Retreat Review: The Sanctuary Koh Phangan, Thailand

//Retreat Review: The Sanctuary Koh Phangan, Thailand

Had Tien thailandI’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?

Upon arrival, you are greeted with this ginger lime juice

Upon arrival, you are greeted with this ginger lime juice

The Sanctuary is more of a complex than a resort.  There’s a main restaurant (that serves fantastic healthy food with a particularly good raw menu), a wellness spa and various jungle huts that provide yoga, pilates and meditation classes that you pay for as you go.  But sprinkled between these buildings and their bungalows, there are other businesses.Beyond the girl talk, I’ve been enjoying all of them.  The family-run laundry that hand washes and air dries your clothes for 50 Baht a kilo (about $2 a load), a small convenience store that also sells handmade coconut oil, two Thai massage houses (which are actually a bit pricier than other areas charging a whopping $10 per hour-long massage) and a tea house called the Tea Temple, where I will also spend most of my money.  The Tea Temple serves delicious organic teas but also a ton of Ayurvedic herbs, natural bodycare and delicious smoothies.  You can also book wellness services here for around $60 a session and I booked in a one-on-one heart meditation as well as a Rolf massage.  My friend highly recommends the Rolf treatment as you get a whole body assessment of posture, muscle quality and areas of weakness before you get manipulations that focus on moving displaced fascia that have cause these imbalances.  Its ended with some meditation as the practitioner plays the didgeridoo.  New age awesomeness. 

I did the heart meditation yesterday and it is actually more complex than I’m letting on.  Here, Glynise the practitioner leads you through a heart meditation to help open of the heart then coaches you on feeling what your heart is trying to express.  Then she does something called Psych-K, in which you try to move negative thoughts, feelings and patterns out of your body through a series of exercises.  Call me crunchy granola but I thought it was amazing.  All my neuroses gone!  Lol – how I wish that were true.  Still, its important to examine your emotional plane and this was a very effective way to honor the mind-body connection and encourage you to acknowledge this.

Fresh nori rolls from the Sanctuary kitchen. So delicious!

Fresh nori rolls from the Sanctuary kitchen. So delicious!

For the rest of my stay I intend to take advantage of the Sanctuary’s amenities – a clove oil-laced steam room and free meditation evening classes.  The only problem with the latter is that its deeper in the jungle where its thick with mosquitoes and I already have 73 mozzie bites.  I’ve been keeping inventory.  So maybe I’ll just spend that time having a Thai massage (which is basically yoga without you doing any of the work.  My kinda yoga class) or perhaps a late-day swim in the ocean followed by a leisurely swing in one of the beach side hammocks. 

So if you’re looking to recharge and bring out your inner hippie, The Sanctuary is the perfect place for you.  Just don’t forget to pack earplugs.

2017-05-01T16:39:31+00:00 By |Stress|1 Comment

About the Author:

One Comment

  1. johnny the healer October 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Great goods from you, man. I have have in mind your stuff
    previous to and you’re just extremely excellent.

    I really like what you have acquired here, really
    like what you’re srating and the best way wherein you assert
    it. You are making it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it wise.
    I cant wait to learn far more from you. This is really a wonderful site.

Leave A Comment

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.