Experience a piece of Thai serenity at The Gateway@KLIA2

 

Ask business travelers whether they enjoy traveling and you will most likely get a shrug of tiredness as a response.  Ask vacationers if they like long layovers in airports and you will most likely see them shaking their heads disapprovingly.  No doubt about it, getting on and off planes, catching another flight, checking-in or waiting for luggages, waiting in transit lounges … if only they could be easier, it could have added more fun to traveling.

Indeed, heeding the call to cushion the effect of long wait and restlessness, or healing stretched muscles walking from one terminal to another, relieve therapy is just around the corner.  Step into Thai Odyssey at The Gateway@KLIA2, and instantly let loose those tensed muscles and soothe them back to their flexibility.

Situated on the first floor, you will not miss the award-winning brand, the most recognisable logo of Thai Odyssey.  As you are about to take the escalator to the check-in counters, you will pass the charm of our facade where its distinctive Thai decor exudes a sense of calmness and serenity.  Even when you exit the Express Rail Link gate, just look up, you will notice the shopfront that prominently displays all things Thai.  The two familiar figurines with the welcoming Wai gesture, with their palms pressed in front of their chests, as if you could already hear them say “Sawaddee ka!”.

Spreading out at 5,000 square feet of floor space, all you need to do is to open up your senses to be pampered in the serene environment.  There are 17 body-contoured reclined weaker chairs for foot massage therapy.  Three of the chairs are in a room exclusively for female customers who require total privacy.  For couples wanting a short break from traveling, there are couple rooms with two massage beds to let you enjoy the therapies without leaving each other’s sight.

For travelers who would like to freshen up with a shower, there are two shower rooms in each of the male and female toilet areas and they are available on a first-come-first-serve basis particularly for customers who select the Thai Aromatherapy Massage.  Giving you more time to enjoy the relaxing moment either alone or with a partner, there are aromatherapy rooms which are already equipped with shower facilities.

Taking care of your every need is one of our highest priority.  Even with your luggage, we have prepared a left-luggage service for travelers.  In total peace of mind, you will let go and let us indulge you with scents, sound and satiate your senses till you drift into deep relaxation.  Waking up, you are refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to go that extra mile…

Songkran Thai Water Festival


Traditional Thai New Year, or better known as Songkran Festival is celebrated in the most fun way not only by the Thais, but also people from all around the world.  How big is the 3-day celebration? An estimated 1 million travelers, both domestic and international, are expected to pass through the country’s six main airports operated by Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT).  As you know, most of the professional therapists in Thai Odyssey are originally from The Land of Smile, we have collected all the information you might be interested or needed regarding the largest water festival in the world. Let’s splash it!

Wait
But first of all, let’s practice your Thai a little.  Since this is the New Year they are celebrating, why not we learn a phrase or two to wish them a great year ahead?  C’mon, let’s get into the holiday spirit!  Repeat after me: “sah-wah-dee pee mai”, it means “Happy New Year”.  However, nowadays you’ll be more likely to hear this “suke sahn wahn song kran”, which means “Happy Songkran Day”.

Songkran 101
The background of Songkran festival is far more religious. The word “Songkran” stemmed from the Sanskrit “Sankranta”, which means “a move or a change”, literally.  Water is the main element of this holy festival, to wash-down the negative beliefs and actions, plus bringing good luck and prosperity in the New Year.  However, the water fiesta which was once all about fresh starts, has evolved to a fun, refreshing and a must-join yearly water fight.  Splashing water at one another has become the no.1 attraction of the festive season.  Besides, it’s the greatest way to temporarily run away from the burning heat without anyone thinking that you’re insane.  After all, April is the hottest month of the year in the exotic land.


Gear Up For The Festivities
This is war!  If you wished to come home alive, you have to be ready.  Did I just sound so serious? Anyway, since this is the water war of the world, wouldn’t it be great if you equipped yourself with some practical tools?  Water guns, water cannons, water balloons, buckets, traditionally fragranced powder and even a truck that fetches the “attackers”, you name it.  Imagine that, from children to adults, everyone is fully equipped for the festivities.  It’s a water, water, water world, only it’s not a theme park but a kingdom.  Therefore, be prepared, form a team with friends and drench yourselves in the fun.

