3 unforgettable Thai experiences

 

For many of us, our only experience with Thailand is the Anglicised version of their food. Itís delicious, but whatís truly special is travelling to the country itself and visiting Thai people, learning Thai culture, and in general enjoying what this amazing Asian country has to offer. It can provide you with the experience of a lifetime and itís well worth the lengthy flight it takes to get over there. To provide you with just a short explanation of a few of the wonderful experiences youíll have, here are three of our favourites:

1. Take a boat ride down Thailandís beautiful rivers. This is an excellent excuse to get out of the city and visit the countryside, which is what Thailand is truly about. Sailing past the farmlands, orchards, and trudging farmers will give you a better idea of how Thai people really live. Along the way, you can stop off at a number of interesting destinations, like agricultural cooperatives managed by groups of farmers, orchid houses, or Mon settlements, known for their exquisite Mon pottery, like the one at Koh Kret. Travelling outside the cities is well worth the extra effort.

2. Take a class in traditional Thai massage. This is perfect for couples; instead of spending on a couplesí massage, why not take a class which will teach you new techniques to learn throughout your life together? Thai massage is different from Western massage in that it uses many different parts of the body, such as elbows and knees, as well as a variety of different positions to restore alignment and soothe worn muscles.

3. Arrange a visit with a local village. Rather than wandering through on your way to somewhere else, why not arrange to stay for an afternoon and get a taste of Thai village life? Lisu Lodge in northern Thailand is a community run project which offers lodgings, treks, and adventures to help dilute the effects of poverty amongst the ancient tribes of southern China, who migrated to Thailand to preserve their culture under oppression. Visit local families and share tea with them in the morning, then watch a traditional Lisu dance show after dinner. The resort offers trekking packages for hikers and cyclists and less strenuous ďsoft adventureĒ for those who want to experience but arenít prepared to exert themselves too much on a holiday.

Thailand is an unforgettable destination with an amazing culture, cuisine, and people. Donít miss out on the wonderfully different trip you could be having by staying in the city; spend some time in the countryside and truly experience Thailand as its locals do, or at least as close as you can manage on a luxury holiday.

James Bell is a Director of Turquoise Holidays.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Travel NZ says:

    I have had the not so pleasurable experience of a Thai massage from a practitioner trained by a Thai Proffesor.

    She used a rounded piece of wood and run it along parts of the body close to the bone.

    I understand she was trying to fix a problem.

    Maybe they will use a more relaxing method for relaxation.

    All the best,
    Ewen

  2. Kay says:

    James, great article!

    I completely agree with your point about Thai food being delicious. But the Anglicised versions are a poor substitute. It’s so very rare to get decent Thai food outside of Thailand.

    Actually, I have a bee in my bonnet about this subject because magazines like BBC Good Food keep publishing recipes for “Thai-style” dishes that bear no resemblance at all to Thai food.

    I strive to cook Thai food like the Thais do, and my best claim to fame is that after having cooked a Thai meal for a Thai family, the matriarch absolutely refused to believe that a farang had cooked it.

    I would encourage people to cook real Thai food and not this blanded down stuff that British magazines and books suggest is Thai.

  3. Minna says:

    Thank you for the great article! I have experience best Thai massage (and spa experience) at Banyan tree hotel in Bangkok – also the other treatments are just great!

  4. Emma says:

    Thai massage, Thai food and the Thai people are all so fantastic. I had a great 5 weeks in the country last year, had lots of massages (they’re uncomfortable but brilliant! If you want to relax ask for an oil massage) and enough street food to feed a thousand. I can’t wait to go back :D

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