Forest Bathing Retreat: The 5 Senses Journey at Healing Garden
Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Connect. Restored. Be Well.
- Those who would like to disconnect from a busy world and reconnect with themselves
- Those who would like to gain improved sleep, focus, health and combat stress
- Those who experience or suffer from fatigue, low moods, insomnia, high blood pressure, inactivity, chronic stress and fast-paced lives
- Those who would like to experience the art of being profoundly present and self-aware
- Those who would like to get away and explore the nature of the mountain areas in Thailand
- Families who would like to spend quality time with their children in nature, cultivate outdoor spirit and mindfulness in their children
What is Shinrin Yoku?
Shinrin-yoku, literally Forest Bathing, was developed in Japan in the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy, the medicine of simply being in the forest and taking in the forest atmosphere.
We all know how good being in nature can make us feel. We have known it for centuries. The sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air — these things give us a sense of comfort. They ease our stress and worry, help us to relax and to think more clearly. Being in nature can restore our mood, give us back our energy and vitality, refresh and rejuvenate us.
To bathe in the forest or nature means to bask in it. Your five senses are open to receive nature. You smell the flowers and the natural essential oil from tree barks, you taste the fruits or the air, you see the tall trees and thousand shades of green, you hear the sounds of birds and nature around you, you feel the forest with your palms and sole of the feet, deep within your soul.
When you have been busy at work all week, it can be hard to slow down. You may have been rushing around so much you no longer know how to stand still.
Walking with a guide who is trained can help you feel more comfortable and find the right environment to fit your needs.
This is not hiking or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. It doesn’t matter how fit – or unfit – you are. Shinrin-yoku is suitable for any level of fitness.
How could I benefit from Forest Bathing?
Forest Bathing is good for your body
- Boosts your immune system
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves sleep
- Clears lungs and improves breathing
- Increases energy levels
- Accelerates your recovery from illness and trauma
- Protects against diabetes and obesity
- Decreases inflammation
- Decreases the risks of heart attack and cancer
Forest Bathing is good for your mind
- Reduces tension and stress
- Decreases anxiety, depression and anger
- Brings about a state of relaxation
- Improves your mood
- Enhances the sense of calm
- Frees up your creativity
- Better powers of concentration
- Overall increases in sense of joy and happiness
Is Forest Bathing good for my children, too?
While parents are desperate to get their children away from screens, experts are encouraging parents to see past the playground, with its queue by the swings and fights for whose turn it is to slide. Instead, they are promoting the lifelong benefits of playing in nature. Children playing in the playground, instead of in nature, miss out on creative, imaginative play that is open-ended and unstructured.
A lot of the barriers are around this fear that children might get hurt more in nature play, for example from bees or falling from the log or rocks or tripping. Increasingly, the argument is being made that the risks of not allowing nature play are actually greater than the risks from the potential minor injuries from nature play.
Researchers found that in parks or forests with natural elements, there was a significant positive effect on the children’s play, social behaviors and mental health. Early Childhood Educators observed improved socialization, problem-solving, focus, self-regulation, creativity and self-confidence, and reduced stress, boredom and injury. Outdoor play spaces in nature are important for promoting children’s well-being and development. Young children are provided with opportunities that are very conducive to being peaceful in their play and learning to develop resilience and mental strength.
“Every one of us contains a key that can open the door to attention, harmony with nature, and joy of life. The Mindful Tourist’s Forest Bathing retreat and training are not about hiking, camping or wilderness adventure, but rather your opportunity to learn to heighten your awareness, connect and appreciate the beautiful nature around you and the simple joy of life in a profoundly mindful manner, wherever you are.”
What to bring
- A rain jacket
- A drinking water bottle
- A pair of trainers
- A pair of flip flops
- A mosquito repellent
- Clothes appropriate for the weather and outdoor activities. In the cool season, a jacket and socks are helpful.
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
Accommodation and Retreat Space
Our programs are held at a few selected locations in the North and the South of Thailand, depending on the seasons. However, our main retreat location is Healing Garden in Chiang Mai. Each place has something unique to offer and we encourage you to experience them with us at different times of the year. We partner with local small-scale home stay owners to make this experience happen. It is authentic, conducive to healing and aims at getting you closer to what really matters.
Locations and the accommodations will be determined by us at the time of your booking. We will then send you an arrival guide, which includes, but not limited to, how to get there, what to bring, etc. The pictures shown below are taken from some of our retreat locations. They are for illustration purposes only and may not reflect your actual room.
Your Stay at Healing Garden
Healing Garden, located in the mountain area in Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai, Thailand, was built from genuine love for nature, passion for holistic wellness and eco-friendly living by a Thai – American couple.
Welcoming only a small group of guests each time, Healing Garden provides a truly personalized nature immersion experience and guests can only unlock the beauty of this place by staying with us on a retreat program. This is not a typical homestay where you can book only the room. Our Forest Bathing retreat program allows you to connect with the spirit of Healing Garden through all your senses in a mindful manner.
Your Forest Bathing experience here is curated by The Mindful Tourist and Pla Nongnapat. Our aim is to share the essence of being close to nature with you and guide you how being one with nature is a cure for your lifestyle-induced health problems.
How to get to Healing Garden
The retreat is organized at a private boutique homestay named, Healing Garden in Chiang Dao, Thailand.
We can arrange a private transfer, at a fee, for you and your family / friends to our retreat venue.
Please contact us for more information.
What else you should know
- Price does not include airfare or transportation to Chiang Mai.
- We require at least 2 participants, on any program, to run a retreat. If you sign up alone, we will communicate with you to confirm.
- Retreat starts every Friday and ends on Monday. If you could only stay for 2 days (1 night), you may arrive on either Friday or Saturday. To enjoy the full experience and to completely disconnect, we recommend booking the retreat for 3 or 4 days.
- The retreat is facilitated primarily in English and occasionally in Thai.
- Some activities are weather permitting and we may adjust our schedule accordingly.
- Children and families are welcome. Forest Bathing is great for kids and it is healthy for families to connect with nature together. Unlike other kids camps, parents or guardians are expected to participate with your children.
- Breakfast is included starting from the day after your arrival.
- We welcome children of 3 years old and above. Children aged 3 – 12 years old get 50% discount, with at least one paying adult, given that the children are accommodated in the same room, without an extra bed. The discounted rate does not include breakfast.
Book a retreat
We partner with local small-scale home stay owners to make this experience happen. It is authentic, conducive to healing, and aims at getting you closer to what really matters.
What They Say About Us
Helping our forests & planet
The Mindful Tourist.
plants a tree.
Do Good, Feel Good
How we give back
At The Mindful Tourist, we believe in creating a world where our forests and other parks can prosper without human abuse. Our world is blessed to have luscious green lands where us nature lovers can get in touch with ourselves! Our mission is to raise awareness and provide ways for our audience to help keep our earth green. Your purchase of all items on The Mindful Store and your booking for any trainings and retreats plant a tree. Be a part of the change for the greener planet!
1% of our profit is donated to Big Trees Project.