Flowhouse is on Sukhumvit Soi 26, at A-Square. It’s a very hip place since they opened September 2012. It was a success from the very start and it seems to fit well into Bangkok.
The sport has the look of surfing, the ride of snowboarding, the tricks of skateboarding, and boards derived from wakeboarding. The first Flowrider opened 1991 in Texas, USA. Currently there are more than 100 Flowrider installations around the globe.
Toon Wera, a pro rider and Momay are showing us the place and sport a little. In Bangkok, 10% of the customers are females, around 40% of the people are below 18-years-old which shows the high attraction for them – and they simply got more free time.
It’s not too expensive and the food/drinks are pretty ok as well.
Khai Yai National Park is Thailand’s oldest and most popular national park. We went to Haew Suwat waterfall, driving close to it shortly before the area got closed, so luckily there weren’t many people around. A scene of the “The Beach” was filmed at Heo Narok and Haew Suwat as well – not that many people seem to know that. The jungle-like setting was fantastic for the shoot, we were climbing a little around. Speaking of climbing, we also saw some monkeys on the road.
Afterwards we went to Smoke House, a large, upscale Italian restaurant which was pretty good. I was amazed how fast they served the guests, they employ a large number of staff.
I enjoyed my time in Khao Yai a lot. The people are very friendly and it is a peaceful and beautiful area, reminding of Tuscany, Italy at times. Of course there isn’t too much to do in Pak Chong : a bit of relaxation, some golf courses and a few decent restaurants – that’s basically it. The shoot itself compared with my usual stuff in Bangkok was pretty relaxed, in general I prefer locations where not so many people are eventually around. Moroever the mild climate didn’t let me sweat too much. It was nice to work with Nokky and Sa. Sa is a little better for photos than for video, Nokky is pretty good for both. They are funny and cheerful girls. Nokky looks a little like the younger sister of Emma whom you know from the “Sporty Girls” video. The smile and her face look similar.
We went to Krudam’s gym on Sukhumvit Soi 24, behind Emporium for some Muay Thai. Krudam is well-known in Bangkok, he won a few titles and opened his own gym. It’s one of the best Muay Thai gyms all across Thailand you can possibly find at the moment. What I really loved about it is the open concept with trees around although being conveniently located at central Sukhumvit. The area of the video looks like being far away outside of Bangkok – but that’s not the case.
Pewe and Guitar are fighting for Global Nanpa. Pewe works for Banyan Tree Bangkok hotel and is training Muay Thai quite often. You might see her around at Krudamgym. Guitar is actually more into yoga, but she had done Muay Thai a bit before. Thanks a lot for joining. This was more a small sports event, the next one is getting bigger again with plenty of girls.
“Khaosan Road is a short street in central Bangkok, Thailand. It is located about 1 km north of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.
“Khaosan” translates as “milled rice”, a reminder that in former times the street was a major Bangkok rice market. In the last 20 years, however, Khaosan Road has developed into a world famous backpacker ghetto. Khaosan shops sell handcrafts, paintings, clothes, pirated CDs, DVDs and second-hand books, plus many backpacker items.
There are several pubs and bars, where backpackers meet. The area is internationally known as a center of partying, and just prior to the traditional Thai New Year (Songkran festival) of 13 April to 15 April, water splashing that usually turns into a huge water fight.”
Happy Songkran ! Khasoan is the backpackers paradise. My personal highlight is the delicious and cheap street food there. Guitar gives us a video tour of it. Her communication skills are very good. You feel a cynical undertone about the happenings at Khaosan quite often, I sympathize with her true feelings. Further she knows a lot about backpacking and travelling, having recently done 4 cities in 10 days in India.
Think about Bhutan and their USD 225-250 tourist visa fee per day (!). It’s a different approach of managing tourism. Khaosan would probably not exist if Thailand would charge a small tourist visa entry fee.
Thanks a lot Guitar for the insightful tour.
Phothalai Wellness Center, a 16-acre complex is affiliated with Wat Pho Medical School. The spa is operating since 8 years (since 2004) inheriting the teachings from Dr. Chivagagomarathat. The complex is owned by a rich Thai family in 4th generation.
I have visited the spa 10 times now since April 2006 and always loved it. It takes about an hour to get there from downtown Bangkok but it is very much worth it. A little shocking on my recent visit was to see that the foot massage row in a beautiful ground flor room disappeared and became some sort of meeting room. I just hope that they don’t continue to push their massage focus in the back for more profitable convention&event services.
Over the years I always wondered how Phothalai is making money anyway. On all of my 10 visits I never saw more than a handful of guests. Don’t get me wrong I really don’t want to see the spa crowded like at Healthland&Spa but I just worried about them and thought it was a shame that not more visitors make the distance to them. It’s not only the distance but also the price that keeps, especially Thais away from them. Still a 2 hours Thai Touch massage priced at THB 2900++ I consider to be very, very cheap for what you get there.
Negative to mention is that the range of treatments is not very broad, Let’s Relax and Rarinjinda are superior in terms of treatments offers and in terms of massage quality itself also.
