Back to Thailand
It’s good to be on a plane , to be in a cottony micro-space and to think about what we have done, about what we may be doing. I never talk a lot on a plane, it’s a bit to spoil the pleasure of daydreaming.
A few months ago, I was able to slip into the cockpit of an airliner. There it was so intense, we had to capture everything, remember the gestures of the pilots, their technical choreography, and look at the sea, the gradients of the islands, the Antilles scattered below us .
But in general, I caulk myself in my seat, quickly find my marks, and in spite of myself take stock of the weeks and months that pass. Surprisingly it’s always in a plane or in the speed of a train that I think of my father who died so long ago. On a numbered seat, motionless journeys stir.
I think of everything I do mechanically in everyday life, the spontaneity that suffocates in habits. I breathe differently, I think of my man, of my little sisters whom I don’t see enough of. What I did and what I didn’t do. The little voice that exclaims “ so what?!”. I do not know. I do not know.
I sink into a dreamless slumber until the click of the breakfast carts.
For the first time, I was completely lost: is it evening or dawn. Arrival on the tarmac of Bangkok, I smiled not knowing in which time slot this trip began. It lasted an hour I believe.
I am happy to be back in Bangkok. The city had scared me a little years ago: the first days I was always on foot, but venturing randomly, without a plan or a clue, into this huge vertical city was not the best approach. . So I cooked, cooked, cooked for a month. At the time, it had been months since I had been home, I was probably tired and I just wanted to handle the flavors, gently, without getting lost, measuring out the ingredients, the fresh herbs . And then sometimes, we look for excuses in a long solo trip.
This first culinary trip to Thailand had refreshed me, and I was able to continue my journey to Burma.
But obviously I had missed out on everything by dint of working in my kitchen workshop. This second trip, years later, was going to surprise me and put everything back on track.
Stay in the heart of nature: the detailed itinerary
I often receive worried little words from departing travellers, lost while planning their travel itinerary. I will therefore detail here my itinerary for this very natural trip to Thailand : ten days to relax voluptuously, disconnect, be ecstatic in front of raw and lightning landscapes, peaks to climb and islands of white sand.
Day 1 : Morning arrival at BangkokInternationalAirport (Suvarnabhumi Airport). We rush to the LIT Bangkok Hotel & Residence to drop off our belongings and greedily swallow a sweet and savory breakfast to extricate ourselves from the steamy jet lag. A stroll through the neighborhood to reconnect with the scents of Bangkok, then entrust your knotted muscles to the divine hands of a masseuse at the Rarin Jinda Wellness Spa (Ratchadarmi). Very quickly, we purr with happiness following the treatment ritual: exfoliation, hot shower, long massage with essential oils (I chose the stimulating and purifying notes of ginger). We all fell asleep like newborn babies from caresses. Hmmm. Waking up in a spa is a wonderful experience!
On foot, we head to the Erawan Tea Room restaurant , which offers a real discovery of the thousand flavors of Thai cuisine in a waltz of elegant and fragrant small plates. Complete bliss.
It’s time to seriously discover Bangkok! I opt for a walk in the Yaowarat district , the city’s Chinatown, then sit down for a long time in a Buddhist temple. In a small corner, on a soft cushion, I watch the gestures of the faithful.
I take the aerial metro back to the city to meet up with friends at Phrom Phong Station . Night falls, but Bangkok seems more alive than ever. We rush into a neighborhood teeming with restaurants. We stop in the elegant RE234 (Rama VI) happily picking from the neighbours’ plates.
Day 2 :We take a one and a quarter hour flight to the city ofSurat Thani, in southern Thailand, to reach theKhao Sok, a real Eden. Then in single file, we get on a wooden boat to cross Lake Chieaw-Larn and admire the rocks that are torn from the freshwater lake. On the water, I have the impression of being on a deserted and preserved Halong Bay.
Here we are in the middle of nature. I recommend spending at least one night on the lake, the landscape makes you dizzy as it is so beautiful. We stay there in chalets on the lake at the 500 Rai Floating resort . I will tell you about it at length.
Day 3 : We enjoy again and again the nature of the Khao Sok nature reserve . Kayaking, dantesque trek and observation of gibbons and multicolored birds: this place is magical and you feel like you are alone in the world.
Day 4 : At dawn, on a small wooden boat, we try not to be spotted by the animals. Will we see elephants and their young watering at the edge of the lake? Excitement makes our eyes sparkle.
We pack our suitcases with melancholy. No one wants to leave this place.
We take the road to Pattalung (about four hours drive). We stay in the theme of water by taking our marks in front of the Talae Noi lake pink with water lilies, in the infinitely romantic cottages of the Sripakpra Resort .
Day 5 : It is at dawn that Talae Noi Lake comes to life . You have to see the gestures of the fishermen who work in one of the most beautiful bird sanctuaries in Thailand.
I take hundreds of photos, as the sun animates the reeds. Two young brothers are fishing for small silvery fish, repeating the ancestral techniques of the lake. We make them blush by finding them so beautiful.
Day 6 : We leave Tale Noi after a last breakfast facing the lake and its fishermen. We take the road for two hours to discover the region by paddling in the rapids of Nan Mod Daeng . I love rafting, although I always ricochet in more than hazardous directions…
We then head towards the province of Trang and more particularly the Anantara Si Kao Resort . I will always remember the feeling I had when parting the curtains in my bedroom. This view remains in my retina, the white sandbanks, the surrounding islands, and this sky so alive.
Day 7 : Trang , generous and gourmet, can be discovered both by tuk-tuk and by boat. We start by immersing ourselves in the islands, territory of the fantastic dugons, marine mammals with an unforgettable face. Time stands still when you reach the small island of Koh Kradan , one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Its turquoise water held us back for hours, while our Thai friends scrupulously took care to hide from the sun.
Day 8 : Trang is the culinary capital of dim-sum . Whole families reserve large tables to enjoy hordes of steamed breakfast baskets. We sneaked among them, and we ate, ate, ate divinely .
Day 9 : Return flight to Bangkok (one hour and fifteen minutes flight from Trang ). We discover the Movenpick Sukhumvit 15 hotel , its maddening roof-top and its pretty calligraphic elephants on the walls. At Lelawadee Restaurant , named for the sacred white flowers adored by Thais, a German chef shows us all his love for Thai gastronomy. I still take mango and sticky rice infused with coconut milk.
In the afternoon, I am happy to extend my discovery of Bangkok , this time via its floating markets and its small houses which have earned the nickname of “ Asian Venice” . Bangkok has several personalities. We leave the verticality of its city center so modern and lively, to enter a world sliding on water.