UPDATE 2020: Just a quick note to let you know that I do not endorse or recommend Phuket Top Team anymore. I will update this post with my new recommanded gym asap. In the mid time Tiger and AKA are open for business and really nice peoples.

NOTE: Guys, when you come in, talk to Olavo directly. Try to come 30min before training (BJJ is everyday 11am). Staff get a lot of bads reviews and it will definitely facilitate your experience trust me.

Wow, I just figured out than 6 months already pass.. Relativity right?.. When you do something you like you don’t see time passing. Anyway, I want to share with you, my experience in Chalong, (Phuket) training at Phuket top team.

First I have to explain you Chalong and Soi Ta-iad. It’s a part of Phuket where all the gym are. I mean, PTT, Tiger, AKA, Dragon but also many Crossfit, Yoga ans Fitness facility.

You have this long street (about 1,5 km) with only gyms, restaurants, muscle bars, pharmacy, fight shop and guesthouse. It look like paradise for any athlete! It’s completely unique in the world, everyone come here for training, with the same spirit. You really have to live it for understand it, it’s hard to explain with words ;).

I know Thailand very well and I spend few weeks in Phuket years ago, but I absolutely don’t know Chalong. So, when I planned to going there and train with Olavo at Phuket top team, I choose the easy way by booking a full month of training with accommodation include. This way I have nothing to think about and I can change it if I’m not satisfied with.

Well, I’ll arrived at Phuket airport the 6 November. I ask PTT by mail if they have a pickup service, but they do not answer me so I contact directly Olavo (the BJJ Professor) and he wanted to come but finally he can’t so he explained me exactly how to come to Chalong with a taxi.

You have to know than in Phuket, from the airport, taxis is a mafia. I mean, literally. You have no chance to get a taxi meter like in BKK. Everything is controlled and it’s cost 800 baths to go in Chalong. And the taxi driver probably asking you for tips at the end..

Well, after that and 2 hours in the traffic, I’m finally managed to arrive in PTT. I say my name and the fact that I have booked online.

About that, they don’t really like using Paypal.. Yep I know, they propose it on the website.. But I’ve get some words with the office once about this and they say to me that they prefer get paid in cash. But actually Paypal secure my transaction and give me a trace of my payment, so..

I did not have much information from the office. They just ask me to fill a paper card member and someone drive me to my room. I’ve got no visit of the facility, no advice about the neighbourhood well, I can’t say that I’m feeling very welcome.

I get my budget room:

For 6000bth/months, it’s probably the cheapest room you can find around. The room come with a shared bathroom outside. One thing you have to know is they get freaking hot during the day (even with two fans running) and they are a bit old. I have a big water humidity issue on my wall.. But well, if you are here for training you don’t care right ;).

Anyway, after my first month I just moved myself 10 meters away from PTT to Studio 77 where I get a big new room (with bathroom inside ^^) and great mattress (love when it’s hard). The people working here are lovely, I get my room cleaned every week without asking and they help me when I needed with a big smile. Oh, yes, they also have a pool (a very small one ok, but still) and a shared kitchen and all this for 8000bth. You can also get a room with AC for 10000bth and a bigger room with TV for 12000bth. So I completely recommend Studio 77!!

Okay, this is the “facility sleeping” part now the better part, the training!

I can only speak about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but the MMA and Muay Thai class look great too.The Jiu Jitsu training is under the hands of professor Olavo Abreu (4 stripes Black Belt from Carlson Gracie Jr). And it’s a great professor, one of the best I meet during my travel. Olavo completely dedicate is life to Jiu Jitsu and you can fill it. He loving teaching and he really good at it!

Most of the people training with him stay for months and with minimum two training per day, what you get at the end is a family with Olavo as a father ;). Olavo is not just a great professor it’s also a wonderful person, open minded and truly generous. He always take some time to discuss with everyone before and after class. When I’m staying at PTT, every morning he coming to my room ask me if I’m going to train. After the class, if you have any kind of question you can ask him and I take the time to explain you again, showing you some stuff.

The bad side is that the facility are really not been taking care of ><. AC bearly work, meaning you get to train in an over heated room with 30 peoples sweating all they have, making adaptation after flying in, very, very hard. It’s also contribute to skin diseases transmission like staff pretty common, which is suck, as lots of guys train with it without care. Basically everything is old and you wonder why you pay more than 300usd when other gym with same price point (Tiger and AKA) will give you top of the line facility… If it wasn’t for Olavo. Nobody care about you, you are just a wallet.

Anyways, like I say before, Chalong is a very unique place in the world. BJJ is already know has a very strong team/family sport where you get friends wherever you are going for training. But here is 10x time stronger.

I spend the most awesome 3 months in my life here in Phuket and I only can recommend you to come and train with Olavo at Phuket Top Team. It’s a life changing experience trust me!