21/7/2015 – the new start is approaching
While we all enjoy this beautiful summer, I have prepared a new and beautiful program for the autumn. As of September 1, I would go to Thailand, a country I do not know at all, because my eastward journey has always stopped in India, even if I have approached the Thai and Burmese coasts Visited the Andaman Islands a few years ago.
So … I’m going to Thailand for … doing traditional Thai massage in Chiang Mai in the north of the country, because every trip is an opportunity for me to deepen my knowledge, skills and follow Certifying massages, yoga or personal care courses.
I will stay a few days in Bangkok at the beginning, middle and end of my stay. This city looks very special. This will be a real discovery. Then head north and the city of Chiang Mai or my first massage course is 2 weeks, I would decide on the spot if I wish to continue for an additional week.
After this time of study and professional training, I leave in Burma or it will be of the pure tourism with undoubtedly nights to travel by bus and days to visit the multiple sites of this country. I begin my journey to Mandalay and I will travel to the southeastern tip of the country, I would not make Lake Inle, because you have to make choices and I have done that to give me time for the coast, Canal networks, beaches, islands.
After this time of discovery, I leave in photo report in Calcutta or I will attend the last days of Durga Puja that I missed last year, because I was training in Rishikesh, but the remains of this festival that I still saw me wanted to live the best moment of this festival, it is the 10th and last day when the thousands of statues of the goddess are returned to the water. I hope to find the wrestlers, the flower sellers, the street people, the millions of smiles and this city that I love so much.
The end of October will be near, I would return a few days in Bangkok to make some doubts some shopping before resuming the plane for Paris and resume Yoga classes and massages at the beginning of November.
I am overexcited by this new journey, this new adventure that I concocted. In spite of my preparations, there will be many surprises, beautiful encounters, strong moments, difficult moments and much joy I hope. I also look forward to discovering this traditional Thai massage technique, practicing yoga throughout the trip and photographing to excess.
1/9/2015 – the journey begins
The more I travel, the simpler it seems, but …. The luggage, finally the small backpack that contains only the bare necessities is very quick to make and light to wear, the rest will be purchased locally based Of my needs which are quite minimal in hot and humid climates. The excitement of the adventure and discovery that has taken me in recent weeks gives way to a small anxiety that will be transient but which has a direct effect on my digestion. I am a great emotional and travel has always had on me an intoxicating, exciting and anguishing effect, I adore. My journey to Bangkok will go through Helsinki today, not only is the price very interesting, but the total journey time is very short, the transfer is ultra fast and flying through the North Pole is a shortcut … It is still a little longer than a direct flight. Tomorrow morning I will land in Bangkok, it will be 7 am local time and 2 hours betting, it will be hot, wet and stormy. I plan to head directly to one of the three major historical sites in the city to try to visit at least two of them as soon as I arrive, because going to my hotel will only waste me time and I have not Heavy luggage to carry. The weather predicts rain from 14h, so it is wise to visit before the monsoon sky falls on my head and in the cool morning … 27 degrees at 7am …
I only spend four days in Bangkok and given the weather this season I have to organize to see the sites between two storms, there are also districts to visit on foot, so I would take the rain is Virtually guaranteed. Bangkok, Thailand and Burma are in my imagination as strong as India could be. India surprised and dazzled me and gave me a thousand smiles and warmed my heart, I am preparing to welcome the Thai sweetness, the beauty of the religious art, the fragrant food, the breathtaking scenery and the chaos of The megalopolis that is apparently Bangkok. All this part of this journey is new to me, I am overexcited to discover.
6/9/2015 – Bangkok – WhatPo & Silom
I did not really sleep on the flying night, but still, I felt good when I arrived. I, opted for the taxi, wishing to go directly to the sites of visit, but blocked in traffic jams, I got dropped off at an underground station to finish my journey. My hotel being on the line, I went with the idea of depositing my bag. In fact, I had a room without waiting, I was able to take a shower, put on a Tshirt clean, and go on a fresh tour, and dispo. I was able to reach the river on foot and take the river shuttle to reach the What Po, one of the three major temples of Bangkok. It is the site where one finds the largest elongated Buddha as well as an impressive collection of standing Buddhas. It is also the seat of the traditional Thai massage training center. The site is fabulous, I am impressed, the elongated Buddha is really very large, and especially the detail of the faience decoration is very sophisticated. The layout of the site, which must be fairly standard, contains the main temple, which is surrounded by an enclosure of smaller temples and a final enclosure with a gangway. On this site, the standing Buddhas are arranged all along facing the central temple. At the end of the visit, at the back of the site, are the two massage pavilions. I take this opportunity to try my first traditional Thai massage. I start with a 30 minute foot massage and I continue with a 60 minute body massage. The lady of a certain age who lavishes the massage is calm, precise, and I appreciate this first and definitely not the last Thai massage. After all, because I’m here for that. I decide to end the visits for this first day, because the richness of the site filled my head and eyes. I leave by boat and discover the underground, ‘BTS skytrain’, which runs along the silom district. In the evening I stroll along this avenue and lively district where the stands of clothes and accessories are set up at night. This great axis that is Silom is cut by streets and alleys, the ‘Soi’, they are numbered. On Silom, the Soi are the places where we find bars for boys and girls. I stroll, indeed proposals are made, but nothing sordid or aggressive. There are several streets of girls, they are numerous to wait calmly, there is only one street of boys, they are a little less numerous, they do their show or wait at tables of bar or billiards. I would not go to any of the show bars, I do not like the lashes and the lascivious attitudes. On the other hand, by continuing my walk in a quieter area, I find a gay massage parlor, and I offer myself a good Thai massage in oil. The boy is doing well and is serious. With these three experiments today, I find that this Thai technique is interesting. This massage makes it possible to work the stretch, but I find it nevertheless a little monotonous and repetitive, the repetition is monotonous, but allows the relaxation too. My first day in Thailand ends well, however, I have a little worry about finding food because everything is meat or fish. I fall back on sticky rice with mango and fruit, I can not really enjoy the ‘street food’ stands.
12/9/2015 – Bangkok – Shopping, from ultra chic to bric à brac
My last 2 days in Bangkok were long walks, moments of relaxation and meeting. I started on Friday by the park of Lumpini that I crossed to get my ticket of train in a travel agency. I meet joggers, Tai Chi practitioners and a lizard that runs along one of the park’s lakes. I discovered a very chic neighborhood of the city and huge shopping galleries that offer only luxury, from the RDC to the Rolls-Royce car at 4em. The temple of Brahma, the target of the bomb attack a few weeks ago is on the way, I go to gather there. Then the center MBK, a much more trash shopping center, with electronics, photo equipment, clothes of all kinds, but nothing very interesting. In the evening, I go up to the 47th floor of a downtown building to see the skyline. The next day, I set out to explore the Chatuchak flea market. It’s huge, you get lost, there’s everything. The animal zone is not in the best taste, with feathers, hair, scales, warm and cold blood, all in cage, on leash, at the disposal of the man dominating nature. In the country where Buddha is adored and covered with gold, animals are at the mercy of man outside and within the plate. The notion of non-violence, the keystone of Buddhism, seems to have been swept away in favor of a practice which seems to be motivated by superstition and not by devotion to the values of Buddha teaching. In the late afternoon, I get on the train to Chiang Mai in the north of the country.