I’m writing this on a quiet beach in Koh Phanang, Thailand. While this island is famous for its thumping Full Moon parties, this beach is known more for its detox centres than body paint and drinking out of buckets (Google “Full Moon Party” for details). Still, it’s not the complete antithesis. Its 8am in the morning and as I write this I notice a man covered in tattoos stretch out in morning asanas while a group of sweaty party-goers wait for a boat taxi. They have just finished their night and my kidneys hurt a little for them. The house music from the nearby jungle bar has been humming through my bungalow all night and still plays now. Somehow I’m not bothered by it, which is weird because I’m an insomniac who also happens to be a tad high maintenance. Just as uncharacteristic, I started my stay here without even a flushing toilet in my washroom. Instead, you have to shovel bowls of water by hand into the toilet bowl. I was fortunate to have mine clogged and they gave me a free upgrade to a beautiful room that was double the size with a strong ceiling fan, a flushing toilet and hot water! My original bungalow was $25 per night while this one is $70 so I guess you get what you pay for (unless you happen to break your toilet of course).
I’ve been at the Sanctuary Wellness Retreat in the South East of Thailand for the last three days and here it’s a heady mix of new age bliss, kissed with new age rave. In the morning you’ll expect to find yoginis chatting about their fasts, wheat grass colonics and meditation experiences along side hung over party people sipping fresh coconut water to help their heads. I came here because my good friend Lauren is teaching Pilates at the Sanctuary – and I figure what better way to ground and relax in Thailand than over smoothies and girl talk?