As many of you know we took a a trip across the world to study abroad and adventure in Thailand! As clients and friends would ask me how did it go, I just couldn't put it into words, I mean, how can you just explain what we just experienced in a sentence. This was a trip not only to continue our studies on Thai Massage, but a complete immersion into Thai culture and living. I knew as soon as we landed this was going to have to be put together in a blog post. There's just no way you can fully grasp it without a visual so we took tons of pictures to try to capture every moment and share with you. So here goes...the brief summary of our trip.
Our teacher that we have been studying with for some time has been to Thailand many times and has even lived there for a period. Because of her experiences, she organized this beautiful itinerary, which was so refreshing for someone who has never been to this side of the world. The first thing we had on the schedule was a spa day the day after arrival where we each received a traditional Thai Massage. This left us completely ready for what was to come!
That same evening, we had a wonderful dinner cruise on the river with delicious Thai cuisine.
We had fresh vegetable juices every day and walked a lot. After visiting Thailand you come back with a new nervous system, digestive system, just complete renewal!
ITM- International Training Massage School
We received two advanced certifications at ITM during our studies: Lanna (Northern) Thai Advanced Stretching and Elbow and Knee Power Thai Massage. These are advanced training's for Thai Massage practitioners who want to take it to the next level. Students come from all over the world to study at this school. We met students from Brazil, Spain, Ukraine, and Bolivia to name a few. The school is absolutely beautiful! You can see in the pictures the foot washing station as we left our shoes outside the building and the first step before entering class is to wash your feet! 👣
Cooking Class...or Retreat
I don't know if I would even call this a cooking class. It was more like a day retreat! Our morning started with a trip to a local market. Here Sammy (the owner of the cooking school) taught us about local ingredients and we got to choose which Thai dishes we wanted to learn how to prepare. Then we hopped on the truck and took a 30 minute drive to his farm. We learned about Thai herbs and spices and used fresh ingredients from his farm to prepare 5 dishes! Not only do these herbs and spices provide the food with its flavor, but they are used medicinally in Thailand as well.
So we cooked and... ate. He had these amazing hammocks where we got to lounge out, and digest. After that we cooked and ate some more including desert. He gave us a copy of his cookbook to keep making these dishes at home.
Herbal Compress Class
Thai Herbal compress class was amazing! We had so much fun while learning about herbs that help relieve pain and inflammation. These aromatic blends of herbs and spices will steam your muscles into pure relaxation. Stay tuned as we will be offering these treatments soon!
Self Care is so important for EVERYONE! Meanwhile in Thailand, we got massage every chance we got. 👣👣
We bodyworkers must get bodywork as well!😁
This was perfect right before our long hike the next day...
Bamboo Rafting, Hill Tribe and Elephants! 🐘
Another Adventure day. We were picked up at our guest house by our guides and went for a 3 hour road trip to Doi Inthanon national park. It is one of the most popular national parks in Thailand, famous for it's number of waterfalls, few trails, remote villages, viewpoints, watching sunrise/sunset, bird-watching and the all year round cool weather. While we were riding along the dirt roads I spotted an Elephant on a hill just grazing in the wild. It was one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen.
When we arrived, a few of our guides began to build bamboo rafts right by the river. Yes, they were building our rafts right in front of us for later use. Our other guides took us for a peaceful walk to visit a hill tribe and bring cookies and school supplies to the village near by.
After that, we hiked across the mountain to the other side. I kept hearing a bell from the distance, and then there it was, a cow grazing in a pasture, so I had to get a snapshot. We hiked down to the river, and there were our guides waiting for us on the rafts that they just finished building! We hopped on 3 rafts and drifted down the Mae Taeng river. Its waters were so clear you could see the bottom. We were surrounded by mountains. One of our guides was singing beautifully in Thai as we floated down the river. We pulled over for lunch at a stop where there were two Elephants. The guides that took us there unloaded the rafts with supplies and began cooking a feast! Rice, spring rolls, vegetables, fresh fruit, it was a banquet! After that delicious meal, our guides unloaded baskets full of Pineapples tat we got to feed the Elephants. They also called them to get in the river, which they were not hesitant at all. It was a little intimidating being next to these gentle giants but a lot of fun! Then we went on our way down the river to our next stop to head back. The scenery was absolutely beautiful.
We learned what it was to be truly disconnected from western way of life and from modern civilization and learned the Traditional Thai way of life where you don't sacrifice quality of life when you sacrifice convenience.
A Trip to the Palace & a Flower Festival
We had the opportunity to visit the mountain to see the kings palace and visit his beautiful gardens. There was also a flower festival we got to see toward the end of our stay. 🌹
I hope you enjoyed these pictures as much as we enjoyed taking them.We took as much of what we learned from this beautiful experience with us at Apex Retreat. We will be offering new Thai treatments such as the Herbal Compress Massage and more very soon. Thank you Living Sabai for organizing this trip of a lifetime.
We miss you Thailand, until next time!