Today marks the start of the end of my twenties. I think my 28th birthday was probably spent renovating a house in preparation for us leaving 2 weeks later to begin this trip, so needless to say it isn’t a memorable one. So as we’re in Bangkok for this one with not a single paint roller, screwdriver or hammer in sight, it’s got to be better!
It would have been great if Nick woke me up with a nicely wrapped edition of Bernards watch so I could use it to avoid getting to 30 but I got a good second best 🙂 We started the day by going to Ayutthaya’s temples which are about an hour outside of Bangkok. It was actually the capital of Thailand at one point and hence the whole city is full of ancient temples and ruins.
The ruins were much like the ones we saw in Sukhothai last time we were in Thailand. Many dated back to the 1500’s and despite going through numerous fires and wars they were still standing. One of the most well known is the Wat Mahathat temple which is home to a stone carved face that’s embedded in a trees roots. Apparently this head fell from a full sized statue and over time roots formed around it to give it’s present day look.
After a long and very, very hot day around the temples we made it back to the hotel where Nick told me I had about 5 minutes to get ready to go out again. This time I had no idea where we were going and despite spending the whole 30 min taxi drive guessing I was still none the wiser (I’m usually so good at guessing surprises, I must be losing it in my old age!).
We pulled up at a place called Float. Even upon entering I still had no idea what this place was, it was a sterile white waiting room with relaxed music playing and a health questionnaire waiting for us to sign. What am I signing up to I thought. The guy on reception started explaining I was going to spend an hour in a sensory deprivation pod. A what?? I had never even heard of these things, it’s no wonder I couldn’t guess what we were doing!
Basically these pod like capsules are filled with about 10 inches of body temperature water, the water isn’t water as we know it though, it’s super saturated in 600KG of epsom salt. The salts make is impossible not to float when you lay down and when you pull close the capsule you’re in pure blackness, absolute silence and have very little feeling of your body. For one hour you’re left with nothing but your thoughts and then 5 minutes before the end soft sounds of birds and ocean waves are played to let you know times up.
Apparently the loss of your senses allow you to reach a deep state of relaxation, similar to that feeling just before you nod off. In this state your imagine is said to heighten and you can enter a dream like state. Many people even report hallucinating whilst in the pods. The guy on reception told us he had a woman in last week who came out crying having felt she connected with her dead mum!
Unfortunately neither of us had any crazy hallucinations or managed to reach that stage just before you sleep. I found it really hard just to shut off and couldn’t stop thoughts racing around in my head. The only thing I could hear was the beat of my heart in my left ear and after about 30 minutes I could barely feel my body other than the odd spasm of a muscle. I’d love to give it another go sometime though as most people apparently take 3 sessions to really relax and benefit from it.
Finally for the day Nick took me for the best steak of my life at a restaurant called The District. When the waiter came over with a boxed selection of steak knives for me to pick from I realised we were out of our depth, this was way too posh for us (I hope nobody notices I’m wearing Havianna flip flops). Before the steak came we were served up two complimentary mini courses but being as we’re more Domino’s diners than fine diners, we had no idea what they were. Salmon and a brown sauce served in a tumbler? A loaf of bread served with various capsules full of different salts?
Fortunately we were more familiar with how to eat steak and it didn’t last long, it was delicious and capped off a great Birthday 🙂