Sports and Day-time Activities
Thailand is fun at any time. When people go out during the day, it’s usually to shop and eat. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s fun to browse the arts & crafts and furniture markets. But you can also get involved in a number of physical activities, such as golf, swimming or tennis, even horse riding, not to mention taekwondo or muay thai. Karate is not so popular here, but you can find a few small, dedicated dojos – usually at one of the universities and usually for free. And every morning – and in some places at lunch and in the evening – you can find a group of old people practising tai chi in the park. Anyone can join in, and it’s free.
There are a few ice rinks in Bangkok – and one where you can play ice hockey. There are currently two ‘international’ teams, the Flying Farangs (mostly Canadians) and the Thai team. You can attend practice twice a week, Wednesdays is for casual practice and Sundays is for more serious practice. Matches are usually held in Hong Kong or Singapore. Next year, an ice rink will open up in Chiang Mai.
In Bangkok, there are also a couple of cable-driven wakeboard parks. Many Thais enjoy wakeboarding to a serious level and usually compete internationally at the open sea wakeboard park in Singapore.
There are many yoga and fitness studios to choose from. You can usually get an annual membership for around 12,000 baht ($400). The equipment is usually top-of-the-range, and there are yoga or aerobic classes as often as 6 times a day.
Soccer is also extremely popular here, with beautiful, brightly lit astroturf fields that can be rented in blocks of two hours for $100 or so. If there isn’t already an expat 7-a-side team in your area, get a few lads together and form your own. In Bangkok, there is a large network of expats (the Vets League) who play tournament soccer once a month. 20 teams made up of people from all over the world compete with each other. The only criteria for joining is that you have to be older than 35… Everyone shares the cost of renting the pitches (about $12) – drinks (and beer on tap) are supplied for free.
Many people also enjoy activities in the country, such as whitewater rafting, rock climbing or just walking and cycling in the forests and mountains.
Reading or Working? Your office in paradise.
The parks and temples are also great places to go to relax and sit and read your book (or Kindle or iPad). But if this is what you enjoy then there are beautiful boutique coffee shops where you can spend your days, with the aroma of fresh coffee wafting through the air, and a delicious selection of cakes and ice creams to choose from.
Free wifi is available if you want to work on your laptop, netbook or iPad. Chiang Mai is the home to several successful authors, composers, and artists who might have a favorite spot where they can be found working on their new project.