The Songkran celebration, also fondly known as ‘Thailand’s Water Festival’, is an annual celebration that marks the beginning of the Thai’s traditional New Year. This celebration falls on April 13 and will last 3 days until April 15 each year.
What Happens During Songkran?
The Songkran festival is all about cleansing, purification and having a fresh beginning to a new year. In fact, the name Songkran itself comes from the Sanskrit word meaning ‘approaching’. Hence, during the 3 days celebration, Thais will have their houses cleaned and organize processions with Buddha statues carried through the streets for people to wash it with scented water. Also, temples will showcase bathing rituals where devotees will pour water on senior Buddhist monks as a form of blessing to them.
Of course, what is Songkran without a huge water fight? Expect large-scale water fights on the streets of major cities in Thailand where people arm themselves with water guns and pails to splash water on anyone around them. Not only is this an amusing way to celebrate the New Year, but the water soaking signifies washing away bad thoughts and to bring about good luck and great blessings to the person being splashed. A fun way to bless someone indeed!
Where Is It Celebrated?
All throughout Thailand! But the massive water fights will usually happen in major cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai. In rural areas, it is celebrated in a more traditional manner with activities that are focused more on the religious aspects of the festival.
Songkran is also celebrated in other parts of Southeast Asia, especially in Cambodia, Burma and Laos.
Is Songkran Only For Thai People?
While originally a religious event for Thai people, Songkran has evolved into a fun-filled celebration that welcomes anyone with a penchant for fun and revelry. So, Songkran is for everyone! As long as they observe the basic etiquettes and common respect of the Thai people and their culture, travellers and foreigners are welcomed to join in the fun…
We hereby wish everyone Happy Songkran 2019! May you be blessed with good fortune all through the year. And… prepare to get soaked!!
It’s that time of the year again where we celebrate love and affection with our significant others. This year, how about doing something different with your partner aside from the ‘traditional’ candlelight dinner and a movie date? Here are some refreshing ideas for a different Valentine’s date this coming 14th February…
Giving Love Back To Society
Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating the love between couples. How about making it more than that and spread love to others? You can plan some charitable activities with your partner at a local animal shelter, an orphanage or the old folk’s home. Not only will you be able to bond better with each other over some good work, you will also be touching the hearts of others you’d helped. Now, that’s celebrating love all right!
Love Over A Campfire
Give yourself, and your partner, a breath of fresh air and set off into the great outdoors! Plan for a one-day camping trip at a local national park or campsite. Revel in the beauty of nature and experience the ‘Day Of Love’ from a whole different perspective. Come nighttime, set up a tent by a cosy campfire and stargaze with your partner while roasting some marshmallows and drinking some hot chocolate. Inexpensive, yet beautiful and memorable…
Cooking Up A Delicious Storm
Skip the expensive restaurants. Cook up an elaborate feast in the comfort of your home instead. Team up with your partner and gather some recipes, do some grocery runs and prepare to be master chefs at home! Even better, have a friendly competition and see who has the best creation. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your bonding over the cooking. The end results will taste sweeter than any dish you get elsewhere.
A Pampering Day Out
Your body needs some love too! So, how about arranging for a ‘spa day out’ with your significant other and enjoy a rejuvenating and refreshing therapy for your mind and body. Thai Odyssey offers couple massage rooms where you can enjoy massage therapies such as our popular Traditional Thai Massage or Thai Aromatherapy Massage together. Or indulge yourselves in an elaborate spa experience with our Ultimate Thai Odyssey service, available at our selected outlets. No matter which service you choose, you will go home feeling energized and ready to take on the day.
With 2019 just around the corner, everyone is scrambling to make plans on how to welcome the New Year. If you are clueless on what to do on the Eve, here are a few ideas to help you usher in 2019…
For The Revellers – Visit A Local Fireworks Event
Nothing beats ushering in the New Year with loud, bright and colourful fireworks! Check out your local fireworks events and arrive early with family and friends for a ‘display of colours in the sky’. For KL folks, you can always visit the Suria KLCC while for Petaling Jaya friends, Sunway Pyramid and The Curve will be hosting their own shows. Those in Shah Alam can join in the fun at Setia Eco Park’s own countdown party.
