Envisioning a year of serenity and exploration? Make sure to add a wellness getaway to the top of your New Year’s resolution list. I opened 2016 with the ultimate personal wellness retreat in Thailand. I began my trip by exploring and relaxing on the beaches of Koh Phi Phi and ended my trip with a yoga retreat in Koh Lanta. This getaway helped set the tone for the whole year by escaping reality for a short moment to reconnect with myself.
With equal parts adventure and relaxation, Krabi, Thailand is the go-to destination to reset and recharge. Located in the southern province of Thailand, Krabi is home to over 100 stunning islands, limestone peaks, clear blue water, and an all-around impressive geographical layout. If the views alone don’t instantly relax you, the laid-back vibes and happy demeanor of the locals will help you find your happy. Whether you want to do an organized yoga retreat or create your own wellness expedition, Krabi will offer one unforgettable experience.
If you’re looking for pure relaxation, it will definitely be found in one of the yoga studios in Thailand. Krabi offers a variety of affordable wellness retreats and yoga centers in breathtaking seaside locations.
Located on the small island of Koh Yao Noi, Island Yoga offers a variety of retreats to help regain balance. The retreats not only include yoga but the opportunity to explore the island, take cooking classes, and to immerse in local culture.
Located along the beach in Koh Lanta, Oasis Yoga is the beach bum’s perfect yoga haven. I was fortunate to create a little 3-day retreat for myself, starting the new year off fully balanced and being present. This cozy and laid-back yoga studio provides multiple daily classes ranging from Vinyasa Flow to Yin Yoga. Classes take place on the upstairs deck, over looking Klong Dao Beach. After working up a sweat on the mat, grab a refreshing homemade smoothie from the health bar and lounge with like-minded yogis in the garden. All in all, I had a positive experience at this beachy yogi community. After watching multiple sunsets over the ocean during my practice, I think it’s safe to say that I found my Zen at Oasis Yoga.
From land to sea, there are plenty of adventures to be had for the outdoor enthusiast in Krabi. If you love the water, spend the day on a long-tail boat island hopping and snorkeling the coral reef of the Andaman Sea. If you like to explore on land, Railay is known to have incredible rock climbing, and motor biking around Koh Lanta is a must-do. Some other key adventures to try in Krabi include cave and waterfall treks, zip lining through the tree canopies, as well as kayaking and paddle boarding. One of the biggest highlights of my trip was touring the nearby islands of Koh Phi Phi and jungle hiking in Mu Koh Lanta National Park. I am still in awe of the natural beauty witnessed during my time in Krabi.
With coconut and pineapple trees sprinkled along the coast, Thailand is a fruit lover’s dream, making fruit abundant and easy to come by. The health conscious rest assured, Krabi provides plenty of nutritional local Thai dishes too, including various curries, noodles, and stir-fries. Note: Vegans should be wary of the curries as many of them contain a fish or shrimp sauce. Fortunately, more vegetarian and vegan-friendly places are popping up around the area. Additionally, if you choose to do an organized wellness getaway, many of retreats focus on a raw or plant-based diet aiding in a full body detox. Here are some of the top vegan-friendly restaurants I found during my travels.
Pure Koh Lana
Situated on Klong Nin Beach, this charming cafe serves clean and wholesome food including smoothie bowls, falafel wraps, and vegan sweets to name a few.
Kunda Anti-Pop Café
Located in Klhong Khong Beach, Kunda offers a variety of international vegetarian and vegan options. With a relaxing vibe, many go to hang in the open garden, trying out the extensive coffee selection.
Besides being the ‘land of smiles,’ Thailand is also the land of fantastically cheap spa treatments. To fully connect the mind, body, and sprit, one must get a Thai herbal massage. Using a hot herbal compress, the therapist presses against the muscles releasing toxins and circulating blood flow. If you prefer a more soothing spa treatment, I highly suggest a coconut oil or aloe vera massage by the sea. Nothing beats a relaxing spa treatment to the sounds of the crashing waves.
If you’ve been considering a personal retreat away for a while, go ahead and feed that wanderlust in Thailand. It’s a resolution you won’t regret.
Also by Jess: 7 Steps to a New Year of Self-Discovery
More in Travel: 5 Life Lessons from Traveling in Bolivia
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Photo: Jess Davis; amyfostertaylor via Instagram