5 unusual wellness vacations that are close to Singapore

Live, eat and train in a real martial arts school in the Thai town of Pai.
Live, eat and train in a real martial arts school in the Thai town of Pai.PHOTO: SHAOLIN
Slow down and calm your mind at Shreya in Bangalore.
Slow down and calm your mind at Shreya in Bangalore. PHOTO: SHREYA RETREAT
Explore on two wheels while on holiday for a new experience.
Explore on two wheels while on holiday for a new experience. PHOTO: TAIWAN ON TWO WHEELS
Establish healthy and restful sleep in Thailand.
Establish healthy and restful sleep in Thailand. PHOTO: KAMALAYA WELLNESS SANCTUARY
Enjoy a holistic retreat in Bali.
Enjoy a holistic retreat in Bali. PHOTO: WELL WOMAN

(HER WORLD) - We are more than two months into 2018 and if you are smashing your New Year’s resolutions and already living your best life, then we are high-fiving you right now.

For the rest of us who have been busier drinking and brunching than attending those pilates classes, fear not.

Living in Asia means we get a "round two" of resolutions. Yes, 2018 may be the Year of the Dog, but why not try something different to your Downward Dog asana or post-Chinese New Year juice cleanse? Here are a few alternative wellness vacays that will set you straight for the year ahead. 

Kung Fu Shaolin Warrior Taster Course, Thailand

Nama-slaying your warrior yoga poses, but want to upgrade? This one might be for you.

Four hours north of Chiang Mai is the Thai town of Pai, surrounded by scenic waterfalls and natural hot springs.

Do not let the tranquillity fool you. It is here that you can live, eat and train in a real martial arts school, dedicated to teaching the skills of Shaolin Kung Fu at the Kung Fu Shaolin Warrior taster course. 

Over three days, you will learn the basics of Sum Chien, the famous Shaolin internal strength routine, as well as the Tong Ling Chi Kung routine (for health, relaxation and energy), among others. By training your body and senses, you will leave feeling in control of your emotions and with a refreshed mindset.


Slow down and calm your mind at Shreya in Bangalore. PHOTO: SHREYA RETREAT

Silent retreat, Bangalore, India 

Whether it is noisy neighbours, gossiping co-workers, beeping traffic or deafening construction, it is all too easy to get waylaid by daily distractions.

Shreya’s seven-night Mouna Retreat (time spent in silence) has been curated to help calm your mind and re-prioritise your goals in life.

On arrival, you will be given a notebook to record your emotional journey and to communicate with staff if needed. Days two to five are spent in silence while enjoying Yoga Nidra (deep relaxation) sessions, the extensive library of books, walking meditation and nature-based exercises –  fuelled by ayurvedic vegetarian cuisine from the organic gardens.

On the sixth day, guests break the silence, interacting with a wellness consultant to discuss the experience.  


Explore on two wheels while on holiday for a new experience. PHOTO: TAIWAN ON TWO WHEELS 

Bike-packing, Taiwan

Forget backpacking – saddle up for 2018’s freshest spin on the carefree vacay.

With two wheels becoming increasingly popular among Singaporeans, the humble bicycle is getting a new lease of life.

Change your pace and perspective and challenge your body and mind to a cycling holiday around Taiwan, while experiencing the natural beauty of the island.

More accustomed to the spin studio than the great outdoors? Do not worry: Fox Sports and the Taiwan Tourism Bureau teamed up to launch Taiwan on Two Wheels – an online hub to help leisure cyclists research and plan their trip, with guided routes, packing tips and must-see picturesque spots. 

With no glass window between yourself and the open road, your mind is free to be immersed in mountains, lakes and coastlines at the tip of your handlebars.


Establish healthy and restful sleep in Thailand. PHOTO: KAMALAYA WELLNESS SANCTUARY

Sleep Retreat, Thailand

Last year, Fitbit released a report showing that Singaporeans are among the poorest sleepers in the world, clocking in an average of just 6.56 hours of sleep a night.

Does that sound like you? Sleep deprivation has been blamed for a multitude of sins, including affecting the body's immune system, memory, concentration and daily functioning.

Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa offers a sleep enhancement programme, designed to re-establish healthy and restful sleep while addressing sleep issues and imbalances, not only during the retreat but also for the long term back home. Through a combination of naturopathic treatments, traditional Chinese medicine and massage, the programme encourages a healthy sleep cycle. 


Enjoy a holistic retreat in Bali. PHOTO: WELL WOMAN

Well Woman Hormonal Health Programme, Bali  

Are you planning for the patter of tiny feet this year, wanting to address fertility issues or simply want to get your biological health in check? Then Well Woman could be the holistic retreat for you.

Nestled near the spiritual haven of Ubud, Bali Vitality’s programmes have been formulated by health professionals in the wellness and nutrition fields, with a combined knowledge and experience of more than 30 years.

Its specialised integrated hormonal health programme has been designed for women of all ages with various issues – from polycystic ovaries to menopause mayhem. The package includes a health consultation with a naturopathic doctor and traditional Balinese healer, spa pampering, plant-based meals, infra-red saunas and even a dedicated mind programme.