4 wellness activities to try when visiting Thailand

A traveller indulges in a Thai massage. Picture: Supplied

A traveller indulges in a Thai massage. Picture: Supplied

Published Oct 25, 2023


With the ever-increasing pace of contemporary living showing no signs of slowing down, people are looking for ways to escape the urban hustle and welcome a space offering less stress and more self-enrichment.

According to Sadudee Sangnil, the director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand for UK, Ireland and South Africa, Thailand is by far one of the most frequently visited destinations for its wellness offering.

“Wellness travel is not just about ticking off destinations on a map or items on an itinerary list; it's about having a transformative experience that centres around the health and harmony of mind, body, and spirit,” said Sangnil.

She said that this evolving niche within the travel industry signifies a paradigm shift, with individuals seeking more profound connections and experiences during their getaways.

“Travellers are making more mindful choices – from yoga retreats in the serene setting of a tropical jungle to meditation workshops on pristine beaches; every aspect is curated to foster well-being.

“This is something we recommend and encourage as the perfect way to practice much-needed self-care while exploring the sights and sounds of a foreign country,” said Sangnil.

In light of the growth in demand for wellness travel, here are four wellness-oriented activities to do when travelling to Thailand, according to Sangnil.

Sea kayaking

Sangnil said that embarking on a sea kayaking adventure off the coast of Thailand will give you a chance to immerse yourself in one of the island’s most renowned natural resources: its scenic ocean-scape.

“The waters off the coast are crystalline and very slow-moving – the perfect conditions for taking a kayak out and soaking up the tranquil surroundings. Many travellers think of sea kayaking as a moving meditation as well as a chance to get in some good cardio,” she said.

Sangnil highlighted that Thailand’s coastline is also dotted with hidden coves and secluded beaches that are thrilling to explore.

“Some of the most common spots for a sea kayaking adventure include the Phang Nga Bay Sea Cove, the blue lagoons off the island of Krabi and the caves along the coastline of the Koh Phi Phi islands,” she said.

Reconnect with your body

According to Sangnil, when most people think of wellness tourism in Thailand, they instinctively think of a traditional Thai massage.

“The rhythmic motions of traditional Thai massage, coupled with the aromatic scents of essential oil, are known to dissolve tension and promote a profound sense of tranquillity.

“Beyond the quintessential Thai massage, wellness seekers can also opt for less common luxury treatments,” she said.

Biking in Bangkok

Sangnil revealed that some wellness-orientated travellers prefer to spend most of their time in Thailand’s diverse natural landscapes, while others may appreciate a few hours immersed in the urban sprawl of the busy city of Bangkok.

“To get the adrenaline pumping and get your daily dose of exercise while exploring the city, tourists can embark on a bike ride through Bangkok. On your trip, you can look forward to experiencing the aroma of local street food while catching a glimpse of some of the city’s skyscrapers and historical temples.

“Bangkok's extensive network of bike-friendly paths allows for an exploration of hidden gems and cultural landmarks, fostering a deep connection with the heartbeat of the city,” she said.

Have a holistic experience

And finally, Sangnil highlighted that there are resorts and luxury destinations throughout Thailand that specialise in offering guests a full wellness experience.

“These resorts give travellers the benefit of not needing to travel long distances but still being able to take in the beauty of the natural world and enjoy wellness-related activities.

“Kamalaya, Rakxa Wellness, and Absolute Sanctuary, for example, offer customised wellness retreat programmes, activities and wholesome nutrition, all facilitated by holistic health practitioners,” she said.

She said that every retreat comprises of a diverse array of treatments and activities, forming a comprehensive approach to enhance various aspects of health.

“This approach effectively caters to the objectives of each guest, aiming to enhance their lifestyle, foster healing, and elevate them to a state of wellness that signifies a significant improvement in their overall well-being,” said Sangnil.