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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Traditional herbal shop in Takua Pa

Although not really planned, today we visited a traditional herbal shop in Takua Pa, at least I didn't plan it!

Traditional herbal shop in Takua Pa

A mighty big cabinet and various herbs on display inside the shop

We were visiting the Tsunami memorial in Ban Nam Khem, my family has never been there and for the children it was a good way to introduce to something visible of what the Tsunami is like (some of the pictures near the memorial, inside a small building). They heard of the tsunami but didn't really have an idea what it is all about.

Traditional herbal shop in Takua Pa

Loads of herbs all over the shop, these are towards the back of the shop

From the Tsunami memorial it's not far to Takua pa and when i asked if anybody is interested to visit, my wife immediately said yes! On;y to mention once we were in the city, that she was looking for a herbal shop. Right. A gerbal shop. Those are easy to find, but, let's give it a go. 

Traditional herbal shop in Takua Pa

Herbs stacked on the floor

Sometimes it really is proven that there is no such thing as coincidence, since where did I park the car to ask for directions, exactly, one shop too far. It was a matter of getting out of the car and walk back 5 meters! There's no signage or anything, so the shop is hard to find, if you don't know what you're looking for, but if it helps, it's opposite the Temple and just before the bridge. believe me, that's not too hard to find in Takua Pa. it's not that big!

Traditional herbal shop in Takua Pa

The owner checking one of his herbal mixes

My wife boils the herbs in water and drinks the essence. She keeps adding water over various weeks, that's how strong there mixes are, and she just adds water every time it runs low on water.
On Samui these herbs are expensive and one time her Mum ordered herbs from Takua Pa, and although the original package is around 25-300 THB, on Samui her Mum need to pay a lot more. Now it looks like there's a hot a line established with the shop owner and he can send mixes whenever needed.

Traditional herbal shop in Takua Pa

The owner in front of the impressive cabinet

Just bu describing her symptoms, the right mix can be established and within a few moments, your package is ready. However, it's need to be relative fresh, so a few days before we head back to Samui, my wife will head back to Takua Pa to pick up her bag of mixed herbs and swap phone numbers and other essential information to get a steady flow going between Takua Pa and our home on Samui.

Traditional herbal shop in Takua Pa

The entrance to the shop, without any signage, you need to to know!

The wife of the owner spoke briefly to me and asked me a few questions and she re-assured my wife that I was very healthy! 
These kind places are unfortunately slowly fading out and that is a form of history and knowledge that should be kept and maintained!  Just walking into these stores, the smells are unique! The cabinet in this shop is a beauty, all these little and small drawers with writing on them, stating which herbs are stored in each drawer. Just fantastic. In Bangkok you can find really big herbal shops, in Yaowarat, Bangkok's Chinese town.
I'm glad we visited this shop today and I got to see some of Thailand's tradition and old style herbal medicine, despite my earlier scepticism on being able to find the shop!

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