Depending on the day, I’m slightly to extremely obsessed with Thailand. The first three months of 2006 have been dedicated to the Land of Smiles–I’m all about curries and rice noodles and creamy Thai iced teas. I even bought a Thailand-made bust of Buddha and Thai fisherman’s pants have become my favorite leisure apparel. Oooh, and the massage, but I’ll get to that later.

I was always interested in Southeast Asia, but I held my curiosity until I had an excuse to visit. Now a honeymoon has given me a solid reason to drool over guidebook images of temples at sunset, meditating monks, and the flat green sea of the Gulf coast. We’ll travel to Bangkok in June–the hottest time of year–and seek peace of mind and pad Thai and simultaneous massages, but probably not in that order. After 21 hours of travel and a time change that will have deprived us of an entire day, we’ll be more than ready to sink into the hands of a Thai massage practitioner. Unlike Swedish massage, which kneads the knots and tension out of muscles, Thai massage opens the body’s blocked energy channels–when executed with the right combo of determination and ease, the results can be extraordinary.

Our friend K recently returned from two months of studying Thai massage in Chiang Mai [note: friends living in Thailand add to Thai obsession]. He returned with dreadlocks, mind-blowing massage skills, and an otherworldly calm that I hope to find there too.

— Guest blogger Marisa Lowenstein

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