Enjoy Koh Samui with Family
Enjoy Koh Samui with Family
Dreaming of a restorative escape to a tropical paradise? What better destination than Thailand, the spa capital of the world? The exotic islands of Phuket and Koh Samui have an abundance of sun, sand and sea – well known natural therapies for the body and spirit. And with an incredible choice of spa and massage services around the islands, it’s easy to add some much-needed R&R into your tropical holiday.
The Elite Concierge will be happy to organise spa treatments in the comfort and privacy of your villa. Early morning yoga in your personal garden? No problem. You can also request for private training sessions, whether held indoors or even on the beach. However, if you prefer heading out for group classes, there are plenty of options around, from yoga and martial arts training to weight loss and detox programmes, and even meditation or tai chi lessons.
And when it comes to massages and spa treatments, there’s nothing like a relaxing Thai massage. Restore your senses with a quick and effective foot massage on the beach or indulge yourself with a full day of treatments at a day spa in serene surrounds. Or turn your Phuket or Samui luxury villa into your own spa haven by inviting in a skilled therapist to pamper you in your holiday home.
Experiencing a spa treatment in Phuket or Koh Samui is much more than a mere holiday indulgence. It might just change your life! Many spa therapies are infused with ancient Thai healing arts that focus on restoring the body’s inner balance and clearing blockages that cause ill health and fatigue. It’s all about regaining that inner glow. Here are some of our favourite Thai therapies that you must experience on your next trip.
THAI TRADITIONAL MASSAGE
Thai Massage, or nuat thai, combines acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures. It is an ancient art, thought to have been developed by Buddhist monks over 2,500 ago. These days, however, Thai massages are easily available island-wide in Phuket and Samui. You’ll find massages offered everywhere from small shops and tents on the beach, to shopping centres, markets, and upscale day spas. But don’t expect to be treated gently! Traditional Thai massage is an especially vigorous treatment that involves a series of bends, compressions and stretches to stimulate energy flow and ease aches and pains.
Dating back hundreds of years, Thai Boxing or Muay Thai- The Art of Eight Limbs, is a close-combat, self-defense martial art incorporating the eight ‘weapons’ of the human body: fists, knees, elbows and feet.
Over the past 20 years, Muay Thai has swept across the world, not only as a professional fighting style but also as part of many fitness programmes. The popularity of martial arts has been one of the driving factors in Muay Thai’s appeal, besides the influence of cinema, especially internationally successful films such as ‘Kickboxer’ starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.
All Muay Thai fights start with the ‘Wai Kru’ and ‘Ram Muay’, very important parts of the sport. Wai Kru is a ritual performed before each fight during which a fighter will circle the ring three times and then bow down in the middle of the ring to ask protection for him or herself and the other fighter, and for an honorable fight. The fighters will then perform the Ram Muay, which is a personal ritual, in which each fighter demonstrates his or her prowess to the audience and the opponent.
Music is another essential part of a Muay Thai fight, with drums, flutes and cymbals all adding to the excitement, drama and spectacle of the fight.
Before padded gloves and boxing rings came into the sport, Muay Thai fighters would wrap their hands in cotton or rope and fights would take place on the ground, with a rope laid out in a circle to mark the ring’s boundaries.
Muay Thai fighters are accomplished athletes, following a training programme that has not really changed over the years. That said, today’s competitors are more likely to practice their kicks on a heavy bag rather than a banana tree trunk (although there are some Muay Thai gyms that still use the old training methods).
Fighters’ training is brutal. They start at 6am every morning with a run of between four and eight kilometres. Then it’s back to the gym for the morning session, which mainly consists of cardio and shadow boxing. That’s followed by breakfast and rest before the late morning session of jump rope, more shadow boxing, pad work with the trainer, heavy bag work, 5 – 10 rounds of sparring and then abdominal work.
Most fighters will rest during the afternoon in preparation for the evening training session,
Known as ‘The Land of Smiles’, Thailand is a treasure trove of cultural delights, inhabited by gracious and warm people. While Thais are known for being open, tolerant and hospitable, they may not always understand the nuances and eccentricities of other cultures. With this in mind, courtesy and respect in all your interactions with local people goes a long way.
Here are a few tips to help bridge cultural gaps and enhance your stay in Thailand:
Do try to wai.
This much-used Thai greeting involves a slight bow, with hands pressed together at upper chest level in a prayer-like way. Younger people will wai their elders first, and the greeting is then reciprocated. The Wai is also used to say ‘goodbye’ and ‘thank you’, and generally to show respect.
Do accompany your wai with a hello: “Sawasdee kha” (if you are a woman) and “Sawasdee khrap” (if you are a man).
Do get travel insurance.
Accidents happen and can be even more daunting when you are away from home. Gravity’s pull on a falling coconut harms more world travelers every year than sharks do!
Do visit some temples.
Thailand is full of beautiful temples (wats) and visiting them provides a fascinating window into many aspects of daily life. Visitors are welcomed, but proper dress is expected. Good temple etiquette requires that your legs, shoulders and upper arms are covered and shoes are removed. Temples regularly visited by tourists will usually have sarongs available for those who turn up inadequately dressed, but when visiting lesser-known temples, it’s useful to bring your own.
Do be adventurous with Thai cuisine.
Thai food is usually lightly cooked and fragrant, with an emphasis on fresh herbs and spices. Sweet, sour and spicy flavours are combined to create dishes that not only taste sublime, but are beautiful to look at too. The food can get quite fiery, so let them know if you can not handle too much chilli.
Do eat with a spoon.
Most Thai dishes are served in bite-size pieces and eaten with a spoon and fork, but the fork is just used to push food onto the spoon.
Do haggle when you are market shopping.
Haggling is expected and taken as a bit of fun.
Fabulous Koh Samui, with its white beaches and verdant hills, is also a happening island. Hop into any of its excellent beach clubs for a day of fun in the sun. You’ll never want your vacation to end.
Overlooking the crystal blue waters of Lipa Noi, the beach club at Nikki Beach Resort Koh Samui is renowned for its incredible events, food, cocktails, and unsurpassed VIP experience. The beach club offers guests a unique experience and personal touches that are signature to the Nikki Beach lifestyle brand. You can relax on a sunbed, listening to music played by famous international DJs and live musicians, while enjoying handcrafted signature Nikki Beach mojitos and international fare. The Nikki Beach Sunday brunch and sunset cocktails are must-dos.
Chi Beach Bar
Chi serves up modern cuisine and handcrafted cocktails, with a swim-up bar and 25-metre saltwater infinity pool overlooking a pristine white beach. With an extensive menu that offers Thai selections, pizzas, burgers and other savoury fare, there’s something for everyone. Weekly offers include oyster platter deals, saxophone evenings, movie screenings, and ‘clever cocktails’ afternoons.
Beach Republic is an elegant and stylish beachfront venue located in the northern area of Lamai. Featuring impressive modern architecture, the resort’s restaurant has both indoor and outdoor areas, the latter set around the swimming pool deck, with direct access to the beach. They host special themes and events each day of the week, with live DJs and musicians entertaining the crowd.
Perfect for groups of friends or families, Karma Beach delivers on all fronts if you are looking for a laidback venue. Designed like an oasis, with touches of Thai elements, it exudes unmistakable tropical vibes. Get ready for mellow lounge music at an enviable beachfront location, replete with a tempting food menu. This is the lounge to head to for a luxurious and comfortable retreat.
KC Beach Club and Pool Villas
KC Beach Club and Pool Villas is located in Chaweng, the most happening beach on the island. It has a fabulous party atmosphere.