5 Day Vegan Yoga Retreat in Koh Phangan Thailand
I don’t think you can travel in Thailand and not go to a yoga retreat. The two seem to be synonymous with each other. We’ve been looking at doing a yoga retreat for several years, so when we booked our flights to swing through Thailand before heading home, we knew this is where we finally would sign up. However, there are quite a lot of yoga retreats in Thailand and choosing one can be a challenge. We weren’t sure if we should join one in Chiang Mai, Koh Samui…outside of Bangkok. After digging through the multitude of recommendations and reviews, we learned about a vegan yoga retreat in Koh Phangan, an island on the gulf side of Thailand. Our curiosity about both the island and the retreat were peaked, and we booked a five day stay at Wonderland Healing Center.
Our detailed review of the retreat and a video of our stay are below! We are by no means yogi’s, so take this with an average yoga-go-er grain of salt. However, we think this will definitely help you when deciding where you should spend your next (or first) yoga retreat.
Highlights of Wonderland Healing Center
- Everything you need during your stay is located at the resort – your room, food, a pool, sauna, yoga rooms, clothes-washing services, massage services, water, wifi, etc. You literally don’t need to leave if you don’t want to. And after traveling around cities for a bit and switching hotels every few nights, it was nice to have everything within arms reach for a while.
- The resort is just a 10 minute taxi or scooter ride inland from the main ferry port. This allows for a bit of tranquility and removal from the beaches, party scenes or other distractions for a few days. However, those options are also easily accessible via bicycle or motor vehicle if need be.
- We haven’t stopped talking about the food at this resort. It is the healthiest vegan food, while still being unbelievably flavorful, creative and unique, that either of us have ever experienced. AND, as mentioned above, it’s easily accessible and right downstairs from your room.
- We’re talking a full vegan buffet with so much love put into each item created. A salad bar is available at each meal, 2 types of rice, alternating curries, Thai dishes, western-style vegan dishes, fruits and more.
- The buffet is served three times a day, for about 2 hours at each mealtime, which almost feels like too much! I (Caryn) felt so satisfied and full, I could barely eat at each meal. Andrew was in heaven because he often struggles with ensuring he can find enough options and remain full on vegan food while traveling.
- THIS WAS THE BEST PART OF THE RESORT (for us), which is why we are mentioning it before the yoga.
- When you have yoga classes two steps from your bedroom door, offered three times a day, it’s hard to miss a class!
- The style of yoga offered was very different from what we were expecting. Much slower-paced Hatha style, focused on technique, breath and understanding the deeper meaning of the practice than what we are used to with some commercialized yoga studios in the states. This was something we had to get used to, as we expected a full-on sweat and workout coming out of each class.
- What we found by the end of the trip was that we are both much more inflexible than we thought and that we were much more flexible and relaxed after the five days. We need more yoga in our lives for sure.
- After Wonderland, we had eight more days on Koh Phangan on the Northwest side of the island. During those eight days, we talked about canceling our reservation and returning to Wonderland every day.
- The cost of Wonderland is unbeatable for what you get, especially if you stayed in one of the shared/ dorm rooms. We had a private room and it was STILL quite a deal. We still can’t believe we got three meals a day, yoga and meditation classes all day, a pool and sauna, for only $150 USD for two people.
- We would have liked the meditation classes to be a bit more in-depth, as they were more beginner level classes, but they still gave us time to sit back, reflect and release a bit.
- I am a bit more antsy than Andrew, so I needed a run every other day and I enjoyed the ability to freely leave the grounds and run toward the downtown when needed.
- Their wifi could be a bit better – but we are the crazy ones who were working during a yoga retreat. The ideas is to LET GO. So this shouldn’t be a problem for others.
- In the end, we HIGHLY recommend you book this retreat. Note that it does slant a bit younger in age on average, but there were people of all ages there so I wouldn’t let that deter you. Everyone was open, kind and respectful.