There are many paths to wellness and rejuvenation in the Far East. Here are just a few more to tempt you.
Get your day off to a decidedly zen start with rooftop tai chi lessons at the Fairmont Peace Hotel. The property’s tai chi master leads participants through the ancient martial art’s series of slow movements designed to stimulate the flow of qi, all in view of the Huangpu River and the Bund down below.
Thai and Australian-born chefs Duangporn Songvisava and Dylan Jones, respectively, dish up seasonal Thai cuisine (think curries with surprisingly delicate flavors and deconstructed traditional desserts) at Bo.Lan (pictured), a high-concept Thai eatery located in a cozy, repurposed house in the Sukhumvit neighborhood. The restaurant also hosts an organic farmers market on the first Saturday of every month. And located in a meticulously restored 180-year-old teak house with antique-filled rooms and lovely gardens, Ruen Mallika serves supremely elegant Thai cooking (traditional royal curries, appetizers of flower tempura). Even better: The menu provides commentary on the health benefits of the herb-filled dishes.
Learn how to make naturally healthy Thai dishes at the aptly named Thai Cooking Course hua hin culinary school, which takes place in a traditional teak house in town. The morning kicks off with a visit to the local market to shop for ingredients; then it’s back to the facility, where you’ll try your hand at concocting fragrant curries, tom yum goong (spicy shrimp soup), and delish pad thai.
Hangzhou is the home of the Longjing green tea (known as the Dragon Well), which is widely regarded as one of the top green teas in the world. Visit Longjing Village, a cooperative village/tourist attraction where you can wander through tea gardens, embark on a leaf-picking tour, and sample the famed brew before buying a bag to bring home.