PRAIWAN RAFTHOUSE, KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK, THAILAND
In 2017 I am holding another very special retreat adventure at Prae Wan Rafthouse (formerly Jungleyoga) on Khao Sok lake, Surathani, Thailand.
Alyssa Gruber (pictured right) will be offering soul counselling for those wishing to deepen their experience on Simon's retreat this year.
Alyssa Gruber holds PhD matriculation in psychology and offers a dharma-centred approach to healing. She works with trauma and addiction recovery, tantric practice, energy work/shamanic mysticism, and the wisdom garnered from her auspicious teachers, during 20 years of meditation in the Shambala tradition.
PRICE FOR THE FULL RETREAT
7 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS = 36,500 Bhat – Payment instructions below
Deposit to secure booking = 18,250 Bhat
Balance of 18,250 Bhat to be paid in Thai Bhat upon arrival, or by bank transfer at least one week before arrival.
This retreat is priced as a 7-night stay.
While you may of course stay for a shorter period if you need or prefer to, the price will remain the same due to minimum number requirements at Praiwan Rafthouse.
ALSO AVAILABLE AT ADDITIONAL COST:
Please send your booking request to email@example.com or click the BOOK NOW button and we will e-mail you the deposit payment instructions for the relevant Thai bank account. Your booking is confirmed upon receipt of your deposit.
This special event has been designed to offer you the most exhilarating and effective retreat, bringing you close to the natural world of this unique primary rainforest environment while you explore and nourish your own ‘true nature'.
Simon will be accompanied by an assistant teacher
A typical day will consist of the following:
Group bus and boat transfers are included from the group arrival point of Surathani airport, or a boat transfer only from the jetty at the pier at Rachapraba dam. Bus transfers are offered from the airport only. If you are meeting us at the pier for the boat transfer, you need to make your own way to the pier at Rachapraba dam, NOT Kao Sok National Park. The town name is Thakhun where you turn off to the correct pier. All local bus drivers know this pier as it is a well-known destination. Please see Thai Airways (Thai Smile) and Air Asia for flights from Bangkok. There are other airlines who fly to Surathani Airport from other destinations. Please note that there are two airports in Bangkok. Surathani airport should not be confused with Koh Samui airport which is also in Surathani province.
You will enjoy staying and practicing yoga on Kao Sok Lake, one of the most spectacular destinations in Thailand, if not the world. This is a fantastic time of year to be in this region. It is the beginning of the dry season and weather is nearly always warm, sometimes hot and usually free of rainfall. And there are no mozzies!! The lake level is high and the rainforest wildlife visible from the venue is wonderful. Each person has their own private hut unless you would prefer shared accommodation, three meals a day are included, and the floating yoga platform offers amazing views across the lake.
Simon has scheduled this years visit to Jungle Yoga so that anyone who wishes to combine his yoga immersion at Samahita Yoga Thailand on Koh Samui 7-14 Jan with the 14-21 January week at Praiwan Rafthouse is able to do so. The two location experiences work perfectly together with the beach location on Koh Samui and the lake location at Kao Sok National Park.
For those already with Simon at Samahita Retreat the journey from Koh Samui to Kao Sok lake, and vice versa, is very straightforward as they are both in Surathani province. Simon suggests that we all travel together on the ferry on the morning of the 14 Jan and take the ferry and transfer directly to Koh Sok National Park and on to Praiwan Rafthouse. The ferry transfer service is very inexpensive and the bus & boat transfer from the ferry port to Praiwan Rafthouse is included in the retreat price. For those travelling with Simon, all the bookings and arrangements will be made by his support team if you confirm your request by January 7, 2015.
If you are flying in to Thailand, or travelling internally, you will be met at Surathani Airport on 14 Jan and transferred to the lake location by bus (about 75 minutes) and boat (about 55 minutes). All transfers included in the price if you are there for the group transfer buses (exact times listed below).
You can of course make your own way to the lake for the transfer boats, or complete the entire journey on your own from the pier at Rachapraba dam.
This yoga holiday is not only a wonder-filled opportunity to practice yoga and re-connect with your 'inner being' & the natural world of this stunning national park, but also a fantastic opportunity to disconnect from all the usual distractions & offerings of modern day living in developed countries that we so often take for granted (cell phones, power on demand, internet access, hot water on tap, air conditioning etc). I regard it as a great privilege to be able to experience this situation while enjoying such a beautiful environment, wonderful local food, daily yoga & like-minded company. Most mobile phone operators now offer signals strong enough for texts a 20 minute boat ride away from the venue, if you really need to stay in touch with family or friends, although we do encourage you to enjoy the remote location and the freedom from phone & internet communication.
