In January of this year, I decided that I needed to finally go through with my long time dream of visiting Thailand. After trying to “vision board” this desire to life for years, an opportunity arose that I just couldn’t refuse. I was going to go on a yoga retreat in Thailand.

Disclosure: I was given a discount for the retreat in exchange for sharing my journey on social media and reviewing the trip on my website. Please note that all opinions are completely my own.

Let’s start with all of the amazing things about YogaLife, shall we?

First off, the customer service was extremely great pre-trip. Sarah, whom I communicated with prior to leaving, was quick to answer every single one of my questions whether it was about flights, money, shots, accommodations, or activities. She was my girl. Being a newbie to international travel, I really appreciated this.

When I arrived to Krabi, Thailand, I was promptly greeted by one of the staff members, a 22-year-old guy named Dave who was always happy to help with the tour and provided amazing assistance in whatever we needed during our stay. He took me and two other girls at the airport to our destination to meet the other nine ladies we would be spending the next two weeks with.

For the first ten days of the retreat, we were staying at a homestay called KrabiLife. Picture a cluster of little igloo shaped rooms for no more than two people per igloo, all surrounding a pool, a couple tikki bars, an upstairs outdoor yoga loft, and a kitchen…that’s what our adorable homestay looked like. The homestay was in the middle of a more rural and local-living area, so if you want to check it out, do not expect to be in a touristy part of Krabi for this part of your stay. I loved this aspect of the homestay. I really enjoy feeling like I am living in the under-developed parts of town when I go somewhere because I want to see how the locals live, eat, and sleep. The KrabiLife homestay was perfect for that.

2016-03-12 16.25.30

During our time at the homestay, our guide Rong was the best guide I ever could have asked for. He owned the homestay and his family made up the majority of the staff. His mom did all of the cooking, his dad took care of cleaning up around the place, and there were locals constantly coming in and out to help with laundry, driving, and other things. Honestly, I wasn’t too sure who all was family with Rong or who were just friends living in the neighborhood but I grew to recognize faces and felt at home really quickly.

The food that Rong’s mom made was delicious. I ended up having a yogurt muesli bowl every single morning and lunch was always some kind of Thai dish like green curry, massaman curry, pad thai, fried rice, sweet leaf (the best thing I’ve ever had), fruit bowls, and a ton more (always served with white rice). There were also American options like chicken sandwiches, eggs, toast, fried potatoes, burgers, and fries. We were eating there for a full ten days so it was good to have these options (though that’s not to say I wasn’t really missing my roasted broccoli, sweet potatoes, and brown rice bowls from home!).

2016-03-14 07.31.23

Surprisingly, they eat a lot of yogurt and muesli over in Thailand.

Some of the activities we did while in Krabi include:

Sea kayaking through what felt like an epic jungle of sorts, and yes, several encounters with monkeys jumping in our kayaks.

2016-03-14 14.08.10

A beautiful waterfall hike, where we got to swim and play in the gorgeous, clear water.

A steep hike up to Tiger Temple at five in the morning to watch the sun rise (walking up 1,270 steps up stairs), followed by seeing a wall full of baboons on the side of the building.

2016-03-18 04.26.37

A day trip to Railay beach where we could play at the beach, eat food, have some drinks and rock climb (though everybody opted-out of the rock climbing due to extreme beach-relaxation-neediness).

A visit to the Krabi hot springs.

2016-03-26 23.57.13

Can you tell which one I am?

A fire ceremony and a lunar ceremony, both of which were sacred aspects of getting to know all of the yogis on the retreat.

Daily yoga and meditation.

{I want to touch on this part a bit. Truth be told, I had no idea that this retreat was not just a yoga retreat but also a meditation retreat. I wasn’t aware that we would be doing hours of yoga + meditation daily (most days the practice lasted three hours and others days it was a couple hours) and that everything was pretty “mandatory.”

After years and years of striving to get back in touch with my body after neglecting it for so long, it wasn’t very healthy for me to feel like I was forced to do something. Going into this retreat, I assumed that you could make the adult decision to either choose to participate in all of the yoga, or choose to opt-out if you weren’t feeling it for that day. I mean that’s a lot of yoga for somebody who has wanted to go to Thailand all her life and finally gets there and wants to explore around during most of the time there!

That’s not to say that you couldn’t opt-out for the yoga, but if you did, you definitely received a negative vibe about your decision and I know that for many, including me, people-pleasing can be a real struggle. That’s why I really appreciated Rong because he was all for you doing your own thing while you were there, no matter what that was. I just wish all of them were the same way!}

Okay back to our activities…

We had a tattoo party thanks to one of Rong’s creative friends (probably one of the most memorable nights for me).

2016-03-16 08.28.31

Yes, this is mine!

A night out to some local bars and to the Krabi Night Market where I came face to face with more foreign food than I’ve ever seen in my life!

