This guide will – almost – make you feel like you’re in the Land of Smiles
It’s our umpteenth week spent at home and by now, cabin fever is an all-too-familiar sensation. We’re replaying our flimsily shot smartphone vacation videos, wistfully sniffing old plane ticket stubs (just us?), and generally aching for the slightest whiff of adventure. So, to add some inspiration to your daily at-home humdrum, we’re unveiling our new Armchair Travel series, where we take you on virtual day trips to some of the world’s most well-loved destinations. This week, we’re whisking you away to the beautiful landscapes of Thailand. From exploring Isan’s temple ruins to recreating a Michelin-worthy Gaggan Anand meal, here’s how you can savour the best of Thailand, even while marooned at home. No passports or visas required; all you’ll need is a screen and plenty of curiosity.
9am: Tuck into a Thai-style breakfast
To dress the part, put on your favourite summery tropical get-up and kick off your day with a spot of Thai-style breakfast. Khao tom, a classic Thai dish, can be enjoyed around the clock, whether at breakfast or supper. You can recreate this popular breakfast rice soup with a little help from Thai food blog Riverside Thai Cooking. To prep yourself for your virtual day trip around Thailand, curl up with a great guidebook during or after your meal. We recommend Very Bangkok: In the City of the Senses, an immersive guide by Philip Cornwel-Smith that dives into the sights, sounds, scents, flavours and textures of the metropolis.
11am: Get moving with a traditional ramwong dance
Here’s something to get your little ones involved too: learn the basic steps to the ramwong, a traditional Thai dance. Tukta, the cheery instructor from the SiamSmile Group, will walk you through the steps through a video tutorial shared on the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) Instagram.
Noon: Break a sweat with a muay Thai session
For those who want to squeeze in a little pre-lunch cardio, TAT has also rolled out an introductory muay Thai class as part of its new Instagram virtual travel series, “Bringing Thailand to the World – Virtually”. World-class practitioner and owner of Bangkok-based Krudam Gym, Dam Srichan, will coach you through the basics of the ancient art of Thai boxing. Phuket-based Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort is also offering muay Thai classes for free on its Facebook.
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جهزوا نفسكم لدرس رياضي في حلقة اليوم! تابعوا المدرب 'كرو دام' الذي سيعلمكم قواعد رياضة 'موياي تاي' التايلاندية في هذه الحلقة من "تايلاند إلى العالم بشكل افتراضي" ابقوا في المنزل بأمان! #تايلاند_المذهلة #تايلاند_الافترضية #خلك_في_البيت #تايلاند_الأحلام 🥊🥊🥊🥊 Get ready for some action-packed fitness! Follow Kru Dam @krudam as he guides you through the basics of Muay Thai in this episode of 'Bringing Thailand to the World – Virtually' to stay fit at home! #AmazingThailand #VirtuallyThailand #StayHome#StaySafe #DreamOfThailand
1pm: Stop by Avani+ Samui Resort for a spot of vegan pad Thai for lunch
Is there a dish more quintessentially Thai than pad Thai? Avani Hotels & Resorts has shared a plant-based take on the famous national dish, as part of its new vegan cooking video series on Instagram. “I think pad Thai is a dish that everybody recognises. I wanted to create a healthier version of this easy-to-make comfort food,” shares Tianchai Tongseang, chef de cuisine at Avani+ Samui Resort, who collaborated with Indonesian food blogger @HeyTheresia on the recipe.
3pm: Embark on a temple or museum tour, hit the beach after
Thailand is truly a country of temples (wat in Thai) – it’s home to over 33,000 of them, and no trip here is complete without visiting some of these storied sacred and historic sites. You can now explore Thailand’s numerous wat from Sukhothai’s Wat Si Chum to the Phimai Historical Park in Isan through 360-degree virtual tours. There are also audiovisual live streams of its other famous landmarks, from the beaches of Hua Hin to its national museums. Browse them on TAT’s official website.
5pm: Wind down with an at-home Thai spa treatment
While an actual traditional Thai massage is unfortunately still not on the cards right now, you can still treat yourself to at-home spa rituals and self-massages as shared by luxury wellness and hospitality brands like Six Senses, Dusit Thani Hua Hin and more. Sure, you’re not technically exploring Thailand on foot, but a spa session after all the virtual sightseeing is still well-deserved anyway!
Read more: 9 luxury hotels offering free online wellness programmes
6pm: Get crafty with a fruit carving session
For some pre-dinner entertainment, why not try your hand at the art of fruit carving? Known as kae sa luk, this edible art form is a major part of Thai culture, often presented during important events and banquets. Chef Thongpakorn of Anantara Chiang Mai will walk you through the basics of this intricate art on TAT’s Instagram page. The result: beautiful fruit carvings that make for a dinner centrepiece that is both delicious and decorative.
7pm: Recreate Gaggan Anand’s Michelin-worthy dishes for dinner
Known for his inventive take on Indian cuisine, the near impossibility of booking a table at Gaggan Anand’s eponymous restaurant in Bangkok is a testament to his popularity and the inimitable food he whips up. Here’s good news: you can now sample dishes straight out of Gaggan Anand’s kitchen. The chef has been sharing his delicious recipes – like an improvised Thai-style eggplant with chilli and basil – on Instagram. Try them yourself; they’re bound to be a dinnertime hit.
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Join my live stream for @miele_com at Thursday 3 pm (Bangkok time) for oriental tastes and lots of fun! I will prepare a rice dish for you and all you need for it is 100g long grain basmati rice, cardamom /cloves and bayleaf (1 pcs each), spring green vegatables, mushrooms, carrots, butter / canola oil, turmeric, 220 grams of water, salt to taste. #chefsathome #letscook #stayhome #healthyfood
9pm: Watch an independent art house Thai film
From The Beach (2000) to The Hangover Part II (2011), Thailand’s certainly made a few noteworthy Hollywood cameos. If you’d like to experience Thailand through the lens of its local cinema, however, catch local independent art house film Uncle Boonmee (2010) which bagged the Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival – a first for Thai cinema. The enigmatic film follows the last living days of its title character who, along with the spirit of his late wife and lost son, contemplates his illness and explores his past lives. Mix yourself a cocktail or mocktail too while you’re at it.
Read more: These 7 virtual museum tours will inspire your next holiday
Watch this space for our next virtual day trip series!