Location - Basically slap bang in the centre of town. Vang Vieng is a small overall so even hostels further out won’t be more then a 15 minute walk. Ban Savang, Vang Vieng, Laos.
Price - 10,000 Kip for a one day pass
Equipment - Great gym. On the basis Vang Vieng has only recently adopted a gym I was very impressed. A good range of equipment to suit everyone. There’s two floors, with the upstairs having an outdoor area for anyone wanting to do circuits etc. It hasn’t got the biggest selection of cardio equipment but has all the firm favourites like cross trainers, treadmills and running machines. What is great here, is because its relatively new the equipment is also in really good nick. The bars and benches are really good, and theres a solid selection of free weights to keep everyone entertained.
Extras - Towel of course. I think they do sell protein shakes actually and you can buy water etc.
Synopsis - Spot on gym! Highly recommended of course, but if you don’t like it, tough because theres no other options!
Opening Times: 6am - 9pm (Daily)
Address: Ban Savang, Vang Vieng, Laos
Location - Now if you're travelling theres two different places to stay around Ninh Binh. Theres the main part of the city (where this gym is located) or where me and Katie decided to stay, which turned out to be tacky "off the beaten track" tourist spot - Tam Coc. Although being here does put you closer to a lot of the stuff you can do the city itself, we found was actually much more original. Plus it wasn't full of over-priced western style food - and for the sake of this blog - is full of gyms! So, be warned - if you don't want a 20minutes motorbike journey into Ninh Binh then stay in the centre!
Price - 50,000 Dong for a one day pass
Equipment - The gym has a really nice style. Its very clean, modern looking, with cool quirky quotes sprayed all over the walls and black white stripes everywhere, giving it quite the personality. They have a Crossfit type squat rack with Rogue plates which from my understanding is some top class gear! Again, everything you need to smash a really good workout. We went in the evening around 7pm and there was basically no one there which was great! There about 5 bench presses, a load of cable machines, Dumbbells up to 50kg, free weight benches, cardio equipment and I believe they also do yoga classes downstairs. This gym has enough equipment and variety to suit all types of gym needs!
Extras - There's an attached coffee shop, so you can get your caffeine hit prior to training!
Synopsis - Overall a great gym, for once they had half decent music blasting through the speakers and not Rihanna remixed with some odd Vietnamese EDM/ TECHNO/ GABBA mash up. I also saw a guy PT'ing there, teaching a lady some good deadlift technique, so he definitely did the gym credit in my eyes.
Opening Times: 5am-9:30am Monday to Sunday
Address: Tân Thành, Ninh Bình, Ninh Bình Province, Vietnam
Top Tip: Right go on TripAdvisor (you'll not hear me recommend this again) find the top rated restaurant in Ninh Binh (Trung Tuyet Restaurant) and go get the biggest pile of post workout chicken you'll ever have in Asia (for next to nothing)! I highly, highly recommend going here! The owner and staff are so nice as well
Being as small as it is Phong Nha doesn't offer you a gym to train at! However, I thought it would be worth writing a quick little post to give you some ideas to do as an alternate here fore training!
First and foremost let me start with - Easy Tigers "Jungle Gym" is not a gym! It has a pull bar, a half deflated swiss exercise ball and a bar with two concrete ends. Now, we weren't expecting much, but come on guys, you can't call this a gym and charge for it if people aren't staying at the hostel! We didn't pay anything of course just pretended we were staying there. So unless you love doing muscle ups endlessly then I wouldn't bother. The hostel is great though if you are in Phong Nha.
So, back to where I was, Phong Nha, if you haven't been is one of the most beautiful places you will ever have the pleasure of visiting and home to the worlds biggest cave - Song Don. So the best thing here would be to rent a motorbike, drive 5 minutes out town, go for a run and admire the stunning landscapes. If you drive around a bit, you'll find quite a few stair cases going down to river beds, so you can also run up and down these if you're feeling fit! Likewise, find a quiet spot do the circuit I mentioned in the previous blog post! If you really want a challenge, are feeling at one with nature, head down to a river bed (only really works in the dry season) and start throwing some of the millions of huge smooth rocks around. I actually did this for 5 minutes and both me and Katie were exhausted at the end! I actually ached pretty bad the next day as well.
There you have it. There's no perfect answer because there's no gym, but a couple of ideas to get your blood pumping! Plus, theres always the tours that involve climbing up and down mountains, swimming through endless caves and trekking through the jungle. Check out our 3 day caving blog if you want an amazing unique experience and to burn some calories at the same time!
