Frequently Answered Questions

What can I expect from an Ayurventures Retreat?

We are designed to help you break away from the daily grind and renew your daily bliss. Every trip has a dedicated team- yoga instructor, professional retreat director, and host (on-site concierge) committed to making your retreat the best experience possible. This means that our retreats are a mix of wellness activities, specially-planned adventure, and memorable experiences. We pour a whole lot of love, great care, and attention to detail into our moment to moment daily activities. We aim to maintain the highest level of customer service possible and 5 star service from start to finish.

How do I reserve my spot?

To reserve a spot at one of our retreats, go to the retreat website and click “Join the Ayurventure.” There, you’ll be asked to enter your email and we will email you our price list and schedule.

How many people attend each retreat, and why can’t men join?

Our retreats are luxury-boutique style. We target professional + creative women whom crave adventure and luxury. At this time, our focus is on women-empowerment, feminine sister circles, and women-led workshops. 

We are able to hold space for 8-10 women to ensure quality time and integration.

Our aim is to provide personalized experiences where everyone can interact. A benefit of retreating with Ayurventures is the friendships formed out, and we attribute this to our small and personalized groups. In the future, we may consider a couples retreat and a family retreat.

What’s included in the retreat fee?

Our retreats are designed to be a complete retreat experience. Our retreats generally include 2 freshly prepared meals per day, 1-2 excursions/healing workshops, daily yoga, and an on-site host (guide) dedicated to creating a magical retreat.

What is the schedule like? Do we have a lot of free time? Do I have time to explore the town on my own?

Our retreats are a healthy mix of scheduled activities and free time. We generally have one yoga and meditation class a day in the mornings. If you choose not to practice yoga, Lauren will lead a silent or guided meditation class on the river for 20-40 minutes long. There are planned activities during the day that you can take part in or simply create your own agenda and explore town or stay and relax at the pool and get an en-suite massage. Please refer to the individual retreat webpages for a more detailed schedule of events for each specific retreat.

What’s not included?

Airfare, gratuities for staff, and anything else you want to buy (shopping, wine, extra massage services, etc.)

Additional Information

Flights

Top rated airlines include: Emirates, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Eva Air, and Cathay Pacific.

Traveling with a friend also attending the retreat makes traveling more pleasant, so try planning for the same flight and time. We offer 30% off when you and your friend register together. This means you will be sharing a villa together for the week. There is one king size or 2 double beds depending on villa availability. 

*For an additional fee, Ayurventures can arrange the perfect round trip flight best suited to your travel needs. From experience, we are familiar with duration and layovers times on flights traveling to and from U.S.A.

 

Arrival

Fill out your arrival card on the airplane once the flight attendant gives it to you while you’re still flying in the air. Thailand uses an old-fashioned system of arrival and departure cards. You will need to fill the card out before joining the queue for immigration/passport control. Carrying a pen with you will make things easier.

The address you can write down on your departure card is:

Villa Home 

Address: 194-201, Soi Ban Nong Kham 1 Mu 5, Sop Mae Kha, Hang Dong District, 50230

Tel: 093 303 7337

Food & Drink

We provide all vegetarian food for you during your stay. 

Option to eat meat and order wine/cocktails can be arranged.

 

Etiquette

Thailand do’s and don’ts. Although many minor indiscretions in Thailand will be overlooked, there are some important cultural do’s and don’ts to be aware of.

Remove your shoes

As in many Asian cultures, removing your shoes before entering a temple or visiting someone’s home is essential. Some businesses, restaurants, and shops also ask that you remove your shoes. If unsure, just look to see if there is a pile of shoes at the entrance, or check to see if the staff are wearing shoes. 

Return a wai

The wai is Thailand’s prayer-like gesture with the hands together in front and head slightly bowed. To not return a wai is considered impolite; only the king and monks do not have to return wais. Try not to wai while holding something in your hands; a slight bow will suffice. You might want to learn how to say hello in Thai 

“Sawadee Ka.”

Wellbeing

Hygiene 

Iced drinks are generally safe although you should use bottled water, and avoid drinking tap water. Keep a water bottle in your bathroom to brush your teeth with.

The importance of keeping hydrated

Stomach upsets and illness that are sometimes attributed to food are often the result of not drinking enough water. Don’t underestimate the effects of the heat and humidity in Thailand. If you are out and about sightseeing, take regular breaks for drinks and keep a bottle of water with you.

