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Yoga Retreat Thailand Guide: Where to Practice Yoga in Thailand

Are you considering a yoga retreat Thailand getaway? You must read this special guest post by Alberto G. Guitron! He provides incredible tips on finding yoga retreats in Thailand.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 

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Yoga in Thailand

Thailand is a fantastic country with much to offer for all travelers. Nature lovers rejoice in its beautiful beaches and astonishing landscapes, while party animals won’t find a better nightlife than the one in Bangkok. Foodies can treat their palates to delicious Thai cuisine, and backpackers find ease in their pockets with the affordable lifestyle of Thailand. Yogis, meanwhile, will be delighted by the area’s deeply ingrained spiritual culture.

Thailand is a fantastic destination for yoga practitioners. There is a wide variety of yoga studios, workshops, and Thailand yoga retreat options year-round. You can also find massage training, meditation retreats, organic permaculture farms, natural healing, and Ayurvedic offerings.

No wonder Thailand has steadily become one of the most visited countries in the world. In fact, according to the United Nations World Tourism Ranking, it is currently the second Asian country with the most annual visitors (32,588,303 in 2016). It’s also ranked 14 above tourist destinations like Austria, Greece, and Canada!

The Insider’s Guide to Travel in Thailand Like a Yogi

At, we want to provide you with all the tools for an unforgettable yoga Thailand experience. That’s why we partnered with bloggers who have lived there and love yoga the way we do to spill the best-kept secrets in this insider’s guide to yoga in Thailand. Anne and Brandon from The Yoga Nomads, Amélie from Mostly Amélie, and Alana from Paper Planes share advice for finding the best yoga Thailand experiences.

Must-Know Thai Traditions

The Insider’s Guide to Travel in Thailand Like a Yogi

First and foremost, it is crucial to know the traditions of the Thai people before you arrive. And while many aspects are different from the Western side of the world, there is one thing you should never forget: beware of your feet! “Pointing your feet at others, touching the feet, and propping your feet up on a chair or table are considered rude in Thai culture,” warn Anne and Brandon.

But why are feet problematic in Thailand? To understand this ideology a bit better, Alana Morgan explains that “Thais believe the feet are the lowliest, dirtiest part of the body, and it’s seen as disrespectful and offensive to show the bottom of your foot.” That’s why it is also disrespectful to leave your hiking boots dangling on the outside of your backpack, so be careful if the purpose of your trip is a hiking adventure.

You should also remember the following tips to blend in the Thai culture and avoid disrespecting someone:

  • Despite being hot and sunny all year round, people in Thailand dress modestly and are usually covered up. While showing skin is expected at the beach and areas with many tourists are used to how Western tourists dress, wearing strappy yoga gear in public isn’t appropriate.
  • Many Thai people greet one another by placing their hands and palms together at the heart center. It is a sign of respect.
  • Removing your shoes before entering a temple or spiritual dwelling is essential.
  • Always dress modestly when visiting holy sites. Cover your knees and shoulders, and never point your feet at the Buddha when sitting!

What to Wear On Your Yoga Retreat

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

Best Yoga Retreats Thailand Experiences

The Insider’s Guide to Travel in Thailand Like a Yogi

Most visitors head down to the islands of Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, or Koh Tao—they’re famous for a good reason. The North of Koh Phangan Island is Amélie’s paradise. For example, “Many people know only of the full moon party, so the northernmost part of the island is still very unknown. There are amazing yoga schools, secluded beaches, vegan restaurants, and magical, untouched forests. A Buddhist temple also offers a ten-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat high on a mountain. A must!” she describes.

On the other hand, Alana Morgan is a blogger who has lived in Chiang Mai for the past five years and has completely fallen in love with northern Thailand even though it doesn’t have a beach. “I could never get sick of the jungle-covered mountains and rice fields outside town. The greenery and welcoming atmosphere more than make up for the lack of a beach, and there is a ton to do, from checking out the town’s burgeoning cafe scene (coffee grows in the mountains) to visiting elephant sanctuaries and indulging in the country’s tastiest and cheapest food.”

The Yoga Nomads agree with Alana—they think Chiang Mai and Pai are the two places to visit for yogis. “These two northern cities are conducive to the yogic lifestyle with various places to find healthy food and plenty of spots to practice yoga. If beaches are more your thing, Koh Lanta hasn’t been overrun by tourism quite as much as the other islands yet still has stunning views and wildlife,” they say.

Best Yoga Retreat Thailand Locations

The Insider’s Guide to Travel in Thailand Like a Yogi

There are so many beautiful places to do yoga in Thailand and such an emphasis on living here and now that it’s hard not to feel inspired. However, our insiders have shared their favorite places to relax, find peace and be mindful:

  • Yoga Nomads: Mar Ngat Dam and Reservoir.
  • Amélie: Koh Phangan.
  • Alana Morgan: For meditation, Thai Buddhist temples across the country. For yoga, a studio in Chiang Mai that’s situated in a traditional wooden Thai house surrounded by a tropical garden

Adventurous Yoga Thailand Retreat Activities

If you want to add some adrenaline to your visit and complement your yoga practice, some activities will enrich your stay in Thailand. The Yoga Nomads recommend trying snorkeling, diving, and rock climbing. “Thailand is known for its turquoise beaches and stunning limestone cliffs, which are great places to do these activities. Yoga complements each in unique ways—creating awareness in your body and mind around your breath can influence your performance.”

