I used to take a lot of supplements. Well, not quite as many as Google executive and author of The Singularity, Ray Kurzweil takes, but enough to do damage to my budget, possibly some vital organs and fill a large kitchen cupboard or two.
Moving to Thailand and adopting a life of minimalism has considerably curtailed my proclivity for pill-popping, and I vowed I would limit myself to no more than three items – in this case;
and a pre-workout.
I’ve also experimented going without the above items for periods of time and noticed the negative effect it’s had on my strength, weight and daily drive.
While cheap, PED’s are easily obtainable, supplements here are ridiculously expensive especially from storefront locations here in Pattaya.
Ordering online from cheaper offshore locations is a nightmare because of shipping costs (usually between $40-80), customs duties (often up to 50% of the combined product and shipping cost) or many companies simply refuse to ship to Thailand.
Buying the above items from a supplement shopfront in Pattaya would cost approximately
Protein 11lbs – $200
Creatine – $90
Preworkout – $90-100
If you are planning on staying to train for a long time I’d suggest using that 15kg of luggage weight to bring in a couple of 11lb bags and any other goodies you can stash. You won’t need many clothes here, so you can pack light on the non-essentials, haha.
Thailand also seems to frown on the whole stimulant related product scene, so even though you can find some of the weaker options here, I’d definitely pack a few tubs of your favourite brand unless drinking sickly sweet, medicine tasting Thai energy drinks is your thing.
Some slightly better domestic online ordering options are
http://www.phukethealthshop.com/ – for all your mainstay bodybuilding supplements. I’ve used these guys in the past and they’ve been very fast to ship and deliver. The accept Paypal so no trips to the bank needed.
http://fitwhey.com/ – Many guys at the gym use this crew and also swear by their fast shipping times and dependability. However, they don’t include a Paypal or credit card option and you have to go to a Western Union to transfer the money to their account which is a pain.
Bear Gym, a cool, Russian gym in downtown Jomtien a few minutes motorbike ride from Pattaya also sells the cheapest and widest selection of supplements around. Their prices are very reasonable and comparative to what you would find online minus the delivery hassles.
Bear Gym also seems to have gone into some kind of arrangement with a new crew called PattayaWhey.com. They have a good selection of supplements and training items with perhaps the best prices I’ve seen – even cheaper than the online competitors.
Another option I haven’t tried, but I’ve heard is good for locating the more esoteric brands and specific products is iHerb. Orders have to be kept below $60 to avoid customs duties and shipping is around $16. Ordering through Global Priority Mail generally takes around 10 days. I’d really recommend them for things like Curcumin, or good quality fish oil as the brands they carry here are garbage.
(Note: I have zero affiliation financial or otherwise from any of the companies discussed about above. I’m just a guy who loves his supplements)
One last option if you happen to be travelling to Philippines and are in Manila for a short stay planning to return to Thailand, I recommend checking out Cash & Carry in Makati for a cheap range of various supplements. I take an empty carry-on with me and fill it with all sorts of stuff every time I visit.