most prominent wellness blogger/recipe developer’s opens a café, you know it’s going to be a superfood stop-off on our tour! Acai Story, owned by certified health coach May Sresthaporn AKA @mshappydiet serves up fresh and flavourful, antioxidant packed Acai bowls which are perfect for cooling off from the tropical heat! Pick out any of the menu favourites, be it the Sunshine Bowl, signature Unicorn Bowl or just a refreshing Acai smoothie and you can be sure you’ll be nourishing yourself with all the colourful vitamins and minerals from the local fruits decorating your insta-worthy snack!
From the team behind the most-loved spin and Pilates studio in town, Absolute Fit Food is both a small café and delivery service that features a menu packed full of truly healthy meals. Whether you are catering to specific dietary protocols, are looking for some superfood goodness or just want to know for sure your meal will be organic, hormone and additive free, the extensive menu at Absolute Fit Food will satisfy even the most health-conscious of diners!
Did you even go to the Thai capital if you didn’t book in for at least one Thai massage?! The full body stretch and deep-tissue massage technique will radically pull out the tension from your body and is perfect for some post-class recovery! As the nimble masseuses knead, then contort, your body into all kind of positions, you’ll feel like you’ve done some serious work on the foam roller, but without having to do much more than lay down to relax! It’s the kind of recovery technique that should be mandatory after every workout, when you kinda just forget to cool down and stretch properly yourself…
With massage shops on just about every single street, it’s hard to go wrong with walking in to the one closest one to you, but if you want to pin some down onto Google maps then check out The King and I or the Healthland Spa chain.