Songkran Major Hot Spots


Bangkok
– As the city that never sleeps, is surprisingly less happening during this festive season.  The main reason being most of the locals have gone home to celebrate this national holiday with their families.  Still, you’ll find the water fights happening in few places including: various spots around Banglamphu, Rattanakosin Royal Square, Phra Athit Road, Santhichaiprakan, Wisut Krasat, Khao San Road and Silom.

Chiang Mai – The largest and one of the most culturally significant city in Thailand, is well known for arguably the most fascinating Songkran celebration in Siam nation.  The celebration goes on almost anywhere, as long as a week.

Pattaya – No stranger to tourists and expatriates, this is an island surrounded by rice crops.  Thus, Songkran festival isn’t as simple as a New Year celebration but also the time of the year to look for a rain god.  Plus, parade and cultural events also take place at the same time. Swim wear is a must-have item!

Phuket – The largest island in Thailand, is another hot spot during Songkran festival.  Water guns, water cannons, buckets and barrels full of water can be seen anywhere.  If you are interested, you can always join the Thai New Year merit-making ceremony in the community.

Khon Kaen – The home of “Sticky Rice”, is one of the four major cities in Isan province, Thailand.  Over the years, Khon Kaen has up its game in celebrating the Thai New Year.  If you’ve experienced Songkran festival in the above said locations, this would be another option to fulfill your enjoyment.

Songkran Must-know

Be Protected – The first rule about having fun is to have the practical tools.  As mentioned earlier, arming yourself will be great since there’s not an option for not getting wet in this over-the-top celebration.  The best way to do it is to have at least one water gun, never let it out of your sight and always ready to recharge.

Be Waterproof
– Of course not you, I am talking about your gadgets and valuables!  It’s advised not to bring your valuables such as jewelry and timepiece with you or you’ll be busy protecting them than yourself.  As for other must-brings including phones, cash and wallet, a waterproof bag will do.  For girls who wears makeup, be sure you’re wearing a waterproof mascara.

Dress Right
– Since you know this is a water fight, I am sure you understand shirt and slacks, gown and heels are crossed in the checklist.  Guys are simple, a T-shirt, shorts and a pair of flip-flips, you are good to go.  For the ladies, make sure you avoid see-through clothes.


Be Polite
– Don’t try to splash the locals with water if they expressed their unwillingness of getting drenched.  As much as we want to have fun, we should remain respectful and only target those who are in the game. If you do not want to take part, smile and say “mai len kha” (female) or “mai len krup” (male), or just wave your hand and shake your head with a smile.

No Tuk-tuk
– Only if you have quenched enough for a day and wish to go back to your hotel room. Make sure you’re off the big roads and say no to open-air transportation. A taxi is your solution. And don’t worry about your well-drenched body and clothes, the drivers are more than happy to send you to your destination.


Have I Missed The Fun?
Well, sorry to say that you have missed it.  Nevertheless, don’t be disappointed as this event will be held annually.  So mark your calendar and join in the fun next year! In the capital of Thailand, the nationwide water war lasted 3 days, from April 13 to April 15. Moreover, if you wish to prolong the festivities, heading to Chiang Mai is a great idea because the locals celebrate this national holiday up to a week.

There is always fun to visit Thailand.  The delicious food, friendly locals, cultures and affordability and many more reasons for us to visit the country again and again.  And if you can’t be there as often as you want to experience the Thai culture, you can always visit us at Thai Odyssey for a traditional Thai spa time served by our professional therapists.

Moreover, either you are looking for our nearest outlet or interested in our price packages available, you can always visit our website at www.thaiodyssey.com. Or better yet, stay in touch with us through www.facebook.com/thaiodyssey.

 

Thai Language


Do you speak Thai?
Do you find it particularly peaceful when you listen to a conversation in Thai? Does language make the person who use it sound more polite or is it the people who are inherently courteous and when the language is spoken, it projects graciousness?

You would have read or experienced it yourself that the Thais are always smiling, pleasant, humble and patient. They laugh easily, speak softly and they treat you as if you are always the guest-of-honor. The expression Mai Pen Rai, which loosely means “never mind”, characterizes that the Thai people general focus in life is to “enjoy life – never mind”. That may summarize why they are always seem to be in a state of bliss.

