Top 3 Reasons Why Nuad Thai Massage is on UNESCO Heritage List

NUAD THAI MASSAGE - on UNESCO HERITAGE LIST

In December 2019, Nuad Thai was added to the prestigious UNESCO Heritage List. According to Unesco, the Thai Massage has its “roots in self-care in Thai peasant society of the past, where every village had massage healers whom villagers would turn to when they had muscle aches from working the field”.

This intangible cultural heritage list is separate from the world heritage list, which recognizes buildings and sites of prominence. There are 549 items on the cultural heritage list – split into three categories – from 127 countries. Nuad Thai is on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity listing.

Top 3 Reasons Why Nuad Thai Massage is on UNESCO Heritage List

  1. Nuad Thai is an expression of love and care for others and it strengthens social solidarity, enhances self-reliance and is a quality that has inspired and come to define Thailand as a caring society.
  2. The continuation of this Thai tradition helps uphold the community’s identity, which is firmly anchored in its history and local wisdom.
  3. Nuad Thai, or traditional Thai massage, serves as a sign of recognition of this folk wisdom-based medicine and of traditional medicines in general around the world.

Nuad Thai – Traditional Thai Massage

Nuad Thai, when translated to English, means Thai Massage. Many people who tried this form of massage believe that it helps in reducing stress, boosting energy, and enhancing athletic performance. Thai massage uses gentle pressure and yoga-like stretching techniques to relax the entire body.

Thai Massage works the whole body using a series of movements that are similar to yoga stretching. A trained therapist will use their palms and fingers to apply firm pressure to your body. You’ll also be “twisted” and stretched into various positions. You can wear comfortable, loose clothing during the massage.

In this article, we will focus on the difference between Thai Massage and the typical Swedish Massage, which is sometimes called the “Classic Massage”.

Clothing – On or Off?

Swedish Massage uses essential oils or lotions. As such, clients are undressed and covered only by a towel, lying face down on the massage table. While Thai Massage also use oils, these are not essential oils and are often not applied. Hence, clients are typically not required to undress or allowed to wear loose, comfortable clothing. In addition, massages are done with the client lying on a mat or firm mattress on the floor.

Strokes – Gentle, Soothing and Relaxing?

Thai Massage – There is constant body contact between the therapist and client, but rather than rubbing on the muscles, the body is compressed, pulled, “twisted” and stretched; the client will be positioned in a variety of yoga-like positions during the session, which is also combined with deep static and rhythmic pressures.

Swedish Massage – More relaxing compared with Thai Massage. It incorporates:
– Sweeping strokes, which are usually used at the start and end of a massage.
– Kneading strokes, which “kneads” the muscles to release any pain.
– Pounding strokes, which are fast percussion movements, such as tapping, chopping, and pounding.
– Resistance strokes, where the application of deep pressure to particular spots is done using the fingertips, knuckles, and the thumb.

Positioning – Up Dog, Down Dog?

As mentioned above, Thai Massage works the entire body using a series of movements that are similar to yoga stretching. So if you are thinking that you need to adopt specific yoga poses by yourself in order to receive treatment, you may be pleasantly surprised!

Thai Massage is also commonly known as “lazy yoga massage” because you don’t need to put any effort into the movement. The therapist knows what he/she is doing, so just relax your body and let the therapist take control of it.

Unlike Thai Massage, Swedish massage rarely requires the client to move, let alone change positions. The therapist will begin the session with the client facing down on the massage bed or lying on his/her back, and flipped over at the halfway point.

Whether you prefer Thai Massage or Swedish Massage, you will be delighted to know that both types of massages will last between 60 – 90 mins.

CAUTION – VITAL MESSAGE

Massage is a huge business in Thailand and it is regulated by the Public Health Ministry. While Thai Massage is offered by both “spas” and “massage parlours”, the legal difference between a “spa” and a “massage parlour” is unclear. To protect your interest, it is advisable to patronize only legal businesses.

Please click on this link to get more info on UNESCO’s website: https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/nuad-thai-traditional-thai-massage-01384
https://ich.unesco.org/en/decisions/14.COM/10.B.37

Thailand Plastic Bags Ban – Should You Be Worried? Plus, Top 5 “Upmarket” Alternatives (Updated)

Updated as of 24th Jan 2020.

