Discover Thailand: An Ultimate Guide for Yogis
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Thailand is an amazing country with much to offer for all types of travelers. Nature lovers can enjoy its beautiful beaches and landscapes; party-goers can find better nightlife nowhere else than Bangkok. Foodies can indulge their taste buds with the delicious Thai cuisine; backpackers can make a good living on a small budget because of Thailand's affordable lifestyle; and yogis are happy with the deeply rooted spiritual culture in this part of the world.
Thailand is a great destination for yoga practitioners. There is a wide range of yoga studios, yoga retreats and workshops throughout the year. There is also an abundant offer of massage trainings, meditation retreats, organic permaculture farms, natural healing and Ayurvedic offerings.
No wonder why, in recent years, Thailand has steadily become one of the most visited countries in the world. In fact, according to the World Tourism Rankings by the UN, it is currently the second Asian country with the most visitors per year. The country is ranked number 14 in the world above some very touristy countries such as Austria, Greece or Canada.
Must dos for yogis in Thailand
Most yogis go directly to the islands of Koh Phangan, Koh Samui or Koh Tao. These islands are popular for a good reason. Especially the north of Koh Phangan Island is a true yoga paradise.
Most people only know about the Full Moon parties on this island; the northernmost part of the island is still very much unknown to many people. Here are great yoga schools, secluded beaches, vegan restaurants, and magical pristine forests all around. There is also a Buddhist temple that offers a ten-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat high on a mountain.
Another worthwhile yoga destination in Thailand is Northern Thailand even though it doesn't have a beach. One never gets enough of the jungle-covered mountains and rice paddies just outside the cities.
The greenery and welcoming atmosphere compensate for the lack of a beach and there is a lot to do - you can explore the jungle by doing a multiple day trek. Or discover the city's amazing coffee scene (coffee grows in the mountains), visit the Elephant Shrines, and treat yourself to some of the tastiest and cheapest food in the country.
Chiang Mai and Pai are the two places for yogis to visit. These two northern cities are perfect for the yoga lifestyle with a variety of places to find healthy food and plenty of places to practice.
If quiet beaches are more your thing, Koh Lanta is not yet as overrun by tourism as the other islands and still has beautiful views and wildlife.
Best place to meditate or practice yoga
There are so many beautiful spots throughout the country that put a real emphasis on living in the here and now, which makes it hard not to feel inspired to practice yoga in Thailand. Let's introduce you to a selection of spiritual experiences available across Thailand:
4 Day Breath, Sound, and Movement Yoga Retreat in Koh Phangan
Dive into an exploration of self-discovery including daily yoga, Qigong, meditation, guided relaxation techniques, and shamanic ecstatic dance journeys.
4-Day Vegan Wellness Retreat with Yoga, Meditation and More on Ko Pha Ngan, Surat Thani
You will enjoy a wide variety of yoga, pilates and meditation classes suitable for all practitioner levels. The program is designed to support a holistic experience and promote a deeper connection with your body, mind, and spirit. Alongside the daily classes, Wonderland Healing Center offers occasional harmonizing workshops.
6-Day Wellness, Meditation Retreat with Access to Spa Facilities in Wiang Chai, Chiang Rai
Enjoy daily yoga and meditation sessions that will keep you grounded and centered. Relax and be pampered with their soothing spa treatments that will ease every muscle after your practice and catch up on restful sleep at their cozy cottages with a beautiful views lake and garden. Not only that, be nourished with daily organic vegetarian meals cooked with fresh vegetables from the on-site farm.
5-Day Yoga and Meditation Retreat with a Host Family in Chiang Mai
Hosted by a friendly Thai family and guided by experienced teachers, this non-commercial retreat offers various forms of yoga, guided meditations, workshops, lectures, group activities and more. All are aimed at supporting you in cultivating a deep connection to your own sense of inner peace, vitality and balance.
4 Weeks Life Balance Qigong and Meditation Retreat in Pai, Mae Hong Son
This training will enable you to do things which most people go through life never knowing to be possible. Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat will teach you to feel chi energy, to see it, and to project it out of yourself and into another person. As you would expect from a course involving meditation, you will be taught to focus your mind, develop your concentration, and become fully aware, fully present. Get in touch with your own chi and heal yourself from the inside out!
More adventure activities for yogis
If you're looking to add some adrenaline to your visit to complement your yoga practice, there are other activities which are sure to enrich your stay in Thailand. How about trying snorkeling, scuba diving and rock climbing. Thailand is known for its turquoise beaches and beautiful limestone cliffs, which are ideal places to do these activities. Yoga compliments each of these in a unique way, but a common way is using your breathing. Creating awareness in your body and mind around your breathing is key on the spiritual path.
And if you really have an adventurous soul and want to try something really unique, you should try freediving. Freediving depends on your ability to calm your mind, take a deep breath and try to hold your breath until you come back up. It's such a calming and soothing experience and pranayama exercises will really come in handy. Really the best partner for yoga.
Best time to visit Thailand for a yoga holiday
May is the start of the rainy season on the west coast and it lasts until the end of October. Usually, the rain storms are short, but with very heavy downpours. September and October are on average the wettest months throughout the country. The best time of year to visit the Koh Phangan is between December and April.
In Chiang Mai the hot (summer) Season extends from March through May. Daytime temperatures around 36°C (97°F) can be unbearably hot during this period. The rainy season occurs from May through October and "the cool" (winter) season finds place from November through February. The cool winter season would be the best time to visit Chiang Mai.
It's important to note that this is also the peak tourist season. This means accommodations can be more expensive. If you prefer a less crowded experience, the months just before (October) or after (March) the peak season can be good alternatives, though temperatures start to rise in March.