For a nation who is so proud of their heritage and the fact that they have never been ruled by any Western power, it is not surprising that Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej insisted on the preservation of their very own usage of the Thai language.

On July 29, 1962, more than fifty years ago, King Bhumibol visited Chulalongkorn University to join the academicians in a discussion on the ways Thai words are used. He emphasized on the importance of using the language in its proper context and pronunciation. He is concerned of the overuse of foreign words that has influenced its authenticity. Even if the younger generation is to introduce new words into a sentence structure, it would be beneficial to master the Thai language first.

To increase awareness of the King’s utmost concern, and to preserve their language, the government has proclaimed July 29 each year, since 1999, to be National Thai Language Day.

Leading to the day where all Thai people will be practicing the proper use of the language, let us join in the fun by learning a few phrases ourselves:

Hellosà-wàt-dee

How are you? – sà-baai dee rĕu?

I’m fine – If you are male, say “sà-baai dee króp”. If you are female, say “sà-baai dee

Please to meet youyin dee têe dâi róo jàk

Good morning or evening – If you are male, say “sà-wàt-dee kráp”. If you are female, say “sà-wàt-dee

How much is this? – raa-kaa tâo rài?

Thank youkòp kun

You will always be pleasantly treated when you are in someone’s house or in a foreign land when you appreciate someone’s culture where it leads you to respect their customs and practices as well. One of the world’s widely accepted gesture which transcends any language you speak anywhere in the world is to smile. Then, the best way to travel is to master a few good phrases when you are in a country and speak the words with a broadest smile.

Happy National Thai Language Day 2014.

 

3 Tips To Look For A Perfect Relaxation In The City

When you think of going for a short relaxation in the city, would you think of going to a spa? Or check yourself in for the ultimate pampering with a good massage? Whatever you choose to do for a refreshing therapy, be it a facial, a manicure or just having some detoxification moment in a hot sauna, the spa you choose must make you feel rejuvenated and reinvigorated when you leave.

Every time, people are telling us that a trip to a spa is like a mini-vacation. You check in, leave your things in the locker and your stress out of the door, then step in to a serene environment with soft soothing music. As you settle in with your massage attire and lying down getting ready for a massage therapy, you let your whole body, mind and spirit go into the most blissful tranquility.
For a fulfilling experience, there are some tips you can follow to choose the spa that will suit your needs:

Check the menu

Each establishment offers their very own signature therapies for their customers. Check the descriptions of the services offered and see if any of the therapy suit your needs. You may prefer essential oils but on that day, you may find that you just need a half body massage. After walking for hours, you may just want an hour of foot massage that include shoulder, neck and head massages. Understanding what you want will lead you to enjoy your trip to a spa even more.


Know about spa etiquette

Good spa practices are adhered to in many establishment whose main objective is to heighten your blissful experience. When you make an appointment, do check with the front desk what is the proper attire for certain massage treatment and whether there are clean robes or clothing provided. As everyone wants good services, be aware that spa therapists have other appointments, arriving on time is imperative for a relaxing time.



Make sure the spa is hygienically clean

Massage therapies, when performed in unsanitary conditions, could potentially spread germs and bacteria which will lead to infections. For this reason, it’s definitely a good idea to visit a spa or ask for a tour before starting your massage session. Keep an eye out for good sanitation practices, staff’s professional behavior and courtesy. A good spa will also have clean towels, bathrobes and sandals available for customers.

Going for a massage is a great way to unwind and recharge for another day of work. It is worthwhile to check out the conditions of the spa or massage outlet to ensure you will get the maximum comfort and enjoyment. Then, settle in for the ultimate pampering as you relax and feel safe.

3 Extra-Special Gift Ideas for Dad on Father’s Day


After celebrating Mother’s Day in May, are we looking forward to give our dads a treat too? Undoubtedly, this will be a special time we want to spend with the man of the house. Prepping ourselves for a fun weekend with our energetic dads, we will give him a surprise with some specially selected gifts. Maybe the best gift is to tell him a story, as he has told us for so many years. The story is about Father’s Day.

