The Inspire Thai Study Trip 2013
At Inspire we think Thailand is brilliant and we want to share with you some of the great experiences and Thai massage training that we have enjoyed and benefited from. Why don't you leave London behind you for a week of Sun, Learning, Great Food and Guaranteed Fun in the centre of Thai bodywork - Bangkok!
Staying in a delightful boutique hotel (With a roof top pool!) in the amazing metropolis of Bangkok, we've arranged for you to have an exclusive course in Thai Massage at the world famous Wat Po Massage School, the home of Thai massage! The course will be taught by 3 Tutors and is certificated for insurance in the UK
Not only will you be learning Thai Massage, but you will also get the chance to learn how to cook some amazing Thai Food, and have a full day excursion at the end of the training*
We'll show you the famous reclining Buddha at Wat Po, Show you the stunning Royal Palace, take you to the World's largest weekend market at Chatuchak, as well as introduce you to some great Thai treatments.
You'll be guided by Inspires Senior Tutor, Chris, who has studied himself, at Wat Po and visits Thailand regularly to gain further experience. He will be able to share his experiences and knowledge of this bustling city and take you to some of the best places for massage at a fraction of UK Prices! He'll even teach you some key Thai phrases that will help you to haggle lower prices!
You'll return refreshed and enlightened with your Certificate in Thai Massage and ready to expand your practice with authentic Thai massage, and on top of that you will make new friends and share an amazing experience that many will be jealous of!
* Exact detail of full day excursion still TBC, but will either be a visit to Kanchanaburi and the famous Bridge over the River Kwai, A trip to the old capital of Ayutthaya, or a trip to Coral Island in Pattaya for sunbathing and swimming.
So when do we go?
The dates of the trip are Monday 13th to Wednesday 22nd May 2013. Further details of flight options and suggested dates of travel are listed below.
To enable you to be insured for Thai Massage in the UK, there will also be 3 Days of training in the UK, further details about this are also below.
Wow...so what's included?
- 9 nights, Bed & Breakfast at the Navalai River Resort Hotel, Bangkok
- Welcome Drink on first night
- A certificated Thai Massage Course at Wat Po, accredited in the UK following the additional UK based training
- A "Welcome" Evening Meal at the superb Cabbages & Condoms Restaurant, joined by Inspire students on the Advanced Thai Trip running at the same time
- A Thai Cooking Class
- A "Closing" Dinner at the hotel to mark the last day of training, joined by the students on the Advanced Thai Trip
- Entrance into Wat Po, also including a full 1 hour massage
- An additional massage during the stay
- Full Day excursion on the last day of the trip
- Transport for all included excursions, and between the Hotel and Wat Po each day of the course
- 3 Days additional UK based training to meet Insurance requirements
So tell me about the course!
The Wat Po Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School was opened in 1955. Wat Po TTM was the first Thai Medical School under the control of The Ministry of Education of Thailand. It is regarded as the best school of Thai Massage in the world and we have arranged for you to have an exclusive course.
The school is located just outside the grounds of the famous Wat Po temple and provides large air conditioned rooms where you will learn the amazing art of Thai Massage!
A typical day at school will start at 9am, finishing around 4pm. You will have a morning and afternoon break, and an hour for lunch. There are plenty of cheap places to eat around the school; alternatively you can choose to eat at the school itself. The Roof Top terrace offers great views over the river and fresh Thai food is cooked every day at ridiculously cheap prices (less than £1). This will also be a great opportunity to network with other students at the school!
The structure of the course will be wholly practical, theory will be taught throughout the days whilst you are working. We will be in a dedicated room with 3 of our own tutors.
The course is a widely recognised Certificate in Thai Massage, and to ensure that you meet the requirements of UK insurance companies, we will also have 3 days additional training arranged for you in the UK at Inspires London centre. More details about this later...
Following the 5-Day Introduction Training course, you will then be able to return the following year to extend your training further with Wat Po's Advanced Thai medical Massage Course over 8 days, which students from the 2012 Thai Study Trip will be doing whilst you are there on this trip, so you will also get plenty of opportunity to network with that group and hear all about their experiences.
