Focusing on Thai-Yoga Massage, Meditation, Buddhist philosophy and authentic Thai Cooking, we will explore how Asian healing traditions, belief systems and life-styles impact one’s mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Visit the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.
Spend 4 days at a remote Thai temple exploring Buddhist philosophy, traditional Thai healing methods, chanting and meditation.
Explore the historic ruins of Ayutthaya.
Take the night train to Chiang Mai.
Live in an earthen hut within reach of some of Thailand’s most beautiful and pristine national forrest, and learn organic farming, natural building and Thai cooking techniques.
Complete a 30-hour Thai massage training course (Traditional Supine & Sen Techniques).
Sample Chiang Mai’s rich assortment of healing treatments.
Spend a day feeding, bathing and communing with elephants.
This journey is for anyone who is interested in expanding their perspective on health, deepening their sense of self, strengthening their ties to the global community, and cultivating new skills and friendships in an exotic and magical Kingdom affectionately known as the “Land of Smiles.”
January 12-13: ORIENTATION
Accommodation:Shanti Lodge, BANGKOK
Quaint and funky guesthouse located on the Chao Phraya River – just a short water-taxi ride away from Bangkok’s famous Khaosan Road – simple, decorative rooms – hot showers – A/C – wonderful restaurant with a welcoming “Buddha Lounge” vibe – laundry service available – local souvenirs and clothing for sale in the store – WiFi available – 7/11, pharmacy, local food market, flower market and ATM within a two minute walk.
Activities: Get acquainted with your fellow travelers, explore Thai culture, learn some basic Thai language skills, visit the night market and the Grand Palace, get a massage at Wat Pho, and set the tone for a safe and satisfying journey.
January 14-16: MEDITATION RETREAT
Accommodation: Wat Trivisudhidam, SUPHANABURI
Simple dormitory style rooms with mat, blanket and pillow – two vegetarian meals served daily.
Activities: We will discuss foundational Buddhist teachings, practice sitting and walking meditation, chanting and basic yoga, and experience the power of traditional healing teas and hot water bath treatments in an effort to cultivate a personal understanding of the origins of disease, cleanse harmful karma and cultivate a connection to the ancient origins of Thai Yoga Massage.
January 17: SUPHANABURI to AYUTTHAYA to CHIANG MAI
Accommodation: Overnight Train
Simple second class births with linens, blankets, pillows, A/C, and dining car.
Activities: Formally conclude the meditation retreat – visit Ayutthaya Historical Park – Travel to Chiang Mai.
January 18-21: SELF RELIANCE RETREAT
Accommodation:Pun Pun Organic Farm, MAE TAENG
Primitive but cozy adobe and bamboo structures with stunning views of the peaceful valley below – dormitory style rooms with mats, linens, blankets and mosquito nets – composting toilets – fabulous organic Thai-fusion meals – Thai-style outdoor showers – community cafe with specialty drinks and local handicrafts for sale.
Activities: Learn about organic farming, seed saving, alternative healing methods, and earthen building in an effort to understand and appreciate the ways in which the traditional Thai life-style can positively influence individual, community and global health. Daily yoga and meditation practice will continue. Introduction to Thai Yoga Massage will begin.
January 22-30: THAI YOGA MASSAGE INTENSIVE (Traditional Supine & Sen Techniques)
Accommodation:Manee House, CHIANG MAI
Friendly guesthouse located in the heart of the Old City – simple double occupancy rooms – hot showers – laundry service available – pool – WiFi available.
Activities: Orientation to Chiang Mai, Thai Yoga Massage, yoga, meditation, a day of volunteering with rescued elephants at the Elephant nature Park, an optional excursion to the world renowned craft centers, farewell celebration.
This journey will officially begin at 11:00 AM on January 12th at the Shanti Lodge in Bangkok, and will end at 9:00 AM on January 30th at the Manee House in Chiang Mai. Participants are encouraged to arrive in Bangkok on or before January 11th.