Location - Great location - right in the centre. Hue town is quite small anyway so unless your staying outside of town then it'll be walking distance. To give you bearing its about a 3 minute walk from walking street.
Price - 60,000 Dong for a one day pass- but well worth the price.
Equipment - Once more - VIetnam does it itself proud with another great gym. Despite being a modern style gym the equipment they had was was brilliant and the gym certainly had a great style to it - something between a mix of modern leisure style fitness, mixed with bodybuilding and touch of Crossfit (so a great mix) We trained one day at 6pm so prime time but the gym was big enough for you not to have to wait around to use equipment. Theres about 7 different bench presses, 3 or so squat racks, 6 free weight benches - dumbbells up to 50kg. Theres all the cardio equipment you need from running machines through to rowers. In addition theres a tonne of functional fitness equipment such as battle ropes, kettle bells, medicine balls and a Crossfit type rig which even went up and down.
Extras - You get a free towel and locker upon entry. There is also a Suana and Steam Room but I you need to pay extra to use these. There's also a range of classes that they run through the evening if you're interested. You can pick up Protein Powders etc here but like the rest of Vietnam protein costs a fortune here so your much better off either bringing your own or getting some from a different country if your travelling. See my "living healthy' Travel blog for more ideas where to get cheaper protein from in Asia.
Synopsis - Awesome gym. Probably our second favourite in Vietnam! What we loved even more was they had a circuit written up on the wall. Me, Katie and Nils completed two rounds of it to finish our session before dying and heading out for a post workout beer.
Top Tip - I've actually written it below because despite being pretty simple it was really good. So sweat and enjoy. In brackets I've offered an alternate that you can do with you back pack or a bottle of water etc if you don't have a gym or equipment to use.
30 x Burpee with Push up (no excuse here)
50 x Kettle Bell Swing (dumbbell swing or fill your back with water bottles and do the same)
40 x Box Jump (tuk jumps if theres no platform - but you can always find stairs)
50 x Jumping Squat (no excuse here)
50 x Battle Rope (use two bottle of water and swing your arms in the same way you'd do battle ropes)
50 x Ab Crunch (no excuse)
10 x Pull Up (theres always a tree around somewhere, otherwise give me 10 more of whatever you hated doing the most above!)
Location - So DaNang isn't a small place and and there is guesthouses dotted all over. We chose this gym because it was walking distance from our Guesthouse but it might not be for you! To give you a rough idea its about a 10 minute motorbike drive from the Dragon Bridge as an obvious landmark.
Price - 20,000 Dong for a one day pass so nice and cheap
Equipment - Really good gym. Nothing fancy but has a good mix for everyone including a good amount of cardio machines. Theres all your usual smith machines, chest presses, benches, cables, rows, pulleys, dumbbells and so on...but wait...there is more in the back. If you walk through to the back you'll find what looks like Vietnam's 14 year old plus olympic lifting team and a tonne of equipment to go along with it. So anyone looking to power some huge deadlifts, clean and presses and so on - this is the place to come.
Extras - They sell protein, protein shakes, water, juices and so on.
Synopsis - Well worth visiting for the price. Overall a superb gym, that clean, in good condition with every piece of equipment you'd need. Plus most of you will be humbled and out lifted by 16 year olds which an incredible experience. I even asked for some tips on some the olympic lifts they were doing and and everyone was happy to help and chat.
Opening Times: Sorry guys but can't give you a definite on this one. They were however open every day we went and our times varied so they shut in the afternoon like a lot of gyms in Vietnam. I would hazard a guess that you'd be safe going anytime between 7am and 9pm Monday to Sunday. (If anyone does know the times please drop us a comment below so we can update this to help everyone else out)
Address: 111 Hồ Xuân Hương, Bắc Mỹ An, Ngũ Hành Sơn, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam
Location - Located a 5-10minute walk from the old town centre and around 15 minutes from the main hostel area.
Price - 50,000 Dong for a one day
Equipment - Solid old school rusty gym. Certainly nothing fancy here but still a great gym. Its filled to the brim with machines, plates, bars and dumbbells. There's just enough space to squeeze in those burpees and any other body-weight exercises you want. There's dead lifting belts and even a dip belt next to dips station which was cool. Unfortunately, you won't find any cardio machines here so to warm up your best off running over from the hostel or doing body weight circuits first.
Extras - Not sure - but you do get a free towel
Synopsis - The owner is a Mr South East Asia so you'll be able to get a tonne of training tips whilst your here if you ask nicely. A good local gym, open aired and certainly one that'll make you want to train hard and think back to watching pumping iron with your dad when you were a kid! Overall its got our thumbs up and is one of the few gyms to be found in Hanoi so its quite a little gem if you ask me!
