We all wish we could wave that magic wand and find ourselves instantly transported to one of the many beautiful places for which the Kingdom of Thailand is known, and for which we long.
But with Thailand’s borders still closed and most International travel currently on hold, we need to be patient for just a little bit longer. In the interim we thought we’d offer a selection of places within South Africa where you can get your ‘Thai-fix’. Afterall, experience dictates that an excellent Thai meal or healing Thai massage is guaranteed to make you feel better – for a little while at least – until you can board that flight for the ‘Land of Smiles’.
Eat Thai Street Food
Thailand is home to many different kinds of street food and every city has a variety of stalls selling theirs. From Pad Thai to Som Tam, mango and sticky rice or traditional Thai coffees. At any time of the day you’ll find vendors casually preparing their delicious foods as the orders stream in. When in Thailand it’s always recommended to follow the locals and eat where they are eating – as they know best.
There are numerous places to enjoy delicious and affordable Thai food in South Africa with these recommended:
Yindees Authentic Thai Cuisine
Kloof Street, Cape Town.
After twenty years the world famous Yindee’s restaurant is still home to the finest authentic Thai cuisine on offer in Cape Town. With numerous awards, accolades and excellent critical reviews, they serve with pride from an extensive menu of traditional dishes as well as the Chef Nirun Kongthong’s special recommendations. The food is lovingly crafted to take your senses on a journey through the mystical and exotic Thailand. Complemented by a selection of fine wines from across the Cape wine region and housed within an historical Victorian national monument, the restaurant is decorated with artefacts and artworks from Thailand, the atmosphere is classical, comfortable and relaxed.
Wang Thai Royal Thai Cuisine
Lagoon Beach, Milnerton
Expect only the finest ingredients freshly prepared on location by real Thai chefs for a taste-nuanced dining experience seldom experienced locally. Wang Thai brings to its restaurants a traditional Thai culinary culture created from authentic, imported spices and locally-sourced ingredients. Served with the uncompromising service levels that befit exceptional food, in exceptional settings that have made the restaurants so popular. Wang Thai on Milnerton’s Lagoon Beach, offers an uninterrupted view towards Table Mountain.
Anong Thai Restaurant
Anong Thai Restaurant is located in Cyrildene, a 5 minute drive from Eastgate and Bedford Centre in the iconic ‘China Town’ on the East Rand. In business since 2015, they strive to bring authentic Thai food and experiences to the streets of Johannesburg, giving their customers a dining experience as good as could be found in Thailand. If Pad Thai and local Thai Singha beer is what gets you going when you think about Thailand, then you need to come and visit Anong Thai Restaurant for a bit of that, and more.
The past few months have taken their toll on all of us – and not being able to get on a plane and jet off to our favourite Southeast Asian destination for some relaxed restoration, isn’t making it any easier. But that’s no reason to miss out on a Thai massage. Famous around the world, the Thai massage follows an ancient Eastern technique that involves gentle rocking, acupressure, reflexology and stretching to renew energy and tone the whole body system. Designed to improve awareness and to balance body, mind and spirit, the whole experience will leave you feeling invigorated, balanced and ready for the months ahead.
These are wonderful restorative options:
Rachawadee Thai Spa – ‘The Thai Spa Experience’
Houghton Estate, Johannesburg
The First Thai Spa in South Africa, Rachawadee was established in 2004 with the aim of introducing the benefits of Thai massage to a new community. Traditional Thai massage has gained a reputation for its ability to alleviate backache, headache, stomach ache and nervous tension, as well as more serious ailments such as fever, epileptic fits and spinal defects. Based on the concept of invisible energy lines running through the body, the art form is linked to an ancient Indian yoga philosophy which states that these lines power our physical, mental and emotional processes and should be kept in balance.
At Rachawadee Thai Spa, patrons are guaranteed an authentic and traditional Thai massage experience with this as the focus. The location in which the spa is situated is exempt from the hustle and bustle of Jozi and is in a rather tranquil suburban Thai themed oasis. Using an array of special body herbs, holistic and healing treatment for clients, time here is certain to rejuvenate body and soul.
Mukda Thai Spa
Gordon’s Bay, Cape Town
An authentic Thai experience in a beautiful setting, be charmed by the healing touch of Thai Massage. Mukda Thai Spa has developed a concept of Thai tradition where guests can indulge in all the pleasures of an authentic Thai Spa. Situated in picturesque Gordons Bay with views towards the Helderberg Mountains, the spa offers clients a sanctuary – and a place for physical and mental renewal. Mukda Thai Spa has a luxurious Thai interior and traditional Thai gardens for exclusive use by their clients and guests. The homely ambiance and warmth permeate the whole atmosphere and is the core of our philosophy, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into a Chiang Mai resort.
Leelawadee Thai Spa
Gardens, Cape Town
When Leelawadee Thai Spa founder and owner Apple Butsud came to South Africa on holiday from Thailand more than a decade ago, she never imagined she would leave behind her home country and open Cape Town’s first and original Thai massage spa. Yet while in the Mother City she met Nirun Kongthong, owner and founder of the Thai restaurant, Yindee’s. They fell in love, married and have made a lift for themselves in South Africa. Apple going on to build a successful business in her adopted home, opening Leelawadee Thai Spa in 2005. Leelawadee has developed and changed over the years as more Capetonians recognised the unique benefits of Thai massage. As the original in the city, and arguable the best, Apple has built a loyal clientele and following, and a few hours at Leelawadee will have you understand exactly why.
Anong Thai has two Thai Spas worth visiting – http://anongthai.co.za/
When can you go to Thailand?
Keep an eye on the travel situation and when the borders will open by visiting the Royal Thai Embassy website at https://pretoria.thaiembassy.org/en and following Amazing Thailand – South Africa on Facebook for regular updates. Fingers crossed, soon.