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November 22, 2013

Fitness Find: Muay Thai Martial Arts in Thailand

By Sasha Levine | Fitness

Fitness Find: Muay Thai Martial Arts in Thailand
Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.

If you’re in search of a travel workout that doubles as a memorable cultural experience, the new Thai boxing lessons offered at Napasai, an Orient-Express resort on Koh Samui island in Thailand, deliver.

Set amid the tropical forest, the hotel’s newly minted outdoor Thai boxing ring allows guests to try the national tradition with instruction from local professionals ($50 an hour). Characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet, the centuries-old martial art, also known as “the art of eight limbs,” is a full-body workout, increasing stamina, strength and flexibility. But it’s not just the physical benefits that make Muay Thai an excellent workout.

“During the lesson you learn how to control your body, your moves and also your temper,” says general manager Stephan Post. “People who do Thai boxing over a long period of time tell me they feel more balanced, self-confident and handle confrontation in a controlled manner.”

Feeling inspired? The hotel offers a post-workout excursion to a Thai boxing stadium, where you can watch the real thing in action. Rooms start at $230; 65/10 Baan Tai, Maenam; 800-237-1236; napasai.com.

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