With stress and anxiety affecting the health of people around the world, increasingly more individuals are turning to traditional Eastern practices like yoga and meditation to find a calm space in their life and improve their overall wellbeing.
Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for this purpose because of its inspiring and calming environment, budget-friendly prices, and long tradition in spiritual practices. Applying for a Thai electronic visa online is also extremely easy, taking one worry off the list.
What Is the Purpose of a Spiritual Retreat in Thailand?
Visitors decide to join a Thai retreat for many reasons. This deeply spiritual country can help attendees reach their objectives in many areas, including:
Seeing more clearly
Things move fast in daily life and sometimes, it may seem impossible to make them stop. Going on a retreat on the other side of the world means hitting the pause button and allows many to see the bigger picture. It’s a relieving feeling that gives greater comfort in making decisions about the future and keeping the important things close.
Inspiring greater creativity
Inspiration is one common benefit of spiritual retreats, making them ideal for artists and creators.
Being in touch with oneself also means being able to tap into one’s own creativity. By asking themselves how they got here, it becomes easier for travelers to find a new, better way forward.
For those who retreat to connect with their religious side, inspiration may come as a revelation, a better communication with the divine.
Connecting with nature
Thailand is a varied land made of big cities but also monasteries built in the deep of the rainforest. Some visitors decide to go one step further than the usual picture with elephants and book a forest retreat.
As mentioned earlier, stress is a major cause of concern for health. Continuous worry and anxiety can lead to serious consequences such as high blood pressure, fertility issues, depression, and a weakened immune system.
Just by being near plants and breathing in the fresh air, visitors immediately feel relaxed. The healing and calming effect that nature has on attendees can be seen from the very first day and usually lasts long after the traveler has returned home, protecting them from being affected by daily pressure.
What to Expect from a Retreat in Thailand
Usually, attendees take part in a Thai retreat with the main aim of disconnecting entirely from the outside world, which may bring disturbance into their spiritual and healing process.
That often means keeping their phones and other means of communication switched off as much as they can during their time in Thailand.
Meditation, yoga sessions, and mindfulness workshops are also popular activities that may take up a good part of a typical day in a Thai retreat. Finally, it’s not uncommon for visitors to sign up for a detox retreat, whether they want to have a more serene relationship with food, technology, or more.
Types of retreats available in Thailand
There are several types of retreat but generally, this is a time and space taken to focus on wellbeing.
Depending on the goals they wish to achieve, travelers may decide to book a retreat that’s centered around their physical wellbeing (such a yoga retreat), their spiritual one, or both. Some programs require attendees to remain silent for the majority of their stay.
A spiritual retreat isn’t necessarily religious. Most faiths include practices and moments that could be considered as a retreat, and in Western history, monasteries and hermitages are usually the places dedicated to this purpose.
However, non-religious people may still take part in a spiritual program by taking the time to reflect and heal and find a safe place within themselves in moments of spiritual crisis.
Why is it called a retreat?
The word retreat comes from the Latin verb retrahere which can be literally translated with ‘to pull back’. To go on a retreat in Thailand means to take a step back, concentrate on what’s important, and gain perspective.
How To Choose the Best Spiritual Retreat in Thailand
Not all retreats are the same. In fact, they may vary greatly from the type and amount of guidance that will be offered to the kind of accommodation one will be staying at.
It is important to do some research before booking to ensure a positive, life-changing experience.
Find below some aspects to consider when choosing a spiritual retreat.
The accommodation offered on the retreat
From luxurious to rustic, there’s something for everyone (including sleeping on a temple’s floor). Foreigners should make sure they’re comfortable with their choice before they leave.
Factors such as dietary requirements should also be taken into account.
How much guidance will be given
Some prefer to take part in meditation classes and yoga activities, others simply want to spend time with their thoughts in a quiet space. Spiritual retreats can be very different from one another and it is vital to find out what a typical day will look like.
The best time to go on a retreat in Thailand
The Thai weather should be kept in mind before making a reservation.
Although Thailand is a vast country and the climate can change dramatically from region to region, it’s safe to say that those looking for the sound of the rain should go between June and October.
If one prefers the dry season, then it’s advisable to book a flight between late November and April.
The price of a Thai retreat
Thailand is a favorite destination for retreats for many reasons, including it being an inexpensive country.
Traveling during the low season and booking the flight tickets well in advance will make it even easier to enjoy a luxurious retreat at a backpacking price. Attendees are advised to make sure to include the application fee for the Thai online electronic visa in their budget.
The retreat leaders
Not only the center but also the guides should be researched thoroughly. Attendees should feel inspired by their energy and ensure that their leaders have a good reputation.
Online reviews are a good way to find out whether the retreat leaders are a good fit and contacting the organizers directly to ask questions in advance is a good idea.
The Most Popular Retreat Spots in Thailand
There are sanctuaries all across the country and choosing one should be a process taking into consideration several factors as explained above. However, some Thai locations are particularly famous for quality retreats as they can boast a long tradition of the practice:
- Chiang Rai
- Koh Samui