Whether you`re looking to participate or watch sport in Khon Kaen there is an abundance of choice.
I`ve loved sport all my life and over the last year have explored several options open to me in Khon Kaen. Being 53 years old and slightly over weight has meant dreams of being scouted by a Premier League Team are gone.It`s very easy to slip into the slow pace of Esan life but then not so easy to slip into your regular size T shirt. So a bit of exercise is always beneficial. Not only that, through most sports, you can end up widening your social network.
The obvious place to start is the gym. Not exactly a sport but there are a few well heeled ones like Fitness First at Central Plaza, M society Fitness, just off Highway 2, 5 minutes from Central and Pulse Gym. Nearly all of the larger hotels have gym facilities as well. There are plenty more dotted around but Lets not dwell in the gym too long. My mantra a month after joining…. when I`ve just signed for 12!
Golf, football, cycling, tennis, basketball, martial arts, badminton, horse racing, power boating, sailing and more. All available sports in Khon Kaen.
I`ll start with golf, as I`ve hacked my way around many courses in the province, of which there is an abundance. To suit all handicaps as well as golf ranges. A good starting point is KhonKaenGolf http://www.khonkaengolf.com. I`ll cover golf in Khon Kaen in more detail in a future article.
Paradorn “Ball” Srichaphan is Khon Kaens`and Thailand’s most famous Tennis player. He retired in 2010 with some notable achievements rising as high as 9 in the ATP rankings, winning 5 tournaments, playing at Wimbledon, 2 Olympics and being the 1st player to defeat Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam event. Srichaphan Tennis Academy & Piman Chon Housing II are a couple of good places to play tennis.
There are several lakes around Khon Kaen where you can walk around, hire a bike, fish, use the gym equipment for free or join in evening aerobics. I was dining at Smile Restaurant recently by Nong Khote Lake, when loud, bizarre noises suddenly struck up. Power boats! Great sport to watch and you can also go sailing there.
Football pitches, both full and 5-a-side are a plenty. But a warning if you`re playing with young Thais. Think Wimbledon FC, Vinny Jones, The “Crazy Gang” et al. Bring your shin pads! Khon Kaen FC (The T-Rexs) play at Khon Kaen stadium in Division 3. Cheap to get in and a great atmosphere amongst the ultras.
Honourable mentions for sports such as Tae Kwon Do in Central Plaza, Horse Racing on Sundays, lots of Muay Thai gyms, roller skating, also at Central (is that a sport?), swimming pools, the biggest at KK Stadium. Khon Kaen University also caters for innumerable sports not previously mentioned like badminton & basketball.
So there`s no excuse for this 53 year old, or you, to get out there, try some sports, get fit, and meet some nice people along the way.