• Full Moon Party

Beauty, Health, Well-being

  • Massage
  • Hair and beauty treatments
  • Yoga
  • Detox and wellbeing retreats
  • Medical procedures
  • Dental procedures

Specialty Holidays

  • Weddings
  • Honeymoons
  • Volunteering
  • Thailand with Kids

Massage, hair and beauty treatments
Thailand is a great place to indulge in massage, hair and beauty treatments.  There are, of course, some high-end spas with more exclusive and expensive spa menus which are great if you’ve got the cash but in most shops and salons you will find massage, hair and beauty treatments much cheaper than at home.  A massage will typically cost between 150 and 300B per hour dependent open the location.  It’s cheaper in Bangkok and more expensive at beach destinations.  Some beach destinations have massage pavilions set up right on the beach, but in towns or cities you’ll find small shops dotted all over with plenty of friendly staff outside beckoning you to come in for a massage, manicure or facial.  In high-end spas you will pay anywhere between 700 to 1500B per hour.

Thai massage is different kind of massage experience to what you may be used to.  It is a deep massage involving a lot of stretching, pressure on meridian lines of the body and contorting into yoga-like poses.  Comfortable clothes will be provided for you to wear during the massage and you lie on the floor, usually in a room with several other people.  You may not feel 100% comfortable during the massage but your masseur will ask you if the pressure is ok and will take the pressure-level down if you’re really hurting.  You’ll feel great afterwards!  It’s really nice to have a Thai massage first thing in the morning to get your blood moving.

Foot massage is done in a comfortable chair and works on reflexology points in the foot.  It can be slightly painful if the masseur is hitting points which need work but you get a relaxing foot and leg rub at the end.  Foot massage is the perfect antidote to a long day of sightseeing.

Swedish or oil massage is exactly what you’d expect from a similar massage at home.  It may be done in a private room or in a where other masseurs are working but a curtain will be drawn.  You’ll be provided with a towel and asked to take off your clothes.  Leave your underwear on.  The masseur will help you unstrap your bra while lying down.  It’s very relaxing and great at the end of a long day and is wonderful on arrival after a long flight.  Make sure you go to a place that looks reputable, you don’t want to end up getting the “other” kind of massage by mistake!

Herbal massage is done using hot compresses of fragrant, Thai herbs.  It is done without clothes and is great for relaxation and re-engergising.

Massage session times can be anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours but 60 or 90 minutes is typical.  Masseurs can be male or female.  If you have a preference you may need to wait until there is a free male or female masseur.  There are more females than males at most establishments.  You don’t need to book unless you’re going to an exclusive spa just drop in.

Even the smallest beauty salons have an abundance of staff and offer many treatments.  Manicures and pedicures cost between 50 to 200B but the polish used is cheap and generally doesn’t last long.   In high-end spas a manicure or pedicure will set you back anything from 250 to 500.  You may have to pay extra for use of quality polishes like OPI and paraffin hand treatments.  Facials, in all their various forms, are also widely available with short treatments starting from 50B in cheaper places and reaching 1500 to 4000B for 60 minutes facials in more exclusive establishments. Body treatments such as scrubs and wraps can be found in high-end spas for 1500 to 3000B for 60 minutes.  Waxing, at the cheaper shops, will set you back around 50 to 200B per area and 250 to 1000B per area in more expensive spas.

Eyelash extensions are a treatment that is becoming popular worldwide.  It is a semi-permanent treatment that will last around three to four weeks.  You can now get this done at salons in Bangkok.  The process takes around 60 mins and can cost anywhere between 800 and 2500B.  It can be done cheaply at Rosemain Salon at MBK shopping centre and Nancy’s Salon on Soi Chanasongkram near Khao San Road or at the more upscale Hapa Spa in Sukhimvit.

Hair treatments can be done for a lot less than you’d pay at home.  Check the reputation of the hairdresser first and make sure they are used to Western hair as it behaves differently to Thai hair.   Find someone that speaks enough English so you are able to communicate what you want.  here are small salons everywhere and in touristy areas it’s likely that someone in the store will speak English.  The large shopping malls around Siam Square are be a good bet for a quality cut, especially if you have difficult hair, or if you want treatments with name-brand products like Kerastase.  The Corner Hair Salon  is recommended by many in Bangkok.  It’s just a five minute walk from the Sala Daeng Skytrain station.  Foreign clients are asked to make appointments but they can do walk-in clients.  A cut and blow wave will cost 300B, highlights from 800B, colour from 1200B.  They also offer Japanese and Brazilian hair straigtening treatments which start from 2500B.  For extensions, go to a salon and your hair will get proper treatment not the ladies sitting on stools on Khao San Road.  Sugar Salon in Bangkok comes highly recommended for extensions and colouring, especially if you are blonde.  It’s not in the usual tourists part of town so you’ll need to take a taxi.  Bookings are essential to ensure you have an English-speaking hairdresser.  Prices start at 200B for a wash, cut and dry, 400B for colouring and 5000B for extensions.

