Travel and wellness expert Vivienne Tang shares the highlights from her recent trip to Phuket with us. To learn more about other experiences in Phuket, check out our special collaboration with Rosewood Phuket.
I’ve always loved living in Hong Kong, and while I wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else, I’ll be the first to admit that it can be soul-draining at times to deal with the constant traffic congestion, shoebox-sized apartments and the hectic pace of city life. Every Hongkonger knows that every now and then, it’s necessary to escape and completely unwind.
That’s why I was looking forward to embarking on a much-needed weekend retreat to Phuket. I’ve travelled there several times, and I couldn’t wait to check out the newly opened Rosewood Phuket.
This trip for me was a personal journey of healing and wellness after months of being consumed by the “detox-retox” cycle in Hong Kong. I had also just started a specific diet for personal health reasons (no carbs, sugar or meat), and I was looking forward to going somewhere with fewer temptations and distractions (trying to diet in Hong Kong is a challenge, to say the least).
While I’ve been to numerous wellness retreats around Asia, I was honestly blown away by my first impressions of Rosewood Phuket — a lush tropical oasis engulfed in complete tranquility on the southwestern coast of the island. The expansive property is immersed in untouched jungle canopy, while the stretch of private beach and the ocean beyond seamlessly blends land and sea. I felt my stress levels start to melt away as I stepped onto the property and began a three-day detox, which included leisurely stretches of sunbathing by the infinity pool, strolling along the sand (Rosewood Phuket harbours one of the last remaining stretches of private beach in Phuket), enjoying sumptuous local Thai cuisine, and lounging around in my contemporary private pool villa.
While there are many incredible experiences to speak of during my weekend, the one that will stay with me the longest is the transformative Tibetan Singing Bowls ritual I experienced at Asaya, Rosewood’s new wellness concept. Used for centuries for healing and meditation, this ancient practice works by synchronising your brain with the sound waves resonating from the bowls, blending sound and physical vibration to invoke a deep state of meditation.
To experience this ritual, I was led through the fragrant and foliage-filled gardens within Asaya to a pavilion that had been set up with the bowls arranged in a half-moon. The sweet fragrances of jasmine and lemongrass filled the air as I sat cross-legged across from the sound healing expert. He guided me through the 30-minute ritual, as I let the sound waves induce me into a state of total physical and mental relaxation. With the vibration from the bowls blending with the natural sounds of the wind rustling through the leaves, it was easy to leave my troubles behind and enter a balanced state of bliss.
When the ritual ended, I was led into an open-air area for relaxation, where I was able to reflect on the deep shift that had occurred within me from the sound healing experience. I felt my senses expanded, and could more easily take in and appreciate my surroundings, without the constant stream of worrying thoughts running through my mind. Afterwards, it was all too easy to maintain mental bliss as I relaxed and enjoyed an afternoon snack in the courtyard of my sea-facing suite.
Strolling through the expansive gardens and finding the pockets of relaxed sanctuaries around the property — from the yoga pavilion to the quiet shaded terraces, morning Pilates sessions under the 150-year-old Banyan trees and nights spent luxuriating in the deep soaking bathtub in my villa — I couldn’t ask for a more relaxing way to spend a weekend immersed in nature in beautiful Phuket.
For more of this gorgeous property, check out the highlights from my weekend at Rosewood Phuket in the video below.