I know why you're here, you're looking for enlightenment, self realization and an escape from the stresses of your daily life at a meditation retreat in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I've namaste'd and chaturanga'd all over Thailand to bring you a list of the very best.
Whether you're searching for a rigid, formal 10-day meditation retreat or 10 day wellness vacation in Thailand, or just a relaxing meditation vacation I've got you covered with the best retreats to help you find your chi. Check out my guide to the best meditation retreats in Thailand!
Also see: The Cheapest Time to Visit Thailand
Wat Suan Mokkh hosts 10-day silent retreats on the 1st of every month. You can only register in person and registration is open on just the last day of the previous month prior to the start of the retreat. This is a serious meditation retreat and you must be available for the entire experience. If you just want to dabble, you are welcome to visit the main monastery to practice at your own leisure. Come only if you are truly committed to escaping from the real world: phones and all electronics will be stored in a safe during the retreat. You are required to be in silence for the entirety of the retreat.
The Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage was founded in 1989. It attracts visitors in search of a deeper meaning in their lives, it's not meant for you if you are searching for a fun, lighthearted and relaxing vacation. Hour long meditations are interspersed with buddhism talks by monks and teachers, yoga/tai chi, hot springs, cleaning chores all while surrounding by lush nature. The daily schedule is posted at the bottom of the page here, and you are required to participate in all activities. Be prepared to eat just two vegetarian meals a day but the servings are large and plentiful.
Registration covers all expenses and is just 2000 baht which is $58.61 USD, totally incredible. You'll be sleeping on a concrete slab with only a straw mat, wooden pillow, and thin blanket. This meditation retreat is considered more of a beginners retreat. Although considered easier than other Vipassana Meditation retreats, this is still a physically and mentally challenging experience but many consider it also a life changing experience.
Wat Suan Mokkh | Address: Lamet, Chaiya District, Surat Thani 84150, Thailand | Phone: +66 61 190 0433 |
2. The Kamala Koh Samui
The Kamala is an award winning beachfront spa located in Koh Samui. This luxury meditation resort is immersed in nature and located on top of a hillside. This is a magical location with top of the line holistic programs. The resort has medical professionals on staff to offer customized treatments.
The Kamala offers several retreats including the Awakening Your Essential Self retreat (7 days), Finding Emotion Balance and Freedom Retreat (6 days) and The Yin and Yang Yoga Retreat (4-days). The Yin and Yang Yoga retreat includes the most meditation practices. It is a retreat for 12 students which starts each day off with a two hour meditation and features yoga practice, gathering and private time throughout the day.
Basic rooms start at $174 USD/night and you can upgrade to Villas with ocean and forest views and even have your own dipping pool. Although the beachfront villas offer stunning views, swimming in the ocean is not allowed. All rooms include a tropical drink upon arrival, access to all the yoga facilities, steam caverns and pools.
Delicious vegetarian food is served with meat options available. Make sure that you bring all the basics that you need because the nearest 7-11 is a 20 minute walk away.
3. The Pavana
The Pavana Chiang Mai Resort features a super attentive staff. There has been a recent change in management which has resulted in a bit lower quality in resort upkeep and in the ease of booking. The resort is super secluded, located an hour away from the airport. The open air meditation hall is especially beautiful at sunrise and sunset
Even beginners can get the meditation experience, Parvana offers a three day intro to meditation which includes meals, a Thai Massage, 3 sessions Thai herbal steam or far infrared sauna, 9 sessions of private meditation, 3 sessions of Buddhist philosophy and, 3 sessions walking meditation. Prices start at $1142 which is quite reasonable for the breadth of offerings that the package includes.
The Radiance Restaurant features raw food made from the organic fruit and vegetable garden and you can even sign up for a raw foods cooking class. If you are planning on signing up for a detox package, there are a plethora of options available.
4. Blooming Lotus Yoga Retreats
The Blooming Lotus Yoga Retreats take place on the Thailand island of Koh Phangan, you can also opt to take on the retreat in Bali also.
If you are looking for a full-on meditation retreat, these only take place in Bali. They are free 5 day retreats of silent meditation which are appropriate for those with an extended background of meditation. It's super intense as the meditation sessions are 6-8 hours a day. You might want to bring your own meditation chair, bench or acupressure mat. These retreats feature 3 sessions of meditation a day, Hatha Yoga, Yoga Nidra (Psychic Sleep) and evening Dharma Talks. 3 vegetarian meals are provided daily. These retreats fill up at least 2 month in advance and they usually only accept half the applications, so much sure to apply early and take care in submitting your application. Accommodations are not included with this retreat.
The Blooming Lotus Yoga Retreats in Thailand features Yoga focused meditation retreat with 5 to 15 day packages available in Thailand ranging from $380 to $1170. There are about 5 retreats taking place in Thailand per month so you have several options to sign up for. You are surrounded by both the jungle and the beach and you can opt to stay in basic, Thai style bungalows which feature a double bed and hammock on the deck.
