Back to Thailand
It’s good to be in a plane, to be in a cottony micro-space and to think about what you’ve done, what you might do next. I never talk much in a plane, it spoils the pleasure of daydreaming.
A few months ago, I was able to slip into the cockpit of an airliner. There it was so intense, I had to take in everything, remember the gestures of the pilots, their technical choreography, and look at the sea, the shades of the islands, the West Indies strewn below us.
But in general, I settle down in my seat, find my bearings quickly, and take stock of the weeks and months that go by. Surprisingly, it is always on a plane or in the speed of a train that I think of my father who died so long ago. In a numbered seat, it stirs the still travel.
I think of all the things I do mechanically in everyday life, the spontaneity that is stifled by habit. I breathe differently, I think of my man, of my little sisters that I don’t see enough. Of what I have done and of all that I have not done. The little voice that exclaims “so what?!”. I don’t know. I don’t know.
I fall into a dreamless sleep until the clatter of breakfast carts.
For the first time, I was completely lost: is it evening or dawn. When I arrived on the tarmac in Bangkok, I was smiling, not knowing in which time slot this trip started. It lasted for an hour I think.
I am happy to be back in Bangkok. The city had scared me a bit years ago: the first days, I always walk, but venturing randomly, without a plan or clue, in this huge vertical city was not the best approach. So I cooked, cooked, cooked for a month. At the time, I hadn’t been home for months, I was probably tired and I just wanted to handle the flavors, slowly, without getting lost, by measuring the ingredients, the fresh herbs. And then sometimes, we look for excuses in a long solo trip.
This first culinary trip to Thailand had revived me, and I was able to continue my journey to Burma.
But of course I had missed everything because I was working in my kitchen. This second trip, years later, would surprise me and put everything back on track.
Wilderness trip: the detailed itinerary
I often receive little worried words from departing travelers, lost while planning their travel itinerary. So I will detail here my itinerary for this very natural trip in Thailand: ten days to voluptuously recharge your batteries, to disconnect, to be ecstatic in front of raw and stunning landscapes, peaks to climb and white sand islands.
Day 1: Early arrival at Bangkok International Airport (Suvarnabhumi Airport). We go to the LIT Bangkok Hotel & Residence in order to drop off our things and to swallow a sweet and sour breakfast to get out of the steamy jetlag. A small stroll in the district to renew with the perfumes of Bangkok, then we entrust our knotted muscles to the divine hands of a masseuse at the Rarin Jinda Wellness Spa(Ratchadarmi). Very quickly, we purr with happiness while following the ritual of care: scrub, hot shower, long massage with essential oils (I chose the stimulating and purifying notes of ginger). We all fell asleep like newborns with the caresses. Hmmm. Waking up in a spa is a wonderful experience!
On foot, we go to the restaurant Erawan Tea Room, which proposes a real discovery of the thousand flavors of the Thai cooking in a waltz of small elegant and perfumed plates. Complete bliss.
It’s time to seriously discover Bangkok! I opt for a stroll in the Yaowarat district, the Chinatown of the city, then sit down for a long time in a Buddhist temple. In a small corner, on a softened cushion, I watch the gestures of the faithful.
I take the city’s aerial metro to meet my friends at Phrom Phong Station. The night falls, but Bangkok seems more alive than ever. We rush in a district where pullulate restaurants. We stop in the elegant R.E.234 (Rama VI) by taking gladly in the plates of the neighbors.
Day 2: We take a flight of one hour and quarter towards the city of Surat Thani, in the south of Thailand, in order to join the natural reserve of Khao Sok, true Eden. Then in single file, we settle on a wooden boat to cross the lake Chieaw-Larn and to admire the rocks which tear off from the fresh water lake. On the water, I have the impression to be on a deserted and preserved Halong Bay.
Here we are in the middle of nature. I advise to spend at least one night on the lake, the landscape is so beautiful that it makes you dizzy. We stay in cottages on the lake at 500 Rai Floating resort. I shall speak to you about it again at length.
Day 3: We enjoy again and again the nature of the natural reserve of Khao Sok. Kayak, Dantesque trek and observation of gibbons and multicolored birds: this place is magic and we feel like alone in the world.
Day 4: At dawn, on a small wooden boat, we try not to be spotted by the animals. Will we see elephants and their babies drinking at the edge of the lake? The excitement makes our eyes sparkle.
We close our bags with melancholy. Nobody wants to leave this place.
We take again the road towards Pattalung (approximately four hours of road). We remain in the theme of the water by taking our marks in front of the lake Talae Noi pink of water lilies, in the infinitely romantic cottages of Sripakpra Resort.
Day 5: It is at dawn that Talae Noi Lake comes to life. You have to see the gestures of the fishermen who work in one of the most beautiful bird sanctuaries in Thailand.
I take hundreds of pictures, as the sun animates the reeds. Two young brothers catch small silver fish, repeating the ancestral techniques of the lake. We make them blush by finding them so beautiful.
Day 6: We leave Tale Noi after a last breakfast in front of the lake and its fishermen. We take the road during two hours to discover the region by paddling in the rapids of Nan Mod D
aeng. I love rafting, even if I always ricochet in directions more than hazardous
Then we head to the province of Trang and more particularly the Anantara Si Kao Resort. I will always remember the feeling I had when I opened the curtains of my room. This view remains in my retina, the white sandbanks, the surrounding islands, and this sky so alive.
Day 7: Trang, generous and greedy, is discovered both by tuk-tuk and by boat. We start by immersing ourselves in the islands, territory of the fantastic dugons, marine mammals with an unforgettable face. Time stops when we reach the small island of Koh Kradan, one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Its turquoise water kept us for hours, while our Thai friends were scrupulously hiding from the sun.
Day 8: Trang is the culinary capital of dim-sum. Whole families reserve large tables to enjoy hordes of steamed baskets for breakfast. We sneaked among them, and we divinely ate, ate, ate
Day 9: Flight back to Bangkok (one hour and fifteen minutes of flight from Trang). We discover the hotel Movenpick Sukhumvit 15, its roof-top affolant and its pretty elephants calligraphies on walls. At the Lelawadee Restaurant, named after the white flowers adored by the Thai people, a German chef shows us all his love for Thai gastronomy. I have more mango and sticky rice infused with coconut milk.
In the afternoon, I am happy to extend my discovery of Bangkok, this time via its floating markets and its small houses that have earned the nickname of ” Asian Venice”
. Bangkok has several personalities. We leave the verticality of its modern and lively city center, to enter a world gliding on the water..
I hope that these addresses and this zen itinerary through the Thai nature will give you inspiration to elaborate your own trip. Do not hesitate to come back here to share your impressions and your favorites.
This long trip was planned, fantasized, but not like this! I abandoned my itinerary to create a random world tour, open to the encounters and opportunities that always emerge along the way. Send me a note, we’ll go drink a jerry can of tea… somewhere.
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