But at Phothalai the staff really has time, there is no rush and they don’t clock you down to your exact paid times. They employ a small army of well-trained therapists, probably far too many for the amount of guests, but I see that of course very positive. The staff is friendly/helpful in a way that I feel that they probably get treated well by their boss and guests in addition. The architecture/design is the most beautiful and original one I ever saw for spas in Thailand. It reminds me of the Sukhothai Historical Park, the heart of Thailand. For me, Phothalai is the most perfect and most presentable, authentic Thai spa, that’s why I chose to take my broad video Spa guide picture at Phothalai.
I would recommend them to renovate their treatment rooms and the changing (+steam/jacuzi) room, after 8 years they start to look a bit older and it could be made better.
The rise of their Phothalai Leisure Park will hopefully bring more positive than negative future developments to their Wellness Center. I would rank Phothalai #1 for Thailand, hell, #1 worldwide, for spas.
Phothalai I Convention & Event Center + Golf & Leisure Park – Bangkok
Phothalai’s Leisure Park is set in more than 130,000 square meters. The Convention and Event center is Thailand’s new MICE benchmark.
When I visited the place mid of February, only the Convention & Event Center was almost finished. There was too much construction going on at the Golf Park so I just zoomed in from a certain distance getting an overview. Moreover I had a taxi waiting for me and didn’t want to stretch the driver’s patience to a limit.
The 6-star golf & dining consists of a 250 yard driving range, the latest driving range equipment, 90 Tee boxes with touch-screen computerized, some of Asia’s best PGA Golf Academy with top of the range Pros from around the world, Asia’s first Short Game Arena with four full-sized greens, Golf Mega store, Thailand’s first permanent F1 Motion simulator center and a Fitness club, 4 zones of restaurants and a luxury wine bar including Massage Nail Spa and Beauty Salon.
The Short Game Arena has areas for putting, chipping, pitching and bunker shots.
So basically this is a super-luxurious business meeting place where you can let your company pay for lots of fun, i.e. “leisure” like practicing your drive at those hi-tech luxury tee boxes. Even Japan does not have yet such cool driving ranges. And when you get tired of golf, you can take a seat in a Formula One simulator. If you dislike those games, at least the 8 restaurants might entertain ? And if you get tired of all, hey, there is maybe one of the world’s best spas just around the corner…
This baby might has deeper significance for Thailand than the opening (end of 2013 ?) of the USD 300 million Central Embassy shopping mall for example. I wonder how high the investment for Phothalai Leisure Park was and who financed it ?
Thai Traditional Massage School I Wat Pho – Bangkok
Wat Pho is known as the birthplace of the traditional Thai massage. When I went there, there was a long line and a waiting list for about an hour. I decided to skip a massage which looked pretty rushed/noisy in that case and wasn’t the standard I expected. I guess, because of the place being very small and considering the immense interest of people visiting the Reclining Buddha in general, it became impossible to live up to a certain standard and organization. This is actually very sad. I know these days it is very easy for therapists to get a Wat Pho certificate for Thai massage and Foot massage. I see those certificates not anymore as mandatory to spot a good therapist. The most important trainings now happen within the spas. There are many good spa groups in Bangkok and Chiang Mai who give their therapists initial and ongoing trainings.
The majority of talented massage therapists will work in the smaller massage parlors and not for the top spas. There is simply not enough capacity to let all of them work at a fine spa brand. I believe that especially some older Thai ladies who might not be “presentable” at the posh spas anymore can be excellent in the smaller parlors and when they are fat, they might also have some strenghts to stretch tall farangs into all directions. The pressure is simply often too soft in the hotel spas because hotel guests also often demand that. A long-time working therapist in a hotel spa often starts to forget to “usual” strong pressure after a few years of working there.
I pushed myself to the front to take this short video and was able to snap a decent photo very fast. I could not stay longer at this spot than about 10 sec without causing attention.
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha I Wat Pho – Bangkok
Wat Pho is located in the Rattanakosin district close to the Grand Palace. Wat Pho is named after a monastery in India where Buddha is believed to have lived. US president Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton visited the Reclining Buddha together in November 2012. I didn’t take much video, there were a lot of tourists walking around at almost every spot. The architecture and design are similar with what you will find at the Grand Palace.
The highlight is clearly the 15 m high and 43 m long Buddha in the centre. There are hundreds of tourists constantly walking around it which makes it annoying being there. Still, it is a must-see sight of Bangkok. After having taken my short shots I was happy having left this tourist attraction again. This is also why I love Wat Arun so much. It’s my favorite temple of Bangkok, first because it so open, you don’t feel caged like at the other famous temples. I love Wat Aruns location and its glow at sunset.
Milky and Khaw whom I shot in “Sporty Girls” are befriended. They worked on plenty of things together in the past. Both of them represent the classic Thai beauty from a local point of view. Khaw is more the sexy girl, whereas Milky represents the cutie group better. Both of them are very professional and I was suprised how uncomplicated it was to work with them although they are high in demand and you might expect other behavior. Thanks a lot Milky for the cool shoot.
The pictures are pretty nice, I am happy that we included the motorbike stuff as well which wasn’t planned before. Forget cars in Bangkok traffic, you will be stuck forever, BTS/MRT takes longer as well.