Muay Thai gym opens som tum shop for income during the pandemic

    Headshot kick knockout som tum. That’s what happens when Muay Thai boxers put away the gloves and get out a mortar and pestle to smash chillis for the spicy papaya salad.

    With fewer students participating in close-contact sports due to Covid fears, a Muay Thai boxing gym in the central province of Ratchaburi adapted by opening a weekend restaurant selling som tum and other Isaan dishes to continue making an income. The boxers helped out as chefs and food delivery drivers.

    Boxing trainer Praphai Chantabandhit, who is also the Assistant Dean of Muban Chombueng Rajabhat University, says he decided to turn his Muay Thai school into a restaurant every weekend to earn more income.

    The boxing trainer told Thai media that it was hard to find restaurants nearby, so he often cooked for himself and the boxing students. After many compliments from students and family, he tried promoting his dishes online and offered free delivery to those within 2 kilometers of the shop. He also offered cooking and delivery jobs to his students who have been unemployed due to the pandemic.

    Most of the dishes were Isan cuisines like different types of som tum or spicy papaya salad as well as deep-fried chicken and sticky rice. Each menu item also had a unique name related to the boxing, like “headshot kick knock-out som tum.” The trainer says he’s been running the som tum shop on the weekends for six weeks, got profits, earning around 600 baht to 700 baht, which he has shared with his students.

    SOURCE: Thai News Agency

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