Thai boxing
Nightlife incl full moon parties


Tours and Activities
Complete tours
Tours from specific areas

Elephant trekking
If you like ellies, check out the Elephant Nature Park or Patara Elephant Farm. If you like tigers, you could try Tiger Kingdom. These places get good reviews as they treat their animals well (well, not 100% sure about the last one, but intend to give it a try this year). Some other animal ‘attractions’ in Thailand are not so kind to their creatures
Nevertheless if your time and the weather allows it, on your way to the north you may think about spending a couple of days at Boon Lott’s elephant sanctuary (, we’ve been there and were deeply impressed. Contact katherine long time before, accomodations are very limited.
As for the elephant tours – the majority of them are very good so I really don’t understand what you mean? The Chiang Mai Elephant Park is exceptional, Boon Lotts elephant sanctuary is reknowned, Muang Sing Elephant Village in Sai Yok and the Sai Yok Elephant Park in Kanchanaburi are hospital and rehab’ parks – it is not informative to generalise without even providing an example

Friend Tour in Mae Hong Son don’t have a website but they do have 20 years experience offering trekking, elephant riding and rafting.  Contact them in person at 21 Th Pradit Jong Kham or phone ahead on 053611647.

PADI courses



If you want to see Tigers in Thailand the best place to do so is at Tiger Kingdom near Chiang Mai.  It’s best to visit earlier or later in the day to see the tigers at play, around 9am or 4pm, as the animals spend a lot of the day sleeping.  This is natural for big cats, who normally sleep 16 to 20 hours a day.  The animals here aren’t drugged, nor are they chained up.  You can visit the tigers in their enclosures, split up by the varying ages of the cats.  Admission to the enclosures is 520B for the cubs up to 5 months and 420B for the tigers 6-9 months or 10-20 months.  Time is limit to 15 minutes in each enclosure.  You can take photos yourself but it’s easier, and you’ll get better pictures, if you opt to use their in-house photographer.  For 299B you get a CD of around 50-100 pictures of you inside the enclosure.  You can also view the tigers from the on-site restaurant to which there is free admission.  Tiger Kingdom is located 20 minutes drive from Chiang Mai.
The alternative option for seeing Tigers is at the Tiger Temple (Wat Luang Ta Bua Yanna Sampanno) in Kanchanaburi.  This can be done as a (long) day tour from Bangkok or as part of your visit to the area.  Many tourists find this centre disappointing or upsetting as


Outlet Malls and Factory Shopping

Cooking Classes
Taking part in a cooking class is a common activity for tourists visiting Thailand.  You can find them in the main tourist centres but Chiang Mai and Bangkok are home to the better classes.  A typical class includes a visit to the market to purchase fresh ingredients.  You are usually given the choice on what dishes you’d like to make from a standard selections – soup, spring rolls, noodles, stir fry, curry and perhaps even a dessert option.  Generally you learn about four to seven recipes depending on the length of the class and then get to eat the dishes you make.  Some classes offer a recipe book to take home.  A full day course in a group will cost around 1000B, a half day course around 700B.  Individual classes are in the region of 2000B per day.  You should book at least a day in advance.

In Bangkok, we can recommend Khun Poo’s Cooking Class and Thai Home Cooking .

In Chiang Mai Siam Rice Thai Cookery School  and Classic Home Cooking are both good options.

Most classes will give you the option of cooking vegetarian versions of their recipes, but for a strictly vegetarian affair you should choose Mai Kaidee’s Cooking School which has locations in both Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

If you’re a real Thai cooking enthusiast and you’re looking for something beyond mainstream restaurant food, you can’t go past the book Vatch’s Thai Street Food.  David Thompson also has a book on Thai Street Food.

Full Moon Party

The Full Moon Party is a huge beach party, coinciding with the full moon, located at Haad Rin beach on Koh Phangan.  It is an incredibly popular event on the backpacker calendar and each month sees tens of thousands of people descending upon Koh Phangan to drink plastic buckets of cheap whiskey, dance to electronic music and take all sorts of illicit substances.  There are also huge Christmas and New Year parties.

If you’re planning on going to a Full Moon Party you should absolutely book your accommodation in advance.  Most places will require you to stay a four or five night minimum around the full moon dates.  The main party is on Haad Rin beach which will, of course, end up very messy and noisy.  If you plan on getting any rest or relaxation, stay elsewhere on Koh Phangan and travel in for the party using the specially arranged transport.  If you want to stay in the thick of the party atmosphere, stay at Haad Rin.  Many resorts host pool parties a few nights before the big Full Moon Party.  Check out Coral Bungalows as a good example of what to expect from accommodation.