WAT PO Thai Traditional Massage School (WAT PO TTM)
2 Sanamchai Rd., Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200 Thailand
Tel. (+66) 2 221-2974, (+66) 2 225-4771
Well apart from the obvious reasons that it's in Thailand where the weather is amazing and the food is delicious (and cheap), what better place to learn the traditional ways but in the country in which they were developed. You will receive the best guidance in this technique, whilst being at the heart of the traditions.
You will make new friends, and have access to some of the best resources for continued learning, enabling you to bring a whole new element to your practice here in the UK.
Yes, courses are available in the UK (for roughly the same cost!) where you can receive the same qualifications, but doesn't it sound so much better to learn there instead of here?
So, tell me more about the Excursions:
- We'll take you where you can experience authentic Thai massage treatments for a fraction of UK prices
- We'll visit Wat Po, where you can marvel at the stunning "Statue of the reclining Buddha" and where you can have a treatment in their therapy hall
- We will arrange for you to have an exclusive Thai cooking lesson from a chef and then eat the fruits of your culinary artistry
- There will be opportunities to visit markets, the like of which you cannot imagine. Chatuchak is an extraordinary experience. It is not only vast, but combines opportunities to buy traditional and locally made goods, eat wonderful local food, have yet more massages
- We'll arrange a full day excursion at the end of the trip with the Advanced Study Trip students where you will get to see more of Thailand beyond Bangkok.
- We'll have recommendations for restaurants, some super smart, some fun but always with great freshly cooked food
The streets are always lined with stalls until the early hours and there are a variety of large markets other than Chatuchak and of course the night bazaars are open every night!
The Itinerary: May 2013
We'll all meet for a welcome drink on the hotel roof around the pool and then join Chris for an evening of orientation around the street markets surrounding the hotel, sampling some amazingly cheap and delicious street food. Most of you will have arrived that afternoon so the first night will be very relaxed and easy going allowing you a slow introduction to the sights, sounds and smells of this amazing city, alternatively if you're just feeling far too tired and jetlagged you can have an early night and catch up on some Zzzzz's
To arrive at the hotel by Monday afternoon/evening, you'll need to leave the UK on Sunday 12th. See airline details below for more information.
The first morning will be very relaxed, allowing you time to unwind and adjust to the heat! You can chill out by the pool, catch up with the rest of the group or go for a walk around the local area and soak up the street life in Bangkok.
After lunch we will all head, by Local Riverboat Taxi, to Wat Po where you will get to spend some time walking around this stunning Temple and seeing, first hand, the inscriptions that thousands of years ago, formed the basis of all Thai Massage learning. You will get to marvel at the stunning "Statue of the Reclining Buddha" and then you can experience a massage from the birthplace of this amazing treatment...
In the evening, we have arranged a group dinner at the very famous Cabbages and Condoms restaurant, which supports a great charity. The food and atmosphere are great and the restaurant itself has to be seen to be believed. Check it out at http://www.pda.or.th/restaurant/restaurant.asp
We will be joined at dinner by the students who are studying the Advanced Medical Massage course at Wat Po - the next step following the 5-day introduction course.
Wednesday 15th to Friday 17th
Days 1 to 3 of the course: Travelling to and from Wat Po each day by River Boat. Forget London Underground in rush hour, we'll be travelling with the locals embarking at the Hotels own Pier, travelling just a short 15 minute journey to the school along the Chao Phraya river.
Your fascinating studies begin at Wat Po Massage School, where you'll be taught Thai massage in English and in an exclusive group by 3 tutors. Wat Po's teaching is recognised around the world.
On each of the days, after 'school' - we'll arrange plenty of things to do, from showing you the best places to shop, or take you for some great treatments in town, such as Thai Foot massage whilst watching the world go by! Chris will recommend somewhere for dinner each night which, as a group we can choose to do together, or you are free to "do your own thing"...and there'll still be time to hit the night life!
