Mr Big Muscle Fitness, Luang Prabang
Kingkitsarath Road, town centre.
Opening hours – Recently changed from 6am-8pm daily. There is an ambiguous sign, so it’s unclear whether the new times are 7am-8pm, 6am-7pm or 7am-7pm. Assume the latter to be on the safe side!
Cost: 10k – 15k kip – see below!
Mr Big Muscle Fitness appeared to be the most central, and ideally located for me – right next door to my hostel, which I also recommend – Aham Backpackers. This wasn’t a coincidence, I picked the hostel partly for this reason, and partly for its own reputation. It has great facilities, a delicious breakfast and friendly staff.
Cost: When I checked into the hostel, I asked about the gym next door and was told it would cost me a very reasonable 10k kip. When I went to the gym, the sign sated the cost was 15k kip, but he was happy to do it for 10k when I explained I was staying next door. Thanks guys!
Facilities – Mr Big Muscle Fitness
This is a small gym, and as the title might suggest, it’s aimed at weightlifters. There are even posters on the wall of hardcore body builders, who look like they must have taken a number of drugs in order to look like that! But don’t let this put you off – no-one in the gym looked anything like them and there were a mixture of locals and tourists training, of varying levels of fitness.
There are limited cardio machines, namely 2 treadmills and 2 bikes. The gym lacks most of the resistance machines you’d typically find in a sizeable gym, but has dumbbells up to 30kg and a number of benches and incline benches with barbell racks. There are however not a huge range of dumbbell weights in the lower end (ie 1- 10 kg). All equipment seemed to be in good working order, though ageing. There are several adjustable barbells and several yoga mats. Whilst there is no dedicated floor space area, it’s simple enough to make your own – the gym is well laid out with plenty of space between things and was only busy once on the 4 occasions I visited – 6pm on a weekday evening when around ten people were training. Training during the mornings and afternoons was always quiet.
Additionally, you’ll find a couple of Swiss balls and a roller.
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No aircon, but I saw around 3 overhead fans and they can be turned on upon request if they aren’t already. I saw a few mosquitoes flying around, particularly noticeable later in the workout, once I was all sweaty. As they are attracted to water, they seemingly couldn’t get enough of me! On the bright side, Luang Prabang is not considered a high-risk malaria area at the time of writing!
Great location, bit small, but good value for money – you’re even given a free towel to use for your workout on arrival. If you like to use a lot of resistance machines, Mr Big Muscle Fitness probably isn’t the gym for you though. Click here to look at other Gyms in Luang Prabang.
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