You will find a wealth of information, hundreds of photos and lots of jungle sounds at the Jungle Yoga website: www.jungleyoga.com
VENUE - You will spend 7 nights on Khao Sok Lake, a secret paradise destination deep within the National Park. You will take an awe inspiring boat journey across the lake to its far end. Your destination is a dedicated floating bamboo and wood yoga venue, with separate huts with interconnecting bamboo and wooden walkways and a floating wooden yoga sala. The entire venue is made out of wood and bamboo and floats on tree trunk platforms and pontoons securely connected to the lake shores behind.
"The ten days were wonderful - relaxing and challenging (particularly for my hamstrings). During that time, I feel we built up a lovely atmosphere in the group. I liked the way everyone committed her-and-himself to the yoga practice. I specially liked the way Simon taught: at the same time very sensitive and tender as well as holding the energy of the whole group with assertiveness." Caroline Schilling
LOCAL AREA - The lake offers sensational lake and cliff vistas, snorkelling, kayaking, primary rainforest, extraordinary wildlife including endangered species such as hornbills and gibbons. The pristine moist evergreen forest abounds with wildlife and fascinating plants. The park provides an adventure for botanists, environmentalists, naturalists and anyone interested in exploring plant and wildlife in a rain forest. The mountains in the park are intersected by a range of limestone karsts (tall cliff-like formations, some nearly 1000 metres), leftovers of a coral reef system that stretched across the seas of South-East Asia millions of years ago.
"I'm going to miss hearing all the rich sounds of the rainforest (though I have the CD of it!); the forest is so alive. I will especially miss hearing the gibbons calling every day. It was a fantastic experience with a great bunch of people. Simon, Dick, Beth and all the Thai staff make you feel so welcome that leaving is a bit like leaving home." Steve Whittam
ACCOMMODATION - Bamboo and wood huts on pontoons upon the freshwater lake, with interconnecting walkways. High quality new mattresses and bed linen. Electricity is provided by a generator for a few hours each evening.
CLASSES - The one & two classes a day will take place in the beautiful covered yoga sala, also on the water, but firmly set so that the sala is very stable indeed. You will not find a more stunning place to practise your yoga.
CATERING – You will enjoy amazing Thai food featuring freshwater lake fish and rainforest grown vegetables.
PRICE – 36,500 Bhat for 7 days / 7 nights
Deposit for all bookings is 50% with balance in thai bhat (or US dollar equivalent) to be paid in cash upon arrival.
PRICE INCLUDES – Bus transfer from Surathani airport (URT) to the Wildlife Sanctuary (only if you are able to fit in with group timings.); boat transfer across the lake; 7 nights single accommodation (double/twin is available if preferred); yoga classes; breakfast/lunch/dinner at the venue. Return boat and bus transfers to Surathani airport. (All other chosen destinations on departure day can be arranged with request in advance of arrivals day. Supplements will be payable for bus transfers to locations other than Surathani airport).
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE – Flights; travel insurance; airport transfer from other airports than Surathani airport to the sanctuary; boat transfers IF NOT part of group; airport transfers on departure from Khao Sok lake IF NOT PART OF GROUP TRANSFER; nor, on principal, does it include the National Park entrance fee of 400 baht (£6). If you are travelling outside of the group, transport from the airport to Boat Pier is usually about 3,00 baht per van which can hold up to 8 people (£60), and the boat fee is 3,000 baht (£55), OTHERWISE ALL BUS AND BOAT TRANSFERS ARE INCLUDED IN THE PRICE, as above.
We will give you our Thailand bank details if you would like to do a bank transfer. Please note that there is an additional charge of 1,000 Bhat if the PayPal service is used. (We charge this on at cost.) If your bank or PayPal transfers arrive at an amount less or more than the stated retreat price, this is to be settled upon arrival.
TRAVEL – Please make sure that you have sent us your travel arrangements by e-mail at the very latest by 7th January, preferably much sooner.
Most international flights to Thailand come into Bangkok or Phuket, and you would take an internal flight to Surathani Airport from Bangkok, or road transfer from Phuket (about 2.5-3 hours).