A few tips for party go-ers:

  • Take enough cash for the night, around 3000B, and tuck it somewhere safe.
  • Don’t take a bag or valuables, you’ll most likely lose it.
  • Take a copy of your ID not the real thing.
  • Wear shoes and take care of broken glass and other nasties in the sand.
  • Don’t pee or poop on the beach or in the water!  It’s gross.
  • Don’t do drugs.  The police are out in force during these parties.

Full Moon Party dates:

Sunday 6, May 2012
Monday 4 June 2012


Speciality Holidays


Rhino car hire



Luxury thailand – hiring staff, chefs etc
Diving – live-aboards etc, PADI courses including dive instructor
TEFL – learning and teaching

Courses – massage, cooking, yoga, meditation, language

Retiring in Thailand

Legally you cannot volunteer or do any sort of work in Thailand without a work visathat being said there are a lot of people working illegally with no problem. It’s up to you to decide if it is worth the riskg to consider could be private tutoring. You could make maybe 400 baht an hour at the lowest. If you are lucky, you could make 800 or 1000 depending on if you are able to find solid contacts. This might not be a good way to fully support yourself, but it could definitely give you some extra pocket change. Bring your TEFL certificate and let people know you have it. o get very good advice and be very wary about taking on ANY employment, paid or voluntary, without the proper work permit and visa

Dental work
Check around, get references and look at the dentists’ educational qualifications.
Silom Smile Dental or Bangkok Smile Dental Group

Cosmetic Procdures and Plastic surgery

Gay travel

Whether you’re looking to work a few classes into your holiday or go on an intensive yoga retreat, there are many options for practicing yoga in Thailand.  There are also several options for yoga teacher training.

Absolute Yoga has seven studios across Bangkok (and one in Koh Samui).  They offer a range of classes throughout the day including Bikram (hot yoga).  This is more a place for regulars after a membership rather than drop-in classes, with 20-class conessions starting at 7900B.

Koh Chang
Baan Zen offers three or five day courses for small groups from 5500 to 8000B per person for groups of two to four people.  Arrange your own group or contact them for dates.  They also offer private class for 900B for a 90 minute lesson.
The Spa Resort Koh Chang focuses on retreats and wellness programmes but also offer yoga six mornings a week for 300B per session.

Kata Hot Yoga runs four 90 minute classes per day (three in low season).  Single classes are 420B or you can get a ten-class concession card or one month unlimited for 3500B.

Koh Phangan
The Yoga Retreat Koh Phangan , located in the jungle close to Haad Salad beach, offers classes serveral times a day for 300B per class or 2500B for a 10 class concession card.  They also run a series of programmes including a five night yoga program Sunday through Thursday with acommodation included.  For a more intense experience they have a 30 day Ashtanga Yoga programme which includes lectures on meditation and yogic techniques and a three day detox.  The package costs 30,000B excluding accommodation.  See their website for dates.

Koh Samui
Bikram Yoga Koh Samui at Chaweng beach have two classes a day.  Drop-in will cost 600B, a 5 class card 2500B, a 10 class card 4000B and 1 month unlimited 5000B.
Samahita Yoga Thailand offers various retreats hosted by resident and visiting yoga instuctors.  Prices for retreats start at €750.  They also offer detox and wellness programmes and yoga teacher training courses.
It’s Yoga offer 200-hour yoga teacher training courses from US$2400.
Absolute Sanctury offer a range of yoga (including hot and detox) classes seven days a week at their jungle studio.  The cost for a single class is 650B, a 10 class card 4500B and one month unlimited 4900B.  They also hold high-end yoga holiday programmes that include luxury accommodation, meals and daily massage from 39500B for a five night programme.  The offer a range of retreats and teacher training, see their website for dates.

Yoga Workout! has Hatha yoga classes six days a week.  The also sell cute yoga mat bags in Thai fabrics.

Chiang Rai

Khao Lak
The Yoga Studio Khao Lak have classes daily at their studio, Khao Lak Seaview Resort & Spa or Ramada Resort.  A single class costs 500B, a 3 class card 1250B and a 10 class card        4000B.  Retreats are available on enquiry.

Koh Yao Noi
Island Yoga on little Koh Yao Noi, located an hour between Phuket and Krabi, offer three and five night yoga programmes that you can join at any time.  Prices start at 3100B for the three day retreat including accommodation.  Varying levels of accommodation are available and breakfast and meditations are included.  They also offer Reiki and meditation workshops.

Courses to become a yoga instructor are run throughout the year in many locations.  These are updated regularly with new courses added:

Retreats e.g. The Sanctuary Koh Phangan, Pai  Detox packages

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