Opening Time: 5:30am - 10am and 2pm - 8pm Monday to Sunday
Address: 578 Cửa Đại, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Location - Again, Pleiku is pretty off the normal route but if you do happen to find yourself here, being a pretty big town, it's got gyms! The gym is centrally located so won't to be far from any town hostels or hotels.
Price - We thought we'd struck lucky again when we were let in without being asked to pay an entrance. However, upon exiting we were then asked to pay and to be frank didn't think it was great value for the cost. The price was 100,000 Dong which is a little over $4, which to any westerner still sounds cheap, but in Vietnam this is actually quite expensive.
Equipment - Its got the basics, a couple of bench presses, one squat rack, a smith machine, some running/ cycling/ cross trainers and a range of dumbbells going up to 40kg. It is also has two TechoGym style free weight benches (which if you know about gym equipment they're pretty rubbish).
It's certainly got enough plates for the bench press and squat rack to keep anyone happy. It also has an awesome leg press and a small Crossfit type rig. The equipment is in great condition and the gym itself is very clean
Extras - There are toilets with lockers and you can also rent a towel.
Synopsis - Honestly speaking, it's a bang average, small leisure centre style gym so not really the type of gym you want to have a monster session and scream until blood vessels in your brain burst!
However, it was nice and quiet (we were there midday) so we had the run of the place, which potentially you may not have in the evenings if theres more people due to its size. Obviously we weren't really that impressed, especially at being charged so much when we were leaving. (Potentially thats our fault though because we should have asked). Overall though, Peliku Gym has everything you need to have a good session but lacks any charisma or personality.
Opening Times - 4:30am (for any mad heads) - 9pm Monday - Sunday.
Address: 24a Phan Đình Giót, P. Hoa Lư, Thành phố Pleiku, Gia Lai 600000, Vietnam
Don't worry guys and girls. I'm not going to leave a average review and then not offer an alternative! I have therefore scoured the internet for what looks like Pleiku's Best Gym - and I've found it! Nam Long Gym looks amazing, costs 15,000Dong (less then a $1) and is full of good equipment!
Opening Times - 5am - 8am and 2pm - 8pm Monday to Saturday (so be careful on times!)
Address: 7 Bùi Dự, P. Hoa Lư, Thành phố Pleiku, Gia Lai 600000, Vietnam
Location - Probably not somewhere a lot of backpackers visit because its off the typical route. We absolutely loved our 2 nights as the people here were amongst the nicest we’d ever met, topped with seeing some hilarious sights (including a man riding on a motorbiking sat a top about 5 pig carcasses!). As we were motorbiking our way through, being one of Vietnams most populated cities we wanted to check it out. The city is big, so the gym was close to where we were staying (20mins walk) but probably not so close to the centre (Maybe a 30-40 min walk). Don’t stop reading yet, this was the best gym we’d ever been to in our lives. It’s also not the easiest to find if I’m honest, but please persevere, its worth it.
Price - 50,000 Dong for a one day pass- but the staff left us train for free!
Equipment - Where do I start. Wow. This gym was epic. If you’re into any kind of training, they’ve got it. Lets start with the layout. The gym is in a massive warehouse/ hanger and it’s is in spotless condition! No air con, but they’ve got big fans on the ceiling keeping you cool. The machines are so good! Every single piece of equipment is in perfect condition and they are also all matching black and yellow - they all look like Bumble Bee from the transformers. Every machine, without going on, is perfectly built and so ergonomic its like training in heaven. There’s a massive TRX section at the back, with a monkey bar rack spanning about 20 meters and you could probably do walking lunges for about 150m the whole way down the gym. Nothing is cramped, there’s plates free everywhere (stacked neatly), and theres even a massive boxing/ Muay Thai ring in the middle. Hands down, best gym, best equipment I’ve ever seen.
Extras - Of course - other then food they’ve got everything you could want from waters through to protein powders and shakes.
Synopsis - Right so here’s the cool bit. The gym is shut from 10 am to 2pm, I guess because more people are at work at that time so its not worth it. Katie, Nils (our new found German Travel buddy and now, lifelong brother) and myself turned up at 10:15am as we didn’t know. As you would expect, the gym was desolate. We walked to the office at the back and tried to pay. The girls there waved us away with big smiles and said we didn’t need to pay. What the heck, we didn’t need to pay?