Since late last year, there were rumors circulating about Thailand’s plastic bags ban.  As such, some Thai shoppers have resorted to baskets, buckets, and even wheelbarrows to skirt a new ban on single-use plastic bags. 

This restriction, introduced at the start of the new year, is currently supported by several major mall operators and convenience stores. The plan is to be rolled out into smaller businesses by the year 2021.

This ban was an effort to tackle the country’s crisis on plastic (especially single-use plastic bags) that is creating an escalating problem of land and sea debris.

In support of this ban, while managing our travelers’ shopping joy, DeFreesia found you a solution… Introducing #DeFreesiaShoppingBags!

This is the brain-child of the two founding partners, who spent “hours” cracking the “Plastic Bag Ban” code… Now, you must be wondering what’s so special about this shopping bag? Check this video out!

Plastic Bag Ban - DeFressia Shopping Bag


All Travelers with DeFreesia Transport Services from February 2020 will receive this FREE! Book your travel with up today and no more worrying about Thailand’s plastic bags ban!

For those who fancy more up-market non-plastics bags, these are some options curated for your review:

Non-Plastic Bags #1 – Kiddee Project

What: Kiddee Project’s designer, Vipavat Darapongsathaporn, teamed up with Nan Hospital to create an eco-friendly line of totes made from dialysis bags used for patients with kidney disease.
Aiming to reduce the amount of waste produced by hospitals, the Kiddee Project gives these medical products a fresh spin by upcycling them into urban, utilitarian-style totes. After being cleaned and sanitized, the dialysis bags are combined with polyester to create sturdy and functional bags.

More info can be found at www.fb.com/Kiddeeproject.Thailand 

Non-Plastic Bags #2 – Chaaum Studio

What: You may have noticed Bangkok city-dwellers carrying waist bags and totes that looked like recycled cement bags; here’s the fact, THEY ARE! Designers from Chaaum Studio recycled cement bags into stylish lifestyle accessories, including bum bags, tote bags, backpacks, and wallets.
The bags are functional and sturdy enough to be the perfect carry-all for your everyday essentials, while also being ideal travel companions.

More details can be found at www.fb.com/chaaumstudio 

Non-Plastic Bags #3 – Madmatter

What: A lifestyle brand makes minimal yet stylish totes that can easily fall in with your wardrobe staples. Transforming used fabrics and second-hand clothes collected from landfills into eye-catching patchwork designs are what made Madmatter’s totes unique.

More info can be found at www.madmatterstore.com

Non-Plastic Bags #4 – Vibes Totes

What: A photogenic, fuss-free tote made to carry all of your everyday items effortlessly. The bag is also a canvas for the graphic art of young Thai artists. You can choose from Canvas or Microfiber material.

Description

  • Digital fabric printing
  • Washable material with quality texture
  • Fully lined interior with hidden interior pockets
  • Durable frame and supports heavy load

Details can be found at https://shopjj.co/?s=vibes+tote&post_type=product

Non-Plastic Bags #5 – Angkor Accessories

What: A company that is based in UK collaborated with a social enterprise in Cambodia, to recycle discarded cement sacks into wallets, purses, handbags and more. The aim of this social enterprise is to give local people in Siam Riep fair paid work without having to leave their villages, and also re-uses cement and other bags that would otherwise be thrown out.

More info can be found at https://angkoraccessories.com/

Do you know more “Upmarket” alternatives, please feel free to share with us? You can drop us an email at stories@e-freesia.com, and title your message header as “Upmarket Alternatives – Non-Plastic Bags“.

Anti-Military Protest in Bangkok on 14 Dec 2019, Should You Still Travel?

There was a recent news curated from #CNA (Channel News Asia) that a anti-military rally/protest by an opposition party held near MBK, a prominent shopping area of tourists. See article here: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/thailand-anti-military-rally-opposition-thanathorn-12184272

After seeking a clearer understanding from our local colleagues, we understand that this rally/protest was only an hour long.

We at DeFreesia, do not take political stands but will however advise tourists visiting Bangkok, Thailand to stay vigilant to avoid vacation disappointments due to traffic.

If you need any assistance for your travel in Thailand, feel free to contact us. DeFreesia Transport Services – an authorised operator by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (License No. 14-02461)

Muay Thai Gym Directory Launched!