For Homebodies – Host A Potluck Party At Home With Family Or Friends
If huge crowds and loud music isn’t your cup of tea, then host a potluck party in the comfort of your own home! This way, you can ‘control’ the level of noise you want your party to be at and invite family or close friends with whom you are comfortable with. Plus, a potluck party means lots of yummy chow to last you through the New Year.
For Couples – Have A Relaxing, Low-Key Date Night
Arrange a date night for just the two of you. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Something as simple as a romantic dinner at a quaint restaurant followed by a movie will ensure a night that you will cherish for the rest of the year. Here’s a tip: Make an advanced reservation at Thai Odyssey and surprise your significant other with a soothing massage treat to end the year on a relaxing note. We are open during the holidays, but do book early to avoid disappointments!
For Nature Lovers – Go Back To Nature
Forget the fireworks, the people and the city! Plan an excursion into the wilds and usher in the New Year among nature. Be it a cabin retreat in the suburbs, a camping hike into the wilds or a drive to the beach to take in the sound of waves, you are in for a different kind of New Year countdown. After all, the sky is always filled with its own light shows in the form of twinkling stars.
Thai Odyssey hereby wishes all our friends a Happy New Year 2019! May you have a wonderful and bountiful year ahead!
Hefei is Anhui Province’s capital and also its largest city. This metropolitan is also the province’s main economic and cultural centre. As such, there are quite a number of attractions that will make you fall in love with the place at first sight. Here are some places you should visit whenever you are in Hefei, China.
Located right in the middle of the city, this lake is like a sanctuary for people to escape the noises and busyness of city life. The lake is surrounded by lush greeneries and trees, providing shades on a hot day. There is also a walkway and bike paths surrounding the lake making it perfect for a refreshing stroll. Lining the landscape are a collection of impressive and artsy high-rise buildings. Given the right weather conditions, these buildings will be reflected on the pristine waters of Swan Lake, providing a picturesque scene worthy for your cameras. And if you are lucky, you might also spot a swan or two!
The Memorial Temple of Lord Bao
Lord Bao was an extremely renowned officer during the Northern Song Dynasty, famed for handing out fair and sound judgments as a judge with an outstanding personality to boot. This temple is built to commemorate him and is among the most famous in China. The temple features statues, pavilions and stone inscriptions all related to the life and stories of Lord Bao. There is also a Waxwork Museum, a Cultural Gallery and the Main Palace Hall for you to explore and delve into the interesting legend of this great Judge.
Sanhe Ancient Town
The Sanhe Ancient Town is a water town with a storied history 2,500 years in the making. The name Sanhe, which means three rivers, is derived from its location, having the Fengle, HangFu and Xiaonan rivers flowing right through the town. Most of the buildings here still retain its original architecture dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasty. Among the attractions inside the town is the Wangyue Pagoda, an ancient 7-storey pagoda housing treasures and artefacts of ancient dynasties, and the Crane Cottage, the former residence of the famous Qing Dynasty General, Liu Bangzhang, which has been wonderfully preserved until today.
HuaiHe Lu BuXingJie
Loud, lively and colourful, HuaiHe Lu BuXingJie is a must-visit if you love shopping for knick-knacks and tasting Hefei street food at its best. This pedestrian-only street is packed full with department stores, food kiosks and souvenir booths on both sides. When the sun sets, out comes the night market with its own unique offerings. There are a lot of hidden gems and tasty treats along this street. Take enough time exploring it and you will have the most memorable street shopping experience.
Port Dickson isn’t just about the sea and its beaches. This seaside town also hosts a collection of great eats that will delight your taste buds to no end. If you happen to be in town, do visit these 4 places for a taste of what Port Dickson has to offer.
Lucky King Bun at Taman Aman
An enormous fluffy bun filled with thick and savoury curry sauce with selections of pork or chicken and potatoes. What’s not to love! Each of Lucky King Bun’s signature ‘curry buns’ easily feeds 4 people and is extremely popular with the locals and tourists alike. If you are in the mood for something spicy and unique, this is the place to visit.
