Who else wants to discover the healthy side of Phuket?
For an island renowned for its package holidays and busy beaches, there is a holistic side to this southern Thai isle.
THE GOOD LIFE
The Thai branch of the original resort in Turkey, The Life Co offers six eating plans, from a detox juice fast to a Ketogenic plan, at this all-inclusive retreat. The estate boasts 16 rooms with modern accommodation and personal service. Programmes include holistic activities from twice daily yoga classes, morning beach walks, and tai chi to therapies ranging from music to breathing techniques. Their raw food restaurant offers a colourful and tasty collection of enticing dishes while sunset walks and movie screenings make evenings an easy way to end a blissful day.
PACKING A FRUITY PUNCH
“If your body is your motor, it needs a regular service” is the philosophy at Detox Juice Bar. Customers can pop in for a liquid treat or order their daily pack of juices if delving into a detox cleanse. Drinks are made to order using locally grown fruit and vegetables and range from straight up pineapple or watermelon to zesty combinations like kale, cucumber, apple, celery, ginger, and lime. A favourite is the wheat grass shot containing more than 100 vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
MIND OVER MATTER
Escaping city life is one of the reasons people turn to the Thai tropics and Dharana Meditation Centre offers courses on mediation and mindfulness within Phuket’s tranquil surrounds. Run by husband and wife team Tobi and Parn Warzinek, who use Tibetan and Thai Theravada Buddhist traditions, the four-day retreat is ideal for beginners who want to focus on cultivating happiness and relieving stress. With daily sunrise excursions and yoga also on the schedule, and hearty vegetarian meals, small groups (a maximum of ten people) ensure an intimate experience. Free meditation classes are open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD
What started on the eastern island of Koh Phangan has crossed over the Gulf of Thailand with raw, vegan, and macrobiotic dishes at Macrobiotic World. Owner Kostas Douridas, inspired by Native Americans, South East Asian, and Ancient Greek philosophy, produces food to renew and balance the body. The kitchen sources its organic vegetables from the city of Chiang Rai, renowned for having the most fertile soil in Thailand, while chefs only use clay and stainless-steel pots (no plastic) for their low heat and short cooking dishes. MSG, sugar, refined salt, and oil are all off the menu, instead incorporating natural sea salt and virgin oils (first pressing). Vegan moussaka is served up next to salads, quinoa burgers, and superfood smoothies. The Sunday buffet is not only popular but also a bargain at 300 baht (€8). For those wishing to continue the wellness journey at home, Douridas offers cooking classes.
WORKING UP A SWEAT
Jack Farra opened Yoga Republic on the west of the island with a focus on hot yoga, Vinyasa flow, and gentle Yin with daily classes in a contemporary and chic setting. Using a state-of-the-art infrared heat system, classes aim to energise and revitalise. Having lived in Bali before making the move to Phuket, Farra brings a positive if tough love attitude to his classes. An in-house juice bar hydrates sweaty yogis post-class and a small shop sells fashion forward yoga gear.
Text and photos Nardia Plumridge