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Fitness

All the finest five-star properties in town boast quality fitness centers complete with personal trainers and top equipment. In addition, California WOW (www.californiawowx.com) has an enormous club just on the corner of Silom Road and Soi Convent, at Liberty Square (tel. 02631-1122), and another at Siam Paragon mall (tel. 02627-5999); expect to pay 800B daily for access to both locations. Don't be intimidated into paying anything more than you can afford -- the reps use famously hard-sell tactics. The upscale Ascott-serviced residences down on Sathorn Road benefit from the members-only Cascade Club (tel. 02676-6969; www.cascadeclubandspa.com), a stunning state-of-the-art gym, which comes with two studios for Pilates and aerobics, a shady outdoor pool, and a spa. Day passes in 2009 cost 535B, a good value if you love long workouts. There are also several branches of Fitness First, such as the one at Landmark Plaza, on Sukhumvit Road (tel. 02653-2424; www.fitnessfirst.co.th), which come equipped with all the latest in fitness equipment, and offer a day rate of 1,070B.

If these places listed are too expensive, check the three- to four-star hotels in your district; many offer day passes for as little as 350B.

Golf

Various golf courses lie close to the city, a number of which are championship quality. Due to their huge popularity, access is sometimes limited. Visitors can get around this by booking upscale packages offered by hotel concierges or agents, such as Golf A La Cart (www.golfalacart-thailand.com), who can arrange access during the busiest seasons. These fully inclusive deals include car transfer and all fees.

  • Thai Country Club (tel. 02651-5300 or 03857-0234; www.thaicountryclub.com), run by the Peninsula Hotel, is praised for its consistent greens and sumptuous clubhouse. This stunning 18-hole course lies just 45 minutes southwest of Bangkok. The following fees refer to low/high season rates: Greens fees are 3,600B-4,800B on weekdays, 4,800B-6,000B on weekends. Note that visitors' hours on weekends are restricted.
  • Pinehurst Golf & Country Club (tel. 02516-8679; www.pinehurst.co.th), located in Pathum Thani, is a popular 27-hole course that served as the venue for the 1992 Johnnie Walker Classic. Greens fees on weekdays are 1,800B, on weekends 2,400B.
  • Bangkok Golf Club (tel. 02501-2828; www.golf.th.com), a short 35-minute drive from the city center, is an 18-hole course that's always popular and regularly plays host to local and regional tournaments. Night golf is available. Greens fees are 1,700B on weekdays and 2,600B on weekends.

Horse Racing

The prestigious Royal Bangkok Sports Club (RBSC; tel. 02652-5000; www.rbsc.org) holds horse-racing events that are open to the paying public every second Sunday of the month. The grounds occupy a prime spot on Henri Dunant Road, opposite Chulalongkorn University, north of Rama IV Road. Nominal admission fees and minimum bets apply.

Yoga

Apart from the many hotels in town that schedule regular yoga classes, some downtown studios may offer special packages for visitors on extended stays. Expect to pay up to 3,000B. One such studio is Absolute Yoga (tel. 02252-4400; www.absoluteyogabangkok.com), with many branches including one in Amarin Plaza, close to the Grand Hyatt Erawan, on Ploenchit Road. Hot yoga, sometimes called bikram yoga (where yoga is practiced in a room at saunalike temperatures), is available at Absolute Yoga's Soi Piphat 2 branch (tel. 02636-8342). There are numerous daily classes and schedules are posted on the website. Wear loose workout gear, bring a big bottle of water, and be ready to sweat buckets. Yoga Elements Studio (tel. 02655-5671; www.yogaelements.com), on the 23rd floor of the Vanissa Building, just behind Central Chidlom department store on Soi Chidlom (5 min. from Chit Lom BTS), is another locally run studio with a wide variety of yoga classes. The big commercial fitness clubs in town, such as California WOW, also offer yoga and Pilates.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.