Half an hour later, the owner turns up (who they’ve obviously called) and starts chatting with us. He is one of Vietnams top bodybuilding professionals. We got straight down to talking competitions (I had nothing on this beefcake but I’d also previously competed in a mens Physique comp so was fun to talk about starving to death for fun with him) and training techniques. The staff here started filming us training, trained with us and took a load of photos. Now you know guys, not a lot of westerns travel to Boun Ma Tout. What an experience, we felt like celebrities and spent some time talking with the nicest people we’d met so far. After our session the owner told us we could come back as often was we wanted and it would always be free. We took him up on the offer the next morning before we left, trained and sadly said our goodbyes praying we’d come across this again sometime during our travels.
Opening Times: 5:30am - 10:00am & 2pm - 10pm Mon-Fri. I'm not sure on weekends but I'd imagine it would be open all day.
Address: 566 Lê Duẩn, Ea Tam, Thành phố Buôn Ma Thuột, Đắk Lắk, Vietnam
Location - Again, its pretty central, because as per, we tend to stay pretty central - about 10-15minutes walk from the main market as landmark. For us, it was about a 8 minute walk from the Home Stay Hostel we were at.
Price - 80,000 Dong - so a bit on the pricey side, it did make up for this in the equipment it had.
Equipment - One of the bigger, well kept gyms we’ve been two. They had air con but it wasn’t on too much which was nice. This bad boy, sat across two floors and was packed with cool machines and free weights, some of which we’d not seen in the UK. They had a awesome section just for hamstrings and glutes which we were very impressed with. They also have some hilarious body shaking machines that the Vietnamese seem to love. Not sure what they do, though I can assure you, they don’t burn calories. They run, an odd type of body pump class where you swing you arms around, lift your shoulders up and down and wobble your hips. Again, we weren’t exactly sure what this did other then maybe help with body functionality, but hey, better be in the gym doing something than sat infront of the telly with some Oreo’s wasting time. Oh, one thing, Vietnamese love awful, awful loud thumping techno/ chart remix music, that is so load it hurts your brain. Do NOT go here on a hangover.
Extras - Yup, like any good, clean, well maintained gym they’ve got a fridge stocked with water, milk, corn and energy drinks (but they’re twice the price of a shop, so bring your own). Plus, theres a wonderful lady out the front of the gym selling lovely healthy smoothies, like carrot, pineapple and watermelon to fuel up on some post workout, healthy micro nutrients and vitamins. Ask for one without sugar, to keep it extra healthy. If you’ve got it, pop a scoop of protein powder to get your post workout protein. Word of warning, do not mix chocolate and carrot. It doesn’t taste good.
Synopsis - Great gym, expensive but worth the money, it does get busy post 5pm so we’d advise not going at that time but you’ll get to see some funky dance moves and a lot of people shaking.
Extra tip, cross the road out of the gym, turn right and walk down the main road. About 200m down you’ll find a lady selling fruit out side of a small convinience store, just after the petrol station. We bought a kilo, yes a whole kilo of strawberries for 15,000 Dong - which is crazy as thats about $0.70!!!!
Opening Hours - Monday to Sunday: 5am - 9pm
Address: Phường 1, Thành phố Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng, Vietnam
Location - So this right slap bang in the middle of the main strip. Its actually a really cheap Hostel/ Hotel and a decent location to stay in if you heading that way (its mega cheap to stay in and the owner is a really nice guy)
Price - For anyone staying at Papaya its free to use the gym (pretty much the main reason we booked it). The gym is small, but has everything you’d need and more for a good old sweaty session! Otherwise, its 50,000 Dong ($2.20) to use the gym for single session. I’m not 100% sure we’d pay to come to the gym, its quite small, there is also another gym in the main strip that looks a little bigger and is probably better.
Equipment - Has everything you’d need and honestly you can’t really expect much from a hostel gym that free and costs $8 per night for a massive two person room with aircon! Its got matted floors, lots of space to do circuits, a decent proportion of weights, some dumbbells and a lot of punch bags! They also run yoga, boxing and Muay Thai classes here which you can drop in and participate in (for a fee!)
Extras - Obviously not, but they do have a trip advisor, well known and apparently quite famous pizzaria, so if you feel like you’ve had a really, really good workout, then treat yourself - but remember a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!
Synopsis - We were happy they even had a gym in Mu Nei, its free, with punch bags, its practically almost always empty accept when classes are being run, so it gets a thumbs up from us.
Opening times - 8am - 9:00pm Mon - Sun
Address - 215 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, Phường Hàm Tiến, Thành phố Phan Thiết, Bình Thuận, Vietnam
T: +84 121 866 8132