King’s Char Kuey Teow (Halal) at Jalan Pantai
Craving for some char kuey teow? Then give King’s Char Kuey Teow a try! They serve some unique variations of the popular dish. It is not just cockles we are talking about here. Their char kuey teow comes with choices of lamb, grilled chicken, squids and even crabs! Come here if you want some adventures with your plate of fried flat noodles.
Gim Men Teppanyaki at Kg Arab
What is a seaside town without its share of fresh seafood? This place has it aplenty and tastes great at the same time. Dig in with some stuffed crabs topped with sambal and mayonnaise, or bite into juicy huge prawns along with sides of freshwater oysters. If you fancy your food grilled, they do serve fishes and squids grilled to smoky perfection.
Pisang Addict Port Dickson (Halal) at Jalan Pantai
This place serves everyone’s favourite ‘pisang goreng’ in the most creative way possible. Want to have your ‘pisang goreng’ with some gooey cheese? They have it! Or how about with some cheese and Milo powder? They have it too. And did we mention chocolate sauce, salted caramel, blueberry jam and green tea powder? Visit them to enjoy ‘pisang goreng’ in ways you don’t even know exist.
And while you are at Port Dickson, why not come visit us at our newly opened Thai Odyssey outlet inside Tasik Villa International Resort. We provide a range of rejuvenating massage services to help unwind and relax your body after all your culinary and seaside adventures. Contact us at +606 – 644 8866 for reservation inquiries.
Suzhou, a city situated in southern Jiangsu Province in the middle of Yangtze Delta in China, is popular for its landscaped gardens and immaculately arranged waterways. In fact, with around 42% of its area covered by water, it has been dubbed as the ‘Venice of the Orient’. Should you decide to visit wonderful Suzhou, here are 6 places you should consider slotting into your itinerary to fully appreciate the gems this city has to offer.
Commune with Nature at the Humble Administrator’s Garden
What Suzhou is famous for is its vast collection of beautiful landscaped gardens. Among the largest, and most well-known, is the Humble Administrator’s Garden. This 52, 000 square meters garden is dotted with elegant pavilions seated on top of flowing rivers, bridges that overlook creeks full of colourful fishes and beds upon beds of vibrant flowers that will dazzle you with delight. Besides manmade structures, the garden also houses natural landscapes like small hills, pockets of forests and mesmerizing natural rock formations. It is the perfect place to attune oneself with nature and appreciate the beauty we often forget about in our concrete cities.
Peek Into the Past at Tongli Ancient Town
Being so near to the Yangtze Delta, Suzhou is inevitably full of water towns; settlements that have waterways as ‘roads’ and boats as transports. Tongli Ancient Town is one of these and as the name implies, is one of the oldest. The beauty of Tongli is that it is mostly untouched by modern commercialization. All the bridges, buildings and temples here are well preserved, so they look as they are since ancient times. The oldest structures go all the way back to the Song Dynasty. This is why the town has been known as a ‘Museum of Ancient Architecture’. For a peek into the lives of ancient people in water towns, this will be the best place to visit.
Be In Awe at Tiger Hill
Tiger Hill is a 14,000 square meters hillock, rich with historical sites and scenic views that will make you open-mouthed with amazement. With just a short hike, you will be able to feast your eyes on precious relics, tombs of bygone kings, pagodas and temples set against a beautiful landscape. Among the spots not to be missed here are the Tiger Hill Pagoda (the oldest pagoda in Suzhou), the Tomb of King He Lu and Wanjing Villa, which houses a vast collection of miniature gardens and bonsai-styled shrubberies.
Witness Silkworms at Work at Suzhou Silk Museum
Suzhou has been known as the Silk Capital in China since Tang Dynasty for its role in producing high quality silks for ancient nobles and royal families. The Suzhou Silk Museum is a centre dedicated to this ancient art form and showcases everything one needs to know about silk production. Through its 8 sections, visitors will be taken through a journey of silk production, from its history, the weaving process and silk exhibits, right down to the little silkworms in their silk cocoons. You can even purchase exquisite silk products here as keepsake. Do not miss this place. The sight of the silkworms alone is already worth the visit.
