Bangkok Experiences

  • Single Malt Vault

    A whisky repository might not be the most obvious way to describe Bangkok, but that undercover nature is what makes the burgeoning “uisge beatha” bar scene here all the more exciting. In a riot of hidden venues and tucked-away gems, it never hurts to have a spirit guide or two... say a gent from Scotland and one from Japan, homes of the world's best single malts, unlocking the door to a whisky experience that ranks as the Thai capital's most intriguing.

    Edinburgh-raised travel scribe Duncan has been conducting extensive–if not entirely scientific--research on his native nation’s most famous export. The writer left the cozy bars and rain-soaked glens of Scotland for warmer climes more than a decade ago, but he hasn’t let the tropical weather deter him from seeking out new places to sample Scotch. Having swept Southeast Asia for darkened man-caves in which to hunker down with a dram or three, Duncan says his personal happy place is Hailiang, a speakeasy-style venue buried behind a small garden and an unmarked wooden door. Here, Osaka-born owner Junichi Yasuda (or Jay-san to his customers) presides over a collection of hundreds of bottles encompassing bourbon, shochu and a breathtaking array of single malts, some of them, like the $100-a shot 23-year old Ichiro’s Malt, extremely rare.

    You’ll be picked up from your hotel and whisked to this hidden realm in style. There, far removed from the neon glow on the street outside, Duncan will introduce you to Jay-san. Sink into your leather armchair and sip the night away. A former engineer who helped build Suvarnabhumi Airport, Jay-san is also an accomplished jazz bassist and fascinating conversationalist in several languages, the perfect renaissance man to guide you to the perfect tipple for your taste.

     
  • Sunset Gong Therapy

    Sound therapy, as Jen will tell you, has been used for centuries to detoxify, to heal, and to clear emotional blockages. A gong bath, of course, has nothing to do with water, but it is immersive in a deeper sense: the resonant rolls and soaring crescendos from the ancient instrument sweep over and through you to raise the frequencies in your body to more optimal levels, like an energizing sound massage. Join Jen--a professional dancer turned yoga teacher, Reiki healer and sound therapist--at home for your vibrational reset.

    In her candlelit, verdant sanctuary, sunset is optimal relaxation time, and her regal symphonic gong takes centerstage. All smiles and warmth, Jen settles you in with some breathing exercises as the dusk deepens in the city beyond her vast windows.

    Lie down and the gong bath begins, releasing waves of sound that wash over you and send your brain into a theta, dreamlike state. Whether you’re a wellness junkie or a meditation newbie, don’t be surprised if you see colors, find inspiration or fall into a trance. Jen’s gentle use of Tibetan singing bowls and tinkling Koshi chimes adds to the fairyland effect.

    The conclusion of your session brings a feeling of peaceful exhilaration; stretch and linger over a cup of homebrewed yogi tea. For an even more profound experience, start with a yoga lesson. Drawing on more than 15 years of yoga practice and training in Ashtanga, Vinyasa flow, Iyengar, and Yin styles with internationally recognized teachers, Jen will guide you to bring awareness to your breath and body--the perfect ease in to your gong bath.