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22 Days Qi Gong Instructor Training in Pai, Thailand

Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat, 116 M5, T. Mae Na Toeng, Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130, Thailand

Qi Gong Instructor Certification Course Thailand

This intensive course will give you the tools that you need to become a teacher of Chinese Chi Kung (Qi Gong) for health. You will learn two full systems of Chi Kung: Tong Ling (clearing and circulating) and Chi Kung for health, well-being, and longevity, including Bodhidharma's Vein Tendon chi kung for strength, resilience, and fascia or joint development. This is a genuine teacher training which includes teaching practice with live classes.

Meet the instructors

Master Iain & Andrew
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  • Learn about Tong Ling Chi Kung system
  • Practice your teaching skills with teaching live classes
  • Classes on Chi projection and Bohdidarma's Vein Tendon Chi Kung
  • Train with experienced professional teachers, including Master Iain Armstrong
  • Breathtaking location in the forested mountains of North Western Thailand
  • Internationally recognized certification upon completion
  • Daily breakfast and five evening meals per week
  • 21 nights accommodation


15 days with instruction
The maximum participants in the group is 20
Airport transfer available:
Chiang Mai International Airport (US$131 per person)
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  • Gym
  • Dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Restaurant
  • Laundry
  • Library
  • Wireless internet

All of the rooms are designed with serious Kung Fu students in mind. Every room has an inspiring mountain view from the front door and a roofed front terrace to sit in the shade and get the benefit of the views and the fresh mountain air. They are within very easy walking distance of the training facilities and the restaurant.

There are two types of room, shared and private rooms. Shared rooms hold two people. They are spacious, have separate bathrooms and toilet or washrooms, and are equipped with fans. They are arranged in two buildings, each with six rooms. The front terrace is two meters deep and serves as a social area where students can relax and chat outside of training time.

The private rooms are designed for single occupancy. These rooms are finished to a high standard with tiled walls and thicker mattresses. Each "house" has two rooms which are completely separate. They are located slightly further away from the center of the retreat, which gives a quieter feel. Nam Yang also supplies communal tea and coffee making facilities and fridges.


The course includes:

  • Tong Ling Chi Kung system
  • Bohdidarma’s Vein Tendon Chi Kung
  • Meditation
  • Chi projection or transmission
  • Stretching and developing the fascia
  • Teaching skills
  • Leadership
  • Personal power and influence

Book, video, and photographs are supplied as part of the course. This course is run by Nam Yang Puglistic Association, founded in Singapore in 1954 by Great Grand Master Ang Lian Huat and dedicated to passing on the real arts of old China. Nam Yang has now become an international community with branches in Thailand, UK, Russia, Italy, and Germany.

Train with experienced professional teachers, including Master Iain Armstrong in relaxed, constructive atmosphere. Leave your ego behind and become part of the community. This course is taught for Westerners. Nam Yang understands what you need. Complex concepts are explained in clear English by experienced teachers. There is no need for translators. Training will be held daily except on Wednesdays and Saturdays, which are rest or activity days.

Sample schedule

  • 06:00 Morning training in Chi Kung, the Frost Sun White Crane internal art, the sum chien (three wars) internal strength routine and meditation. Break halfway through for Chinese tea for questions and answers and a talk on Chinese philosophy and wisdom
  • 09:15 Breakfast
  • 11:00 Midday training, supervised practice time finishing with a meditation session, followed by lunch break
  • 14:30 Teaching, communicating, and leading. Training on how to be a really good teacher
  • 15:30 Physical session. Warm up, then work on stretching and strengthening the fascia
  • 16:30 Technical session. Chi Kung and meditation with detailed feedback from teacher
  • 18:00 Dinner then rest time


Master Iain Armstrong



The Nam Yang Mountain Kung Fu Retreat School is designed to be the ultimate martial arts training and meditation venue. It is set on 2.1 acres of land on the side of a mountain spur, bordering the jungle and maintaining awesome views across the Pai river valley to mountains rising steadily to the Himalayas.

