THAILAND | YOGA RETREAT AT SATVA SAMUI IN KOH SAMUI | PART 3 OF 3.

PSX_20180707_135905.jpgDAY 3
By our third day at Satva Samui, we were already used to waking up early to salute the sun. In fact, it had become our new normal and I looked forward to it. As usual, after breakfast, we would spend time at the beach, then head to Lamai street, hopping from one shop to the other on the hunt for souvenirs.

Our morning routine was something I could have easily gotten used to. If anything, it made me understand why island people are so laidback and life is always slow-paced. I think it has a lot to do with living by the ocean. It is a different time zone, island time.20180709_173314.jpg

SHOPPING ON THE ISLAND
I  enjoyed shopping at Karma Boutique on Lamai street. Not only was the shop attendant patient and amicable, Karma Boutique stocks all things girly to have you looking fashionably chic on your island vacation. PSX_20180707_151830.jpgPSX_20180710_082840.jpgPSX_20180707_140051.jpgPSX_20180710_082931.jpgPSX_20180707_140002.jpgPSX_20180707_135738.jpgPSX_20180707_140051.jpg

THE ZODIAC GARDEN AND THE BIG CRAB
We had three excursions lined up for our third day on the island. The first stop was The Zodiac Garden and The Big Crab. As the name suggests, the first one is basically a garden with all the 12 signs of the zodiac. A little hike up the hill leads you to The Big Crab, which offers a partial panoramic view of the island. These two attractions are still a work in progress with ongoing construction. They’re not even officially open yet. But for now, visitors are welcome to stroll around and snap photos with their respective zodiac signs.PSX_20180707_110643.jpgPSX_20180707_112706.jpgPSX_20180707_110912.jpgPSX_20180707_110739.jpgPSX_20180707_110825.jpgPSX_20180707_112616.jpgPSX_20180707_112231.jpgPSX_20180707_112755.jpg

SECRET BUDDHA GARDEN
The Secret Buddha Garden, also known as the Magic Garden, sits atop the Tar Nim waterfall peak. Here you’ll find a collection of statues, in all shapes and sizes, amid a peaceful jungle environment. Each corner of this garden and its hidden statues inspires a sense of spiritual mystery, awe, and fascination. The garden was a creation of Nim Thongsuk, an old innovative durian fruit farmer who, in 1976, put together a team to develop the area, handcrafting different sculptures inspired mainly by Buddhist folklore. All this was built around his family’s land, which he later opened to the public. Nim Thonguk started this work when he was 77 until his death when he was 91. He hoped those who visited the garden would find peace and take a spiritual journey.PSX_20180707_113001.jpgPSX_20180707_113035.jpgPSX_20180707_113110.jpgPSX_20180707_113224.jpgPSX_20180707_125353.jpgPSX_20180707_125302.jpgPSX_20180707_125138.jpgPSX_20180707_125544.jpgPSX_20180707_130833.jpgPSX_20180707_130718.jpgPSX_20180707_130619.jpgPSX_20180707_125443.jpgWhile I didn’t understand the story behind each statue as we didn’t have a Thai guide with us, I was still left in awe by the passion, commitment, and love that were so obviously invested in the creation of this garden. Our visit was one of the highlights of my stay on the island. Not only was it different, it was magical. There was water streaming through the heart of the place, and the sound of it rendered the entire surrounding absolutely peaceful.

CHASING SUNSETS ON LIPA NOI BEACH
We ended the day on Lipa Beach Resort, on Lipa Noi beach, west coast of Samui. It was surreal to have the whole beach to ourselves. We only caught a sneak peak of the sunset but nonetheless, it was a beautiful way to wind the day and cap our stay on the island. I enjoyed taking a dip into the calm warm waters as my friends played frisbee in the middle of the sea. One of the ladies from the resort who had accompanied us played her ukulele. Tatiana joined her in chanting and the rest of us just sat there, staring into the horizon and beyond. It was one of those perfect moments that I will never forget, years from now, when I skim through random photos with my grandchildren I will certainly look back and remember that evening in Koh Samui.PSX_20180707_133347.jpgPSX_20180707_111016.jpgPSX_20180707_131015-1.jpg

DAY 4
We were up at the crack of dawn for our early morning flight back to Bangkok and subsequent connecting flight back to Manila. We made our way through check in and immigration saying our quiet goodbyes to Koh Samui and to what had been the most relaxing yoga retreat at Sattva Samui.

Looking back, I couldn’t help but smile at our enthusiasm and excitement in putting together this trip. We were happy to leave everything behind for a bit, take a break from our kids and husbands, and just focus on us. We didn’t think we were going to miss home. But the last couple of days, most of our conversations unconsciously kept on deviating back to our families back home. At dinner times, we would share snippets of videos and messages of what our kids and family members were doing back home. True, we had an amazing time, but at the end of the day, we were still mothers and we have responsibilities to our loved ones. And so, in the same way that we were eager to leave for this getaway, we were also consumed with the same eagerness to go back home and reunite with our families.PSX_20180528_065216.jpgAs we cruised through the clouds on our way back to Manila, I closed my eyes and reminisced the events that that had taken place on our getaway. I felt lighter in body, mind, and spirit. But I was also filled with gratitude, joy, happy memories that will last me for a long time. Or at least, until the next trip comes along…..PSX_20180707_133247.jpg

To all the lovely people at Satva Samui, Thank you for making our stay the best we could ever wish for. You are all warm and amazing.

Lora By Lora. x

THAILAND | YOGA RETREAT AT SATVA SAMUI IN KOH SAMUI | PART 1 OF 3.
THAILAND | YOGA RETREAT AT SATVA SAMUI IN KOH SAMUI |  PART 2 OF 3
THAILAND | YOGA RETREAT AT SATVA SAMUI IN KOH SAMUI |  PART 3 OF 3

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