A local’s guide on where to go for a wellness holiday in Koh Samui
With numerous yoga and wellness retreats and a thriving community of holistic wellbeing-seekers, Koh Samui is the perfect Thai island to de-stress and indulge body and soul.
- March 2020
The sparkling paradise of Koh Samui offers a greener, cleaner way of living to both tourists and residents alike. Yoga House & Spa owner Dmitry Shuprov shares his insider knowledge of how to live your best life on the island.
My day starts with Ashtanga yoga practice, with a small but devoted community of Ashtanga practitioners on the island. Afterwards, I head home to have breakfast, followed by some sunbathing and swimming in the Lamai area on Silver Beach – our favourite – with my wife and daughter.
You might not know it, but Koh Samui is home to many beautiful hiking spots. I love going to the mountain road between Maenam Soi 1 in the north and Lamai area and stopping halfway through to hike among the endless jungle. My other favourites include the small (and non-touristy) Wat Khao Chedi temple, not far from the more popular Laem Sor Pagoda. It has a calm pure energy and a beautiful sea view. Hin Lat and Khun Si waterfalls are two other must visits, as they are quieter than the more popular waterfall sites. A local tip: at Wat Samret, the Secret Hall of Buddhas is unlocked by the temple’s monks only on request.
Have a Thai massage
A Thai massage a day is de rigueur in Koh Samui, but beware – the real deal can be quite painful. Phu’s Massage and Rey Wellness Massage in Lamai are both good, but don’t expect a gentle rubdown. They’re therapeutic rather than pampering and help with tense muscles.
Book in to a retreat
If you’re going all in, try a one-week meditation retreat in Dipabhāvan Centre, where you can glean an understanding of Buddhist philosophy. You need to be prepared before you go, though – the schedule is intense and leaving before the week is over isn’t allowed. The focus is on simplicity – expect dormitory living and vegetarian food – but the experience can be transformative. A more luxurious option is a wellness retreat at Kamalaya; they also organise public events with visiting healers and yogis from all over the world.
Eat vegetarian food
Lamai is one of the best areas in Samui to go green. Lamai Veggie is run by Bee, who serves up a menu which changes every day. Her amazing lunch dishes include homemade soy sausages, papaya salad and green curry, as well as coconut lime bars or peanut caramel slices for dessert. A five-minute amble down the road will take you to Pure Vegan Heaven, where you have to try the cacao and banana bowl. At Yoga House & Spa, we organise Samui Vegan Day once a week, a cosy gathering where guests come with their own vegan eats to share. A good resource is HappyCow website and app, which reviews all the veggie-friendly places on Koh Samui.
fb.me/LamaiVeggie; pureveganheaven.com; happycow.net opens in new window
Join Koh Samui Facebook groups
It’s definitely worth joining Facebook groups such as Koh Samui Conscious Community to stay abreast of various wellness events on the island. Samui Green Market, where local vendors sell everything from homemade healthy food to natural cosmetics, happens every four to six weeks. There’s also a group called Free Yoga Community Samui that offers classes for free, but any donation you can give is passed on to local charities. And if you want to boost wellbeing both for yourself and the planet, join the Trash Hero Koh Samui project ‒ a group of Thais and foreigners who regularly gather on different beaches to collect litter.
fb.com/groups/KohPhanganCC; fb.me/SamuiGreenMarket; fb.me/TrashHeroKohSamui opens in new window