With its extended travel time, language barrier, exotic cuisine, and major-league jetlag, the leap across the Pacific can be stressful for even the most seasoned of travelers. But, as sojourners from Marco Polo onward have discovered, it’s a trip that more than rewards the effort it takes to get there—especially if you take the time to recharge your mindfulness battery. Today, we’ll explore how to maintain your Zen by cultivating a genuine wellness experience in Asia, either at one of the continent’s delightful and relaxing spas, or out there on the road.
At the Spa: Island, Mountains, and City
If a full-on wellness program is what you’re after, try one of the continent’s spas, which combine age-old Asian healing techniques with the most modern practices and facilities. Here are three of our favorites, located in a trio of very different but equally spectacular settings.
- Absolute Sanctuary, Thailand. When you step into Absolute Sanctuary, you would be forgiven for wondering if you’d landed, instead, in Northern Africa. Absolute Sanctuary’s Moroccan-inspired architecture, combined with the breathtaking natural setting of Ko Samui Island in the Gulf of Thailand, make for a truly unique experience. This boutique resort offers spa and yoga packages, a multi-day Pilates bootcamp, and comprehensive detox and lifestyle programs. It’s a fantasy island of total rejuvenation.
- Ananda Spa, India. If mountains are your thing, consider a wellness stay in the Himalayas. Located near the mythological cities of >Haridwar and Rishikesh, Ananda in the Himalayas is a destination spa surrounded by beautiful sal forests. Its renowned detox program combines Ayurveda healing, yoga, Vedanta, and diet to restore your body to wholeness. Cleanse the soul, as well, with experiences such as chakra cleansing, inner visualization, >antar mouna >meditation, and >ajapa japa> mantra chanting. Let the Himalayas raise your consciousness to new heights.
- Jiuhua Spa Resort, China. Got a layover in Beijing? Pamper yourself with a spa fit for an emperor. The Jiuhua Spa Resort, located in the northern outskirts of Beijing, was once the imperial resort of emperors from the Yuan Dynasty. Enjoy traditional Chinese medicine treatments such as acupuncture, herbal baths, massage, and hot-spring therapy at >Xiaotangshan, one of China’s four major hot springs, welling up from 1,230 meters underground. Jiuhua also has its own Convention and Exhibition Center so, better yet, combine business with pleasure by organizing your next convention on-site.
On the Road: Gyms and Restaurants
If you don’t have the time, money, or inclination to splurge for an all-out spa experience, there are still plenty of ways to take wellness on the road with you in Asia. >
- Fitness First, multiple locations. A guest pass at Fitness First, the continent’s fastest-growing gym chain, is a great way to burn off some jetlag. And with clubs spanning >Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, you can use it in multiple business destinations. In addition to its full range of fitness and personal training services, Fitness First Asia is particularly known for “Lose Big,” its successful, thirteen-week weight-management program developed out of the region’s hit reality TV show, “The Biggest Loser Asia.
- Happy Cow, online app. Working out at the gym is guaranteed to whip up an appetite. But when you’re far from home, it’s hard to know where to find some healthy eats. Try Happy Cow, the online healthy-eating guide to vegetarian, vegan, and veg-friendly restaurants and health food stores with over 5,500 restaurant listings in Asia alone. A convenient and accessible way to satisfy your craving for bhorta in Bangladesh, mee pok in Malaysia, and pad thai in—yes—Thailand. >
It’s a State of Mind
Travel should be not only about moving from place to place, but also taking the time to savor and enjoy the experience. Since time immemorial, Asia has combined philosophies of peace and tranquility with natural settings of awe-inspiring beauty. But it’s an experience that can be fully savored only by staying healthy, rested, and relaxed. Taking some time out of your busy schedule to care for body, mind, and soul will keep you fit and alert to enjoy the best the continent has to offer.
Memorable moments are for sharing—take a moment to share your #lifewelltravelled experiences with us and your fellow passengers.
In this special “Business Well Travelled” series, Cathay Pacific explores a number of ways to make the most of your time on the road. Discover what #lifewelltravelled means to other business travelers, share your own memorable experiences, and learn about how Cathay Pacific makes business travel more enjoyable.