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January 25, 2016

Vientiane: How to Find the Right Gym for you

Post by Eat, Sweat, Travel

Vientiane How to find the right gym for you
Image courtesy of Google Maps.

Are you looking for a gym to get in a solid workout while your visiting Vientiane? We’ve got you covered! For many, Vientiane lacks the alluring vibe and charm that captivates thousands of tourists to similar Southeast Asian cities such as Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang. However, it certainly makes up for it with its variety and quality of fitness facilities. During our quick trip to Laos’ capital, we researched all the major gyms then toured the city on our motorbike to get the low down on your options here.

Tar’s Gym

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For the Thrifty Backpacker

Price: 10 000 LAK per workout

Tar’s was the most affordable and conveniently located gym in Vientiane, packed with both locals and backpackers. Although the equipment is old and dirty (I think they’re going for the shabby-chic look), it’s pretty standard for gyms in Southeast Asia. If you are looking to weight train, this is a great place to do it. It’s worth noting that there are no cardio machines, however. To get my heart rate up, I brought along my skipping rope, found a spot to warm up and didn’t have a problem finding equipment to use to challenge my body. Our favourite part of our workout here was when all a large group of seriously beefy locals took their shirts off and flexed together for pictures. I highly recommend Tar’s Gym!

Click here for directions to Tar’s Gym.

Bee Bee Fitness

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Something for Everyone

Price: 45 000 LAK per workout

Bee Bee Fitness is a relatively large gym, situated alongside the Mekong river. They have a mix of both cardio equipment and weight machines. Although it’s significantly more expensive than Tar’s, it’s still reasonably priced. When we popped by it was super quiet (Read: no headache inducing EDM blaring out of an ancient sound system), which meant no sharing of equipment and no distractions! If you’re looking for a quiet gym that has a wide variety of equipment and you’re okay with paying a little more, I would highly recommend Bee Bee Fitness for you.

Click here for directions to Bee Bee Fitness.

Sengdara Fitness Centre

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The Most Expensive Gym, with the Best and Newest Equipment

Price: 90 000 LAK per day

Sengdara was the most expensive gym we visited, by a long shot. However, this rate gives you access to the pool, steam room, sauna, nice change rooms, fitness classes and equipment comparable to Western standards. It gets super busy in the evening and seems to be a place to see and be seen in Vientiane. Exercising at Sengdara was such a lovely little treat! We loved having access to so many amenities, having ‘roughed it’ in cheap gyms for months, that we pretty much turned our visit there into a full-day affair! That said, the price is pretty exorbitant, and as much as I enjoyed my time there, I didn’t actually need to spend that much money on my workout. In my honest opinion, if you can be happy with the equipment at Bee Bee and Tar’s, save your money!

Click here for directions to Sengdara Fitness Centre.

Angkam Hotel

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Price: 30 000 LAK per workout

Unfortunately, the Angkham Hotel was hosting some “government meetings”  for the entire duration of our stay in Vientiane and we weren’t even allowed past the lobby to take a peak at the fitness facilities. I’ve read mixed reviews about the quality of the equipment, and it was far from our hotel.  When I come back to Vientiane, I probably won’t bother driving all the way to the Angkham Gym when the other 3 gyms are more than sufficient.However, the price is right!

Click here for directions to Angkham Hotel Gym.

In Conclusion…

If you can get past how it looks and don’t require cardio equipment, I would probably recommend Tar’s gym; friendly people, great price, convenient location, boom!

Disclaimer: this post is up-to-date (to the best of our knowledge) as of January 25, 2016. Should you stumble upon other gyms, let us know by leaving a comment! We’d love to hear from you!