In the early morning, when you begin training, the mountains are usually shrouded in mist which gradually clears as the sun rises. The school is built in the local Shan style architecture according to Chinese Feng Shui principles. Thailand is a great country. It is one of the most popular destinations for international travelers. Thailand is close enough to Singapore that their top masters can travel easily.

The North of Thailand has some of the very best chi in the world. It flows down from the Himalayas. This makes for a perfect place to practice chi kung and seriously boosts health and vitality. This was the primary reason for choosing the location of Nam Yang. The Pai valley is an area of incredible natural beauty. High in the mountains, it epitomizes the Kung Fu dream of training in pure, fresh air with awesome views, away from the distractions of modern life and the pollution of modern cities.

It is easy to grow and prepare healthy natural food in the farmland around Pai which allows you to eat the sort of diet supports on your training. Thailand is a fairly economical country in which to operate. It is not the cheapest in the world but is very cheap compared to western countries. The Pai district is popular with tourists because there are so many things to do. You will have two days off each week and have a fairly long break from training in the middle of the day.

A stay at the mountain retreat can be a holiday as well as a training experience. Nam Yang Mountain Retreat is located in the foothills of the mountains overlooking the Pai river valley in the northern part of Mae Hong Son, Thailand’s remote North Western province. Mae Hong Son translates as ‘the land of mist’. It is dominated by fairly high, forested mountains and is sparsely inhabited, mainly by Thailand’s famous hill tribes.

Pai is the main tourist center in Mae Hong Son province and ideally suited to receive and entertain foreigners. It has a population of about 3000 who, at peak times, are heavily outnumbered by tourists. Pai acts as a hub for activities and excursions, such as trekking, elephant riding, caving, ox cart riding, rafting, off road driving or motorcycling, waterfalls, temples, and hill tribes.

The favorite way to get around for most is to rent a small motorcycle for about 80 THB per day. It contains a multitude of bars and restaurants with very reasonable prices. There are many market stalls selling local food and goods, and shops selling any supplies you are really likely to need. As you would expect in Thailand, the town also boasts a number of beautiful Buddhist temples run by monks.

Nearby places

  • Mae Hong Son - 30 minutes
  • Pai to Nam Yang - 15 minutes


Quality food is essential for martial artists in hard training. Nam Yang has their own kitchen garden, herb garden, and fruit trees all of which are entirely organic. They are now partially self-sufficient for fruit and vegetables. What they don’t grow themselves, they choose carefully usually from the local farmers’ market or from people they know well.

The rice is bought from a rather remote hill tribe village in the mountains. By buying rice directly from cash poor ethnic minorities, Nam Yang support their families. Local style food is prepared with an emphasis on the use of beneficial herbs to increase its value. The diet is calculated to best support the Kung Fu training: Nam Yang understands that you are what you eat.

Food prepared on-site is as fresh, organic, and healthy as possible and is usually delicious local Thai or Shan style, or occasionally Chinese or southern Thai style.

Meals start with one or two types of fruit and usually some salad. They then typically serve two main dishes with rice. Most dishes are vegetarian, but they do serve meat. There will always be at least one vegan dish as part of each meal. They also try our best to cater for specialist diets.

Nam Yang supplies breakfast daily and evening meals on training days. Drinking water is supplied free with meals and is available from the kitchen free of charge at any time for resident students. They also serve special tea two to four times a day. Either high quality Chinese tea - something integrally connected with Kung Fu training - or herbal tea for health benefits.

The instructors eat in the dining area, together with the students, which is testimony to the quality of the food and helps provide a good ethos for the school. Meal times are therefore ideal for discussing Kung Fu and asking questions.

