by Jessica Moses
Want to get healthy in Phuket? Go south! It's the island's southern tip - Nai Harn and Rawai - that's quickly turning into a health hub. New healthy cafes, gyms, yoga studios, products and fitness retreat pop up almost every week in the south and the vibe of the whole space is decidedly raw-vegan-holistic-yoga-wellness-healthy-happy and so forth. So without further ado, here's a selection of some of the health and wellness-focused spots in Phuket's south.
Many people travelling to Phuket want the whole beach hut vibe, and Wilson’s Cafe ticks all those boxes. With its laid back and relaxed atmosphere, Wilsons attracts friendly faces who seem to come back day after day. The menu is filled with tons of healthy options, from veggie garden salads to poached eggs on toast, freshly pressed juices and bulletproof coffee. Their cinnamon turmeric latte is filled with natural healing spices that really pack a punch. They offer almond or coconut milk options too and they take pride in their food presentation and good quality ingredients, which definitely shows!
The well known Aussie-born dessert brand Crunchbox has finally made its way over to Thailand. Crunchbox creates the most delicious raw vegan desserts, energy balls and protein bars. Their Peanut Butter slice is always a favourite, but it’s hard to choose when they have things like Lemon Berry, Choc Mint, Strawberries & Cream, Salted Caramel, and Cookies & Cream! All these slices are 100% raw, vegan, gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar-free… but you’d never know! Try them for yourself and see what all the rage is about. You can find them at Wilsons Cafe and a select number of outlets.
Atmanjai has been around in Phuket for years and even with all the competition popping up, it still is one of the most popular detox centres on the island. Atmanjai offers a whole host of healthy protocols, from an Ultra Cleanse Detox Programme, to an Eat Well Programme, which includes fitness classes, daily yoga, meditation and cooking classes. Atmanjai is located on Friendship Beach, so guests get full access to the beach and swimming pool… the perfect place to unwind after a full day of working out and detoxing.
This tropical beachfront location sets the perfect surroundings for a wellness holiday. Friendship Beach runs a seafront restaurant called SuperNatural which offers a fully raw vegan food menu. Think zucchini spaghetti with homemade tomato and pesto sauce, raw vegan lasagne, and their famous jicama nori sushi rolls. So if you fancy a healthy lunch followed by an afternoon swim or a sea view romantic dinner spot, this place is for you!
There are four Gallery Cafe locations, spread out across the island, each with their own unique feel and quirky style. The menu is diverse, including all-day breakfast, healthy vegan options and fresh juices… you’ll be spiled for choice. They offer many healthy options, but one of my favourites is their Vegan Buddha Bowl. It’s packed with rainbow quinoa, kidney beans, fresh avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot and sweet potato. You can find Gallery Cafe in Naiharn, Chalong, Phuket Town and Cherngtalay.
NnaBowls smoothie bowls are dairy/gluten free, high in protein, vegan-friendly, don’t contain any added sugars (not even dates or honey) and they’re 100% natural. They’re just as thick and creamy as ice cream. Imagine digging into a thick cold and creamy bowl of Peanut Butter Salted Caramel… that’s completely guilt-free! NanaBowls can be found across the island in many different cafes, restaurants, resorts, yoga studios and schools. Head to their website or Instagram for all their partner locations.
If you’re looking for a specialised fitness retreat, Phuket Fit is the place for you. The fitness classes include one-on-one Muay Thai sessions, TRX classes, HIIT, beach boot camps, hikes, yoga classes, strength training in the gym, and so much more. Phuket Fit is a holistic retreat encompassing fitness, weight loss and detox. You can pick the programme that’s right for you, with the guidance of their experienced team who are there to help you reach your specific health goals. Whether you want to take things a little slow and nourish your body on a raw food detox, or if you want to up your training and track your calories, they’ve got the services and facilities right for you.
Origami Cafe is probably one of the chicest cafes in Phuket, located in the Saturdays Residence; a hotel and condo complex in Rawai. They serve an array of smoothies and juices, including their green ‘Detox Juice’. It’s packed with Chinese kale, cucumber, celery, green apple, fresh lime, and topped with chia seeds. My absolute favourite dish on the menu is their Vietnamese spring rolls. These are rice paper rolls packed with tons of fresh veggies, Thai herbs and an amazing Thai peanut dipping sauce. They also do the classic eggs, avocado and smoked salmon on toast with all the trimmings. Plus their iced matcha latte is the perfect drink to wash it all down.