Getting to Bangkok, Thailand: Please make your own travel arrangements to Bangkok’s Suvarnabumi Airport (BKK). It is wise to plan on arriving a day before our journey together begins so that you have time to adjust to the time difference. January is the best time, and therefore, most popular time to visit Thailand, so please reserve your flight early. We suggest looking for deals on the following websites:
Getting to the Shanti Lodge: From the Suvarnabumi Airport in Bangkok (BKK), we suggest that you follow the signs to the Public Taxi stand (downstairs) and give them a copy of a map which can be printed from the Shanti Lodge website. A taxi ride from Suvarnabumi Airport to the Shanti Lodge should take between 45-60 minutes, and with tolls, should cost under 550 Baht ($15). Transfers to/from the airport are NOT included in the tuition costs.
Shanti Lodge Reservations: Because participant travel plans very greatly (people will be arriving from different countries of origin on different dates and at all hours of the night), we ask that you make you own room reservations at the Shanti Lodge from the night that you arrive until check out on the 14th. Integral Travel will pick up the tab for night of the 12th and 13th, but participants will be required to cover any additional nights.
Returning to Bangkok: Experience has shown that by the end of our journey together, participants have come to LOVE Thailand and feel quite comfortable navigating it on their own; so not surprisingly, they don’t want to leave. We recommend that if you have the opportunity to build a few extra days or weeks into your itinerary, DO IT! But if you must return to Bangkok right away, you have many options:
Train: Trains run very regularly between Chiang Mai and Bangkok and the trip takes around 12-14 hours. To see the schedule click here.
Plane: Flights from Chiang Mai to Bangkok run very regularly and one-way fares are reasonably priced. The flight takes about one hour.
Please bring: yoga mat, meditation shall, journal, pens, head-lamp, thin sleeping-bag liner, pack-towel, alarm clock, watch, conservative clothing (covered shoulders and legs) to wear during visits to Wats (temples) and the Grand Palace, comfortable clothing to practice yoga and Thai Yoga Massage, a warm layer (wool hat, socks, fleece) for cool nights and mornings in the mountains, sun-hat, sunglasses, day-pack or shoulder bag, bathing suit, sleepwear, sandals or flip-flops, walking shoes, toiletries, medications, camera.
Don’t bring: anything fancy or valuable – you won’t need it!
Will I have Internet and cell phone access?
Internet connection: Internet cafes are plentiful in Thailand so you won’t have any trouble communicating with loved ones at home while we are in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, however; we will not have internet access during the meditation retreat or during our stay at Pun Pun.
Mobile Phones: If you have an unlocked mobile phone, we suggest that you bring it with you. It is very easy and inexpensive to buy a Thai SIM card and pay-as-you-go minutes at any 7/11. The public phones in Thailand are not very reliable or easy to use, so if you expect to call home during your time in Thailand, bringing your own unlocked phone is the easier and cheaper option.
Should I exchange money?
Money: The exchange rate is approximately 30 baht to 1 US dollar. ATM’s are conveniently located everywhere in Bangkok and Chiang Mai and tend to offer a very good exchange rate. Most small shops, local markets and restaurants only take cash, but occasionally Visa and MasterCard are accepted at higher-end hotels and boutiques. PLEASE tell your bank and credit card companies the dates that you will be in Thailand to avoid having your accounts frozen due to “unexpected activity”.
How much money should I bring?
Budget: This journey includes all of your accommodation, transportation, course fees and entrance fees from your arrival at the Shanti Lodge on January 14th through 9:00 AM on January 30th. Also included are meals during the meditation retreat and our stay at Pun Pun. We suggest that you budget about $500 to pay for laundry, internet, gifts, massage treatments, tips and non-program meals while we are in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
Do I need a visa?
Passports: You must have a passport valid for at least 90 days following your departure from Thailand to enter the country. If you are an EU, Australian or American citizen you will receive a tourist visa on arrival good for 30 days. If you are from another country or plan on staying in Thailand longer than 30-days please read about visa requirements and other important details at http://thailand.visahq.com
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