Almost any style of food can be purchased in Pai, (Italian, western, middle eastern, Chinese, Indian, and more). The local diet is based mainly around rice, meat, freshwater fish, vegetables, fruit, and spices. However, seafood is relatively expensive in the mountains. Local fruit and vegetables are great, fresh, and very cheap.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Lacto-ovo Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Raw food
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Fruitarian
  • Lactose Free
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Pai is a hub for adventure tourism. Most of the students hire a moped so as to get around and appreciate what the area has to offer. Moped hire is very cheap. Safety first is reccommended when dealing with mopeds. There is a huge range of activities available locally, including:

  • Chinese tea growing communities
  • Elephant camps
  • Exploring caves, with or without guides
  • Nightlife in Pai town
  • Off road motorcycling or driving
  • Rafting, either a serene trip down the Pai river or more adventurous white water rafting
  • Swimming in pools or river
  • Tubing
  • Visiting hill tribe villages
  • Visiting temples
  • Walking
  • Waterfalls
  • Zip lining

Spa treatments

There is a masseuse available on call who specializes in traditional Thai massage, herb massage, and oil massage. The cost of the massage is from 200 TBH per hour. Compared to prices in the West, this is ridiculously cheap!

What's included

  • 21 nights accommodation
  • All training mentioned in the program
  • Internationally recognized certificate on successful completion of course.
  • Course textbook: "Get your health back FAST with Chinese Chi Kung" by Master Iain Armstrong
  • Daily breakfast and evening meals five days a week
  • Drinking water and teas made with beneficial herbs
  • Use of all facilities including gym and training areas when not being used for teaching
  • Video footage of all of the routines taught as part of this course

What's not included

  • Additional activities
  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Goods purchases
  • Insurance
  • Kung Fu gradings
  • Lunches
  • Personal expenses
  • Private tuition

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions

  • Head out of town towards the airport or Mae Hong Son.
  • On the far side of the airport turn right, parallel to the runway.
  • Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat is the first turn on the left, about 400 meters down the road, on a right hand bend. Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat has a prominent sign.

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) or Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX). Arriving at Chiang Mai is much nearer to the Kung Fu Retreat but Bangkok has more flights and is usually cheaper. Once in Bangkok, you can book a domestic flight to Chiang Mai. Transfer from and to the airport is available upon request.

If on a budget, Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat recommends you fly to Bangkok to Chiang Mai, then to take a minibus / Aya Service to Pai and a taxi to the retreat from there. The flights from Chiang Mai to Pai Airport (PYY) are currently no longer available. For airport transfers from Chiang Mai to the retreat, Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat can arrange a taxi from Chiang Mai Airport (CNX) to the retreat for around 4100 THB (131 USD).

Arrival by bus

Once in Chiang Mai, take a minibus to Pai. Minibus trip costs about 200 THB and has awesome views. It takes about three and a half hours, most of which is spent on amazing winding roads through mountains. The views are breathtaking and the journey is an adventure. You are recommended to travel during daylight. The most popular minibus provider is AYA Service. Their office in Chiang Mai is opposite the train station. Book on to the next available minibus if you have not booked already.

Arrival by train

Once you arrive in Bangkok, you can get an overnight sleeper train from Bangkok’s central station, Hua Lam Phong, for around 1,000 THB each way. Booking in advance is recommended. Please be aware that trains in Thailand often run very late. The trains are very comfortable and afford great views of the Thai countryside. Minibusses run between about 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

If you arrive in Chiang Mai later than about 3:30 p.m., you are likely to need to either stay overnight in Chiang Mai or get a taxi to the Kung Fu Retreat. If staying overnight, which is the cheapest option, it is recommended that you still go to the AYA Service office when you arrive and book a minibus for the next day. Then look for a guesthouse nearby. You should get a nice room with fan for 400 to 500 THB.

Arrival by taxi

Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat can arrange for a taxi to come to the airport to meet you. Alternatively, you could speak with drivers in the taxi rank outside the airport but Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat recommends you settle on a price before heading off.

If Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat arranges a taxi for you, they will need to pay in advance so please do not pay the driver otherwise he will think that he has just got the best tip of his life and likely take a week off.

Airport: Chiang Mai International Airport Airport transfer available: Chiang Mai International Airport (US$131 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

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22 days / 21 nights
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