There are many versions about the origins of Father’s Day. One story dates back 4,000 years ago in Babylon where a young boy named Elmesu carved a Father’s Day message on a card that was made of clay. Elmesu wished his Babylonian father good health and longevity. There was no evidence to show what happened to Elmesu and his father, but the tradition to celebrate Father’s Day remained in several countries.

Another version which is closer to our time started in 1909. Sonora Louise Smart Dodd who lived in Spokane, Washington in America heard a Mother’s Day sermon by Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day, when she was 27. Sonora thought to herself: if there is a day for Mothers, then there should be a day to celebrated Fathers’ contribution as well.

Sonora’s mother died during childbirth and her father raised the newborn with five other children with love and care. Inspired by Anna Jarvis’s struggle to promote Mother’s Day, Sonora worked her way up to get the endorsement for Father’s Day. The Spokane Ministerial Association and the local YMCA supported her cause. President Woodrow Wilson approved the idea in 1916. It was not until five decades later, in 1966, that President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.


As June approaches, we scratch our heads to ask: What will dad like? Thinking of all the activities dad has done over the past years, there may be the hiking, fishing or simply just lazing at home playing games, there must be something dad likes to have.

These are three simple extraordinary gifts for the coolest man:

A Cookbook
For dad who cooks your dinner and wipe the dipping sauce from your cutest (he said so!) chin, get him a full illustrated, colorful cookbook. This will give him better ideas to prepare more meals to enjoy at home.

A Gift Card
Man likes to be in control, so is dad. Make things simple, just get him a gift card. It can be for books, to download apps, music and games. It’s even a greater idea to get him a Thai Odyssey’s Gift Card for him to get a relaxing massage of his choice.

An Electronic Gadget
Get your e-savvy dad a new tablet, a new smart phone or a new health gadget. For your dad who reads a lot, get him a new e-book reader so that he can carry his whole library of books in his pocket when he travels.

 

 

 

Mother's Day

Come May, it will be the annual celebration for the one person we love the most – our mothers. It’s Mother’s Day.

In the UK, it is traditionally called Mothering Sunday. As it was started as a religious event, the celebration happened on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Its religious origins are believed to date back to Roman times when a festival was held in mid-March to honor Cybele, the mother goddess. Later, to continue the mother-themed celebration in Europe and Britain, the festival was held to honor the Virgin Mary and the ‘mother church’.

As Mother’s Day is now celebrated worldwide but on different dates, the person recognized as the Founder of Mother’s Day in US is Anna Jarvis. She is never married and had no kids, but her effort in working so hard to bestow honor on all mothers was indeed a great feat.

Anna Jarvis was inspired by her own mother Mrs Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis when she was a child. Anna grew up watching her mother worked tirelessly as activist and as a social worker. Mrs Jarvis constantly expressed her desire to honor all mothers, living and dead, and pay tribute to their contributions.


Anna, as a loving daughter, remembered her mother’s desire when her mother died in 1905. With the growing negligent of American adults towards their mothers, Anna showed her love of her mother by sending carnations in a church service in Grafton, West Virginia. With people observing her love for her mother, supporters began writing letters to people and lobbied for the official declaration of Mother’s Day. Anna’s hard work paid off. By 1911, Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state in the Union. On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

As Mother’s Day draws near, let us suggest 3 ways how to you can give your mother a day of relaxation and fun:

Give your mother a Spa-tacular massage and pampering day
Buy your mother a Thai Odyssey’s Gift Certificate and let her be taken care of and pampered by our expert therapists. Let her feel rejuvenated and reenergized with our signature Ultimate Thai Odyssey package.


Have a girl’s day out with mother

Take the whole day off and enjoy with your mother. Go crazy! Have loads of fun, color your toes and nails, get a pedicure and manicure, then gulp down some tea time snacks and lets go watch a movie.


Go on a family day cruise

Maybe your mother has dreamt of being on a Love Boat. Make her dream come true. Book her onto a day cruise and get her sailing into the blue yonder for a day while she enjoys all the facilities on board.

Go ahead, make her a Queen. Let her know she is the most loved person in the whole wide world.

Happy Mother’s Day 2014!


Bonus: Enhance Mother’s Day celebration with our 10th Anniversary Promotion!

