HK Magazine Archive

Bali, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui: Clear Your Mind

Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day—the last two months have been a blur of hedonism.

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 February, 2016, 2:25pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 4:57pm

Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai

With more retreats than the evacuation of Dunkirk, the Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai is offering a series of comprehensive wellness programs in a traditional Lanna-inspired setting across 60 acres of landscaped gardens. Packages include a juice cleanse retreats, stress management retreats and weight management retreats.

Other retreats cover women's health, fitness, ayurvedic rejuvenation, meditation, back pain and more, while additional treatments such as abdominal organ detox massage, thermal salt pot therapy and ayurvedic therapies are also available.

The Stress Management Retreat starts from $14,600, The Juice Cleanse Retreat from $12,200 and the Weight Management Retreat from $30,000, all based on single occupancy of a Colonial Suite or Deluxe Villa (not including 18.7% service and taxes), and include full board, round-trip airport transfers, health consultation and fitness assessments, personalized treatments, private wellness classes, daily participation in resort activities and more. Treatments are available through October 2016.

51/4 Chiang Mai-Sankampaeng Rd., Moo 1, T. Tasala, A. Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand. (+66) 53-888-888,


More than a way for drunk western guys to show off when on holiday in Thailand, or defend yourself in a tight spot, kickboxing is also amazing as part of a fitness and weight loss program, blending martial arts and cardio to melt away calories and fat.

It’s also part of Koh Samui boutique villa estate Samujana’s week-long package to enable guests to achieve, what it calls the “ultimate decompression.” As well as kickboxing, Samujana’s new wellness retreats partner with yoga programs, courtesy of leading Koh Samui yoga sanctuary Yogarden.

While the emphasis is on shaping up both physically and spiritually, there’s plenty of Koh Samui fun included in the package—including visiting some mummified monks, which sounds creepy yet intriguing.

Included is seven nights’ accommodation, return airport transfers, all meals, two daily yoga and meditation sessions, one daily Muay Thai session, island tours, group half-day yacht charter, a two-hour retreat package at Six Senses Spa, a group Thai cooking class, sports facilities and more. Paid options such a juice and detox program, private Pilates, yoga, massage and golf are also available.

A shared room package is $21,200 per person, single $23,200 per person. You’ll need to find flights and pay 17 percent service and tax. Guests share the social spaces in villas including the pool and living areas, kitchen, cinema, gym and gardens.

63/154 Moo 5, Baan Plai Laem, Koh Samui, Thailand, (+66) 80-886-4226,

Alila Manggis

The Alila Manggis resort in East Bali has released a “spiritual calendar” of recommended activities aimed at those visiting the idyllic island but with a more meaningful agenda in mind than just beaches and bars. And while you hardly need to be an anthropologist to track down traditional and cultural goings-on—East Bali in particular being home to Mount Agung, temples and ancient settlements where age-old traditions, ceremonies and rituals regularly take place—it’s a fascinating list of unique events.

  • Galungan (February 10-20; September 7-17) is a religious festival marking the triumph of good over evil, and is celebrated with 10 days of fun, including prayers and offerings and traditional Barong dancing in the streets.
  • Nyepi Day (March 9) is the Balinese New Year, a day of silent meditation. The evening before, giant “ogoh ogoh” puppets are paraded before being burned in cemeteries.
  • The Full Moon Ceremony (March 23) is takes place at temples across the island. The “mother temple” Pura Besakih holds an elaborate Hindu ceremony in which deities are called down to the temple.
  • The Mekare Kare Duel (June) is held at Tenganan Village, which sticks to pre-Hindu Bali Aga traditions. The men of the village wield pandanus leaf whips and perform elaborate “fights” in front of the crowd.
  • At Usaba Guling (October 15-16) hundreds of East Bali villagers join an all-night procession to the summit of Mount Gumang, alongside more than a hundred suckling pigs as well as dancers and effigies of warring deities.
  • Pasar Agung (November 14) takes place at the Pura Pasar Agung temple which overlooks the entire island, with wide panormas as well as dense ferns and pines.

Alila Manggis offers a relaxed base from where to plan your cultural excursions. Superior Rooms start from $1,711 and Seaside Suites from $3,900 per night plus 21 percent service and tax.

Desa Buitan, Manggis, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia. (+62) 363-410-11,