Named “Awesome Muay Thai”, this directory has been carefully produced to include everything that tourists, as well as Muay Thai fans and practitioners, need to know about this unique martial art; such as, where to watch Muay Thai matches, where to learn to become a Muay Thai practitioner, and where to buy Muay Thai gear and accessories.

Officially launched on 25th September 2019 by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, this “Awesome Muay Thai” directory features comprehensive information for tourists wanting to experience Thai boxing or Muay Thai martial art in its country of origin.

76 Muay Thai gyms across Thailand can be found in this directory, including important information of each gym’s – background, coach’s profile, courses, and Google Maps QR code. There is also a list of shops and stores selling Muay Thai gear and accessories and souvenirs. In addition, related Muay Thai facilities and services including hotels, resorts, spas, as well as shops to get Muay Thai tattoo symbols or Sak Yant tattoos, are listed.

The ‘Awesome Muay Thai’ directory can be downloaded in a PDF file or e-book format at http://tourismproduct.tourismthailand.org/

Talad Neon Night Market – Is this just another joint?

Compared to Ratchada Rod Fai (train station) night market, Talad Neon Night Market is slightly smaller in size but not necessarily less “equipped”. You will find similar items being sold in nearby Platinum Fashion Mall or Pratunam Wholesale market in the day, but for busy locals, this will be a good place to shop. As such, this makes Talad Neon a great place for locals to have their shopping crave eased.

This night market has a good variety of shops, which include the typical “Chang” fashion tees, Thai hand-made souvenir stalls, barber shops, local snacks and more! One special mention will be this hand-made keychain stall situated next to the main road. At THB29 each, these hand-made keychains can be personalised with your name after you have selected the design you want.

Talad Neon Night Market is located right next to Berkeley Hotel on Petchaburi Road, Pratunam, and about 7mins walk from Chit Lom BTS.

Artbox Bangkok – Worth the trip?

Ok, if you are looking for the typical night markets’ kinda experience, you will be disappointed. Artbox Bangkok is a cool “pop-up” market with a difference; started in June 2015, these stalls (not all of them) are housed in giant metal shipping containers which can be moved around the city.

This container-box themed night market is packed with lots of artistic food creations and innovative products! Definitely Instagram-friendly thanks to its fairy-land lights that set the ambiance.

From 30th May 2019, Artbox Bangkok has moved to a semi-permanent location address located in Sukhumvit Soi 10 @ Chuvit Garden. This night market will be at this location till 30th November 2019. Previous locations include Queen Sirikit MRT Station, Makkasan MRT Station and Chatuchak. 

Best time to visit? What to expect?

  • Go in the evening or night time; best times to visit are between 5pm to 9pm
  • Less hot in the evenings, and you can take nicer photos when the lights come on!
  • Lovely alfresco picnic and eating area for you to chill, wine and dine while enjoying live band performances!

Artbox Bangkok invites some of the best aspiring young artists and artisans in Bangkok to showcase their talents. Get yourself sketched in hand-drawn portraits, or take home one of thousands of locally hand-made products!

Creative foods is another thing that makes Artbox Bangkok so special. You will find many creatively served snacks and drinks here, so come with an empty stomach and open mind for trying as many delicacies as you can.

Artbox Bangkok at Chuvit Garden (5mins from Nana/Ashok Station)

The easiest way to get to Artbox Bangkok @ Chuvit Garden is by taking BTS SkyTrain to Nana station or Asok station as the park is located on Sukhumvit Road between these 2 BTS stations (about 250 m from Nana and 350 m from Asok).

Verdict:

is it worth the trip? If you are expecting to find usual touristy souvenirs such as “Chang” t-shirts or elephant pants here, you will be disappointed. However, if you’re into creativity, you will definitely like strolling between rows of stalls selling local fashion brands, artworks, and unique accessories.

Going Coconuts in Thailand

With the rising summer temperature in Thailand, coconut juice vendors are literally laughing to the bank as their business tripled in the past weeks. However, the following story is of no laughing matter…

In some parts of Thailand, the scorching heat had left four dead and put the corals in survival mode (and potentially at the verge of extinction); On Koh Torinla, 80 percent of the coral is now bleached, according to Songtum Suksawang, director of the national parks department. This is due to the risen seawater temperature to 31C (or more), which is higher than the optimum range of 23C to 29C.

