Welcome to Wellness in ASEAN, a series where we shine a light on all of the different getaways you can experience in southeast Asia. This part of the world has all sorts of blissful environments that can offer an escape and reawaken the soul. Whether you're seeking an invigorating spa day or a week-long spiritual retreat, ASEAN is here to give you peace of mind with a variety of recommendations to help guide your travels.
This time, we’re exploring some of the wellness wonders you can discover in Brunei and Cambodia. Both of these countries offer warm and soothing climates that make for exceptional self-care. From the tropical rainforests of Brunei to the pristine shores of Cambodia, you're sure to find an escape that's right for you.
Luagan Lalak / Image: james wk / ID: 1063945847 / Shutterstock
Get ready to discover big delights in this small sultan-state. At the intersection of Malay culture and Islamic influence, Brunei is a unique country that offers travelers an eclectic and inspiring destination. Whether you're basking in the beauty of architectural feats or immersed in the wonder of nature, this stunning nation within ASEAN invites travelers to a lush experience — one that feels off the beaten path and tucked away from touristy attractions. A place where you can truly have a moment to yourself.
Tasek Lama Recreational Park / mandelli_enrico / Instagram
Tasek Lama Recreational Park
You don’t have to wander far to find tranquility in Brunei. Located in the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan, Tasek Lama Recreational Park is the perfect place for relaxation and nature-spotting. Away from the city’s hustle and bustle, you’ll find that it offers a serene getaway where locals and tourists alike can unwind and recharge.
This jungle oasis features a scenic walking path that leads to the park’s picturesque waterfall. You can also jog throughout the trails, hike amongst various flower and plant species, and even admire the playful monkeys (or macaque) you may encounter along the way. The options don’t stop there - the park also has picnic areas, family-friendly playgrounds, and even a reservoir that brings drinking water to the capital city.
Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque / Joshua Davenport / ID: 433864186 / Shutterstock
Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
Although you may know about the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, you may be surprised to find out that Brunei’s Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is the largest in the country. It was commissioned by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the 29th and current Sultan of Brunei, in 1994. Today it stands as a finely decorated house of worship that can host up to 5,000 people with a total of 4 minarets and 29 golden domes, in order to honor the 29th sultan.
The mosque also has a private entrance for the sultan, which comes equipped with his own personal escalator. However, you too can enjoy an opulent and peaceful moment to yourself as you explore the splendor throughout the mosque’s stunning grounds. Whether you’re taking in its scenic gardens or reflecting in one of its many prayer rooms, this majestic structure is sure to make for a stunning spiritual space. Its tranquil ambiance is told to be as breath-taking during the day as it is at night.
Trandei Eco-Lodge / trandiebrunei / Instagram
Trandei Brunei Digital Detox
Take a break from your phone. Shut down your laptop. Turn off all notifications. In this exhausting digital world, sometimes the best thing we can do is push the pause button. Trandie is one of Brunei's longest-running eco-lodges where you can do just that. Their Digital Detox retreat is a popular package that offers everyone a much-needed break.
Nestled in the Temburong district of Brunei, Trandie's lush location gives you a chance to center yourself without any distractions. Here, you'll be surrounded by the jungles of Batang Duri and the tranquility of the Temburong River. From hiking to kayaking, you can enjoy what nature has to offer and do so at your leisure. Trandie is truly a place where you can disconnect to connect.
Searching for even more ASEAN getaways? Let's travel a few hours north to Cambodia, where you're sure to find your wellness sanctuary.
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap / Banana Republic Images / ID: 195844319 / Shutterstock
If you're looking for variety, you've come to the right place. Cambodia is an ASEAN country filled with diverse landscapes where you can create the holistic experience that meets your needs, from the cultural metropolis of Phnom Penh to the awe-inspiring ruins of Angkor Wat. And, with deep roots in Buddhism, Cambodia also provides travelers with an experience that’s fulfilling for the mind, body, and spirit.
Metta Residence and Spa / judys.diary / Instagram
Metta Residence and Spa
Not far from the tranquil Angkor temples, this pure oasis is located in the Siem Reap region. With its modern design juxtaposed against a tropical backdrop, Metta Residence and Spa can't help but evoke feelings of balance and harmony as soon as travelers enter this self-care sanctuary.
Here, you can relax in luxurious accommodations that come equipped with poolside views. You can dine in a peaceful atmosphere where both traditional Cambodian and international cuisines are served. You can pamper yourself at their Vishka Spa that has a variety of renewing treatments, including the Vishka Heritage Ritual (inspired by wellness rituals dating back to the Khmer Empire) and the Couple Slumber Guru Experience (complete with pampering massages and an aromatic candlelit bath). No matter what you choose, you'll truly get away from it all in the Cambodian countryside while experiencing warm Khmer hospitality along the way.
Preah Garden / Image: preahgarden / Instagram
Sunrise or Sunset Yoga at Preah Garden
Prefer a simpler approach to wellness? Also located in the Siem Reap region, Preah Garden offers a true holistic experience where you can achieve a renewal from the inside out. Surrounded by peaceful fields and sunset views, this rustic retreat is a place where you can escape and be one with nature.
Preah Garden provides its guests with the experience of sunrise or sunset yoga. Encompassed by the stillness of the countryside, you can elevate your poses and practice in the midst of this stunning environment. From sun salutations to soothing meditations, this revitalizing activity offers relaxation with a view.
Siem Reap / Cocos.Bounty / ID: 555733351 / Shutterstock
Wayist Spiritual Energy Center
If you’re seeking out a wellness experience that offers balance as well as revitalization, you’ll be delighted by this country’s deep-rooted ties to spiritual energy. A quintessential example of this can be found at the Wayist Spiritual Energy Center. Here, you’re invited to take a holistic approach to self-care and learn about the healing powers of energy.
Surrounded by a calming tropical landscape, the center hosts intimate retreats where you can enjoy revitalizing services from meditation to massages. Beyond that, guests are also invited to shake off the stresses of their day-to-day by looking inward and recharging their spiritual energy. Wayist educators are on-site to guide you in knowing your karma, diagnosing your energy, and healing your chakra.
Now that you know the wellness experiences that await in Brunei and Cambodia, the next step is up to you. Are you ready for a serene getaway in Brunei that’s off the beaten path? Will you explore the wealth of sanctuaries and retreats in Cambodia? Either way, your ASEAN travels are sure to provide a revitalizing escape. Stay tuned for more recommendations as we explore Indonesia and Laos next.