Wellness Tourism on Koh Phangan

24 Nov 2020

Koh Phangan is a popular destination for tropical beach holidays, well-known for its varied ocean spots for watersports and diving, sandy beaches, and full moon parties. The island is situated in the southeastern region of Thailand and has a more laid-back feel than Koh Samui and Koh Tao, its sister islands. 

Koh Phangan, however, is not over-developed and a large part is protected national park which encourages you to indulge in pristine beaches palm-tree-surrounded exotic wellness retreats and activities. 

The island offers luxurious suites with ocean views and infinity-edge pools with cosy sunbeds to soak up the sun's soothing rays, while therapeutic courses are also available, including yoga and meditation. 

Koh Phangan Retreat
Koh Phangan Retreat

Koh Phangan is one of the world’s leading locations for Yoga which can be a big part of a wellness trip, many centres and retreats will offer yoga as part of their program.

You can read here about Yoga Retreats and centres on Koh Phangan.

Costs

Compared to the rest of the world, Koh Phangan is a very affordable location to come for a wellness holiday. It also has huge bonuses such as being a paradise island.

Many courses, yoga schools and therapies are much cheaper than in the Western world but still with world-class international and local quality teachers. You really can enjoy a plethora of wellness activities to suit any budget, from a drop-in yoga class to a full luxury retreat and stay.

Where to stay

Koh Phangan is divided into five zones that, for such a tiny island, is quite impressive. We recommend that you visit them all, since they are all simply stunning, and there is something for everyone on offer. However, for wellness, there are particular areas that will be suited more to your stay. Sri Thanu is the hub for Meditation and Well Being and is renowned for its yoga and spiritual colleges, and around this place, there is a certain 'calm' in the air. 

Hundreds of students a year are drawn to the major yoga centres, locations such as Samma Karuna, Ananda, Gaia Yogashala and Orion are all on this side of the island and provide many different courses from TTC to detox retreats and many mindful courses. 
Sri Thanu is just a really short trip from Thong Sala and the bike ride along the coast is breathtaking with lots of photo opportunities along the way. Hin Kong in particular has a spectacular coastline with ocean-wide views of Samui and some of the finest sunset spots on the island. 
Anywhere on the West Coast of Koh Phangan will be good for a wellness holiday, it is more relaxed and laid back than some of the other areas of the island but saying that you may still find a perfect place or retreat in other parts of Phangan.

Zen Beach Koh Phangan
Zen Beach Koh Phangan

Safety

Thailand is home to the most welcoming people in the world and is also known as the Land of Smiles. Koh Phangan gets much more friendly from the happy locals and maintains its hippy island vibes, especially within the wellness and yogic circles. 
It goes without saying that a trip to Koh Phangan is secure. However with your things, including your laptop, valuables and passport, you should be careful. If you require any kind of help and most locals understand the English language, you will be able to easily communicate what you need.

Eat and Drink

If you are coming for a wellness retreat or holiday then you are in healthy food heaven! The island has a rather health-conscious dimension that fits with many of the retreats for which the island is becoming more popular. Health falls alongside yoga and fitness, and so it is natural for you to find vegetarianism and vegan lifestyles among the island's yogi and more general culture here. In Sri Thanu (where the yoga schools are) and on the West Coast, this is where most Vegan restaurants are located, but more and more vegan places have also recently opened all over the island, so you should certainly try some while you are here, you will be pleasantly surprised! 
Websites such as Happy Cow have voted some of the vegan restaurants here top places to visit and several people have created Youtube vlogs naming Koh Phangan 'Vegan Island' so don't miss out!
There are also many cheap thai local restaurants serving healthy food which will suit any budget and the food markets here will also cater to those wellness diets during your stay.

Dining on Koh Phangan
Dining on Koh Phangan

Wellness Activities

Detox and treatments

Koh Phangan is a perfect location to come for detox and help reset you back into a healthy lifestyle, also with advice on how to take this back into your ‘real world’.In general, detox diets are short-term nutritional measures intended to extract contaminants from the body. A traditional detox diet requires a fasting time, accompanied by a rigid fruit, vegetable, fruit juices, and water diet. Herbs, teas, vitamins, and colon cleanses or enemas are often used with a detox.

