Despite staying on Koh Phangan last year long time, I regret saying that I didn’t make it to Wonderland Healing Center until now, almost a year later. Shame on me! I saw it from pictures that the place looked wonderful but you have to come to see it yourself to realise its beauty.
The History of The Wonderland Healing Center
I got to talk with Zohar who is one of the owners. The center is run by 6-7 families who all live-in and nurture the place like their home. He told me that they worked in the online marketing business previously, before coming to Koh Phangan for a holiday. While here, they decided to stay on this tropical island, change their lives, and also influence others’ lives while doing it.
Many people actually fall in love with this gem of Thailand and in case you want to know more about Koh Phangan, check out this Ultimate Guide I wrote a while ago.
I actually remember seeing this place a few years ago when it was a hotel but it didn’t seem very popular. But these people saw the potential to this place: they built a few extra bungalows, the yoga shalas, and the lovely restaurant.
Now, in Thailand, business ventures are bound to be very tricky to set up. Always something comes up (or so I’ve heard). However, these owners have managed to get this place up and running in less than 2 years. Now that’s what I call an accomplishment!
Zohar also spoke highly of not just his business partners but also the staff in general. All the staff spoke good English and they were very friendly. I feel that it’s especially important in a place like this where people come to not just to unwind but perhaps also to discover new sides of themselves.
The area is in a garden/jungle setting with a small stream next to it. In the garden, you will find plenty of quiet corners where to chill and relax. There are hammocks and Thai cushions whenever you want to get comfy.
The program here is very versatile. On my first day, I did a calming meditation class followed by an inversion themed yoga therapy class by Alon. I had heard a lot good about this yoga teacher and got to witness it myself. There would’ve been pilates also but unfortunately, I didn’t make it.
On the next morning, I did Betty’s vinyasa flow followed by a yoga nidra class. I know Betty and her husband Swami Pujan from my ashtanga yoga teacher training here on Koh Phangan. This was my first yoga class with Betty though and I really enjoyed it. She knows a lot about yoga. More info about Betty can be found here.
In general, the yoga classes are suitable for all levels. If you love Bikram and/or ashtanga yoga, some of the classes will probably feel a bit slow-paced but then again, many are detoxing or fasting so you need a more gentle approach to your body and physical exercises here.
There are usually 3 yoga classes daily, 8am, 10am, and 4.30pm. Meditation themes vary likewise and I did a mindfulness meditation class with Jo, a lovely lady from India. Moreover, there are different specials and workshops daily, such as kirtan, re-birthing workshops and so on.
On Friday you can choose to go to an ecstatic dance party or then there is the Zen Beach sunset (music) session, fire ceremony and so much more. There are plenty of different healing sessions and therapies available by trained specialists who all live on the island. You can choose to learn many new things here or just chill, do yoga and have time for yourself. It’s all up to you and how you feel.
The Delicious Food
Wonderland Healing Center offers an all-inclusive vegan buffet and may I say, the food was absolutely healthy, nutritious, yummy and there was lots of it. They change the dishes weekly so you are not stuck eating the same food. A fresh coconut and a smoothie are also included (and snacks if you are peckish).
If you want a special detox smoothie you need to pay extra and the same go for the divine raw chocolates and cakes. People share the meals together and the restaurant is super cozy with soft background music and candles in the evenings.
What can I tell about breakfast? I love banana pancakes but these were just divine! There was also glutenfree bread, different jams, coconut yogurt, chia seed pudding and different toppings, such as homemade granola, roasted coconut and of course, fresh fruits. For those wishing to start their day lighter, you could have a smoothie or just coconut water. What’s more, you can get a proper cappuccino served with plant-based milk. Tea? Sure, no problem.
I love it that all the food is vegan but this is in no way emphasized. People are able to experiment with a vegan diet without making a fuss about it. Eating at places like this gives you the inspiration to increase your greens n beans and reduce animal-based products.
Obviously, you will notice the difference in how you feel in your body when you eat a healthy, plant-based diet. I know, it’s not the same when you get back in the rat race and your hectic lifestyle back home yet the owners hope you are able to take some inspiration from here to take home with you.
If you want more info on raw food cooking, check out this post.
Treatments and Sauna
Like most yoga and detox centers, Wonderland Healing Center also offers a variety of holistic treatments and therapies, such as acupuncture, Ayurveda health & wellbeing consultation, and craniosacral therapy. Alternatively, you could just go for a massage or try the amazing sauna/steam room.
At the time of writing this, they are also building a small dipping pool next to the steam room. Until then, you can, of course, use the pool to cool yourself down (or lay in the sunbeds to work on that tan of yours).
Koh Phangan actually has a few awesome and unique saunas/ steam rooms. Check out this post to find out more. If you are the sporty type, you might be equally interested in this post which is about hiking on Koh Phangan.
Wonderland Healing Center All In All
So what did I think about the Wonderland Healing Center on Koh Phangan all in all? Well, first of all, the location and the amenities are wonderful. Eating was always a highlight (though it probably shouldn’t be, hehe).
The atmosphere was also very welcoming and this detox center felt like a place where it would be easy to go by yourself and still make new friends in no time, especially if you would stay in the dorm, I think.
On the downside, the classes are suitable for all levels and I felt that they can be somewhat unchallenging for more experienced yogis (or who like dynamic classes). In case you are planning on mainly concentrating on the physical aspect of your practice or want more dynamic (and sweaty) yoga classes, perhaps there might be other yoga retreats in Thailand more suitable to you.
Overall, Wonderland Healing Center is a lovely place and it compliments the already thriving Koh Phangan yoga & detox scene nicely. Kudos to the Wonderlanding team, keep up the good work and thanks for hosting me! All opinions are my own, as always.
By the way, if you want to know more about my yoga journey, why not read this post about the Yoga Therapy Course for Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome that I did in London?!
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