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|Healthy Island Living|
Samui is now a place where you can practice serious health regimes and enjoy the most self-indulgent spa treatments. Whether you are into power yoga or passive pampering, there is a wide -- and growing -- range of options to choose from.
With all the good food around, it's very easy to pile on weight during a holiday. But you don't have to leave your regular workout schedule behind. Several gyms on Samui can help you stay in tip-top shape. World Gym in Chaweng and Lamai Gym are the places for those who want to display a little muscle on the beach. Body-building equipment and fitness experts are usually available to get you started at both places. Alternatively, you can go upmarket to the Chaweng Regent Fitness Centre in Chaweng or the facilities available at many of the 4 and 5-star resorts.
Yoga is an excellent way to improve flexibility in both body and mind. If you are experienced, try your practice on the beach. You can do your sun salutations early in the morning when the air is cooler and there are few people around. There are also good yoga classes for beginners and veteran yoga stretchers alike at The Spa in Lamai, and classes for children and families at the Health Oasis Resort. For private tuition call Jo Grant at 09 867 7725 or drop by her shop, Inner Guidance, in Bophut (past Angela's Harbourside Café on the right)
Thai masseurs and masseuses work most of the bigger beaches, so you can have a rub down on the sands. If you want to go further upmarket, a number of dedicated spas and spa facilities at 5-star hotels offer extensive menus of massages and facial treatments. You can also find foot reflexology at many massage centres.
Eating and Fasting
You can work at getting your digestion into shape by putting good things into your body and getting bad things out. Several spas and centres on Samui offer supervised cleansing and fasting programs. Nutritional consultations, health drinks, tonics, herbs and meditation often complement a fast, which could last from one day to several weeks. Do not fast without professional supervision if you are unfamiliar with the tropical climate.
Hospitals and Clinics
Several clinics and hospitals around the island offer inexpensive health care if you fall sick or have an accident. Samui International Hospitals has the best medical facilities for tourists, multi-lingual staff, a dental clinic and plastic surgery facilities. If you are serious about your bodywork, The Samui Clinic also does cosmetic surgery (Tel. 077 245 236 ext. 116). An alternative for dentistry is Dr Supaporn's dental clinic on Chaweng Beach Road (Tel. 077 413 770).
Body Care at Poppies
Innovatively designed rooftop sala pavilion combines total privacy with a commanding sea view. Offers a full range of massage and beauty treatments. Also has a nearby training and development centre open to members of the public who want to learn the secrets of Thai massage. Central Chaweng, 10am-8pm, Tel. 077 231 368. (Chaweng Map)
High-end luxury spa found within Central Samui Beach Resort. Nine private treatment rooms with individual aircon, lighting controls and relaxation music where you can enjoy scrubs, wraps, massages and facials. Centara specialises in treatments for men. Central Chaweng, 10am-8pm, Tel. 077 230 500. (Chaweng Map)
Eranda Herbal Spa
Eranda Herbal Spa makes the most of its hillside location and boasts stunning ocean views over the north coast. It currently offers a range of treatments including the signature Eranda Massage that combines the best of Thai and Occidental massage techniques to stimulate blood circulation and free blockages of negative energy. Just north of Chaweng Beach, 9am-9pm, Tel. 077 422 666. (Samui Island Map V13)
Health Oasis Resort
Offers 1 to 21-day fasting and cleansing programmes, training courses in traditional Thai massage, Reiki, vortex astrology, healing Tao, tarot, addictions, shiatsu, fitness, breatharianism, craniosacral, acupuncture, reflexology and meditation as well as a comprehensive range of massage and beauty treatments. Also has onsite bungalow accommodation. Maenam, Tel. 077 420 124. (North Coast Map)
The Imperial Spa
Offers a comprehensive range of treatments, including massage, scrubs, wraps and facials given in five elegantly designed treatment suites and a walled outdoor sala pavilion. Each room boasts individual features such as a steam sauna, Jacuzzi, deep bath and multi-directional showers to further enhance your visit. At The Imperial Boathouse Resort, 10am-10pm, Tel. 077 425 041/52 ext.8123. (Koh Samui Map X15)
Offers specialized healing therapy treatments, such as aromatherapy, colonic irrigation, live blood analysis, physiotherapy, electrical/magnetic therapy, hydrotherapy, ultrasound and ozone therapy in state-of-the-art premises. Also offers a range of massage and beauty treatments. Central Chaweng. 10am-8pm. Closed Sundays. Tel 077-230-171(Chaweng Map)
Laem Set Spa
Making the most of its secluded and remote location, Laem Set Spa specialises in a range of half-day treatment packages that combine herbal steam sessions with wraps, facials, body scrubs and massage. At the Laem Set Inn, 10am-6pm, Tel. 077 418 063. (Koh Samui Map M3)
Spa Samui Resorts
Famed world-wide for its controlled cleansing and fasting programmes, The Spa resort on Lamai beach offers both half and full-week fasts that include specially-prepared drinks and nutrition tablets and support and advice throughout your stay. Also offers massage and facials and has onsite bungalow accommodation. The recently opened Spa Samui Village is situated high in the hills above Lamai. Lamai, The Spa Resort: Tel. 077 230 855; The Spa Samui Village: Tel. 077 230 976. (Lamai Map)
Top to Toe Downtown Chaweng.
Top to Toe offers packages galore. The spa's guiding light, Natasha Srion, has had 15 years of experience in Singapore and London and concentrates mainly on the ascetic side of things. Massages are available too, of course. Opposite UFO on Chaweng Beach Rd. Tel. 077 410 049.