Thailand: What a different holiday

By Kittirat Yothangrong Thailand is a major tourist destination for luxurious resort holidays in places like Phuket, Krabbi, Ao nang... thumbnail 1 summary

Thailand is a major tourist destination for luxurious resort holidays in places like Phuket, Krabbi, Ao nang, Pattaya, and Ko Samui. Just picture, the morning down by the beach or pool, a burger for lunch, and off to the spa in the afternoon, before going down to Patong for a lovely romantic dinner.

What a wonderful way to get out of say, the Melbourne winter.
This is the type of holiday most people connect with a Thai resort vacation. However this is not all that Thailand has to offer.
As you drive around Phuket or Ko Samui on a tuk tuk chances are that you may stop and visit a Thai wat (temple). Thai wats are really beautiful buildings with all the splendor of colour and shapely architecture. But a wat is not just a beautiful building, they perform important services to the people.
So what’s in a wat that could possibly be interesting and even life changing for you?
The Buddhist tradition is very practical about how one should live their life. It’s about giving people the wisdom to cope with their busy lives. And to cope with your life you must know how to look after your body, mind, and outlook to the world around you.
And to do all this you don’t have to become a monk.
Some of the most beautiful wats in the forests along the coast of South Central Thailand have thousands of foreign visitors from Europe, the US, and Australia staying over for retreats. For a small donation, you can join a 5 or 10 day retreat that will show you how to eat well, manage your mind through yoga and mediation, and explain to you how to face the world outside with a calm disposition. These retreats are so good according to many visitors that they turn this into an annual event.
This is a way of really getting back to nature. You can experience the simple charming life of Thailand in such an uncomplicated and inspiring way. For example, the international centre at Suan Moke (near Surat Thani) has more than 100 hectares of forest with its own private hot spring baths. All the food is home cooked organic Thai food. Between instruction, yoga, and meditation sessions you can wonder around these beautiful grounds. Another such wat exists on the island of Ko Samui and is continuously full of participants because there are only limited places available.
After such a time at one of these wats you will come out feeling much calmer, know how to eat well, and have a much better understanding about the philosophy of life. Some special times of the year, a wat will run a complete detox retreat where you learn under supervision how to clean the toxins from your body. Yet other wats like Wat Po in Bangkok offer short certificate courses in ancient Thai Massage, Yoga, and herbal medicine. Different wats have different things which you can easily check out through the internet.
Don’t worry, wats are extremely safe places in Thailand and the people there will make you feel at home. A stay at a wat is peaceful and is really an opportunity to give you a totally relaxing time away from the stresses of your life and pick up new personal management skills like meditation, yoga, eating the right food, detox, and a calming philosophy of life.
Granted staying at the wat is not 5 star. However your stay may be life changing and you will have the opportunity to see Thailand in a way that very few others have seen. I can promise you that your visit may be life changing and help you along the road to greater inner beauty and contentment, than you ever experienced before.