Dhamma Kancana is dediated to the practice of Vipassana and features 18 centers all over Thailand. You may only apply to one course of at a time and there are 10 day meditation courses taking place on every day of the month. Note that some courses are for Thai speakers only. These are introductory courses where the practice is taught step by step throughout the day. The Dhamma Kancana retreats run on donation only to keep the Vipassana practice from becoming commercialized.
Dhamma Kancana is a 6 hour drive from Bangkok. The rough schedule includes 11-12 hours of meditation, a 1 hour and 30 minute video and 7 hours of rest with breaks for vegan meals. Most attendees lose a lot of weight during the retreat! There are about 100 attendees and it skews 75% female and mostly non-westerners, 80% local. Basic outdoor cottages are provides with a bed, meditation stool, bathroom, clothing rack and fan.
Located on the coast of Koh Samui, the Suryamuni Spiritual Healing Center offers a couple spiritual retreats such as the Body Mind Spirit Retreat (5 days) and the Divine Healing Retreat (3 days). These are meditation-lite retreats as compared to some of the other more serious meditation retreats on this list. The rest of your day while consist of massages, treatments, healing sessions, free time, tours, cooking classes and more. The Body, Mind, Spirit Retreat costs 17,000 baht or $495 USD and includes accommodations, airport transfers, breakfast and lunch. The Suryanuni Spiritual Healing Center is an ideal place to detox, meditate, practice yoga, clear your karma , open your heart and heal and reconnect.
The service at this Chiva Som is top notch and your days will be chock full of healthy eating (small portions though!), easy physical activity, and healthy living. They take customer service seriously here! There are also numerous room options with a minimum three night stay. This is definitely a luxury resort, prices start at 72,000 baht for 3 nights or $2096 USD. You are allowed to keep your electronics but they are not allowed outside of your hotel room.
The Chiva Som offers a long menu of retreat options. The most meditation focused retreat at Chiva Som is the Yoga for Life retreat. This retreat offers different length options ranging from 3 nights to 14 nights and even longer retreats are available upon request. In addition to the daily yoga and meditation program, you'll receive a daily treatment of your choice and three Wellness Cuisine meals.
I love the wide variety of programs and options available at the Orion Healing Center. Their Yoga Retreat is most similar to a meditation retreat. It includes one meditation session per day and many yoga sessions throughout the day. Included with the package are accommodation, three meals a day, and one thai massage treatment and reiki treatment. 5, 7 and 11 day packages are available. The prices are extremely reasonable starting at 14,880 Baht or $436 USD.
If you are looking to lose weight, you might want to take a look at the 11 nights detox retreat, featuring 8 nights of fasting and colonic cleansing. The remaining 4 days are the pre and post detox days. The spa kitchen will provide delicious, fresh squeezed and energzing juices and provide education about the optimal dietary guidelines. The package also includes a daily yoga class, 2 thai massages and 1 reiki treatment. Prices start at $734 for a shared room.
This resort features the best vegetarian food on the island and its located right on the beach
English-language meditation retreats are featured at the Dipabhaven from the 3-10th or every month and the 20-27th. The retreat is located on the hillside of a mountain near Koh Samui. The retreat is funded by donations only. As with most traditional meditation retreats, your day starts around 4:30am in the morning and you are advised to follow the schedule fully. It's not the most difficult meditation retreat schedule out there but neither is it the easiest. The meditation is mostly broken up into 30 minute increments shifting between walking and sitting meditations. This makes a huge difference in the difficulty level. Also, these are 7-day courses.
Dipabhāvan | Address: 101/18 Moo 3 Tambon Maret, Amphoe Ko Samui, Chang Wat Surat Thani 84310 |
The Dharana Phuket Mediatation Retreats offers a combination of a relaxing vacation with real mindfulness retreats. The retreats run throughout the year and are offered as 4 day retreats that start on Mondays. If you want to sample the retreat, you can come check out the weekends which are free and a unique meditation learning experience is offered each and every week. Breakfast and Dinner and included but lunch isn't. The light daily schedule starts at 6am with two 2 hour meditation blocks, yoga and plenty of free time throughout the day. Rates start at 14700 Baht or $427 USD. Very reasonable.
12. Sense Detox
Senses Detox offers two retreats: the "Fresh Start Cleansing Program" and the and the Kick Start Cleansing program both 5 days. Your days will start at 7am and will consist of meditation, treatments, yoga, program assessments, massage, class and optional excursions. The packages start at 17,500 Baht or $509 USD. The menu is delicious featuring fresh juices, basil seed drinks, smoothies, raw pad thai, and more. The center can only accommodate eight guests at one time so it is a very intimate experience.
This is a clean and tranquil resort with the most fabulous and attentive staff. There is great attention to detail: even a beach bag and razors are provided in the room. The bathrooms feature rainfall showers. The room service menu is extensive and there is a yummy breakfast buffet.