You wouldn’t expect to find so many saunas here on Koh Phangan, after all, the whole of Thailand is a bit of a sauna on its own, during the hot season, at least. Nevertheless, we have a few here. Well, I guess they are more steam rooms rather than saunas, though. I’m from Finland, the country of saunas, so I guess I have to make some kind of a distinction.
It had actually been almost a year since I had been to a sauna, until very recently. Last time was during my yoga teacher training here last February. It has felt so nice doing the sweat lodge thing again. Makes you feel so refreshed. And clean! If you haven’t tried the saunas here yet, I’d strongly advise you to do so. Here are my favorites:
Baan Tai Herbal Sauna
This sauna is in a cozy garden and you have the chance to book a massage as well. The massage area looks really inviting and tranquil. The sauna wasn’t too hot, just the perfect temperature. You can go in and out as many times as you wish. The showers and patio are in a lush garden setting.
Entrance fee is 120b. Sauna is mixed and you wear bathers. Refreshments and fresh coconuts are on sale. Or you could do like my friend did; he ran into FamilyMart to get a few beers, haha. After all, he is a Finnish guy. Beer and sauna go hand in hand in Finland. A bit more info about this sauna on their Facebook page.
Anodash Steam Herbal Sauna
Another lovely sauna in Ban Tai area.
This place is a hidden gem. You can’t see it from the road unless you know the place. There is a small sign but it’s easy to miss it. The place is next to the infamous psy trance party, Ban Sabaii if this piece of advice helps, hehe. At the moment, unfortunately, the sauna is under renovation and we are anxiously waiting what the new and improved Anodash will look like.
Anodash is situated in a big garden and it’s right on the beach. So you can have a swim in the sea or alternatively, dip in the small pool they have on the premises. I must warn, though, the water is really cold. It’s for cooling down, not for swimming and “chilling”.
There are two saunas. One of them is hotter so you can change the steam room if it gets too hot for you. The garden is a lovely place to cool down as well. Entrance fee is 80b and add 20b extra if you need to borrow a towel. This place is for women and men, no separate sides. You can also have a lovely Thai massage here. If you start getting thirsty, refreshments, such as tea and smoothies are on sale. Check out their Facebook pages also!
Wat Po Temple Sauna Koh Phangan
This place is also in Ban Tai and I think everyone should try it; A Buddhist temple with a sauna! But you’ve been warned. It’s really hot in here. If you prefer milder heat, better to come closer towards the closing time, say after 6 when the place closes 7pm. There are separate sides for men and women. The entry fee is 100b and you get a sarong that you need to use. Bikinis/ speedos are not enough.
I also like the fact that there are lockers with padlocks and that’s included in the price. Like many other places, they offer massage here and they have refreshments, Thai balms, oil etc on sale.
There’s a garden patio for cooling cool down but it’s not as picturesque as in the other sauna spots. There is also a small pond, with very big fish. You can buy dog and fish food if you would like to feed the animals. The dogs in the sauna area are friendly.
Orion Healing Centre
This Turkish sauna is situated in the “yogic area” of Koh Phangan, better known as Sri Thanu and it looks very pretty inside! It’s round shaped and the tiles are light violet. Often yogis come here to relax and detox. Conversation topics frequently involve yoga, alternative healing methods, fasting, and detox. But everybody is welcome!
If you wish, you can have a swim in between the rounds but the water at Orion is quite often shallow so it’s not a super good place for swimming. The Orion restaurant is on the premises so you can easily chill after the cleanse and nourish yourself with vegan food or super smoothies. We had our raw food cooking course there also and they indeed make healthy and delicious food on the spot.
The Dome Koh Phangan
This is quite far up in the northern part of the island so it’s more reachable for people who stay in Sri Thanu, Chaloklum or thereabouts. And it seems to be quite popular among the people who live there indeed.
But for people like me whose home is in the South, it’s a bit far away if you don’t like driving in the dark too long a way. Luckily, the new road is a proper bitumen road and it’s ok to drive after dusk. Just don’t speed recklessly because it is quite hilly and windy.
The Dome on Koh Phangan is open from 6pm until midnight. The entrance fee is 200 baht and you can stay here until closing time, sweating in one of the 2 saunas, having a shower and chillaxing at the bonfire. Sauna is mixed and you can choose to be naked, be wrapped in a towel or wear your bathers. Towel and water are included in the entrance fee, with a warm greeting from the owner, Dave and the staff. Vegetarian snacks, drinks, and tea are also available to purchase.
I enquired about the history behind Dome and apparently, Dave had built a sauna in Pai earlier and then decided to build one on the island. At first, it was more for friends and people giving donations. Then more people started coming and another sauna was needed. The place is still growing and improving with the help of Dave and the volunteers. And we hope this is indeed the case because it’s an extraordinary place.
The ambiance is hippyish, slightly psychedelic or dare I say, even magical. The chillout tunes coming from the speakers add up to the whole experience. Furthermore, the cliffs facing the area are lit when it gets dark and this gives the place a special touch. More info here.
Koh Phangan has plenty of other things to do by the way, such as hiking and if you like yoga, there are wonderful yoga retreats, such as Wonderland Healing Center, The Sanctuary and Siam Healing Centre.
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