Vaccinations

It is recommended that your tetanus is up to date (within 10 years), and you’ve had a Hepatitis A vaccine. If possible, try to get these done a few weeks before you leave. Vaccines are not required to enter Thailand.

Pharmacies & hospitals in Thailand

If you do have the misfortune to be ill during your trip, pharmacies are a good place to start. Thailand has excellent health care, some of the best in the world! 

Pharmacists in most areas are able to speak English and an over the counter treatment is often all that most people need. 

Bringing prescribed drugs into Thailand

In most cases, bringing prescribed drugs into Thailand isn’t a problem. 

We recommend Charcoal pills if your stomach is uneasy. It is a natural toxin remover.

Orally, activated charcoal is used to treat poisonings, reduce phenytoin levels, reduce intestinal gas (flatulence), lower cholesterol levels, prevent diarrhea and calms upset stomach.

Help

Tourist police

If you run into problems in Thailand, there is a tourist police service which can be a useful first point of contact. The telephone line is free to call and is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1155 for assistance.

Insurance

Travel insurance is an essential part of your pre-trip planning. If you require hospital treatment in Thailand, you need to pay for it. There is no National Health Service or free Medicare for tourists. Make sure you are covered and be aware that there are some activities e.g riding a motorbike, which may be excluded from your insurance policy. Allianz is one that I recommend:

https://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/  1-866-884-3556

Useful Thai phrases 

The Thai language can be difficult to grasp, but do try to learn at least a few words during your visit. It makes interacting with the locals a much more memorable experience. Trying out your Thai language skills can be the perfect ice-breaker and establishes good intent. If you get the pronunciation wrong, “mai pen rai!”

Money

In most cases you will get a better exchange rate in Thailand compared to your home country. Our driver will take you to a Money Exchange shop once you arrive or you can find one at the airport after you land and clear customs.

Do I need to tip? 

Tipping in Thailand is not mandatory but always appreciated. Europeans will read this and tell us we are crazy for tipping this much and Americans will feel guilty for tipping this little, however, this is what is generally accepted for tipping in Thailand.

As a tourist in Thailand, please realize how little daily wages most locals are paid. The average Thai wage is less than 9,000 baht a month ($300USD). That extra twenty baht tip may be nothing to you, but can really add up to the local server.

Thai Massage/Spa Therapist

After a relaxing massage, wouldn’t you feel guilty not tipping? Being a masseuse is a hard job and it doesn’t pay well. Many masseuses get only a small fraction of what you pay for a massage. Our recommended tip is at least 15%. Try to give it directly to the masseuse to ensure it goes to the correct person. 

SUGGESTED TIP

300 baht massage = 50-100 thb tip

500 thb tip=150 thb tip.

Should I take cash or credit/debit cards? 

Credit cards or debit cards are ideal for booking flights online. But for day-to-day transactions, Thailand is predominantly a cash culture. Although that is slowly starting to change, if you are eating at small restaurants or market shopping, you will need to pay with Thai Baht (THB).

Are there any fees to use an ATM/cash machine? 

Yes, there is a small fee for using overseas bank cards at Thai ATM’s. The standard fee is currently 220 thb ($7.18).

For the retreat we ask for a $500 non-refundable deposit via paypal. This deposit reserves your villa home.

We recommend you bring cash (USD or THB) to pay the balance of the retreat on the day you arrive. The remainder can also be paid via Paypal.

How to haggle while shopping in Thailand

Haggling is part of the Thai shopping experience, but there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. Haggling over 50 thb ($1.00) isn’t worth it.  

Tax refunds
Tourists are able to take advantage of tax savings on some goods by claiming a VAT refund. This involves filling out some paperwork and won’t always be worth the hassle, but if you have made a major purchase such as a camera or laptop, the money you can claim back can be significant.

Tours-elephant sanctuary, cooking class, market, temple, and trekking tours are  included in the Ayurventures Experience. Please let us know any dietary limitations by filling out our survey: https://ayur-ventures.com/survey/

Safety

Precautions

Thai attitudes towards safety. Thailand has a very different safety culture compared to most Western countries. The apparent lack of rules and regulations is part of what makes Thailand so different. But behind this seemingly carefree lifestyle, there are some grim statistics. Thailand’s roads have been ranked as the second most dangerous in the world. If you’ve never ridden a motorbike before, Thailand is not the place to learn.

Carrying your passport

We don’t recommend you carrying your passport unless you need to rent a motorbike.

Stray dogs 

There may be stray dogs around the streets of Chiang Mai. In our experiences, the cats and dogs have been friendly and harmless.

