How Hua Hin is becoming a destination for elite level athletes


Hua Hin is many things to many different people.

For some it’s a destination for retirement where they can unwind and live out their golden years.

For others, it’s a weekend retreat from the city. More recently, the town has seen a wave of millennial couples choosing Hua Hin as a destination to raise a family.

However, beyond these well-known appeals, Hua Hin is emerging as a premier training ground for some of the world’s top athletes.

The Legend Arena, a state-of-the-art training facility has been drawing the attention of elite and professional athletes from around the world.

Yaowapa “View” Boorapolchai

Spearheaded by Yaowapa “View” Boorapolchai, a former Olympian and a celebrated Taekwondo athlete The Legend Arena, located on the third floor of BluPort Hua Hin, is touted as the largest gym in Hua Hin, offering an impressive range of activities across its 1,000-square-meter facility.

Open daily from 9 AM, it caters to both children and adults with programs in martial arts, gymnastics, boxing, yoga, and more.

The gym’s unique offerings include Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Taekwondo, Western-style boxing, flying yoga, and various dance forms. Additionally, The Legend Arena provides a music space for learning instruments such as drums and classical guitar, alongside facilities for basketball, mini tennis, and table tennis.

View, with her welcoming persona and dedication to youth involvement in sports, emphasizes the comprehensive nature of The Legend Arena. “We offer a wide range of activities suitable for all ages and skill levels,” she explains.

“Our coaches are all professionals and bring a wealth of experience and expertise ensuring that each participant receives top-notch training.”

Why Hua Hin is ideal for professional athletes

View highlights several reasons why Hua Hin is an attractive location for professional athletes and teams. “Hua Hin has excellent transportation connections, making it easy to travel around the area and to and from Bangkok. The combination of mountains and beaches offers diverse training environments, unlike other locations like Phuket and Pattaya,” she says. The town’s safe atmosphere and positive energy also contribute to its appeal as a training hub.

Moreover, Hua Hin’s accessibility to natural attractions such as Pranburi and Sam Roi Yot makes it an ideal spot for sports rehabilitation. “It’s a great destination for athletes to recover and rehab,” View notes, adding that the area’s tranquility allows athletes to focus on their training without distractions.

Positive feedback from international boxers

In May, The Legend Arena hosted international boxers as part of the Boxing Olympic Pre-Camp Cha-Am & Hua Hin 2024. The camp saw 200 international boxers from more than 15 countries and 4 continents train in Hua Hin ahead of qualifying events for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics, which will be held from July 26-August 11, 2024.

The boxers provided positive feedback of their experience of training at The Legend Arena.

“The boxers loved it here, and they kept coming back,” View shares. “Training at The Legend Arena was a refreshing change from their usual camp settings. They also appreciated the gym’s location within a mall, which provided convenience and a variety of amenities.”

Impact on Local Youth and Aspiring Athletes

The presence of The Legend Arena has had a significant impact on the local youth in Hua Hin. “Having a facility like this helps kids a lot,” View says. “There are many activities for them to take part in, and they are coached by professionals.”

View’s dedication to youth sports is evident in the variety of programs available for children at The Legend Arena, from martial arts to dance. “We believe in nurturing young talent and providing them with opportunities to excel in sports,” she adds. She emphasizes the importance of a balanced life for children, encouraging them to stay positive and have fun while training.

Upcoming events and future plans

Looking ahead, The Legend Arena is set to host a major event in July – Legend FC Muay Thai, featuring 64 fighters competing in two weight categories: lightweight and junior middleweight.

“This event is for fighters who have never been champions before, and it’s an exciting opportunity for them to showcase their skills,” View explains. The fighters will compete without gloves, adding a unique aspect to the competition.

View also reveals ambitious plans for next year, aiming to establish an event that will put Hua Hin on the map for Muay Thai and combat sports. “I want to make Hua Hin famous for this event,” she declares.

Thai athletes to watch at the Paris Olympics

As the Paris Olympics approach, View expresses confidence in the Thai athletes, particularly in boxing and Taekwondo. “In Taekwondo, I expect Thailand to do very well, either a gold or silver,” she predicted. She highlights Panipak “Tennis” Wongpattanakit, the top-ranked athlete in the women’s 49 kg category, who clinched a gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

View advises the Thai athletes competing in Paris to stay focused and take each match one at a time.

An invitation to experience The Legend Arena

View extends an open invitation to everyone to experience The Legend Arena. “Come and try it out with your family. Training here will make you feel like our personal friend or part of the family,” she says.

She also hints at future plans to introduce educational activities, including science-based programs, later this year.

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