Accustomed to having guests from other countries, our Thai neighbors have learned how to provide for Westerners. International banking including ATM and cash withdrawal via credit card, high speed internet facilities, food markets with western products, laundry services, comprehensive pharmacy & medical services as well as professional Thai and Swedish massage ($10/hour) are readily available.
Two of Phuket's most popular areas, Chalong Bay on the Andaman Sea and Rawai Beach, are within a short distance and there are many other beautiful places in the near vicinity to visit either before or after your retreat. In most cases, no advance bookings are required and there are many travel agents nearby to assist you in your choices.
The meditation center is not located within an active tsunami zone and is only a short taxi ride to several of the best beaches in Phuket.
Our water is naturally-stored rainwater, and is safe for bathing and brushing teeth. Our food is prepared with filtered water as well as some use of rainwater - which is used primarily for cleaning vegetables. Raw salad and vegetables in local restaurants are uncontaminated and generally safe to consume. Ice and water for drinking are generally filtered. At the center, we provide only filtered water for consumption. There is no absolute guarantee of perfect digestive health, but we do our best.
Because the Thai government has the right to change immigration policies, make sure you contact a Thai consulate for current information and any additional rules that may be in effect for your country.
Currently, the best visa for a visit of less than a month is a “tourist-on-arrival” visa valid for 30 days and extendable several times for 15 days each extension. There is a cost of 1800 baht to extend and this requires a shuttle van to Ranong to cross the border. Most people prefer not to spend time on these trips, so if there is any chance that you may stay in Thailand for longer than 30 days, consider a pre-arranged visa.
Currently, the best way to arrange a visa of more than 30 days is to visit a local consulate for a 60-day tourist visa. These are free through early 2010 and can be extended here for an additional 30 days, making 90 days total. There is an additional fee of 1800 baht for this extension and you do not have to leave to do this.
Yoga Gear - your personal yoga mat, props and straps - we have extras in case you forget.
Meditation Cushion – if you have a personal cushion or bench, bring it.
Bathing Suit & Sunscreen – there is a pool on-site and beaches are nearby.
Bring your own toiletries and a towel. Sheets, pillows and blankets are provided.
Karuna has rain showers on occasion and an umbrella is also handy to have for sun protection - you can easily purchase one locally.
Insect repellent: our mosquito activity is not severe and there is very little malaria or Dengue fever here – this matter is your personal preference.
Camera. Flashlight. Smile.
List: mat, cushion, toiletries, towel, comfortable clothes, flashlight, umbrella, swimsuit, sunscreen, repellent, camera.
Cell phones & Computers - cell phones can be a distraction. You might consider limiting your use of phones while you are here. Karuna has wifi access at no extra charge. Again, computer use can be a distraction. There is no strict prohibition against using either of these devices - please do so mindfully and with consideration of others.
You have the option of sharing our contact information with loved ones so they may initiate communication with you, if you wish. We have constant monitoring of communication, and will easily be able to inform you of any need to get in touch.Do not worry about bringing everything you may possible need. Phuket has first-world Western shopping, including sports wear, western food, comprehensive health & beauty products and more. There is no guarantee on every thing possible, but you should be able to find 98% of your needs here - usually at a substantial discount from Western prices.
Phuket International Airport islocated about 40 minutes from the KYMC. As some people use domestic air carriers, know that these have more restrictive baggage and weight policies than international carriers. You might check with your airline to determine their policies.
Please check the CDC travel website or your local doctor for current information about travel health and vaccines as a precaution.