And if you have a truly adventurous soul who wants to try something unique, Amélie thinks you must try free diving. “Free diving, or free immersion, relies on your ability to calm your mind, breathe deeply, and hold your breath until resurfacing. It is a calming and soothing experience, and pranayama exercises are handy. Truly the best yoga companion,” she explains.

You can find more tips for yoga courses here:

The Best Online Yoga Teacher Trainings (Including Pros and Cons of online yoga courses)
The Best Yoga Teacher Training Courses Worldwide

Budgeting for Yoga Retreats in Thailand

The Insider’s Guide to Travel in Thailand Like a Yogi

When traveling, insider advice helps you grasp the culture, visit not-so-popular places, and not overspend your money in touristy places or restaurants that aren’t ordinarily worth a visit. Though the cost of living is already quite affordable compared to most Western cities, it never hurts to have some tips to make your money go further during your Thailand retreat:

  • Stick to Thai food: Don’t worry about eating in the street. Often, it can even be better than restaurants since it is typically made to order (meaning fresher) and always dirt cheap! “We recommend seeking out the street food stands that are busy and have a lot of locals in front,” say the Yoga Nomads.
  • Buy at the local farmer’s market: You could get affordable fruit and veggies as snacks on the go.
  • Use local transportation: It will always be cheaper than flights, taxis, or private cars. Riding scooters is common, and you’ll likely find yourself driving one or sitting in the back of one.
  • Find a roommate: Either your travel partner or a new friend, finding a private room for two (or dorm style if that’s your thing) is a way to cut costs on accommodation while traveling in general.
  • Unfortunately, yoga classes at studios in Thailand aren’t much cheaper compared to other destinations, but they’re worth the splurge for practicing in gorgeous, tropical spaces.

P.S. Check out more of my reviews of the Best Yoga Packing List here:

The Best Yoga Mats for Travel
The Best Yoga and Dance Bras Reviewed
Discover the Best Yoga Tops for Women

Yoga Retreat Thailand Essentials

The Insider’s Guide to Travel in Thailand Like a Yogi

For your convenience, in collaboration with our insiders, we’ve compiled a list of things that will make your life easier while practicing yoga in Thailand. Don’t forget to include these items on your Thailand yoga retreat packing checklist:

  1. A travel yoga mat
  2. Light, loose clothes: Preferably air-wicking and fast-drying yoga clothes (it’s humid in Thailand!).
  3. Reusable water bottles: Safe drinking water is difficult to find in Southeast Asia. Bring your own instead of buying many plastic water bottles, which hurt your budget and the environment.
  4. A carry-on backpack: The last thing you want to do is lug around 50 pounds of stuff you won’t use. A small bag lightens the load physically and mentally.
  5. Journal: A place to write your thoughts as you experience, learn, and grow in ways you never imagined.
  6. A “big-ass” knife for foraging coconuts in the forest: As suggested by Amélie.
  7. Sunscreen
  8. Bikini or swimming trunks
  9. Palo Santo stick
  10. An open mind: It isn’t easy to get the experience you want if you don’t have an open mind.
  11. Patience: Things here differ from home and often run on Thai time (later than expected), but that’s part of the country’s charm.

Quick Tip: Check out my other Yoga posts all over the world here:

Discover the 7 Best Yoga Teacher Training Programs in Thailand: A Comprehensive Guide
Get Your Zen On: Exploring the Best Yoga Retreats in Thailand
Yoga in Thailand | The Best Thailand Yoga Retreats Reviewed
The Insider’s Guide to Yoga in Thailand
The Best 6 Places for an India Yoga Retreat
Bali Yoga Retreat | The Best Yoga Retreats In Bali Reviewed
Bali Yoga Training | The Best Bali Yoga Teacher Training

Discover Serenity: Best Yoga Retreats in Ibiza to Reconnect with Yourself
Discover the Power Within Top 7 Life-Altering Yoga Retreats in Europe
The Best Places for a Yoga Retreat In The UK

The Best Yoga Retreats In Mexico
A Guide to Yoga in Guatemala | Yoga Guatemala
Yoga Playa del Carmen
Yoga Retreats Colombia | The Best Colombia Yoga Retreats Reviewed
The Best Guatemala Yoga Retreat
The Best Costa Rica Yoga Retreats
What’s Better? Online or In Person Yoga Teacher Training
How to do A Yoga Teacher Training While Traveling Full-Time

Thailand Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Thailand?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Thailand which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Thailand on Amazon here.

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance. I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go to flight searching platforms.

🚗 Where can I book rental cars or private transportation?

I strongly recommend using 12Go or Bookaway. There are many transport options available such as train, bus, and ferry.

I would strongly advice against driving a car in Thailand but you can easily rent a scooter locally.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Thailand?

First and foremost check out all of the amazing Thailand tours Where Sidewalks End has. They are a small local company and they have some really special experiences.

For everything else I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using either Airhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia. They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals. However, Agoda is highly recommended in Thailand and it has the most selection.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

The Insider’s Guide to Yoga in Thailand

Author’s Bio

Alberto is a writer for He is a committed yoga practitioner who still can’t touch the ground with his heels in Downward Dog. One day, he’ll do it and probably write a story bragging about it.

P.S. Be sure to check out my review of The Best Travel Yoga Mats so you can choose the best one for your yoga retreat Thailand getaway.

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