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Self-care travel emerges

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Spiritual refreshment at City Pillar Shrine in Bangkok. PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND

Some trips are taken for the pursuit of culinary adventures, some for non-stop shopping and others for visiting family and loved ones. Alternately, some of us take trips for self-care — that is, relaxation, healing and wellness, where we can finally achieve our need to decompress and unwind in the company of nature. Thailand — one of the most visited countries in Asia for tourism — is a premier spot for Power Spot Tourism, containing many destinations where travelers can recharge and be more in touch with their well-being.

Self-care travel in Thailand starts with the wealth of quality beauty brands that travelers can enjoy. The country is home to the best skincare brands in the market, promising beautiful and healthy skin: Snail White, Malissa Kiss, Skynlab and Mistine are only some of them. Beauty and wellness often go hand in hand, and a trip to Thailand always mean you get only the best of both worlds.

After securing your beauty stash, it’s time to head to the main destinations for your wellness adventure. Thailand is composed of a multitude of “power spots,” a term used to refer to the sources of natural energy around us — may it be the sky, water, earth or anything surrounding us — that helps restore tired souls, revive minds and rejuvenate spirits. The Tourism Authority in Thailand invites Filipinos to visit three key power spots in Thailand, where they can enjoy different modes of nature.

Refreshment within
Most of us focus on physical strength without acknowledging that mental wellness is just as important. Sometimes, our body might seem to function normally and properly yet we suffer from restlessness and the feeling of being unsettled and worrisome. For feelings like this, it might mean that our spirits need refreshing.

In Thailand, there are 28 tourist attractions that emit strong positive energy and can pave the way for your spiritual refreshment. These tourist attractions are further classified into five types, which you can visit step by step to gain a full revival of your weary soul. First, start from centers of faith such as the City Pillar Shrine in Bangkok — religious sites where peace, calm and the presence of higher spirits seem to engulf the space. Next, get close to tourist attractions near the river, where the steady stream of the river inspires tourists to go with the flow and allow relieve their spirits of inhibition. The Chao Phraya River, Bangkok’s major waterway, gives off such an experience.

From the river, tourists are encouraged to go up the mountain, such as Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai, the highest mountain in Thailand. Within the national park that contains the mountain, tourists can take walks, hikes and tours, breathing in the fresh air from the high altitude. Historical sites are next on the list, where travellers can get in touch with history, understanding that they are part of a bigger universe whose stories intertwine — Muang Boran or the “Ancient City” is a good location to experience this — it is only 30 minutes away from Bangkok. Finally, tourists are invited to experience the oceanic power by visiting places like the Krabi in Southern Thailand, where these incredible bodies of water may allow them to experience lasting moments of peace and calm.

 

Take a dip in the waters at one of Krabi’s beaches.

Forest therapy
They say that healing is achieved faster when one gets close to nature. It has been scientifically proven that prolonged stays in green spaces help one strengthen their immune system and blood circulation. Forest bathing is a term used to refer to immersing oneself in deep areas of nature — either to hike, savor the forest mist, drink water or tea, or simply pick a spot to savor the quiet while taking in the view. This is said to improve one’s physical and mental health.

Thailand’s selection of lush yet tourist-friendly forests allows one to retreat to nature and experience the wonders of forest bathing. Definitely nature’s form of therapy, tours in these locations not only offer cardiovascular exercise for travelers, they also provide a welcome respite from the bustling city life, allowing tourists to breathe and reflect. Travelers can plan their forest therapy trip according to their wellness objectives. A two to three-day trip is suitable to boost immunity, gain physical wellbeing and facilitate mental and physical healing, while a day trip is just right for those who would like to relieve themselves from stress.

Thailand promotes 16 power spots for forest therapy, where they can experience rest and respite for their five senses. One recommended location is Kanchanaburi Province, located in Western Thailand. This large province is known for its rich selection of national parks, containing jungles, waterfalls, rivers, and beautiful natural views. Nature activities in Kanchanburi are perfect for every kind of traveler: forest trekking, mountain biking, star gazing, and even rafting and canoeing.

Ocean therapy
From the soothing texture of fine sand, to the relaxing murmur of waves, it’s no wonder why people gravitate to the ocean when they want to take a break. The ocean is known to symbolize calmness, and the ocean water itself is known to be used in some wellness practices, such as soaking in seawater or the inhaling sea fog.

Soaking up the sun early in the morning is also the best way to absorb Vitamin D, which increases immunity from viral diseases. Furthermore, fun ocean activities such as surfing and kayaking offer a great deal of exercise and enjoyment whether you’re travelling solo or in a group.

Thailand currently recommends 16 spots for Ocean Therapy, particularly the town of Trat in the coast of eastern Thailand. Trat is well-known by tourists for island hopping, where travelers can visit and savor the unique sceneries each island in the area has to offer. Trat is also where one can get close to marine life: clams, corals and even mangrove forests abound in the area. Trat is also home to the only black sand beach in Thailand — and one of five in the world — where dipping feet into the sand can exfoliate and nourish the skin.

The Ko Chang District in Trat also provides Stand Up Paddling lessons, hiking to the Khlong Phlu waterfall, or visits to fishing villages in the area. Truly, a quick scan into what Trat can offer will leave no tourist without anything to do or discover.

Aside from these recommended power spots, other beauty and wellness spots can be enjoyed as well, so whether you’re interested in Thai skincare, spiritual refreshment, forest therapy or ocean therapy, there is definitely a destination in Thailand that will suit your desire to achieve well-being in your mind, body and soul.

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