With the much anticipated release of director Nicolas Winding Refn’s (Drive: 2011) Muay Thai movie Only God Forgives, starring the gorgeous Ryan Gosling and glamorous Kristin Scott Thomas on Friday 2nd August 2013, it’s got tongues wagging about the world’s best city, Bangkok (Mastercard Cities Index 2013) and the country’s national sport of Muay Thai boxing.

Only God Forgives, filmed in Thailand last year, is about a drug-smuggler called Julian (Gosling) thriving in Bangkok’s criminal underworld who’s life gets even more complicated when his mother (Scott Thomas) compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother’s recent death.

Ryan Gosling plays the lead role of Julian, a Bangkok boxing club owner

In preparation for the role, Ryan Gosling spent 3 months in Thailand training with professional Muay Thai boxers before filming began, and took to the sport well. As his character is the owner of a Bangkok boxing club, he said that “learning how to fight authentically was a must.”

“My training is painful. But, I like it a lot.” – Ryan Gosling

If you’ve read the recent reviews you will already know that this is a pretty violent crime thriller film and not for the faint hearted. But whether you love it or hate it (we’re too squeamish to go and see it!) it has inspired us to look more into learning Muay Thai, the art of Thai boxing.

The ancient martial art of Muay Thai, or Thai Boxing, is the national sport of Thailand. If you fancy giving it a try, whether it’s an introduction course for fun or taking the sport up seriously, there are a variety of training camps all over the country from downtown Bangkok to the paradise islands of Phuket and Koh Samui. Many camps offer the complete package, including accommodation and meals, so you can immerse yourself in, and experience the real life of Muay Thai boxers.

Check out our Introduction to Thai Boxing blog more for details on how to get the most our of your Muay Thai  holiday.

And here are our top tips for training in Thailand:

Tourism Thailand’s Top Tips for Muay Thai Training in Thailand

If you don’t fancy trying your hand at learning Muay Thai boxing on your next trip to Thailand but would like to explore what else there is to do in this amazing country then check out our Top 10 Things To Do in Bangkok blog.

There are also lots more top tips and travel inspiration on our Facebook page, Thailand Reunited.

If you have a Muay Thai boxing story you would like to share with us we’d love to hear it at Thailand Reunited, click here to add your travel tale now!

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