A day off from Study, and up to now you will have sampled some amazing food, ranging from Thai Green Curry to delicious Pad Thai, so what better way to spend the morning, but to learn how to make it! We have arranged for the group to have a Thai Cooking Class where we will start by a visit to the local markets to buy the produce, then it's back to the kitchens under the guidance of chef to cook, and even better still, we then get to eat the food we've all made.
Afterwards, you will then have the option of going back to the hotel to chill out and relax, or head to the famous Chatuchak weekend markets - a sight to be seen as hundreds of market stalls offer everything and anything, including the kitchen sink! Bargains galore, a great opportunity to practice your bartering techniques!
Sunday 19th to Monday 20th
It's back to Wat Po for the final two days of the course!
Sunday evening will be very laid back, allowing you some revision time for your exam day on Monday, and then on Monday evening, to celebrate the end of the course we have arranged a group meal at the hotel, joined by the students that will also be celebrating the end of their Advanced Thai Study course. A perfect way to close the week!
Now the training is over, it's time for a day of unwinding. We will be arranging a full day group tour (joined by the Advanced Thai Study students). At the time of writing we haven't yet decided which tour we will join as it will all depend on availability, and not all tour operators can commit so far in advance, however, it will be one of the following three:
- A trip to Kanchanaburi and the Bridge over the River Kwai, along with the chance to ride elephants, stroke Tigers and zoom down river in a Longtail Speedboat (Think James Bond!) or
- A visit to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya where you can marvel at the ancient ruins. Ayutthaya served as the capital between 1350 and 1767. or
- Travelling along the coast to Pattaya, we will board a speed boat out to Coral Island, where we will get the chance to unwind and relax on the beach, go snorkelling and enjoy a beach BBQ - a truly relaxing end to a tiring week!
We'll have breakfast together and then depending on your flight time, you can have a quiet morning by the pool or a last mad dash to the markets. Once we know your travel arrangements, we can advise you of the best method and timing to arrange your airport transfer.
Sounds fun! Where do we stay?
Navalai River Resort Hotel,
45/1 Phra Athit Road, Phra Nakorn Bangkok 10200 Thailand.
Tel : +66(0)2 280 9955 www.navalai.com/index.php
A delightful riverside boutique hotel, with a stunning roof top pool and bar where you can unwind after a hard stays studying!
Every student will have their own room on a Bed & Breakfast basis. Each room is equipped with full en-suite facilities, and also includes free WiFi, complementary water, safe, mini-bar and TV.
Sitting outside on the decking you can enjoy your breakfast whilst watching life go by along the river. The hotel has its own pier with frequent Riverboat Taxis enabling quick and cheap transport to other parts of Bangkok. The hotel is situated close to the bustling centre of the Kao San Road - a sight to be seen in itself with deliciously cheap street food, cheap bargains at the street market stalls, or for the more brave and adventurous you might like to try a few deep fried bugs!
So what about Flights?
We felt that we didn't want to restrict this trip in anyway to people living in London, so therefore we decided that the study trip itself does not include flights, this way you get the flexibility to choose who you fly with and when you fly. All we state is that you need to be in Bangkok by Monday 13th May. Departing flights should be planned for the 22nd May. Some flights will leave around midday, other will leave late evening.
To enable you to arrive on time, you will need to find a suitable flight leaving the UK on Sunday 12th May at the latest.
This flexibility also means that you may wish to make some additional travel arrangements pre/post trip - for example you might like to stay on an extra week and travel down to the islands for some R&R on the beach! Or come out a few days earlier to acclimatise.
Additional night at the Navalai can be arranged for you but this needs to be requested at time of booking and at a cost of £55 per person per night, alternatively you are free to make your own arrangements, providing you arrive at the Navalai no earlier than 2pm on the 13th May
Flights from London to Bangkok
The recommended direct flights include;
• Eva Air - www.evaair.com
• British Airways - www.britishairways.com
• Thai Airways - www.thaiair.com
Direct flight time is approx 12hours and the time difference in Bangkok is UK+6 Hours.
