Our tour leaders have personal links with one family, who welcomed all eight of us into their home for two nights. I was so relieved to actually arrive there, that the rustic simplicity of our accommodation did not hit me at first.
This stay was a wonderful opportunity included in our Green Mindful Tour with Roots of Asia who specialise in Tours for Women in northern Thailand.
To see or not to see the Long Neck Karen
- that is the tourist’s dilemma.
‘Go and see if you want,’ said our local hosts. ‘We don’t support the Long Neck Village. It is just a tourist venture, which exploits these people.’. Read more
Thailand: trekking through Karen villages in the mountains of Northern Thailand was wonderful, exhausting, eye-opening and horrifying. It was quite hard work physically and certainly a cultural shock. Even the deep knee bends, and Qi Gong every morning had not really prepared us.
Scratching my legs and getting hives in Thailand
‘Uh huh’, I remembered from once before, ‘Hives’.
Was it the heat, was it something I ate in this country of delicious spicy food? Whatever it was, the itching was driving me crazy.
The rash came on while I was at a two day silent retreat in a Buddhist monastery. It spread to my inner arms and chest. All the areas I use sunblock on, all the areas of my skin exposed to the sun and air.
AS soon as we returned to Chiang Mai city I asked the pharmacist at the nearby University Pharmacy. She looked at my ugly red legs with kindness.
“We get a lot of that here, with farang (foreigners) . It’s the pollution, gives you an allergy.’
From my internet research , I had learned that hives, or urticaria, can be caused by food allergies, environmental allergy or excessive heat. All were likely in Thailand. All can respond to antihistamine and to a steroid ointment. So I was confident to take her advice- to rub on Beprogel, a topical solution to reduce the swelling and itchiness, and to swallow Zyrtec, an antihistamine tablet.
Along the road, a herbal pharmacist offered me a lovely cooling green aloe vera lotion to relieve the itch, and also a detox teabag- take three times a day. I checked it out on the internet- thunbergia laurelfolia- can be used as anti inflammatory. She advised cutting out all seafood and fish sauce. This was hard as I had to learn to say, ‘No fish, no oyster sauce’ in Thai.
After four days of trying not to scratch, the swelling was reduced, the itching lessened and things were looking up. But one night, I unthinkingly had the most delicious fish and salad, and within minutes was scratching the new red welts.
Do your research first - There are Two Sides to the Story!
We heard a sorry story, in a vegetarian restaurant in Chiang Mai. She was an older woman, well dressed, but holding her mouth and looking ill at ease. Her story was a sad one. Read more
Once I finished my studies in Australia, graduating with a degree in English Language, I decided I was finally going to pursue a dream that I had for some time. My dream was to go to another country and teach. I have a strong belief in doing something that makes a difference in the lives of others. What I didn’t realize is what a difference the experience would make in me. Read more
Roots of Asia tours for women
We did not want a few nights in Bangkok this time, nor the delights of the white sand beaches, but it was mountains, jungle, homestays, meditation, cooking class, and time to relax, which we were seeking.
Along comes an enticing web site - www.rootsofasia.com