Transport in Thailand

Ayurventures has a private driver available. You will be picked up from the airport and taken to the retreat space. The driver will bring you to town on your free-time, and take us on all our adventures!

He will drop you off to the airport before your flight home on the last day.

Cars and motorbikes. As mentioned in the precaution section above, Thailand is not a place for inexperienced motorbike riders. Even experienced riders and car drivers should be extra careful on Thailand’s roads. You are always welcome to rent a motorbike during your stay with us.

Visa

Do I need a visa?

If you’re an American citizen,  you can obtain a free 30-day visa on arrival. Please note, you may also be asked to show proof of funds when arriving in Thailand. Visa rules in Thailand have a habit of changing, and regulations can be applied differently depending on the border crossing used. If you are in any doubt, you should contact the Thai embassy or consulate in your home country. 

Example:

Royal Thai Consulate

Address: 611 N Larchmont Blvd #2, Los Angeles, CA 90004, USA

Phone: +1 323-962-9574

Weather

What’s the weather like in Thailand in September?

Thailand’s climate is largely tropical as the country’s close to the equator, which means you’ll get hot weather in September. There’s some differences across regions and points of interest to keep an eye out for though.

What to bring

Packing lists. To keep comfortable in the heat, lightweight cotton and linen clothing are ideal. We offer laundry services so there is no need to bring bundles of clothes. At least one pair of shorts, light pants, summer dresses/skirts, yoga pants/shirt, sandals, hiking shoes, socks, sports bras, undies, hats, sunglasses, light sweater, and smart casual shoes. Women should bring an outfit that covers the knees and shoulders when visiting temples. 

Keep your lashes and heels at home, ladies, el natural is best in northern Thailand.:)

Departure

Fill out your departure card. When departing Thailand by air, land, or sea you will still need to complete your departure card before clearing immigration/passport control.

VAT refunds. Tourists are able to obtain VAT refunds on some goods although you need to make sure you have the correct paperwork from the point of purchase.

Please feel free to email Lauren with any questions or concerns you may have before your travel date: Lauren@ayur-ventures.com

Terms and Policies

Cancellation Policy

We will only issue a refund for cancelled places if a replacement can be found. We will do our best to find someone else to fill up your space in which case your full deposit minus any costs will be refunded to you! But this is not always possible, so it is highly recommended to buy travel insurance.

If there is someone else found for your place on the retreat, then your full amount of deposit will be refunded minus any bank costs and/ or agency fees.

All cancellations must be made directly with Ayurventures by calling +66 95 447 1814 or emailing lauren@ayur-ventures.com

Check-In

Check-in is at 11am Sunday afternoon. Check-out is at 2pm Sunday afternoon.

Facilities

Please no pets, children, smoking, drugs, or alcohol on the premises.

Medical Concerns

If you have any special medical needs please notify me via email Lauren at lauren@ayur-ventures.com

Insurance

WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU HAVE FULL TRAVEL INSURANCE TO COVER FLIGHT CANCELLATION, DELAY, MEDICAL EXPENSES AND PERSONAL BELONGINGS.

Our priority is to keep you as safe & happy as possible throughout your Ayurventures Retreat. Unfortunately, we can not always control everything, and so it is a must to have travel insurance in place if you are going to join us. We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance from the moment your holiday booking begins. This will protect you in the unfortunate case of something arising before you travel to Thailand, and ensures that you are covered for any lost costs and flights. You should also check with your doctor that you are sufficiently fit and healthy to undertake yoga classes, going on hikes/treks, and any other physical activity we have arranged or you may arrange during your holiday. If you experience any injury or discomfort during any activity organized for you, then you must stop immediately, and advise your Ayurventures team accordingly.

The organizer of Ayurventures holds the full right to cancel a retreat, in which case deposits will be sent back.

How to Register
Payments

DEPOSITS for Women’s Healing Retreats: 

To reserve your space, we require a minimum deposit of $500 via PayPal to live2play82@gmail.com.

Final Payment and Payment Type Options

We accept cash/paypal only for the final payment.

ATM, bank facilities, and currency exchange stores are available nearby. We can offer exchange rates on most currencies.

The remaining balance due is to be paid in cash dollars or thai Baht once you arrive to the retreat. All deposit fees are payable in U.S./Thai currency via PayPal, or Venmo.

Space is limited, and places will be held only upon receipt of payment in full.

Upon receipt of your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with further information about the week. 

 

See you soon!

Book the ticket, take the ride