Sunday, 14 August 2016

Yoga in Chiang Mai

Over the last few years there has been a resurgence in interest in practising yoga. It has become something similar to diving in the sense that it is an industry that draws in many of its new punters with the lure of getting a qualification that will lead to employment in Thailand, thus making the dream of living and working in Thailand come true. Here is a brief guide to doing yoga in Chiang Mai.

Wild Rose Yoga Studio The main man is Lek. He studied in India and also under Victor Chng who taught him Yin Yoga.

Yoga Mind Yoga Body This is the name for Gernot Huber's classes. He does private classes at his small studio. He also gives drop in classes at Wild Rose Yoga Studio and The Yoga Tree. Gernot does Anusara and Iyengar yoga techniques, and touches on the philosophy behind yoga.

Blue Garden Yoga and Massage Training There is a medicinal aspect to this yoga school. The founder combines Thai massage, Chinese chi manipulation and yoga to help people with their ailments. Daily lessons cost 200 THB.

The Yoga Tree This is a space for yoga, dance and creative wellness or so the strap line says. Awaken your inner dancer. This is a busy yoga centre. Gernot teaches here. They have classes every day and often from 9am to 6pm. Some classes are fixed price, others are donation based. They also do Qi Gong classes.

The Yoga Room The Yoga Room can only manage a free wordpress site. They do Ashtanga Yoga and have yoga teacher training with certification by IYC Japan. The main man is Ken Harakuma who has a lot of the ubermensch about him.

Yoga Kuukan Yoga school run by Rose ('an old soul') and also featuring Tomer from Germany. They do yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. They claim to be un-dogmatic and to not follow any guru. Yoga Kuukan has workshops and classes most days of the week. See their schedule for more details. This list of yoga schools is not exhaustive. It is a growing area. As with the yoga scene in Srithanu in Koh Phangan, it is a side of tourism that is rapidly expanding. Indeed I would hazard a guess that new yoga schools are appearing quicker than new brothels. That must be good for the city.


Wild Rose Yoga
Yoga Mind Yoga Body
Blue Garden Yoga
The Yoga Tree
The Yoga Room
Yoga Kuukan

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Loi Kroh Road

In Thai 'Loi Kroh' means 'wash your bad luck away'. There is a book on this very subject. Loi Kroh Road is the place that all locals and expats in Chiang Mai have heard about. It is a small area full of bars and eateries as well as go go bars. If Chiang Mai has a red light district it is Loi Kroh Road. The irony of the road name is obvious - for many naive tourists the bad luck begins with falling for a working girl.

It is hard to be prudish when writing about a place in Thailand. There are red light districts in Bangkok (Soi Cowboy and Patpong), Pattaya (Walking Street), Phuket (Bangla Road). Koh Samui has hundreds of working girls in Chaweng and Lamai. Even the hippy island of Koh Phangan has a mile stretch of sordid beer bar places. Prostitution is common in Thailand and attracts both sexpats, sex tourists and Thai men. In this way, Chiang Mai is no different.

On Loi Kroh Road you will find bars where you buy the girl a drink and she will sit with you. Then of course after pleasantries there is the option to pay a bar fine to release the girl for however long it takes for the customer to gain his satisfaction. There are both go go bars where the girls dance and beer bars where the girls stalk the bar looking for a friendly response from newly arrived clients.

The street also have massage parlours. The girls are often outside trying to drum up trade by claiming passing by men are 'handsome'.

Those really into such sex enclaves will be happy with the cheap prices for drinks, fines and girls but perhaps less so with the quality and quantity . Loi Kroh Road is a small red light district and numerous 'stickboy' types moan about the age and prettiness of the girls. Bar fines range from 300 to 500 Thai Baht.

For those just curious about Loi Kroh Road there are bars and cafes on the street which focus more on food and drink rather than on the skin trade. There is often a lively night scene in this area and many people like to be on the fringe of the sex industry enjoying the free atmosphere, the plentiful supply of eye candy and the possibility of watching some sordid drama play out in public.

Yes, the best and worst that Thailand has to offer.


Loi Kroh Road is outside the walled old city and not far from the river. See the map below.