Thursday, October 2, 2014

Chiva-Som in Thailand. The best health spa in the world, and just like coming home.

Chiva-Som organized a party just for me today,
for being a loyal guest for about 15 years.
So the other day, in Thailand, living a Travelife, I checked into the Chiva-Som International Health Resort in Hua Hin.

This is one of my favourite places in the world, and after about 15 years of staying here, it's just like coming home.

I started coming here when Chiva-Som was just a juicy bit of information passed around by word of mouth at smart dinner parties in places like Hong Kong, Tokyo and London. Nowadays it's become so famous, so everyone interested in health and wellness knows about it.

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NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN
AFTER SUCH A LONG TIME

However, I hadn't been here in a very long time because I've been busy traveling the world on a never-ending Travelife.

But when I checked in, everything was the same with the exception of a few minor improvements.

Even the staff were the same.



The receptionists greeted me like family. Then, when I got to the spa for my first massage, I saw all the familiar faces. It was like I had just been here last month instead of five years ago.

One of the spa ladies even came out, after hearing my voice greeting everyone, and she said: "I know that voice! I know that voice! You're back."


MY "HOME" IN THAILAND


Yes, I'm back.

And it's nice to be "home."

I've never had a major crisis in my life yet -- knock on wood -- but if I did have one, this is where I would go to escape or recuperate.

It's not an ultra-glamorous or ultra-luxurious resort at all, but the rooms (especially the Thai Pavilion rooms and the suites) are very comfortable and this is really is the best, most comprehensive health resort in the world.

THE MOST EXTENSIVE SPA MENU
I'VE SEEN IN A TRAVELIFE

When you first check in at Chiva Som, no matter how many times you've been, you have to see a consultant to get your whole visit organised.

I know their menu book like the back of my hand, even after all these years, so I know exactly what I want.

In fact, I emailed Chiva Som everything I wanted to book from the Manila airport, with the times I wanted as well.



SOMEONE I'VE KNOWN FOR YEARS

The consultant I was assigned is someone I know very well, too. I've seen her over the years.

In fact, when I came into her office at the start of this visit, she had a thick file on her desk and it had my whole life in it over 15 years -- my photos upon each arrival, my treatments, my blood test results and even a 3D echo results form.

Even my weight and measurements over 15 years. Can you imagine?

And I'm so glad to note that I weigh almost exactly the same today as I did 15 years ago. As for the measurements on this visit, I'm going to get the nurse to do that tomorrow, so tomorrow at 815 AM is Judgement Day.




EVEN A 3D ECHO AT CHIVA SOM

Once upon a time, Chiva-Som was something like only the 2nd place in Asia to get a 3D echo machine to scan the heart -- or something like that.

And I'd always had my heart scan done here by a very nice lady who was a famous Bangkok heart surgeon, although I always called her "Dr. Peanut." It sure beat going to a hospital for a heart check, to have your heart scanned by the latest state-of-art technology right by the beach.

I used to get all my bloodwork done here, too, just because it was so convenient to have a nurse jab your arm after you're all relaxed with the massage.



ZERO BODY FAT.
OR WORLD PEACE.

Anyway, the consultant said to me the other day, during our meeting: "What do you want to do on this stay?"

I'd actually already rehearsed what I wanted to say in my mind, on the way over, as I had a two-and-a-half hour drive from Bangkok airport. So I told her: "I want to achieve zero body fat, lose about four kilos of weight, and just look more beautiful."

You should've seen the look she had on her face. It was like I'd said I wanted world peace or I'd said that I wanted to eradicate ISIS from the world map in four days. But I let her tease me as I've known her a long time.




WHAT CAN I SAY?
I LIKE EVERYTHING PRIVATE

She even said: "Don't bother scheduling time for the classes as I know you won't do them anyway. Just book all the private sessions, and book them in advance because we have a lot of people this week."

Yes, she knows me too well.

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I don't like crowds and I really need incentive to get moving, so I can never attend the group stretch classes at 9 AM everyday.

Instead, I book the private Super Stretch session for the same time. This morning, for instance, I did a private Super Stretch session with a CD by the Eagles on the stereo.

Same results but just the lazy way out. You have a trainer and a gym to yourself, and you just lie on a mat and get stretched.




A SUPER STRETCH EVERYDAY
AND A SUPER STRETCHED TRAVELIFE

Speaking of stretched, it was really a stretch to come here as my schedule in the last few months has literally been super stretched. Pardon the pun.

But I am so glad I made the effort and booked the airline ticket and my stay, as I feel refreshed, rejuvenated, relaxed and detoxed of certain things and people in my life.

Call it an advanced birthday gift to myself, on just another wonderful trip in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.





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