Naked in Thailand? Why YES!

I’ve always thought it a pity that regions of the world with perfect beaches and ideal climates are pretty much out of the running in the category of world class naturist destinations. When we travel, we do all we can to maintain a low profile as American tourists. (e.g., Observing local customs about nudity on the beach.) And thus, when a sanctioned naturist place does appear on the scene, we are eager to support such entrepreneurial efforts while finding an excuse to explore a corner of the planet we might not have found otherwise.

IMG_1887Don’t know that I would have ever found my way to Chiang Mai, Thailand had it not been for the allure of a little resort in a neighboring village called Oriental Village. As you will find on TripAdvisor, it’s located out amidst the rice fields – the spring burning of which contributes quite a lot to the hazy conditions that make it difficult at times to tell if the sun is shining. As that has been our experience throughout much of Asia, we found that neither surprising nor off putting, though I did find myself longing for the deep blue skies that appear in some of the photos.

IMG_7297The place is run by a quirky French fellow who apparently took over the property from the previous management that ran a textile resort there. The chalets are simple and well appointed, and we very much enjoyed the little restaurant on the premises that served simple local cuisine. We even booked a massage one day from a woman they bring in for their guests who was a bit more thorough (though not inappropriate) than I am accustomed to. Maybe the most enjoyable massage, ever…

IMG_1874The pool area is the centerpiece of the property, and while quite small, it was completely adequate for the ritual of sunbathing and soaking. In addition to a few Europeans, we were pleased to meet a couple Malaysian travelers who try to frequent this resort two or three times a year. As this was our midyear break, we found lounging by the pool to be our favorite activity, but we did manage to make it to the elephant reserve (a good distance away) and do a bit of exploring in the old city of Chiang Mai, which I find much more interesting and accessible than Bangkok.

IMG_7319I have been following the Naturist Association of Thailand for some time now, which lists several resorts scattered about this vast country, each of which emphasizes in one way or another that nudity must be confined to the space within the barriers of the resort – once again, not surprising given the very strict laws about nudity on beaches and such. That said, I was delighted to discover a new resort that has recently popped up near Phuket that appears (by their website, and the first round of Trip Advisor reports) to be a lovely facility. Had we known The Lemon Tree had existed during our recent visit last April we would have stopped in for sure. Another reason to go back.

Lemon Tree - New resort in Phuket

Lemon Tree – New resort in Phuket

Would I return to Oriental Village near Chiang Mai? You bet. We find the perfect naturist vacation is one that provides an opportunity to explore and experience another corner of the planet, while affording a place to get naked at the end of the day. I can only hope that these trend setting proprietors of naturist resorts in Thailand will open the gates for other creative naturist solutions in Southeast Asia, where the sun is shining while much of the northern hemisphere lies under a blanket of snow.

IMG_7304One more thing… next time we go, we will rent a car, though that requires driving on what we consider to be the wrong side of the road. I was even more concerned about the prospect of road signs written with indecipherable diacritical markings that would leave me “unnaked and afraid.” But alas, nearly all the important road signs are in English as well, and my phone GPS worked like a charm.

So there it is. Go to Asia and get naked. These little places need our naked support, and we naked people need nice places to stay. This is a trend that I hope to see pick up momentum in the coming months and years.

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Naked at the far corners of the earth

I began my naturist blog just over three years, and 300,000 hits ago. You can find my original post here written as we were preparing for an epic naturist journey across Europe, or my original splash page here, where I muse a bit about my philosophy of naturism.

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Playa Sonrisa, Mexico

Life has been good to us. We both (my wife and I) have careers that alternate between periods of great intensity along with opportunities throughout the year to avail ourselves to world travel. Our children are grown and on their own (though they still join us now and again on our naturist adventures), and we are fortunate to conjure up enough cash for a plane ticket now and again to an exotic destination. As I write this, we are at a small naturist resort in northern Thailand that is a haven of peace and serenity – finally, a chance to catch up on my blog.

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Colina do Sol, Brazil

What had not occurred to me when we first began seeking out naturist places – though it seems like a no-brainer when you stop to think about it – is that most naturist destinations are well hidden. (Especially those outside of Europe.) The extraordinary bi-product of that is the places you see and the people you meet. A week long stay at Playa Sonrisa near the Belize border of the Mexican Yucatan peninsula afforded us a day trip to Mayan ruins and a one-hour boat ride to the island village of San Pedro. Seeking out a naturist place in South Africa led us to a stay on a farm that has been in the family for several generations with a gregarious guy named Piet who took us on our own personal safari. And forging our way through the hills of southern Brazil led us to a village designed to be a naturist utopia nestled amidst giant iguanas and lush jungle foliage. Real places. Real people. Real stories. Places we would have never found had we not been looking for a warm, safe haven to escape the harsh winters of the Northeast. Not to mention oh so many fabulous places in Spain, France, Croatia, and Greece where one can exploit the most stunning of long naked summer days.

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Harmony Nature Farm, South Africa

Blogging takes time. But I find a sense of rejuvenation in writing about our travels, hoping in the last place to accomplish two things: to provide real information about real naturist places and real naturist people in an effort to convey that naturism and the people who love it is not the stuff of sensationalist tabloid news; and secondly, to encourage those with an adventurous spirit to seek out and patronize naturist places so they will continue to thrive and multiply.

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Praia do Pinho, Brazil

Thanks for reading my blog. In the coming months, I will be posting several new stories and reports about some of our sweetest finds in the naturist world. If you know of a place we should add to our list, leave a comment or send me an email. Life is too short to miss a good opportunity to get naked!


 

OUR TOP PICKS FOR GETTING NAKED

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Oriental Village, Chiang Mai – Thailand