A focus on health and wellness is ever important as we seek out quiet settings to replenish the soul, return balance to our systems and stop for long enough to be reminded of what really matters in life. Making holiday breaks at Spa’s and Resorts more popular. While in Thailand, I found the place for just this at The SPA Koh Chang Resort. A Retreat to Health in Thailand on Koh Chang Island, meaning Elephant Island.
Formed on their passion for a healthy lifestyle, medical practitioners Piranuch and Kamthorn Orn, one a Doctor and the other a Dentist, have taken their philosophies and blended them with true Thai hospitality to create a very special eco-friendly destination.
Says Piranuch or Pira as who is known – ‘We routinely exercise, cook healthy food for our family and are really mindful about what we eat taking extra care in the selection of the food we choose. Our acquired knowledge of natural holistic health from our own interest, studies and training are in such incorporated into our daily life.’
Offering the choice of a Detox Retreat, Fasting and Cleansing, Juicing, Raw Food Diets and Demonstrations, Yoga and Yoga teacher training, Weight loss, Health and Wellness packages. Or you can opt to book in simply for the beauty of the place and arrange treatments and yoga at your convenience. They buy fruit from a local project, recycle, are chemically free and advocate for the symbiotic relationship that should exist between man and nature.
The Spa Koh Chang Resort
For me a night at The Spa Koh Chang Resort in my spacious bungalow up in the palm and coconut trees was peaceful; sweet sleep accompanied by the rustle of wind in the trees and croaking frogs in the steam below. The early morning brought birdsong as I walked down to enjoy an incredible Thai healing massage, meditation and yoga before a walk in the forest that surrounds the resort. I even enjoyed a swim in the crystal clear pool and some time relaxing in a hammock idyllically positioned nearby. We enjoyed a raw food demonstration and delicious vegetarian meals, I couldn’t have asked for more. I hope to come back here for much longer. The packages are very affordable, even by South African Rand standards.
The grounds look onto a tranquil pond of water with wooden decks for yoga and meditation, throughout hammocks are found, should you wish to read or nap or just be. The pool is warm and vast and in the heat an excellent place to cool off. That’s one of my guides photobombing me, such fun. The incredible Thai healing massage combined with stretching and moving. I felt like a new person when I came out of there. Yoga studio which is open to nature, making for excellent introspection as you take guidance.
It’s very peaceful here and sleep is accompanied by the rustle of wind in the trees and croaking frogs in the stream below. Mornings bring birdsong.
The size and colour of this lotus flower which I found in the lush tropical gardens.
Attractions and activities around the Spa
As much as your focus will be on quiet time, relaxing, health treatments and walks, if on an extended stay you may want to take some time exploring the area, with so perfecting balance.
Koh Chang and its surrounding 52 islands are a popular holiday destination and as Thailand’s second largest island, Koh Chang offers a natural diversity with white sandy beaches and waterfalls as well as activities that range from scuba diving to mountain hiking.
Seventy percent of the area is covered by untouched rainforest mountain with breathtaking scenery and marine life. Island hopping during the dry season can be another great way to spend a day. Most of this other islands lay south of the main island, and the famous Koh Kood, furthest and the fourth biggest island in Thailand shouldn’t be missed.
Salak Phet village is a fishing community and historically well-known port. Due to the geological shape of the area, which is curved inside toward the middle, fishermen have used this area to board their boats when it rained. Today houses are scattered around the whole area. There are seafood restaurants, a big lighthouse and fisherman bridge which is good for a walk and some fresh air or to take the sunset.
The 2km White Sand beach or Had Sai Khao as it is called by the locals is probably the most vibrant area of Koh Chang with a wide variety of restaurants, nightclubs, shops, markets and ATMs.
How to get there
I recommend a flight from Bangkok to Trat, which can be booked with Bangkok Air. Once in Trat, you will need to cross over to Koh Chang. There are two ferry stations operating, namely Centrepoint ferry or Ao Thammachat ferry. From either ferry pier, it’s no more than a 20km drive to the Spa and transfers can be arranged.
Alternately the Spa does offer a Taxi service from anywhere in Bangkok, a five-hour drive away, to their front door. Perhaps an option is to drive one way and fly the other, to get a view of the land.