Location: Active Life Gym: Ekkamai BTS Station, Gateway Mall.
Google maps: Click here
Web: Click here
Opening hours: 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Price: 1 day pass390 THB (approx $10 USD). 1 week pass 1,000 THB (approx $30 USD).
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.
I’d been in and out of Bangkok for a while by the time I’d stopped into Active Life Gym in the Gateway Mall at the Ekkamai BTS Station. I was desperate to lift some heavy weights as the gym at my friend’s apartment is quite sparse and only has dumbbells up to 10 kg. I needed a good leg workout. After stopping by WE Fitness, also on Ekkamai, and learning their drop in fee was 1,000 THB, or about $30 (USD), I was crushed. I even tried getting a free pass, but alas, I’d already done that! I needed to do something.
I was surprised to learn Active Life offers a one day pass at 390 THB. Not bad, but not good compared to other drop in fees around SE Asia (besides Bangkok). It was also a bit over my budget.
It was a Thursday and I would be leaving Bangkok two days later on Saturday morning for a week. I actually went to Bangladesh and didn’t do any physical activity there. Upon my return, I would have three more days. Why am I including these frivolous travel plans? Active Life is a single, private owned gym. They offer a week long pass for 1,000 THB, or the same rate as a day drop in rate at WE Fitness across the way. I wanted to take advantage of that 7 day pass, use it for the five days I would physically be in Bangkok (broken up into two), and pay the full price. My friend was with me, we began a bargaining of sorts. First with asking for a 24 hour pass vs. one day. Can I come in now, then back in the morning? Hey, I’m trying to get my money’s worth! It was a firm no, she wouldn’t budge. We continued to try to make a deal. I showed her my calendar and travel plans. I asked about going for the 5 days and she nervously answered, “No.” Maybe she thought we were ganging up on her but it my mind, it was a decent business deal. The owner would make 1,000 THB and I would work out 5 times. Some of the trainers understood this was a money making opportunity for the gym. They knew I wanted to go back more than once. They even summoned the manager who had been working with a client. After 15-20 minutes of deliberations (that’s what it felt like), they finally offered ME an option I couldn’t refuse: a free pass for the day to check out the gym as a prospective member. Heck yeah! With my money saved, I’d come back and pay full price for one day, it was manageable in my mind. I went into the locker room to put my stuff away but when I came back out, I was met by the manager and a firm, “No can.” WTH? All that for “No can.” After the time wasted at WE, then waiting with my friend as he ate lunch, and all the time spent bickering back and forth with the AL staff, it was 2:00 in the afternoon. I just wanted to workout. So I huffed and puffed, and paid the price. And I stayed for over 3 hours, showered and all.
I was very disappointed with the way things went down. I was also disappointed that I’d gone to this gym only after having spent months bouncing around from gym to gym in Bangkok. I didn’t go back, by the way, when I got back from Bangladesh.
They have a variety of new and clean equipment, including some “Hoist” machines:
- Elliptical machines
- Exercise bikes
- Dumbbells from 5-50 kg
- Squat rack
- Quad extension
- Glute machine
- Bench press
- Chest press
- Lat pull down and row
- Hamstring curl
- Kettle bells
- A few other things
The gym is nice. It’s in a shopping mall on the 5th floor, set back a bit. I can’t imagine many people pass by so I was surprised they didn’t want my business. The gym has AC, a welcomed amenity in humid, SE Asia. They have clean showers and offer a towel. They sell water and ready to drink protein shakes (“Better Shake,” a Thai brand which is actually quite decent) when available and they also offer various classes but I’m not interested in that stuff so I didn’t look into it.
I thought the way they handled things with me was pretty shitty, but the gym itself was pretty good. Just know that if you drop in, they won’t budge on the offer. If you’ll just be there for a day or two, pretend you’re interested in joining and get a free day pass.
Who is this gym for? You can easily entertain yourself for hours here if you want to get in a decent workout. I would recommend this gym to everyone, so long as you don’t mind paying the asking price!
Tips: If you’re there for a week, get the week long pass if you’ll use it everyday to get the most for your money.
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