Water Water Everywhere – It’s Songkran!

The Thailand water festival, or Songkran, is a New Year celebration in the country.  Customarily, Songkran is celebrated with the belief that, with water, it cleanses, purifies and signifies a fresh start to everything.  As with Asian traditions all over the world, before the beginning of a new lunar calendar, people celebrating the Lunar New Year festival are often advised to wash away their past or ‘bad’ chi by spring cleaning their houses.

Religiously, to start the day of Songkran, there will be bathing ritual for the Buddha images with scented water.  The ‘blessed water’ that was used to bathe the images is now used to pour onto someone’s palms, especially the elders’.  This is a way of paying respect and it is believed to bring good fortune.

Over the years, however, the pouring of water has become the throwing or splashing of water in the streets.  People from all over the world gather in Thailand for the carnival-gala good-natured fun.  Thais even walk with pails and water guns, some will stand beside the roads with a hose and shoot water at people passing by.  In fact, because Songkran is celebrated in April, the water splashing does not hurt at all as it is the hottest part of the year in Thailand, getting wet is refreshing after all.

The word Songkran, in Sanskrit, means the passage of the sun moving from one Zodiac sign to the next.  There are supposedly twelve Songkrans each year, but the most significant has to be the sun entering the first sign of the Zodiac, which is the sign of Aries, the Ram.  The date was originally set by astrological calculations, but it is now fixed on 13 April, and Songkran is celebrated officially as Thai New Year’s Day from 13 to 15 April every year.

Songkran celebrations are organized throughout Thailand while some cities take it a notch higher with activities and events that run for a week or more.  If you want to be in the centre of all the happenings, do book your accommodation and arrive a few days earlier at places like Chiang Mai, Phuket and Bangkok.  These cities will be clogged up to full capacity in April.

3 ways to celebrate Thailand Water Festival with Fun!


1. Know that you will get wet – and drenched!  Have FUN and LAUGH anyway.

 


2. Waterproof your valuable electronic devices such as phones and cameras to keep them dry while you are being splashed.

 


3. Get a bucket, buy or get an empty bucket free.  If you like more fun, get a water gun – and start shooting back!

It’s all about getting wet and be merry.  When you are drenched, put on your biggest smile and make peace, just give a shout out: “Sah-wah-dee pee mai” (Happy New Year!) or “Suke Sahn Wahn Song Kran” (Happy Songkran Day!).

From all of us in Thai Odyssey, Suke Sahn Wahn Song Kran!


 

Vacation in Koh Samui, suitable for all groups of people

How to get to Koh Samui, your haven of relaxation and calmness?

Did I hear that you want to play golf on an island amidst swaying coconut trees?  Did I also hear that your husband is asking for that promise you’ve made about the half day pampering spa treatment?  And didn’t you tell your teenage children that they are allowed to party the night’s out once they get good grades?

There is one place that is not too far away from Kuala Lumpur where everyone’s dreams or promises can be fulfilled.  A place where mum and dad can also tuck into their own romantic getaway. This place is the idyllic sun drenched island of Koh Samui, which means ‘safe haven’ and Koh is ‘island’ in Thai.

Maybe the gods have extra fondness with Koh Samui where they bestowed it with such beauty and magnificence that once you are there, you naturally submerge in its calmness and charms.

What are there on the island that will soothe the soul, calm the mind and nourish every cell in the body?  Let’s take three activities that will satisfy the Young, the Adventurer and the Vacationer:

 For the Young (and all the forever-young)

Take a closer look at Samui’s steaming street-side food stalls and choose everything from fruit shake to pancake roti, try to list your favourite top ten padthai or challenge your friend to a street muay thai, not the fight but the cocktail drink.  Check out the much talked about full moon party on the island or at Koh Phangan, another small island off the coast of Koh Samui.  You will never get to sleep once you are having fun.

 For the Adventurer (and the intrepid traveller)

Choose your kind of adventure, it could be a quiet meditation at one of the many Buddhist temples situated on the island or you could backpack to one of the shanties right down at the quieter stretch of sand in Bo Phut or Lamai, instead of the tourist packed resorts and shopping streets over in Chaweng area.  For more rustic adventure, head on to Ang Thong National Marine Park on a canoe.  When you are there, explore the caves and the underwater sights snorkelling while keeping your eyes open for dolphins and sea turtles.