Feast on Authentic Suzhou Cuisine At Guanqian Street
Guanqian Street has been around for more than 150 years and is known as one of the ‘four famous shopping streets’ in China. This street houses a colourful blend of old and new attractions, each selling knick-knacks and most importantly, authentic Suzhou cuisine. Whether you are looking for a complete dinner experience or a street food outing, you are in for a treat here. This is a great place to bring your taste buds on an amazing adventure of senses.
Shop and Relax at Suzhou Star Hub Mall
After an entire excursion into the history of Suzhou, it is only fitting that you bring yourself back to modern settings. Star Hub mall presents the best of modern Suzhou lifestyle in swanky style. Featuring modern architectural designs, this shopping mall is full with shops carrying international brands showcasing the latest fads in fashion and lifestyle. And after all the sightseeing and shopping trips, you can drop by our Thai Odyssey outlet inside the mall to treat yourself to a rejuvenating experience. Our luxurious spa sanctuary offers a range of authentic Thai massage services, from our signature Traditional Thai Massage to the ever invigorating Traditional Foot Massage. Let our highly skilled therapists bring your body into a deep state of relaxation and recharge it for another round of adventure in Suzhou. For reservation inquiries, you can always contact our friendly front desk staff at +0512 67633626 / 67633628 from 10am to 12am.
There are so much more to see and do in Suzhou than this list can do justice to. Use these 6 places as a start to your exploration and discover the abundant gems that this wonderful city has to offer.
Lemongrass is a popular cooking ingredient, especially for Thai cuisine where it is lovingly used for its unique tangy and lemony flavour. But beyond its wonderful taste, this plant comes with an array of amazing health benefits that you might not know of. Below are 6 such benefits that will make you fall in love even more with lemongrass!
Great For Detoxification
Like so many other herbs, lemongrass contains detoxifying properties. It possesses diuretic properties which assist in eliminating wastes, toxins and uric acid from the body through increased urination. Frequent urination helps to keep our liver toxin-free and our kidneys clean. A cup of lemongrass tea on a regular basis helps us maintain a clean and healthy body.
Aids In Proper Digestion
Lemongrass has antimicrobial properties, which helps to ensure a healthy bowel environment by killing off bad bacteria and parasites in our digestive tract to make way for good gut bacteria. This promotes a healthy bowel movement and in turn prevents digestive problems like indigestion, cramps, constipation and bloating.
The Natural Cure For Your Cold
Lemongrass is also known as ‘fever grass’ for a reason. It is traditionally used, especially in Ayurvedic medicine, to ease the symptoms of cold and fever. Lemongrass helps break down mucus and phlegm buildup in our respiratory system, a common symptom of a cold. Also, its antimicrobial properties aid the body in fighting off the illness.
Promotes Calmness And Relaxation
Many people use lemongrass as an ingredient in essential oils because it contains citronella, a component that imparts a calming effect on the body and mind. As such, it is often used to induce relaxation, promote better quality sleep and overcome insomnia. Also, the herb stimulates the production of the chemical serotonin, our body’s natural mood stabilizer. Serotonin is helpful in combating depression and in uplifting our mood.
Keeps Skin Healthy
It is not just all about the inside. Lemongrass is beneficial for our skin too! Extracts from the plant act as an astringent when applied to the skin. It helps minimize our pores and controls the secretion of sebum while limiting the growth of bacteria and microbes on our skin. This leads to lesser skin infections and acne breakouts.
Eliminates Body Odour
Body odours are often the cause of bacteria growth on our body, especially when we sweat a lot. Lemongrass, when made into oil form, acts as a great deodorant. Not only does it have a sweet citrusy scent, it inhibits the growth of bacteria on our skin and controls excessive sweating. As a plus, lemongrass doesn’t cause skin irritations or allergies and hence is suitable for everyone to use.
We at Thai Odyssey recognize the powerful beneficial properties of lemongrass. This is why we incorporate this versatile plant into our outlets and services. We use lemongrass extract as diffusing oil for our outlets so that the moment you step in, you will be greeted by its soothing scent. The herbal poultices for our Thai Herbal Therapy also contains lemongrass leaves.
The plant is also quite easy to grow at home. So if you feel a little green fingered, you can plant a stalk or two to enjoy its benefits from the comfort of your home.
