#phuket - page 2

Phuket’s and Koh Samui’s Ultimate Spa Escapes

in Destinations/Wellness by

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.

Keep Reading

Muay Thai, Thailand’s National Sport

in Destinations/Recreation/Wellness by

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.

Rituals

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.

Training

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,

Keep Reading

A Day to Remember in Phuket

in Destinations/Tips/Weddings by

With its vivid blue sea, white sand beaches and fiery tropical sunsets, Phuket is amongst the world’s most favoured wedding destinations. Aside from its breathtaking natural beauty, this Thai island is home to a rich and friendly culture, incredible cuisine and some outstanding villa venues offering expert hospitality and exquisite locales for saying, “I do”.

You’ve found true love and you’re ready to commit to each other. What better way to celebrate the start of this grand adventure than with a Phuket wedding? For couples bound by love tinged with wanderlust, tying the knot in a tropical paradise offers an enticingly exotic way to launch into a journey of wedded bliss.

Malaiwana’s Villa Haleana

With its modern design and elegant furnishings, Villa Haleana is an ideal wedding villa for the stylish set. Enjoy magical sea views from its hillside setting, with Nai Thon Beach just below, perfect for taking in the sunset or going for a stroll. Located within the secure Malaiwana Estate, Villa Haleana is perfect for weddings and large celebrations, with the option of accommodating the entire wedding party in neighbouring and equally luxurious villas and residences. Found along the lesser-travelled northwest Phuket coast, between the airport and the touristy part of town, it is situated along a quiet stretch, yet walking distance from restaurants, local stores and bars. 

Absolute heaven awaits with an 18-metre pool, large pool terrace, lavish spa room, gym, and multiple areas to dine, relax and entertain. Effortlessly elegant, yet warmly welcoming, all six bedrooms offer stunning sea views. Villa Haleana can host up to 80 guests for an event.

First-hand account of a Villa Haleana bride:

On April 16, 2019, we hosted an amazing wedding in Phuket, with our beloved friends and families. It took eight months of preparation, with a lot of ups and downs leading up to the wedding day. Mother Nature added an element of fun, as it started raining during our outdoor wedding. But The Bridal Planner Team consistently supported and helped us throughout the planning process. What could have been a disaster, turned into one of the most memorable weddings ever! Our friends and family loved every moment of the indoor entertainment.

-Debbie Lee

Keep Reading

Inside Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival

in Culture/Destinations by

Festivals provide an interesting peek into the local culture, and Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival is no exception. Also known as Nine Emperor God Festival or Jia Chai, it falls in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Thailand and exoticism go hand-in-hand, and this Taoist festival is celebrated with a unique zeal here. Each shrine is extensively cleaned, in anticipation of the festival and giant Go Teng poles are raised on the first day (to be lowered after the last) symbolically to allow the Jade Emperor and other Nine Emperors to come down from the heavens and walk the earth again. 

Rules of the Festival

The name may have you believing that it is a food festival showcasing vegetarian delights. Though the streets are lined on both sides with hawkers selling vegetarian fare, it is not the highlight of the festival. Instead, it marks a period where devotees are expected to follow ten strict rules, and observe abstainance from meat, alcohol, sex, and other stimulants. The locals believe that following these rules allows them to achieve a greater level of spirituality, and is a way of honouring the Gods.

Processions

However, the festival is not celebrated behind closed doors. Like many things Thai, this too is a boisterous public celebration, and one not for the faint-hearted. The Vegetarian Festival in Phuket involves processions wherein devotees perform self mutilation and all other kinds of torture on themselves to shift ill-luck and evil from other worshipers onto themselves. They believe that by doing so, they can bring good luck to the community.

Expect vibrant and chaotic processions, with firecrackers being thrown around, lion dances, and coal-walking. You may find people with their cheeks pierced with spears, knives and other paraphernalia.

Keep Reading

In Phuket and Koh Samui, Where Elephants Can Just Be Themselves

in Destinations/Recreation by

Sangduen “Lek” Chailert, Elephant Whisperer and founder of the Save Elephant Foundation has devoted her life to rescuing and rehabilitating working elephants. Having launched the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai to international acclaim in 1996, Lek has now co-founded similar parks in Phuket and Koh Samui. These ethical elephant sanctuaries make a fascinating and educational day out.

The mission of the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary and Samui Elephant Sanctuary is to meet the highest standards in animal welfare and educate elephant camp owners and tourists on how to treat and respect the majestic elephant – Thailand’s national symbol.

Visitors to these sanctuaries won’t be invited to ride on the elephants’ backs, watch them do tricks, hug or bathe them – all activities that are damaging and stressful for the animals. Rather, visitors will be encouraged to simply observe these gentle giants in their natural habitat where they can just be themselves. Observation platforms overlook natural pools where visitors can watch the elephants splashing each other and covering themselves in cooling mud; open fields and jungle-covered hillsides provide plenty of space for elephant play and socializing.  

Both sanctuaries offer morning and afternoon programmes that start with video presentations to inform visitors about what to expect from their elephant encounters and explain a little about the elephants’ stories and why they so badly need protection. You will get up close and personal with the magnificent residents during their breakfast and dinner times, when you can help feed them a healthy diet of fresh fruit. In between, there’s plenty of time just to watch the elephants at play and marvel at their intelligence and grace. Both half-day sessions include a tasty Thai buffet and transfers to and from the sanctuaries. It is important to book your session in advance as neither of the sanctuaries accepts visitors outside the set programme times or who arrive without prior bookings.

 

Introducing the elephants

At Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, where the elephants can roam freely over 30 acres, you’ll make friends with Richy, Tong Kwaw, Baan Yen, Jan Jao, Gaew Ta, Madee, Kannika and Dok Gaew. All of these extraordinary elephants more than deserve their peaceful retirement – some are more than 70 years old!

At Samui Elephant Sanctuary,

Keep Reading

Go to Top