 For the Vacationer (and Parents)

Samui is known as the health centre of the region for many justifiable reasons.  You will find a myriad of award winning all-star spa resorts to pamper your senses.  These are world class excellent spas located at secluded and private locales that are only accessible for people who truly want to enjoy peace and harmony.  Just relax while you are there, to enjoy your time to breathe in as you stretch in various yoga positions or just allow your muscles to be kneaded and caressed as you sink deeper into relaxation.  The breeze will bring you to slumber as you rejuvenate in total luxury and comfort.

To get to Koh Samui from Kuala Lumpur, there are inexpensive transportation by air.  Check out Air Asia or Firefly (operated by Malaysia Airlines) for the best fares.  Highly recommended will be Firefly because they fly you directly onto the island.  On Air Asia, you will arrive at the nearest town, Surat Thani, take a cab or a bus to get you to the pier in about two hours, then a ferry ride to the island in one and a half hour.  By the time you arrive at Chaweng area where most of the tourists book their resorts stay, it would have been a four-hour journey from Surat Thani.  With Firefly, when you alight, you are just 5-minutes cab-ride to Chaweng area.

It really doesn’t matter, whichever way you choose to arrive at Koh Samui, once you are there, you will immediately feel relaxed.  All you want to do is lay back and listen to the lull of the ocean.

3 Ways To Chill Out And Have A Relaxing School Holidays

School children are having their longest school break at year end, are parents having their well-deserved break too?  Or are the parents dreading it, trying to figure out how they are going to keep their children occupied?  Even with the festive seasons around the corner, these are supposedly happy occasions, parents, especially, are feeling the stress.

According to a poll conducted by about.com on how stressful the holidays can be, where 2,258 votes are received, more than 80% find that the holiday season is ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ stressful.  In another survey conducted by Mental Health America, money matters and chaotic schedules are the two most stressful concerns.

Having the kids at home during school holidays, parents tend to try their best to fill up their time for them.  Parents feel the pressure to make sure that their kids stay active and many would sign up courses for their kids to learn new skills.  Also, with the kids at home, there will be more household chores such as cooking extra meals, washing extra clothes and cleaning up after the kids.  Extra workload such as these can be overwhelming for working parents.

With seven weeks of school holidays, it can be exhaustive and could drain a parent both mentally and physically.

Here are three ways how you can chill out while the children have their fun too:

1. Organize a relaxing retreat
Always remember that while parents need time off, so are your kids.  A well-rested child is cheerful and well mannered.  When a child stays up feeling excited all day long or sleeps late during the holidays, the lack of sleep will cause irritability, moodiness and health problems.  The members of a family can get together to organize a relaxing retreat where parents and children take a ‘time-out’ over the holiday to just rest and relax.  Choose a serene place such as a spa resort to enjoy moments of silence together while everyone enjoy a massage of their choice.

2. Laughing together as a family
Laughter is a good way to reduce stress.  You may choose to read a funny storybook or comics to your children.  Share funny jokes or play a game with them.  Cook and bake a cake together, while you ‘play’ with the ingredients.  Have a role-play session with your children and create roles that are amusing.  As you enjoy the holidays, arrange more activities that you can laugh out loud as a family.

3. Making healthy meals
While you let your children to have more time on their own with their friends, cousins and relatives, the freedom to eat anything when they are running about will also affect their diet.  During the holidays, what you would not want is a child who is under the weather.  To stay healthy, prepare them a nutritious meal at least once a day.  Staying healthy will get the family to enjoy the holidays happily together or each by themselves, without worries.

People who get stressed out are most likely to dread the holidays.  It’s really about how you manage the holidays with a little wisdom.  Always find time for yourself first and enjoy the moment.  As David Levingston, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Brattleboro, Vt. said, “Stress and distress are often related to worrying about the future or fretting about the past.  To find peace and joy in any season, it is to focus on the present moment.”

Let the festive season and holidays be the time to enjoy the precious moments with loved ones by feeling happy everywhere you are, everytime!