I'm looking to take a short yoga break at the end of my holiday in Thailand, preferably somewhere by the sea or on an island.
Where's the best place to go? I have about a week to spare before flying back home? Kirsten
There are three islands I would recommend for your yoga break: Koh Tao, Koh Pha-ngan and Koh Samui. All are in the Gulf of Thailand, and not too far from one another. Much depends on your expectations. Koh Samui is the most developed destination with proper road connections all over the island and direct flights from Bangkok and a few other destinations in Asia.
Samahita Yoga offers various yoga programmes in the Ashtanga style ranging from a residential stay though yoga training and special workshops for serious yoga practitioners. There are also a growing number of yoga resorts and specialist studios including Absolute Sanctuary, Bikram Yoga, It’s Yoga Thailand and Kamalaya plus several small yoga studios and freelance yoga instructors to choose from.
Koh Pha-ngan is a big island, but less developed in terms of roads and transportation. It's also home to the infamous Full Moon Party, but most of the yoga places are quite away from the party area. The most famous yoga resort is the Sanctuary. Other good choices are Yoga Retreat, Blue Horizon, Monte Vista, Agama Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga Koh Pha-ngan.
Although Koh Tao is famous for diving schools, and no one had heard of a yoga resort a decade ago, today a few of the dive schools incorporate yoga activities and a small number of yoga places have also opened. One is Shambala Yoga Centre at Blue Wind Resort on Sairee Beach. Grounded Yoga is also Sairee Beach while for something more secluded beach, there's New Heaven on Chalok Ban Kao and or Baan Talay in Ao Luek Bay. I hope you find this information useful, and please keep us updated about new yoga places you may discover on the islands.
I am going to Thailand in early May, and trying to decide between Koh Samui and Krabi. I just like relaxing by the beach and doing a little sightseeing, nothing too adventurous. Which is the best at that time of the year? Ray
Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand and Krabi is the Andaman Sea. The weather in both places is still good at the beginning of May. Usually the Andaman Sea will start to feel the effects of the monsoon season after May 15, and its Marine National Parks are closed from then until October 15. For general beach activities and sightseeing, they are both fine.
It's actually quite unfair to compare the two. Krabi is a large province covering 4,700 sqkm and comprising more than 150 islands. The whole province has 160 km of coastline and eight districts. I understand that you don't plan to visit every attraction in Krabi, but rather major destinations like Phi Phi Island, Railey Berach, Au Nang or Koh Lanta.
Meanwhile Koh Samui is merely a district of Surat Thani province, with an area of 228 sqkm and is the third largest island after Phuket and Koh Chang. If you are not planing to do much on your holiday, the island could be a good place for you, s many places are within easy reach. It has an airport that can connect you to Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong. It's also easy to find good choices for dining - both luxury and local styles. However, transportation could be expensive and the island is now very developed with many new five-star hotels. If luxury isn't your thing, there are some mid-range hotels, and it's enough to rent a motorbike to explore the island in a day.
Have a fantastic holiday!