Chiva SomPosted: April 5, 2012
A crisp scent of aromatic burning oil, soft strumming tones over the CD mixed with the joy of a bubbling waterfall and the plonk of leaping goldfish. A bright red hibiscus beams up at us from lush dark tropical foliage. Arriving at Chiva Som is like walking through a translucent curtain into a warm and humid garden of serenity and peace.
A stark contrast then to the past 21 hrs we have just spent in stainless steel airports, compressed air cabins of airplanes and the dusty pollution of the 3 hr drive from Bangkok. (Mind you, we cannot complain about the chauffeur!!!)
This was my 3 rd visit to Chiva Som and it’s a small wish granted that I once made with myself sitting at a table here over 6 years ago, that I get to share it with my best friend and husband, Antonio. A week for us to make the transition back to home, time to refresh and reflect. A “cut and polish” of the mind and the body. The last leg of our 15 month journey.
It has been as superb as I remembered. It has to be good when for starters you are given the option of a Japanese buckwheat pillow or the standard feather pillow!! Add to that up to 200 therapies and treatments available. No wonder we need our time tables that are discretely placed outside our door each evening outlining times for our daily massages and treatments. We then have to fit in our choices of scheduled classes including the usual suspects; stretching, yoga, mediation but also the less known; kinesis, Ai Chi, or Vinyasa flow class.
And we need time for some socializing by the pool. We have met here almost as many nationalities as we met through the past 15 months; Swiss, German, Scottish, Portuguese, American and English, Egyptian, Indian, Russian and a couple whom we are quite sure must have been African Royalty. We have made new friends with a lovely Australian couple and a lovely couple from Moscow.
The food, even though its all designed to make you live longer, is to die for! It is beautifully presented, delicious, plentiful and satisfying, yet there is a lingering sense that something is missing – oils, fats, butter, salt, cheese…… and did I mention pasta! No pasta here.
Beer and wine is available but not encouraged and every menu choice is followed by the amount of calories, carbohydrates, proteins and fats the dish contains. Afterall, it is a “health resort” and renowned as one of the best in the world.
I have had two previous visits, March 2005 and April 2006. My weight and blood pressure rates were recorded and kept. As were the visual computer records of a skin analysis. It is great to know my weight and blood pressure have decreased and my skin analysis has hardly altered.
“Chiva Som”, meaning “Haven for Life” is in the resort town of Hua Hin, about 200 km south of Bangkok looking out to the Thailand Gulf, actually only a hop away from Burma and a large skip from Cambodia. ………. aahhhh the miles we could do in a camper!
Could we buy a camper here???
The city also hosts a Royal Palace, Klai Kangwon (Far from Worries). Built in 1928 it is still frequented by the royal family. There is actually plenty to do in the surrounding area but we hardly leave the resort other than brisk walks along the 5 mile beach, and one night to absorb the atmosphere, colors and smells of the local night market.
The service here is typical Thai – faultless!! Of course the Thai people and culture could not be more different from Europe, Morocco or Australia! Whilst deep down I think Antonio would learn to love it, for now he is just not sure about all the bowing going on towards him. 95% of Thais are Buddist and shrines and symbols to and of Buddha are an integrated part of their lives.
And its tropical here. Warm nights, hot humid days. Perfect weather to help you stretch, slow down and relax.
6 nights has been wonderful to break our journey and nip jetlag in the bud. We can hardly believe we are now nearly home! We make a final pack of our bags and wait for our car like kids waiting for Santa. In less than 15 hrs, we will be home.!!!