Phong Tap Gym, Can Tho
Xuan Khanh, Ninh Kiều, Cần Thơ
No website or social media presence found.
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 6:00 – 12:00 and 15:00 – 20:30, Sun: closed.
Cost: 15k dong per visit, 190k per month.
The gym is located centrally in Can Tho and is indeed correct on Google Maps – unlike many things in Vietnam as I write this! It’s called Phong Tap Gym_CTU on there. If you’re walking from the city, the last few minutes are along peaceful green streets away from the usual city noise. You’d be forgiven for smiling inanely when you see the sign outside with prices on it. Yes, you have understood their cute use of English correctly – it is indeed a mere 15k dong / 50p for a workout! Woohoo.
Phong Tap Gym is a pretty big open-plan gym, which is very well equipped. The equipment is ageing a bit, but is in good working order. You’d be forgiven for wondering if it’s shut upon arrival – in fact, it was when I first went! (I’d turned up in the middle of the day during the lunchbreak) The reason I say this is because they didn’t put lights on when I arrived at 15:15, even though there were already several people working out and it was a little overcast outside and dark inside. You’ll also notice some overhead fans – these weren’t in use either – is there a power cut today? (There wasn’t, I guess they just didn’t deem it warm enough today, though I did!)
Overall, Phong Tap Gym has a pretty extensive weights area. The untidily racked dumbbells went up to 30kg. I say racked – half were, the other half were on the floor in disarray. The weights are engraved in the metal, but were hard to make out in such dim lighting, so tidiness would have been pretty helpful!
In the floor area, you’ll also find some fixed weight barbells, ranging from very lightweight up to around 30kg. There are also a few adjustable barbells lying around, in addition to a Smith machine and a squat rack. You’ll also find several bench press racks with benches at varying angles and several inclined abs benches.
There are pull up bars, although it is simply a horizontal bar, as opposed to separate angled handles for underarm and overarm which most modern gyms have. You’ll also see a lat pulldown and cable crossovers, although I failed to find assisted pull-up bars.
I found a good range of resistance equipment for both upper and lower body. As with any ageing resistance equipment, it was a little tricky to adjust some of it, but most worked very well.
I found an excellent range of cardio equipment here. Whilst not the most modern, it appeared to be in good condition. You’ll spot 4 treadmills, 3 upright bikes, several spin bikes, 2 crosstrainers, 1 stepper, and 2 rowing machines.
There are 2 separate long floor areas in at Phong Tap Gym. One has a couple of hip extension benches, skipping ropes, a range of barbells and a range of lightweight dumbbells. The other has several punch bags and Swiss balls, along with battleropes, stepboards, kettlebells and mats.
For 15k dong, you really can’t argue with this gym! It has as big a range of facilities as any good chain, it is simply a little rough around the edges, with cooling being the main issue. I sweat more than I normally would, but it wasn’t desperately uncomfortable and I’d happily return. If its hot outside, train early, though I’d hope they’d put the numerous overhead fans on in this case!
Note that Phong Tap Gym shuts for a long lunch between 12:00 and 15:00, I imagine due to the heat, not that this was much of an issue in July as it’s rainy season and seems quite cool to me after living in Thailand! This gym is certainly backpacker heaven, charging less for one month than some gyms charge for a day!
Want to work out at lunch time?
Check out Thai Son Gym and Vu Lam Gym, both of which are open all day!
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