Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fighting Spirit Gym, Cabbages & Condoms Restaurant

I arrived in Thailand Thursday night after a rather uneventful 20 some hours of flying. Friday I roamed Bangkok with a woman (Linda) from the gym I train at back in Raleigh who is also here. It was her first time here, so I showed her the ropes of the public transit in Bangkok. We rode the BTS skytrain and MRT subway to a number of places. The first place we went was this great little shop called Action Zone to pick up some Muay Thai supplies. I didn't get a whole lot, just some anklets and handwraps. In total we got 3 pairs of shorts, 4 pairs of anklets, 3 paris of wraps, a t-shirt, and jersey for about $78. Not bad. The shop is owned by a nice old lady who gave us free water, a towel, and a nice discount. It is packed floor to ceiling with gear.

Our next stop was Lumpinee park. It's a nice city park for walking (it is very uncrowded in the afternoon) and checking out the enormous monitor lizards.
Lake in Lumpinee Park

Pretty yellow-footed bird.
 After Lumpinee park we headed to Saphan Taksin to get a view of the Chao Praya river.

Finally, curiosity got the best of us and we ended with a visit to Soi Cowboy. Unfortunately (or fortunately) Friday was a buddhist holiday and it was dead because alcohol sales are restricted.
Soi Cowboy
 The only plan for Saturday was to head to the Boon shop (another Muay Thai gear company) around 11am so I could get gloves for training. We had some time to kill before 11 so we headed in to the Terminal 21 mall. Malls in Thailand are huge, and by the time I get to the seventh or so floor I fear riding the escalators due to my fear of heights. This mall had nine floors.

When we got to the Boon shop, it appeared closed even though their facebook page said they'd be open from 11-3. It appeared that someone was there, because the garage door entrance was partially open. After calling twice and being told they weren't going to open, two other groups of foreigners showed up to shop, so we finally poked our head in and yelled hello. The girl came to the front, looked at us like we were crazy (whoever posts to their facebook must not have told her they we supposed to be open), and said she'd open the store in 10 minutes. I ended up getting some sexy dark brown gloves, a jersey, t-shirt, and some custom shorts which I pick up in a week.
Boon Gear

More Boon Gear

Satin ready to be made into Muay Thai shorts

Sale bin. Gloves with slight defects for $20.
 After getting new gloves, I was ready to train, but first we had to eat. We had seen something about a restaurant called Cabbages & Condoms so we decided to go since it was near by. I'm glad we did. It is an awesome little place with great food. The best part though is that it is owned by a non-profit that supports contraception and family planning among other things like school building. They have a gift shop with some pretty great souvenirs. The restaurant also has some fantastic condom art. Instead of mints with your check, you get condoms. 

About Cabbages & Condoms from their menu.

Banner hanging at the entrance to the Cabbages & Condoms.

Memory Dicks. Who doesn't need one of those?

Outside dining on the terrace.

My meal. Fried Fish Cakes. Yes, that is sticky rice in the background.

There was about 4 or 5 other life size condom people.
  After eating, we rested a bit at the hotel and then took the BTS to Silom to get some training in at Fighting Spirit Gym. Fighting Spirit is a great little gym for drop in sessions. You can show up anytime between 7-9am or 3-7pm and you'll get 5 pad rounds after warming up. You are then pretty much left on your own to do bag rounds and conditioning if you want. There were not any Thais training there, but you could probably get some of the Thai trainer to spar or clinch with you if you wanted. I didn't ask because I had to gas left after my bag rounds. I didn't get many pictures, because I was exhausted after we started training and completely forgot. I skipped for about 10 minutes, did 1 round of shadow boxing, 1 bag round, 5 x 3 minute rounds on pads, and finished with 2 more bag rounds. After that I was DONE. I was a sweaty mess, and just decided to wear my training gear back to the hotel instead of putting my clean clothes on. I almost felt bad for my fellow passengers on the BTS. Almost.
Sign by the entrance. You have to walk through an old cemetery to get there.

The walk up to the gym.

First session since arriving and it was rough.
Muay Thai commuter.
Linda heads out on a tour of northern Thailand tomorrow so I'll be on my own. I'm staying in Bangkok for now and will be visiting some more gyms I haven't been to and just exploring the city.

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