Paradise, Health and Wisdom

A Refuge for Body and Mind in Southern Thailand

By Shannon Leigh Antony

Salt sizzles on your wet-hot skin, as you delight in the euphoric headiness of your being. Why is it you feel like you’re floating in the clouds? But the sensations pull you back: The orange sun kisses your face, warm waves lick your toes and soft winds whisper your name as they breeze through coconut palms. And your stomach growls.

Yet the fact that you haven’t eaten in three days – other than volcanic clay shakes and invisible vegetable broth – doesn’t kill you as you imagined it might. In fact, it opens a new door to a deeper consciousness: electrified air fills your lungs, the surrounding jungle sends amplified love through warm air, and exchanges of quiet understanding are sent through silent eyes with those who pass your way. You are acutely aware that your are living amongst the sweetness of nature in heightened awareness… and realize that the permanent new smile will not leave your face.

This is the experience that awaits you: your refuge, your sanctuary... nestled quietly within the jungle rainforest on the remote island of Koh Pha Ngan, South Thailand.  Just footsteps from the sparkling, turquoise waters of the Gulf of Siam, lies your own bamboo hut and a myriad of opportunities for growth at The Sanctuary... a refuge of peace, well-being and tranquility.

The Sanctuary offers more than a truly secluded paradise; it offers an alternative way to a unique holiday experience,” explain the British couple who own the boutique health resort, established in 1989 after they had fled the Full Moon Party madness on Haad Rin beach. “It was born so that like minded people, who are looking to enjoy nature and life, may come together to exchange skills, information and stories in the comfort and beauty of a very special spot on the planet."

As a guest of The Sanctuary, you can experience a full range of services and facilities: hydrotherapy, massage, body treatments, facials, manicures and pedicures, as well as a steam pool and herbal steam room. Apart from the spa, secluded in its own spacious, ¨no-eating¨ bamboo abode, is The Sanctuary´s pride and joy:

The Wellness Center, which offers several types of fasting and colonic programs designed to clean the toxins from your body and mind. These specialized cleansing programs include daily volcanic clay shakes and manual colonics (you’ll have special stories to tell your friends when you get back home). As part of the colonic process, a ¨toxin strainer¨ collects the excrements from your body and is available for chop stick exploration (all sorts of items have been reported to have been found, including a previous guest’s long-lost treasure chest key swallowed at age seven). Instead of eating, you find your time occupied by meditating upon the simplicity of the Universe or simply swinging in a hammock, reading one of the many books available in the large New Age esoteric library (which boasts over 3,000 titles).

In addition to daily yoga and meditation classes, a wide range of alternative practices to pursue self-growth are offered, such as Reiki, Cranial Sacral Treatments, Rebalancing, N.L.P., Hypnosis, Astrology, Inner Child Therapy, Sound work, belly dancing, Shiatsu, Tai Chi and Satsung. Sea kayaking, snorkeling, fishing and other island tours can also be arranged, as well as special wedding or honeymoon packages.

And, if you decide to cater to your stomach cravings and forego the purifying fasting experience, your nose will lead the way to the culinary orgasm that awaits you in The Sanctuary’s island-renowned restaurant. A wide range of succulent delicacies are prepared from an international menu, specializing in vegetarian dishes and a variety of delectable, traditional Thai cuisines.

Accommodations, hidden within the jungle and only steps from the sea, include dormitories at 70 Baht; individual bungalows with en-suite bathrooms from 400 Baht; large deluxe bungalows with panoramic views up to 1000 Baht; and unique family houses with amenities from 1,100 – 2,700 Baht. Specially designed accommodations for those enduring the fasting program are also available. All styles of accommodation are wonderfully clean and airy, complete with personal hammock.

The Sanctuary beckons you and your refuge awaits… and the dream of bathing in warm waters on silky sands, in glowing health and in complete peace with yourself and the world, is yours for the taking. For additional details visit or contact

Image Picture Credits: Shannon Leigh Antony, 2004