Read more here: http://www.khaosodenglish.com/featured/2019/05/07/thailands-superheat-kills-4-humans-and-a-lot-of-coral/

If you are venturing to Thailand during the June holidays season, please be mindful of the heat and stay hydrated always. Coconut juice helps!

AD: Take advantage of FREE airport transfers in Bangkok

FREE Airport Transfer Bangkok Thailand

E-Visa – Online Application
(E-VOA)

Applying Visa to Thailand has never been easier. With the new enhanced Electronic Visa (E-VOA) application, you can apply for your visa in just 5 steps!

You can check on your status online between 24-72 hours after application. Once approved, you can print your E-VOA to be submitted on your arrival to Thailand.

** From now till 30th April 2019, the Thai Immigration Bureau waives the THB2,000 Arrival Fee. **

Here’s how to apply your E-VOA online:

1. Go to http://en.evisathailand.com
2. On the Home page, look for the application widget as shown below:
> Choose your nationality, Arrival airport, Arrival date  and Click on “Apply Now”


3. Fill in passenger details

4. Upload files: Passport page, Airline ticket, and Accommodation documents

5. Check your details

Once your application is approved, you will be able to print the E-VOA to be submitted on Arrival.

Upon arrival, please proceed to the dedicated E-VOA lanes (situated in the Visa On Arrival area) have the following documents ready for the immigration officers at the Checkpoint:

  • E-VOA detail (QR code with PACxxxxxxx no.) – See Below
  • Passport

For more information, you can contact E-Visa Thailand via their email at contact@evisathailand.com

NO SMOKING! Thai Airports Ban Smoking!

As of Sunday, 3rd February 2019, all airports in Thailand have been declared no-smoking zones with fines up to THB5,000 (about S$200) for any violators. The six airports are Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Hat Yai, and Mae Fah Luang.

no smoking in thai airports ban

Airports of Thailand (AoT) has also removed all smoking rooms in both the offices and passenger buildings in all six airports which they manage. This comes as no surprise as the official announcement was made since 2017 with the 2017 Tobacco Control Act and a 2018 Public Health Ministry announcement requiring all offices of government agencies and state enterprises (which include airports) to assign no-smoking areas to protect non-smokers. As the new laws are enforced, smokers will soon be unable to smoke near most public buildings.

To avoid potential “chao”, AoT is now arranging designated smoking areas outside the passenger buildings in the six airports.

But there is more bad news for smokers; cheap cigarettes will soon be a thing of the past. According to a reliable source, five brands in ten categories of cigarettes produced by the Thai Tabacco Monopoly (TTM) will see a price increase by an average of THB33 (about S$1.30) as of October this year. The 40% price increase may be due to the state’s new excise tax rates.

For more information on new smoking bans and regulation click HERE.

For more information regarding new outside smoking areas at AoT airports call the AoT Contact Centre at 1722.

New Cyrptocurrency? Nah, It's New Thai Coins Now!

new thai coins not cryptocurrency

Days before the new banknotes are scheduled to be launched, new Thai coins are to be launched on the same day, Friday, 6th April 2018.

The new coins featuring the portrait of His Majesty, King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, comes in nine denominations: 10 baht, 5 baht, 2 baht, 1 baht, 50 satang, 25 satang, 10 satang, 5 satang and 1 satang. However, only 10 baht, 5 baht, 2 baht, 1 baht, 50 satang, and 25 satang will be circulated publicly. The remaining three denominations: 10 satang, 5 satang and 1 satang will be used only by state agencies for bank account settlements.

The front of the new the coin features a portrait of His Majesty, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, in the uniform of the Royal guards at the reign of King Chulalongkorn. Similar to the new banknotes, these new coins will enter circulation on April 6, in celebration of the 236th anniversary of the founding of the Chakri dynasty.

These new coins will be available for exchange at the Treasury Department’s offices on Soi Areesamphan in Bangkok, and in Klong Luang district of Pathumthani, and at offices in six provinces namely Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Sawan, Songkhla and Surat Thani. Existing coins can still be used, so don’t worry. 😀