2016-03-19 23.13.05

And for the most part, wonderful girl time.

I am really glad I was paired with a roommate who had I amazing, real and deep conversations with, but outside of our time together, I was a bit overwhelmed with the direction some of the conversations between the other girls would go. Remember, there are about twelve people at this retreat, all girls between the ages of 19-30, so I can definitely see how there would be some crude humor at times…what I didn’t expect was how much of it there was.

With that said, every tour is completely different with different people. But do remember, if you go on a group tour there will be conversations and situations you may not be able to control. So it’s important to ask yourself, can you surrender to what is outside of your control? That’s another great lesson traveling will teach you.

2016-03-19 18.03.14

My roomie Kat and me.

After our ten days in Krabi, we made our way to Koh Phi Phi on a ferry to spend the remaining four days of the trip.

2016-03-22 11.51.01

The incredible view of Koh Phi Phi from my hotel room.

Day number uno in Koh Phi Phi was amazing because it was something new and exciting, but it quickly wore on me with the hustle and bustle of this packed touristy town.

In Koh Phi Phi we had a group viewpoint hike that was no longer than 30 minutes but it led to an incredibly rewarding view.

2016-03-22 17.56.40

We also did a boat cruise to four different beaches, one of them being Monkey Beach which is famous for its monkeys, as I am sure you could have guessed. Never in my life had I been in water as clear and blue as that water. The monkeys weren’t nearly as scary as I thought they were going to be, but you definitely want to keep your stuff to yourself or leave it on the boat. One of the monkeys snatched up a girl’s sunglasses, climbed on a tree and then put them on his own face. Pretty freaking adorable.

On the boat cruise we also saw Maya Bay which is famous for being the location in the movie The Beach. If you’ve ever been on Instagram (so, if you’re a human being) you have probably seen a picture of Maya Bay floating around somewhere. People go to see it from all around the world for a reason: it’s stunning! If you are ever in Thailand, make this a priority.

2016-03-23 07.48.42

Photo credit goes to my friend Jenny.

On the cruise, we also did some snorkeling which was one of the highlights of my time in Phi Phi because snorkeling is one of my favourite activities to do on this planet. I don’t think we had enough time for it, and I don’t think we were in the best location for seeing all of the fish, but it was still a great time and I saw tons of different things like sea urchins (umm scary), blowfish, these gorgeous sherbet colored fish, and a few others!

Other than those events in Koh Phi Phi, there was just more yoga, meditation and then of course, shopping. Krabi had some decent shopping but nothing compared to the shopping to be had in Koh Phi Phi. The streets were filled with nothing but shopping, food and diving guides. I ended up buying all of my family their gifts here, as well as quite a few things for myself!

As a whole, I would say that the activities we did on this retreat were incredible. I think that they were extremely well planned out, and organized wonderfully. Rong, the guide, was knowledgeable about so many different things and he was always telling us some kind of story about rubber trees, palm oil, locals, plants, food and much more. He was very helpful and encouraging to every person, wanting them to have the best time possible.

2016-03-16 13.53.35

Rong explaining how to make rubber from a rubber tree.

I will also add that being a first time traveler, going to Thailand by myself was a breeze. I was anxious at first but Asia was SO kind to me and helpful (even when I lost my luggage because I missed a flight) and they did everything they could to get me to where I needed to be. The language barrier was troubling at times but never once did I end up not getting across whatever it was that I needed to say. Funny enough, the one thing that took five people at a restaurant to understand what I was saying was when I ordered “steamed veggies” the last night I was there. I don’t think many people order steamed food there because they eat almost everything fried!

Oh and speaking of food, while you are there definitely get yourself some sticky rice and mango, as well as some fresh coconut milk ice cream. No, it’s not coconut-flavored ice cream, but legit coconut milk ice cream served in a mini coconut. It’s amazing.

2016-03-19 20.19.44

If you are looking into doing a YogaLife retreat, I encourage you to ask yourself if you are a go with the flow type of gal that can be around groups of people for long period of time. You’re also going to want to be interested in meditation if you’re not already practicing it regularly. You may want to be someone who wants to do everything, from meditation to early morning hikes to being involved in constant conversation, because if you back out of any of these activities, well…I don’t know how it will be received!

Other than that, just be somebody ready for an adventure! I had such an amazing time overall, and I got to experience so many beautiful things. I will be talking a bit more about my experience at YogaLife on my podcast too, so stay tuned for that this week!

You can check out the next Life Before Work YogaLife tour on THIS page, or check out some of their non-yoga tours HERE (but be aware, these ones are pretty party-focused!).

Connect with YogaLife on social here:

Subscribe To Receive Your Audio Download

Enter your email to subscribe and get your free audio download!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe To Receive Your Book List

Enter your email to subscribe and get your free download!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe To Receive Your Download

Enter your email to subscribe and get your free download!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe To Receive Your Download

Enter your email to subscribe and get your free download!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest