Although it’s tempting to come to Thailand to relax on one of the beautiful beaches, there’s so much more to discover in this sun seekers paradise.
Traditional Muay Thai boxing, serene yoga retreats and luxury spas draw hoards of travellers to the southern islands, the fresh, local produce fuelling the adventures of both the backpackers and those in need of a respite.
With so much to navigate, if discovering the best bites, sweatiest studios and healthiest hangouts feels like too much hard work, blogger Shannon O’Hara of Chezshanay has the lowdown on the places that are guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed from inside out.
Kata Rocks | Luxury fresh cuisine
It’s difficult to decide what’s more impressive at this luxury resort in Phuket; the fresh seafood selection or the exquisite view of the 35 metre infinity pool merging into the Andaman sea.
Instilling an instant sense of tranquility, dining at this spectacular location, whether it be for breakfast, lunch or a sunset dinner, is an unforgettable experience. The brunch being particularly impressive.
With a vast array of options available, including a buffet-style selection of fresh local fruit, homemade granola, Bircher muesli, juices and smoothies. An additional a la carte menu offers both Thai and Western options – the poached eggs and smoked salmon on pumpernickel toast is a definite standout.
186/22, Kok Tanode Road, Kata Beach, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Rawai Muay Thai | Traditional Thai boxing
Based in Khao Lak, Rawai Muay Thai gym is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for an authentic, but challenging Thai boxing experience.
The trainers, all of whom are local, including professional Thai fighters from Bangkok, are incredibly welcoming, teaching both group and private training sessions for all abilities.
The studio is located outside, with training times at either 7:30 am or 4:00pm to avoid the scorching heat, but whatever the weather you’re sure to work up a sweat.
Sessions are two hours long, starting with a cardio based warm-up, before moving onto a series of boxing moves dependent on the participant’s level of expertise. For the more advanced, bag work as well as one-on-one training rounds each class off.
Rawai Muay Thai, 35/22 M.4 Soi Pa Nat, Khuk Kak, Takua Pa, Phang Nga, Thailand 82190
QCumber | Healthy Salad bar
Located on the main road of central Khao Lak, this is the perfect spot for a quick and healthy bite to eat.
With a build your own salad bar, QCumber caters to every taste, allowing customers to add whatever toppings they want (think sliced chicken, avocado, almonds, etc) to the lettuce and cucumber base before picking their own dressing.
The Qcumber smoothie is also worth a try. Containing cucumber, celery, passion fruit, lettuce, pineapple, lime and honey, it’s particularly refreshing when paired with the salad rolls and Thai spicy sauce
The venue even hosts Thai cooking classes in the mornings.
29/32 Moo 7 Phetkasem Road, Khao Lak, Ban Khuk Khak, Phangnga, Thailand
Hatha Yoga at CC’s Hideaway Rooftop Studio | Ambient yoga
Situated on a steep hillside on the rooftop of CC’s Hideaway hotel near to Kata beach in Phuket, this magical spot was used as a safe point for locals when the tsunami hit in 2004.
The open environment of the studio, set in the jungle, means participants are surrounded by the sounds of nature, which rise to a crescendo when darkness begins to fall.
But there’s more to the studio than it’s setting. The teacher himself; Luis Enrique Jimenez is fantastic, approaching each class with infectious enthusiasm.
Two yoga classes are available every day of the week, and with different styles to choose from including Hatha, Kundalini, Nidra, Restorative, Acro and Vinyasa, there really is something for everyone.
Try the hatha yoga for a fast-paced and sweaty workout.
84/21 Patak Soi 10, PO Box 18, Karon Post Office, Karon, Phuket
Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas | 360 wellness
This stunning resort at Bang Tao Beach sits next to a tranquil blue lagoon. Boasting a number of restaurants serving authentic Thai dishes, the sliced beef in black bean sauce with mixed vegetables is worth the stay alone.
With free boat taxis taking guests to different hotels located within the vicinity of the lagoon, guests also have access to a multitude of fitness activities including a golf club, tennis and squash courts and bikes, which are available for hire.
For those looking for something more relaxing, the famous Banyan and Angsana spas offering a selection of luxurious treatments and wellness programs.
Laguna Phuket, 323 Moo 2, Srisoonthorn Road, Cherngtalay, Thalang, Bangtao Bay, Phuket 83110, Thailand