Laos – Big Muscle Fitness, Luang Prabang (Kingkitsarath Road)

 

Location: Big Muscle Fitness, Kingkitsarath Road, Luang Prabang
Google maps: Click here
Opening hours: 6am to 8pm
Website: Facebook
Price: 15,000 kip (Approx £1.50)

Like the look of this gym? If you want to stay nearby then you can check out the links to hotels within walking distance at the end of this article.


Review: On our second day in Luang Prabang, we rented scooters and headed off into the jungle to spend time in one of the local villages and then to find this amazing waterfall. The water was ice cold, but there was no way I was going to miss a chance like this! That is me in the bottom right hand corner!

Anyway, back to the Gyms of the World! What is it about training in Laos and tile floors? Having spent most of my training life in the UK, its almost unimaginable that any gym would have anything other than safety coated rubber floors just incase someone fell over or stubbed their toe and sued them. I guess the legal system is a little different in Asia, because they really will let you kill yourself doing something stupid if thats what you want to do. Want to hang out a moving train? Sure! Want to walk right up to the edge of a 300 foot cliff drop and hang off the edge? Why not?

And this attitude extended to their choice of gym materials it would seem. If you want to deadlift on a tile floor, then you go right ahead a do that. I guess the adage of, “you break it, you pay for it” probably applies. The sweet lady at the payment desk just smiled at me blankly when I asked about the cost of protein shakes, an expression which didn’t change even when I pointed at them and made the international sign for how much (you know the one), so I can only imagine what her response would have been if i had tried to explain the risk of flying shards of tile from their choice of flooring.

As you might have gathered, this is the second gym in Luang Prabang. This smaller branch of Mr Big Muscle Fitness (still one of the best gym names ever) is located down by the river and doesn’t seem to be on google at all. I searched for “gyms in Luang Prabang” and “fitness in Luang Prabang” and even “Mr Big Muscle Fitness Luang Prabang” but none of these SEO friendly search results yielded the location of this gym. Luckily for you, I found it and geotagged the location. You can find it by checking out the link above or here.

This gym is much smaller than the one on Manomai Road, but it still has all the essentials you might need for a decent workout, and is much better than any of the hotel gyms I have seen on my travels. The gym appears to be in the ground floor of the house in much the same way as the other branch.

This gym has:

  • Dumbbells up to 30kg
  • Adjustable benches
  • Cables
  • Barbell flat bench
  • Incline barbell bench
  • Olympic bars
  • Smith machine
  • Squat rack
  • Easy bar
  • Preacher curl bench
  • Pec dec
  • Seated low row machine
  • Lat pulldown machine
  • Shoulder press machine
  • Chest press machine
  • Swiss balls
  • Hola hoops
  • Yoga mats
  • Treadmills
  • Bikes

By the reception desk at the front of the gym they also had some tubs of protein powder up on a shelf. However, I am not sure if this is for sale or just belong to the staff or the regulars. The lovely women at the front didn’t speak enough English to understand my question and just smiled at me when I tried to ask about it. The larger branch of Mr Big Muscle Fitness at Manomai Road (see here) has a much better selection anyway, so I would advise heading there if you need to stock up before hitting the road. The gym also sold water and electrolyte powder to help keep you hydrated in the heat.

Who is it for? This gym is the smaller brother of the main gym. It is the same price but there is less equipment and lighter dumbbells. This branch is probably only for those who need to train quickly and are staying closer to this branch. However, the atmosphere was safe and the gym is located on the main road. As such, this gym felt suitable to both sexes and all ability levels.

Tips: This gym is not currently on Google maps, so I have geotagged this gym to the location below. You can also find this gym on google maps by clicking here.

Nearby Hotels:

$ –Namkhan Riverside Hotel: From £18

$$ – Saynamkhan River View: From £24

$$$ – Villa Oudomlith: From £34

Photos: