How To Usher In The New Year For Everyone

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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

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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

Pic Credit: www.bikewalkwichita.org

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

Pic Credit: www.chicagoparent.com

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

Pic Credit: www.theurbanlist.com

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!

Khop khun ka and see you in 2019…

Fall In Love With Hefei, China Through These Places

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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.

 

Swan Lake

Pic Credit: www.ecns.cn

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

www.en.kfta.cn

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

www.hellotravel.com

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

www.meanhui.com

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.

 

References:

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/anhui/hefei/

https://www.chinahighlights.com/hefei/attraction/

‘Tasting’ Port Dickson Through These 4 Places

Pic Credit: www.portdickson.sg

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

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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

Pic Credit: www.kingscharkueyteow.com

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

Pic Credit: www.tripadvisor.co.za

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

Pic Credit: www.portdickson.info

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.

Thai Odyssey Tasik Villa International Resort

 

References:

https://says.com/my/lifestyle/awesome-dishes-to-order-the-next-time-you-re-really-hungry-in-port-dickson

https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Restaurants-g303991-Port_Dickson_Negeri_Sembilan.html

Discover Wonderful Suzhou Through These 6 Places

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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

Pic Credit: www.traveltosuzhou.com

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

Pic Credit: www.tripadvisor.ie

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

Pic Credit: www.chinadiscovery.com

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

Pic Credit: www.chinadiscovery.com

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

Pic Credit: www.dreamstime.com

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.

 

References:

https://www.chinahighlights.com/suzhou/

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/suzhou.htm

 

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.

 

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!