Thinking of staying put this coming Raya holidays? There is no shame of wanting to skip the massive jam as the whole nation makes their annual exodus back to their ‘kampung’. Staying at home during holidays can be great too. Just treat it as your much deserved staycation. To help you along with your plans for a ‘home holiday’, here are some tips on how to create a great staycation you won’t forget anytime soon.
Establish Your Ground Rules
First and foremost, lay down your ground rules. It is very easy to slip back to your normal routines when you are in your house. Make it a point to skip doing house chores and no checking your work emails during your staycation. Small rules like these ensure you will have a staycation that isn’t bogged down by life’s little routines.
Hire House Cleaning Services for Your Chores
The best is to hire cleaning services right before you start your staycation, so you can enjoy a sweet smelling clean house right from the very first day. If you fancy, ask the cleaners to make your bed in that perfect, crisp hotel style. Just make sure you don’t start doing the chores yourself as it will beat the purpose. Trust us; it is very tempting to do that especially in your own house.
Add Some Zen to Your Rooms
Decorate your bedrooms and bathrooms to make them worthy of a vacationing family. Zen it up by adding some flowers, scent it up with diffusers and replace your normal toiletries with more indulgent pieces. Thai Odyssey carries a range of Natural Home Spa products that will make your rooms hotel-worthy. Just replace your shampoos with our Acacia Concinna Herbal Shampoo and place a bottle of Aroma Bath Gel in your shower stall. Then, put in a Reed Diffuser in your bedroom and some Eye Pillow Gift Sets on your bed. These will make your rooms instantly feel like the latest additions from a spa.
Pamper Your Senses at a Spa Outlet
No vacations are ever complete without a massage and spa session. The same should apply to your staycation. Book a massage session for yourself and your family at Thai Odyssey. It will be a great way to pamper your body and reset your mind during the holidays. Indulge in a range of authentic Thai massage services such as our Traditional Thai Massage, Thai Aromatherapy Massage or a 1-hour Traditional Foot Massage. All our outlets are open during the Raya holidays, so you can always visit us anytime.
Indulge In Elaborate Cooking or Try a New Cuisine
Go on a grocery spree and buy the most indulgent food and ingredients you have wanted to try. Then, cook up a storm at home and serve yourself an elaborate dinner, complete with candlelight if you fancy. If cooking is not your thing, then choose a restaurant you have been saving up for and indulge away. Better yet, be adventurous and go try a new cuisine, be it Moroccan, Moldovan or Mediterranean. The experience will be akin to you travelling to a new country.
Tour Your Own Town
You may have lived there your whole life but there will always be something new to discover and places where you might not even know existed. So, plan a tour of your own town and treat it as a holiday destination. Visit museums and landmarks and take selfies as you would overseas. Those photos will serve as sweet memories and might even inspire you for a second staycation the next time around!
Hopefully these tips will help you plan a memorable staycation and have you yearning for another one soon. While you go about setting up your staycation, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the process! From all of us at Thai Odyssey, we wish you Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and happy holidays!
Just a few hours’ drive from Jakarta, Bandung, also known as the Paris of Java, is a booming metropolis in Indonesia. This beautiful city lies on a river basin surrounded by volcanic mountains, making the city cooler in temperature year-round than most other cities in Indonesia. Bandung used to be filled with tea plantations during colonisation by the Dutch, but today it has evolved into a resort city filled with restaurants, cafes, luxury hotels, and fashion boutiques that give the city a lively edge. Combine all that with its scenic surroundings, you have a place with plenty to see and plenty more to do. Below are some key activities to help you make the most of your visit to Bandung.
Visit Kawah Putih
Kawah Putih, also known as the white crater, resides 2 hours away from Bandung City Centre. It is a beautiful sulphuric turquoise lake that comes from a volcano. The lake is surrounded by a collection of mysterious looking skeletal trees, making it a perfect spot for those surreal photography sessions. It takes about half an hour to explore the entire area. So, make sure you have with you a light jacket as the temperature can be quite cold up there.
Retreat at Dusun Bambu
Dusun Bambu is about a 30 minutes drive from the North of Bandung and is an open concept eco-retreat spot set in the midst of a forest. Visitors come here to enjoy tranquility and peacefulness within the embrace of Mother Nature. Facilities within the enclosure include a park, cabins, outdoor pools, a lounge, a garden, and cafes among other family-friendly activities. Do visit the Burangrang cafe to have a great meal served to you while you enjoy the backdrop of a beautiful view of the mountains and lakes.