There are many airlines that fly to Bangkok that may be cheaper but they may include 1 or 2 stops, for example Emirates fly via Dubai or Jet fly via Mumbai.
Whichever airline you choose and wherever you fly from, the choice is yours, you just need to make sure that your arrival and departure fit with the dates mentioned above.
If you choose a non-direct flight, my recommendation would be to check the stop-over times and keep them to a minimum otherwise what would normally be a 12 hour journey could easily turn into a 20 hour journey!
Bangkok is a very safe city, and the local people are delightful and courteous, however like any other major city you need to be cautious and careful of personal belongings. There are well know scams mainly surrounding Tuk-Tuk drivers, but there is nothing to fear once you know what to look out for. Chris has travelled to Bangkok many times and will make sure he is on hand to deal with any queries and will ensure you are aware of anything at all times.
The local currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht, and at the time of writing the exchange rate is currently 49Baht=£1
To give you a sense of "cost" a typical bottle of water will cost around 20Baht, evening meals at a local street food stall will cost around 50-100Baht a dish, sometimes cheaper, sometimes more expensive, but on the whole, Bangkok is a very cheap place to eat (and Shop!)
I'm Sold...So how much?
The total cost of the trip, excluding flights, is £1150.00
A £200 non-refundable deposit is payable at the time of booking, with the balance due no later than 29th March 2013. Payment may be made by card/cheque or transfer (contact us by email for account details)
To put this in perspective, Thai Massage Training Courses in the UK start at around £1100 for the same level and length of training as you will get from this trip, and even then, the practical level may not be as comprehensive, and what's more you don't get the bonus of all the excursions and all the amazing experiences you will get to be a part of!
The Small Print:
To summarise, the following items are included in the cost:
- 9 Nights Bed & Breakfast accommodation
- 5 Day Introduction to Thai Massage Course at Wat Po including transport to/from school
- Welcome Drink and Welcome Dinner (Including transport to/from restaurant)
- Half day Cooking Class
- A massage at Wat Po, including transport to/from and entrance to the temple
- A second massage during the stay
- A full day excursion at the end of the trip
- A "closing" meal at the end of the week
- 3 days UK Based Training in the UK
and, the following items are NOT included in the price:
- Airport transfers (We will provide costings/recommendations once we have confirmation of your flight details)
- Personal expenses
- Food (Other than listed above)
- Local transport (Other than listed above)
- Additional Treatments (Other than listed above)
- Travel insurance
The trip is limited to 12 students, so to avoid unnecessary costs, do not book any flights until your place on the trip has been confirmed!
To ensure that your time in Bangkok is not wasted and that you are able to be insured, also included in this trip will be 3 days classroom based training in the UK.
There will be a 1 day theory based workshop held prior to the trip, this will cover:
- The History/Origins of Thai Massage
- An Introduction to the Thai SEN
- Treatment Objectives
- An introduction to Thai Foot Massage and Thai Herbal Compress Massage
- An opportunity to meet the group before we travel
- An introduction to the customs of Thailand
- Cultural Awareness whilst we are there!
- The Thai Language - The basics "Hello", "Goodbye", "Please" and "Thank you"!
There will then be 2 days practical workshop after the trip, this will cover:
- Recap of the Theory from Day 1
- Run through of Practical learnt in Thailand
- Case Study Review
Each student will need to complete 6 Case Studies (3 Clients, 2 treatments each). These need to be completed and sent to Inspire prior to the 2 days training post-trip - More detail will be provided on the 1st Theory Day.
Classes will be held at Inspires London Centre at Froebel College, SW18, on the following dates:
- Saturday 4th May, 10am - 5:30pm
- Saturday/Sunday 22nd/23rd June, 10am - 5:30pm
Full details of the UK Based classes will be sent once you have booked your place!
Yes Yes Yes, I want to go!
So that's it! All you need to do now is download and read carefully the T&C's and then complete and return the Booking Form to hold your place! The trip is limited to 12 students, so don't delay and miss out on an amazing opportunity!
Download the Booking Form here (Adobe PDF)
Download the Terms & Conditions here (Adobe PDF)