Wellness in ASEAN: Brunei and Cambodia
Welcome to Wellness in ASEAN, where we guide you throughout your Southeast Asian journey. With life’s many demands, busy schedules, and countless distractions, we owe it to ourselves to carve out time for self-reflection and rejuvenation. Doing so is merely essential when it comes to living a well-balanced life. Make ASEAN your destination as you seek out this personal respite and harmony.
In this installment, we invite you to come to Brunei and Cambodia. While these unique countries couldn’t be more different, both of them offer wellness sanctuaries that’ll make for the ultimate getaway.
Jame' Asr Hassanil Bokliah / Image: Yusnizam Yusof / ID: 1381150313 / Shutterstock
It’s perfectly alright if you’ve never heard of this small sultan-state before. But don’t let that sway you from missing out on a spectacular trip to Brunei. When you arrive, you’ll be surprised to find yourself charmed by this enigmatic nation. Both Malay and Muslim, both small and grandiose, both modern and traditional — Brunei makes the perfect destination for travelers in search of a unique experience that has a little of everything.
Sumbiling Eco Village / sumbilingecovillage / Instagram
Sumbiling Eco Village
Escape to the tropical wildlife of eastern Brunei in style. Known for its modern glamping, Sumbiling Eco Village has eco-friendly accommodations that include LED lighting, river-sourced water, and on-site composting. It’s not every day that you find a resort committed to green practices and social responsibility. In this breathtaking location, you can experience wellness while also making a positive impact on the environment. Enjoy the resort’s vast array of nature-focused activities, such as bird-watching and hiking.
The Empire Hotel & Country Club Spa / blancbpe / Instagram
The Empire Hotel & Country Club Spa
If camping is not quite your style, no matter how glam it could be, the Empire Hotel & Country Club Spa may be right up your alley. With inspiring sights of the horizon touching the ocean and glistening pool, you’re bound to find your bliss at this idyllic location.
Their Country Club Spa welcomes those in search of some R&R. One of their most popular treatments, the exotic Javanese Lulur, is an ancient scrub treatment with blends of Javanese Flora, Rice Powder, Sandalwood, Curcuma, and Coriander. This healing blend will soothe and restore your skin, leaving you with a luxuriously smooth feeling throughout. Visit the hotel and spa for a bit of pampering, and much-needed rest.
Tutong, Brunei / inherwanderland / Instagram
Bayu Permai Wellness Spa in Tutong
Amidst the greenery and natural wonders of Brunei, you also enjoy a relaxing session of pampering and indulgence. At Bayu Permai Wellness Spa, treat yourself to a variety of therapies that’ll be personalized to your needs. You can choose from traditional massages, such as the Malay Heritage Massage, Hot Stone Massage, and Ventosa (Cupping). Or, seek out specialty treatments like Kesuburan Pakej, which promotes fertility, and Urut Batin Pakej, which improves intimacy.
You’ll discover Bayu Permai Wellness Spa in Tutong, one of the nation’s four districts. Travelers will be delighted to know that it’s a quiet and laidback destination compared to the busy capital of Bandar Seri Begawan. Like much of Brunei, Tutong prides itself on its pristine natural surroundings. That even includes its remarkable sand, which is said to be so white that locals will throw it in the air pretending that it’s snow.
Searching for even more destinations that speak to rejuvenation and inner-peace? Then let’s set our eyes north as we journey to Cambodia.
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap / Perfect Lazybones / ID: 200175419 / Shutterstock
Cambodia is well-known for its serene landscapes that come adorned with Buddhist temples, ancient ruins, and sacred sites. It’s no secret that this country is an ideal spot for travelers seeking tranquility, especially in terms of yoga and meditation. However, you’ll be thrilled to know that it also boasts a wide array of luxurious resorts and spas. With so many wellness options to choose from, there’s no reason why Cambodia shouldn’t be your next destination.
Navutu Dreams Resort & Wellness Retreat / zhara / Instagram
Navutu Dreams Resort & Wellness Retreat
You'll never want to wake up from this dream of a vacation. Just beyond the cultural and spiritual treasures of Angkor Wat, you'll be embraced by Navutu Dreams Resort & Wellness Retreat in Cambodia. If you find yourself in Siem Reap, you should know that this is the only resort and wellness retreat in the region. These gorgeous accommodations succeed in combining the tranquil ambiance of the area with the intimate energy of a boutique resort.
Nourish your being from head to toe with on-site yoga and meditation sessions. You can also unwind at the sumptuous Navutu Spa, which offers soothing treatments rooted in traditional techniques. Try an authentic Khmer massage, Champissage (Indian head massage), or even a Navutu body wrap. This oasis also offers a menu of holistic treatments, such as Chakra balancing, Reiki, acupuncture, and Pranayama.
Bayon, Angkor Thom / Pushish Images / 177934706 / Shutterstock
If you’re seeking serenity and happiness, look no further. Bayon is a 12th-century temple that quite literally features 216 smiling faces. Nestled in the balmy jungles of Angkor Thom, this grandiose structure was a symbol of power for Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII. Over time, its facades were altered by the Hindu and Theravada Buddhist kings that followed. Thus, this architectural achievement speaks to Cambodia’s rich multicultural history.
To feel the pure energy of Bayon, you have to see if to believe it. Contrasting from the classic beauty of the Angkor Wat temples, Bayon is said to be a more Baroque style of Khmer architecture. Its heavily ornate appearance is the reason why it’s best seen up close. That way, travelers can walk through its mesmerizing entrance, gaze upon its intricate detailing, and experience it’s both serene and powerful ambiance.
Kep / itamar_shichrur / Instagram
The Vine Retreat in Kep
Have you ever watched the sunset in Cambodia? It's a sight you don't want to miss. Witness it at The Vine Retreat; an eco-conscious yoga sanctuary tucked away in the lush countryside of Kep. There, you can balance your energy with personal massage sessions, center yourself at their yoga studio, and feel connected through group meditation circles. You can even nourish your body with feel-good, organic meals from their very own farm.
When you have downtime, be sure to take a leisurely bike ride to the beach in Kep. You’ll zip past the seaside markets, enchanting butterflies, and picturesque scenery of Cambodia’s southern coast. Reward your travels with an ice-cold drink at a nearby villa, a private cruise on the water, and a spectacular sunset view, or all of the above.
There are so many reasons for wellness. You are revitalizing your body and mind, searching for inner-peace or, merely treating yourself to some well-deserved time off. Either way, both Brunei and Cambodia prove to be exceptional options for your holistic journey. We certainly hope you consider them in your future ASEAN travel.