Location: Gold Hillside Gym, 50 Huaykaew Rd, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50300
Tel: 053 225 984
Opening hours: 8am to 10pm
Review: Have you ever walked into somewhere and suddenly felt like you had been transported back in time? Something about the ambience, the colour of the walls or maybe the decor just seems at odds with modern life? Like the feeling you get walking into a 1950s theme restaurant or one of those living villages that your parents took you to in order to trick you into learning about history?
Well, walking into Gold Hillside Gym felt like that. Something about this gym just screamed 1980s. Sure, some of the machines were so outdated they reminded me of the first BBC computers we had at little school. And the walls were that shade of light pea green that you know it was the cheapest colour at the shop because no-one wants it, but that wasn’t it. I think what did it for me was the full sized three piece dresser at the back of the gym that looked like it came from everyone’s Grandma’s house. Honestly, this thing took up the whole back wall and stood their without explanation. Look!
Even weirder than its inexplicable presence, was the ambivalent reaction of everyone else training there. NO-ONE seemed to bat an eye lid, even the other tourists training there for the first time seemed to shrug it off like this was a normal everyday occurrence, perhaps scared to wake the locals from their collective delusion of normally. I mean look at this guy. Playing with his phone like everything is normal. Well this is not normal. Its madness, I tell you. Madness.
However, popular opinion seems to against me on this one, and I hear that Fitness First are considering introducing chaise lounges and grand father clocks in all of their London branches. And yes, I just made that up. There is another 10 seconds of your life you aren’t getting back.
Anywho. Other than one oddity and the terrible paint, the Gold Hillside Gym is actually a pretty good place to train. Whilst some of the machines are old, they all work and are well maintained. The cables run smooth and the weights are all nicely racked, even if they are made up of two different sets. There are enough weights for the squat rack and the benches to be in use at the same time and the gym is big enough not to get too busy, even in peak hours.
By way of equipment, this gym has:
- Dumbbells upto 50kg
- Adjustable benches
- Squat rack
- Smith machine
- Incline bench press
- Decline bench press
- Lat pulldowns
- Pec dec
- Leg press
- Leg extension
- Leg curl
- Low row machine
- Chest press machine
- Squat machine
- T-bar row machine
- Lateral shoulder raise machine
- Abs crunch machines
- Dips bar / pull-up bar
- Static bikes
- Padded area
- Swiss balls
- Abs rollers
- Kettle bells
Entrance to the gym on a day pass is 50 bhat (approx £1), although week and month passes are also available too. The gym has clean toilets and changing rooms, as well as a decent sized studio for group classes. It offers Zumba and Hiphop classes for 60 bhat a time and daily yoga classes for 50 baht. I have put up a shot of the timetable which was in place in November 2016.
The gym sells water and tubs of protein at the front desk with a small tub costing around 1200 bhat and a 2.2kg tub is about 2500 bhat. However, the brand is one which seems to be popular out here but is unknown in Europe. Personally, I would rather buy my protein from Go Gym and stick with a brand I recognise. (You can see the review and location of Go Gym here.)
Who is this gym for? I trained here twice whilst staying in a hotel around the corner and both times I saw men and women training here, as well as a mix of locals and tourists. The gym has a safe and clean feel, and I would have no reserves about recommending it to lone female travellers or those looking to keep fit rather than bodybuild. They gym’s cardio equipment is relatively new and is situated near several TV screens to keep you cardio bunnies entertained whilst train!
Tips: To fit in with the vibe and general feel of the gym, I would strongly suggest you grow an 80’s porno moustache before coming here. Yes, that applies to both men and women!
From here, we are going even further north to Chiang Rai, so look forward to seeing what they have up their by way of gyms! See you soon.