Explore the streets of Braga
As we mentioned earlier, Bandung is known as “The Paris of Java” for a reason. It was the Dutch colonials who conferred Bandung with this colloquial title due to its advanced art and cultural scene, exquisite nature and other geographical similarities that they observed. The Dutch’s obsession with Bandung had inspired them to develop the town and pepper it with European-style buildings. Braga Street is one of these Dutch architectural heritage masterpieces, now bustling with restaurants, bars, and cafés.
Shop at Cihampelas Walk also known as Jeans Street
This street is known as a shopping paradise, where you can get clothes from local designers. Famous for its cheap but good-quality fashion products, Cihampelas Walk has a good mix of classy malls and old-school street markets which will make your shopping experience an interesting and colourful affair. Trust us when we say that you will be bringing home a lot of big shopping bags and an even bigger smile.
Indulge in Ultimate Relaxation at a New Thai Sanctuary
Between exploring the scenic city to shopping until you can’t feel your feet, you should also consider taking your time to relax and indulge your senses within South East Asia’s leading traditional Thai massage chain – Thai Odyssey. Now open in Bandung, this luxurious Thai sanctuary offers the best variety of authentic Thai massage services to choose from, such as Traditional Thai Massage, Thai Herbal Therapy, Thai Aromatherapy Massage and even a 1-hour Traditional Foot Massage to enhance your relaxing experience and promote well-being and inner tranquility. In conjunction with the outlet’s opening, purchase with E-cash and enjoy an additional 10% discount on top of extra discounts from the E-cash privilege programme. Visit this exclusive spa village concept sanctuary soon as the promotion is valid until 15th June 2018. Also, follow Thai Odyssey on Facebook to stay connected and get more new offers.
Feast on Street Food at Riau Street
After indulging your senses with a relaxing massage, it is only right to indulge your stomach too. We recommend going for a more authentic and localized dining experience, and the best way to do so is through street food. A trip to Bandung will not be complete without a plate of siomay (Indonesian steamed fish dumpling) or Batagor (fried bakso taufu), both served with peanut sauce. You can find a wide selection of tempting street food restaurants along Riau Street.
Like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Parents’ Day recognises, and uplifts the important role of parents. In fact, it is the perfect time to do something special together as a family and say “thank you” to your parents for everything they have done in our lives. If you need ideas to celebrate both parents, we have 6 ideas for you to make your parents feel appreciated and loved. It doesn’t have to be hard and complicated because in the end of the day, they just want to see that you put a little thought into spending quality time together as a family.
Commit your time
Whether you live at home, or you are just coming to visit, intentionally committing the day to your parents shows that you want to spend time with them. The fact that you commit the whole day to spend time together with them will instantly make them feel grateful, which your parents will truly appreciate.
Showing up early, putting in the effort to make breakfast and serving it before your parents have done any work for the day shows that you remembered the effort they have put every morning in the past, such as preparing breakfast and sending you to school in the morning as you were growing up. Having them wake up feeling happy will make their day special and meaningful.
To go along with breakfast, craft a note to your parents telling them about all the positive things they did for you. The important roles of parents can sometimes feel unnoticed, so showing that you recognise what they have done for you will let them know that they have done a great job as parents!
Clean their house and wash their car
Surprise your parents by doing these things, preferably in the morning as your parents can wake up to the great feeling of having nothing to do. Parents like to feel special especially when their kids are particular about being clean and tidy; hence your parents will really appreciate it.
Find out your parents favourite dishes and cook for your parents, if possible something healthy of course. This will definitely make their hearts melt, and it will show how much you care about their health and know that you can take good care of yourself.
Treat them to a relaxing massage
Surprise and pamper your parents to a relaxing massage to give them a well-deserved break. Now at Thai Odyssey, with the Wonder-parents Treat, purchase with e-cash and get up to RM300 FREE! Join them too, and we assure you that it will make their day an unforgettable one. Here is to wishing all parents `Happy Parents’ Day’, from all of us at Thai Odyssey…