It’s the year of mindfulness. At the risk of sounding cliched, folks who become more mindful tend to be happier, healthier and kinder. With these fun activities at Avani+ Samui, you can practice mindfulness without even realising you are doing so.
1. Become a Master Chef
Join Chef Kien Wagner for a visit to the local market to learn everything you need to know about Thai cuisine. The German chef has made South East Asia his home and is passionate about local produce and flavours. Chef Kien tailors his menus around the freshest produce he finds in the market each day and he’ll give you a crash course in Thai Basil, turmeric, tamarind, lemongrass, ginger and galangal before you return to his domain to learn how to concoct the perfect three-course Thai meal. Just don’t be afraid of the fish sauce!
2. Paint a bin
We’re not joking. Painting and creative activities boost mindfulness. Plus, this is not just any painting, it’s art that helps with the environment. Avani+ Samui buys the bins and resident artist Donna invites you to her home and shows you how to decorate them beautifully. They’re then distributed in the area surrounding the hotel for a cleaner, more environmentally-conscious island.
3. Take a hike
Showing that the island’s beauty is not limited to its beaches, a 30-minute drive inland from the resort is Na Muang Waterfalls, a majestic set of two cascades accessed via a vigorous hike. Alternatively, embark on a guided jungle trek stopping off along the way to appreciate the stunning viewpoints.
4. Listen to the birds
Yes, there are plenty of beautiful birds to look out for on the island, but we’re talking about a different type of tweeting. Muse is an immersive meditation device that uses a headband to provide real-time feedback on your mental activity, heart rate, breathing, and body movements to help you find calm. The calmer you are, the more birds you will hear chirping. Avani+ Samui is the only resort on the island to offer this.
5. Make a stand
Hop onto one of the resort’s stand up paddle boards and explore the bay at your own pace. Starting from the beach, paddle to the nearby mangroves for a wonderfully peaceful activity that allows you to explore Samui’s natural costal treasures. Of course, if you’re not comfortable standing on water, opt for a kayak instead.
6. Stretch it out
Limber up with circulation-boosting moves and start your day with a few glugs of fresh seaside air in one of Avani+ Samui’s weekly stretching sessions: easily the best way to kickstart your day.
7. Spin the wheel
Hop on one of the resort’s mountain bikes, feel the breeze in your hair and explore the surrounding neighbourhood and Taling Ngam. A veritable tropical jungle, this part of the island sports more coconut groves than anywhere else in Thailand, so you’re guaranteed an abundance of greenery.
8. Talk shop
Just because you’re on the quiet side of the island doesn’t mean you can’t get your shopping fix – and we all know how good shopping can make you feel. On Wednesday nights you can head to Hua Thanon’s Walking Street and pick out some silver jewellery or clothes at bargain prices, while on Saturday nights it’s off to Bang Kao’s Beach Market for souvenirs, knickknacks and gadgets – along with plenty of tasty street food options.
9. Sail into the sunset
It’s known as the sunset side of the island, so take full advantage by enjoying a sunset cruise to Ko Si Ko Ha or Five Islands. Only four of these are visible from the resort as one is hidden – it’s only when you’re sailing out into the big blue ocean that the fifth one, as if by magic, appears before you. Alternatively, if you feel like catching your own dinner, book Captain Tep to take you on a fishing trip on his long-tail boat.
10. And relax…
Thailand is just as famous for its massages as it is for its stunning beaches and incomparable cuisine. At AvaniSpa you’ll find all the usual suspects such as Thai massage and rehydrating facials, but for something a little different try the tailored AvaniSpa experience which focuses on guests’ physical needs with their signature touch treatment; a soothing oil massage coupled with stretching techniques.
Destination video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAsocP8vFYA