With its many local fresh fruits and produce, hot and sunny weather and places to relax, the island makes a detox much easier than if you were in a busy stressed out environment. There are many professionals to help support you through detox and the community or group you will partake with can be an incredible source of strength.

Vegetable Market Koh Phangan
Vegetable Market Koh Phangan

Orion was one of the island's first centres of healing and meditation and are also well known for detox and courses such as reiki. Over the past decade, Orion has become a central venue for therapeutic research and transformational detox and has welcomed thousands of visitors from all four corners of the globe. 
The centre emerged as an example of their own experience and as a means to communicate with others the way of life and therapeutic practice. 


 

Yoga

In ancient Indian philosophy, yoga is a mind and body exercise with a 5,000-year tradition. Physical postures, calming exercises, and reflection or relaxing are mixed with various types of yoga. It has become common in recent years as a type of physical exercise focused on poses that encourage enhanced mind and body control and promote well-being. Within the practice, there are many various kinds of yoga and several disciplines. 

Koh Phangan is pretty much famous for yoga nowadays, it is a world-class centre for people to come and improve their practice, begin for the first time and get qualifications such as teacher training or more in-depth courses.
The island is an idyllic place to practice yoga as it has plenty of free natural yoga shalas and rich jungle to cleanse the air you breathe. Nature is so much related to yoga and meditation, and being on this island in a way is a perfect shortcut to achieving a stronger connection with Mother Earth, attracting individuals who open yoga schools, then pupils, instructors, and so on. 

Yoga Koh Phangan
Yoga Koh Phangan

Phangan has well over 20 yoga schools, some large with many courses and others more intimate, there is something for everyone when it comes to yoga. 
There are many beginner classes and it is best to go to a couple to find the best instructor for you, one you know you relate with, feel relaxed with and can comprehend and benefit from. 
You will start to discover the vast world of yoga and all the various forms after you feel ready and start playing about something you like and feel good about. 
Even the masters had to start somewhere and you should note that you do not need to be flexible, to begin with, yoga, you're simply going to get more flexible when you practice.

Sunny Yoga is a Thai Yoga teacher who is very popular on the island, she has a great choice of drop-in classes along with TTC courses. Sunny likes Vinyasa yoga and in the video below we also discuss how in Thailand yoga is increasingly becoming more common, first for its health advantages, but now for the other advantages that it gives to the mind, body and soul. 

Holistic Treatments

Holistic treatment simply applies to managing the whole client rather than specific problems, treating the body, mind, spirit and emotions. Holistic practices are now commonly regarded as a complementary and holistic therapy, aiming to restore the body's physical and energy balances. 

For decades, holistic treatments have been utilized successfully and may play a major role in preserving health and general well-being. Rather than treating specific problems, by considering physical, physiological, cognitive, social and moral states of wellbeing and well-being, a comprehensive practitioner will search for the root cause. 'Holistic' originates from the Greek term holos, which means 'whole' If we are isolated and fragmented, we will not live a balanced and fulfilling existence. This is why looking at all the elements of health concurrently is so critical. Many people wishing to improve their whole wellness will want to partake in holistic practices rather than medicines and pharmaceutical drugs. Koh Phangan has many practitioners of all sorts of treatments such as Ayurveda, reiki and many more that you might not have heard about.

Treatments on Koh Phangan
Treatments on Koh Phangan

More than 3,000 years ago, Ayurveda, a natural method of medicine, emerged in India. The Ayurveda concept is derived from the terms ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge) in Sanskrit. Ayurveda, thus, refers to the understanding of existence. Ayurveda recommends such dietary interventions and natural treatments to restore equilibrium between the body, mind, spirit, and the environment focused on the premise that sickness is related to inconsistency or tension in the consciousness of an individual. An internal purification phase begins with Ayurveda care, accompanied by a special diet, herbal treatments, massage therapy, yoga and meditation, making it a perfect accompaniment to a wellness holiday.