Recommended flight route is arrival into Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and then an internal flight on to Surathani. Please make sure you are clear in the arrangements, departure airport and timings of your Surathani flights as Thai Airways and Air Asia flights are operated out of different Bangkok airports. Flights are operated from both the main international airport Suvarnabhumi and also from Don Mueang airport, which is about an hours drive from Suvarnabhumi.
Recommended flights from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) to Surathani (URT) to meet the group transfer to the lake, and for your return, are with Thai Smile airlines, a part of Thai Airways. All Thai Smile (Thai Airways) flights leave and return to Suvarnabhumi international airport, where most international long haul flights arrive into.
Recommended arrival flight with group transfer provided from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) to Surathani (URT) on 14 Jan is the Thai Airways / Thai Smile TG2251 / WE 251 at 08.25 arriving Surat Thani 09.40
Recommended departure time with group transfer provided on Thai Airways / Thai Smile on Saturday 21 January are TG2252 / WE 252 departing Surathani (URT) at 10.20 arriving Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) at 11.40
There are also evening flights with Thai Airways / Thai Smile, but there will not be included arrival transfers for these flight times.
Anybody arriving from or departing to Don Mueang airport (DMK) on Air Asia flights need to arrange travel around these group bus transfer times.
ON ARRIVAL DAY (14 JAN) THE TRANSFER BUS WILL LEAVE SURATHANI AIRPORT AT ABOUT 10.30AM OR WHEN GUESTS FROM THE RECOMMENDED FLIGHT HAVE ARRIVED. THOSE OF YOU MEETING THE BUS AT SURATHANI BUT NOT ARRIVING ON THE RECOMMENDED FLIGHT MUST MAKE SURE YOU INFORM US WELL IN ADVANCE THAT YOU WILL BE MEETING US AT THE AIRPORT (OR PIER).
The 12.00 noon boat transfer across the lake to Praiwan Rafthouse is approximately 60 minutes. For those travelling separately please be at the pier by this time for the group boat transfer.
THE TRANSFER GROUP FROM SAMUI WITH SIMON WILL MEET AND TRAVEL ACROSS THE LAKE WITH THE INCOMING FLIGHT GROUP FROM SURATHANI AIRPORT. Simon will look after you with regard to getting you from Samui to Khao Sok Lake. The holiday schedule and internal transportation information will be sent to you approximately 6 weeks before departure. Any required ‘arrivals' bus transfer bookings will be arranged well in advance of your arrival. Each student will need to carry Thai baht for massages, shopping and non-group transfer bus / boat transfer charges, beverages, and personal expenditure, and Thai bhat of US dollars for the balance of the retreat payment. There is a wonderful craft and clothing shop at Praiwan Rafthouse that will be open on two afternoons, Thai bhat cash only.
"The casual, intimate, remote eco retreat Jungle Yoga is like a place out of this world. The vibrancy of nature sounds contrasted with the stillness of the lake, the gentle lulling of the floating bamboo huts and the solidity of the high-rising cliffs provide a unique place of placidity, serenity and tranquility that touches you deeply. The experience of being connected to nature, to yourself, to the life force within you and everywhere around you that is the key of yogic teachings is ever present here" Eija Tervonen
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR HOLIDAY
Personal & Travel Insurance
It is each student's personal decision as to whether you undertake vaccination for your visit to Thailand
Although many people choose not to have vaccinations, there are certain recommendations that have been advertised by some travel companies / relevant authorities, which include:
Hepatitis A / malaria / diphtheria, tetanus & polio (usually one vaccination)
Some authorities also suggest typhoid, tuberculosis, rabies, hepatitis B and Japanese B encephalitis.
These are all vaccinations that some people take as homeopathic remedies.
There a possibility of the occasional tropical rain shower.
What to bring
Pack light. With the above weather conditions, you will need very little....so no excess baggage charges!
While we are in Thailand, please respect the local customs regarding clothing. Absolutely no nudity or topless bathing until you are appropriately distanced from the venue, or any other building where there are thai nationals. Think long sleeves for extended periods in the sun & lengthy kayaking around the lake.
Important items to bring
Electricity is provided by a small generator for certain times of the evening, so you will be able to charge up rechargeable cameras, iPads, iPods etc
There is no cell phone signal at the lake, although if you are desperate to make a phone call, a boat ride would take you to an area of the lake where you would find a signal (boat costs incurred). For absolute emergencies only, there is a thai mobile phone available for texts only. There is no internet access ... fortunately.
For more information, images and sounds of the jungle visit: