Thailand for the switched-on, cerebral traveler, looking to immerse themselves in the destination’s cultural offering.
THAI DESIGN: 137 PILLARS HOUSE
We love it when someone breathes new life into a characterful historic building – in this case, an old teak house from the 19th century, constructed from, you guessed it, 137 pillars. Once home to Louis Lenowens, son of Anna (from Anna and the King). this beautiful structure, complete with colonial details, shuttered windows, classic furniture and antique photography, sits amidst an opulent boutique resort complex in the tropical grounds of this ancient and historical ‘Lanna’ city. A must visit for avid collectors and casual admirers alike.
TEMPLE TIME: WAT PHO, BANGKOKWe were granted VIP access to Wat Pho, Bangkok’s most famous temple as dusk broke and the crowds were ushered out. Our enigmatic private guide, Khun Lek told us all about the temple’s rich history, walking us around this sacred complex whilst teaching us about Thai Buddhism and reading our fortunes, all at the same time. The temple was also the first public university in Thailand, teaching scholars science, religion and literature through murals and sculptures, and is Thailand’s most renowned school of Thai massage.
THAI MASSAGE: THE BARAI, HUA HINThe Barai Residential Spa Suites at the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin is known, in modern times, as the country’s other temple to Thai massage. Hua Hin is the playground of Thailand’s elite, a royal retreat often considered the ‘Hamptons of Thailand’. Its eight super-exclusive residential suites are set within 18,500 square metres of beachfront land. Treatments by rigourously trained staff will set you on a journey of the body, mind and spirit – and ultimate relaxation.
HISTORY AND CONSPIRACY: JIM THOMPSON HOUSE, BANGKOKWe spent a lot of time peacefully gliding through this incredibly preserved silk-merchant’s house. Jim Thompson was a self-made American entrepreneur who is said to have made the Thai silk industry famous across the world– so much so that he won much favour from the Thai Royal family and was decorated for his services to Thai commerce. He built this traditional teak mansion in the heart of Bangkok. Then one day, he disappeared into thin air. Conspiracy theorists suggested he was actually a CIA spy, but to uncover the real secrets, one has to visit the house he left behind.