Chulalongkorn University sports complex

February 12, 2013

Since the start of the Sasin academic year in April I am slowly exploring my way around the neighborhood to find the best spots to do whatever I want to do. Some study rooms at Sasin are better than others, some seats in the classroom are preferable over other seats, and when you are willing to walk for 50 meters there is even a better, and cheaper, canteen available than the Sasin canteen. And to my horror I also just recently found out that my previous favorite spot to train at Sasin, the Sasabol recreation center, is not the best place to train… by far.

The CU sports complex is located just 500 meters down the road of Sasin.

The CU sports complex is located just 500 meters down the road of Sasin.

On the same campus as Sasin is located you can find the Chulalongkorn University (CU) sports complex which is open to a lot more students than the Sasabol recreation center. And since more people can go to the CU sports complex the capacity for people wanting to train is also a lot higher there; or maybe the causality goes the other way around?

The entrance to the CU sports complex where the strange puppets give you a warm welcome.

The entrance to the CU sports complex where the strange puppets give you a warm welcome.

Instead of the small Sasin pool they have a full-size olympic pool with 10 lanes, instead of a mini-fitness they have a full-size muscle building center, and they even have a boxing ring (which is pretty much unused), ping-pong tables, indoor badminton fields, and maybe even more that I have not seen yet.

The 50-meter olympic swimming pool. Not as quiet as the swimming pool at the Sasabol health center, but if you pick the right times it won't be busy either.

The 50-meter olympic swimming pool. Not as quiet as the swimming pool at the Sasabol health center, but if you pick the right times it won’t be busy either.

The badminton courts at CU sports complex.

The badminton courts at CU sports complex.

You would expect to be charged a lot for training here, but in reality it is even cheaper than the Sasabol recreation center. The entrance for CU and Sasin students is free for a start ( they charge 2,000 baht per year for alumni; 1,000 baht per month, or 5,000 baht per year, for the rest of the world), you just need to get your Sasin student card activated once at no cost, and when you want a towel and a locker you only pay 25 baht (15 and 10 baht respectively) instead of the overpriced 30 baht they ask at Sasabol, saving you the nice sum of 5 baht!

Your Sasin student card will give you access to the CU sports complex for free, you only need to get it activated on your first visit by the security guard at the entrance. The cash card is needed to pay for a locker or towel, they do not accept cash.

Your Sasin student card will give you access to the CU sports complex for free, you only need to get it activated on your first visit by the security guard at the entrance. The cash card is needed to pay for a locker or towel, they do not accept cash.

Since the facilities are not exclusive to Sasin students you will probably run into a lot more people here; the swimming pool tends to get more crowded around 5PM and the fitness attracts people all day round. This can be positive though; going to a fitness which is mainly used by Thais will probably increase your self-esteem since they tend to use weights that are even too light for my warming-up, and in the swimming pool it is often nice to be able to swim against some other people; last week for example I was all proud of myself for swimming faster than most members of the swimming team training there. For whoever has ever been at the pool there; the swimming team is the group of kids aged 10-14 who tend to occupy lanes 0 to 3 from around 4PM.

CU sports complex fitness

CU sports complex fitness

Another view of the same; still not crowded...

Another view of the same; still not crowded…

There is room for improvement though at the CU sports complex; when I went to the fitness last week I noticed they did not label the dumbbells making it rather hard to find two of them of the same weight to train with, and of course they have TVs hanging there showing the irritating Thai soaps, but that is probably something cultural which is impossible to stop in this country. But so far I cannot complain much since I am still very happy with the 5 baht I save by going here instead of going to the Sasabol recreation center.

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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