Meditation

Meditation is an ancient method in wellbeing that emphasizes on consciousness, concentration and consideration for preparation. Research has shown in recent years that meditation can alleviate stress and anxiety, enhance attention and concentrate, and increase feelings of peace and relaxation. The positive news is that everyone can do it, and it is an easy practice to pick up, but in order to feel the advantages, it will require practice and consistency. Meditation goes hand in hand with yoga and so you will find lots of help for this on Koh Phangan.
Even just being on this beautiful paradise island, with open space and nature will automatically help you switch off to meditate if you want to.

Meditation on Koh Phangan
Meditation on Koh Phangan

There are many different types of meditation, meaning that if you find it hard to sit still in a traditional meditation pose then you can find something more suited to you such as walking meditation called ‘inner walk’ here on the island. Phra Orlan is a Buddhist monk from the island who has initiated walking meditation here which has become popular. With those who want to learn, understand more about life and develop, Phra Olarn spreads and shares his wisdom. He tells people how to think and function with more happiness and value a not-too-complicated life. His easy-to-understand dialogue applies to the control of life and how to cultivate one's mind to practice mindfulness. He also helps to demonstrate an aura of a happy slow existence, an easy slow life. 
Many people hold their lives on their backs these days and at some stage, most of us will have witnessed this, here you will learn how to recharge your batteries. 

Fitness

Daily physical activities are important for overall wellness. Whether you want to lose some weight or just get in decent condition then some kind of sport is worthwhile. Water sports blend the realistic with the fun. Several forms of water sports are available on Koh Phangan due to the beautiful surrounding ocean. You can, however, select the kind that fits your needs. Water sports have numerous perks, as do many other athletic events. In reality, certain techniques such as rowing can help you improve your muscle strength and sound. In groups, water activities are also performed. In a group atmosphere, these forms of events allow players to get together. But that's not all; water sports are ideal opportunities to help muscles function for the body. While having fun, get in shape. Kite surfing is very popular here and also brings with it a great sense of freedom.

Stand Up Paddle Board Koh Phangan
Stand Up Paddle Board Koh Phangan

As well as watersports there are now some modern gyms on the island, some with air-conditioning and some without. Muay Thai gyms and courses are also available, a great sport and discipline to try in its home of Thailand.

Ecstatic Dance

Ecstatic Dance is a free-form, not orchestrated dance space: it is a free-form dance activity influenced and guided by beautifully created music with the aim of producing a therapeutic experience in its most elementary sense. No dance expertise or partner is expected or appropriate. On the one side, it is a great platform for those who believe they "can't dance" because they have been told that acting in a certain direction is to "know" how to dance. In the other side, for accomplished dancers alike, a luscious sandbox yearns for a free room where they can set their peers loose.

Ecstatic Dance Koh Phangan
Ecstatic Dance Koh Phangan

Ecstatic Dance has evolved exponentially over the past few years on Koh Phangan! With its culture of health and spirituality here on the island, Ecstatic Dance acts as a place to drink cacao, dance and appreciate electronic music. Usually, there is a ritual or occasionally therapy that goes with Ecstatic Dances. It is defined as a chance to let go, be present and absolute and experience and relive what is going on in ourselves by dancing, shouting and movement. People use their bodies to communicate with others and themselves. 
People should yell, be still, chuckle and move in every way at Ecstatic Dance; leap, rollover, whatever, let go and being present and playful is a crucial point. You should be assured that you would face no criticism if you join an Ecstatic Dance function and the activities can feel much more insane than any of the 'usual gatherings' here on the island. So if you're able to dance sober, drink up the ecstatic vibes and appreciate a different kind of crowd, make sure you attend an event for Ecstatic Dance to help in your wellness journey.

Summary

Koh Phangan is world-class when it comes to wellness, you can experience the highest quality teachers, practitioners and treatment yet for an extremely affordable budget. Whether you have a tight budget for a wellness trip or more indulgent one, there is something to suit everyone yet still receiving the same quality in treatment. Being on this paradise island will naturally heighten and add to your experience just from location alone, an added bonus. You will leave rejuvenated and healthy.