Vietnam Wellness Week (2024)

November 18 to 24, 2024

Vietnam Wellness Week (2024)
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A non-running week that will immerse you in Vietnam's fascinating heritage, culture, cuisine and healing traditions 
 

In keeping with our passion for creating retreats that support all of you as a woman--not just a runner--we invite you to our inaugural Wellness Week retreat, which offers seven non-running, enriching days of travel, wellness, and mindfulness that are sure to leave you feeling nourished inside and out. There may not be group runs on this itinerary, but you'll still enjoy mindful travel, incredible connections, memorable experiences, and expert leadership you would expect from us and our wonderful, charming, local-based guides.

We chose Vietnam for this women's wellness retreat because of its natural beauty, diverse culture, and traditional healing practices. In our minds, Vietnam delivers all the essential elements you'll want to de-stress, starting with its natural beauty. Vietnam’s tropical climate and oceanside location create a perfect storm for plant and animal life. With its soaring mountains, deep valleys, and sky-blue oceans, it’s one of the best countries in the world for nature-lovers.

Vietnam has a long history of traditional healing practices, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, and massage. Many wellness centers in Vietnam offer these services, allowing visitors to experience the healing power of these ancient practices. And its wellness resorts, offering zen gardens, azure pools, outstanding food and spa treatments.

One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with Vietnamese culture is through its cuisine, which is why we include a cooking class to this wellness week. Vietnamese cuisine is known for its use of fresh, healthy ingredients, such as herbs, vegetables, and seafood. In your immersive cooking class with one of Anantara's executive chefs, you'll learn the secrets of creating authentic and delicious Vietnamese cuisine including pho, banh mi, and spring rolls, using fresh ingredients and traditional techniques. Chef will share tips and tricks for getting the perfect flavor and texture, as well as insights into Vietnamese culture and cuisine. 

One evening, you'll visit a Vietnamese pagoda to learn more about Buddhism and experience a meditation session with Buddhist monks. The serene surroundings of the pagoda and the tranquil atmosphere that permeates the sacred space will greet you, while the beautiful architecture, statues and decorations tell stories of Vietnamese history and culture. Then you'll be invited to sit with the Buddhist monks and enjoy a hot pot of tea and discuss the principles of Buddhism and the significance of meditation. The monks will share their knowledge and expertise with us, answering our questions about their spiritual practice before leading us through a meditation session. They will guide us through the process of focusing on our breathing and relaxing our mind and body. As you sit in quiet contemplation, you'll be able to connect with nature and within yourself, experiencing a sense of peace and calm that is hard to find in our busy modern world.

Explore the full itinerary to see that's in store for you in the Vietnam Wellness Week!
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smiley TIP: PAIR THIS RETREAT WITH THE NORTHERN VIETNAM TRAIL RUNNING + WELLNESS RETREAT AND SAVE $600!

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Vietnamese Cooking Classes

Vietnamese food is world-famous for its fresh variety of ingredients, as well as a rich layered history of Cham, Chinese and French influences. Each region also boasts its own specialties, inviting endless discovery. In this immersive cooking class with one of Anantara's executive chefs, you'll learn the secrets of creating authentic and delicious Vietnamese cuisine including pho, banh mi, and spring rolls, using fresh ingredients and traditional techniques. Chef will share tips and tricks for getting the perfect flavor and texture, as well as insights into Vietnamese culture and cuisine. After the lesson, you'll get to enjoy the delicious food you just prepared! Whether you're a seasoned home cook or a complete beginner, this Vietnamese cooking class is the perfect way to expand your culinary horizons and impress your friends and family with your newfound skills.


Tour Hue's Ancient Citadel

While touring the Imperial City of Hue, we will take a tour inside the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hue Imperial Citadel. Since Hue of Vietnam was chosen to be the capital of the Southern Kingdom under the Nguyen Lords’ Dynasty, Hue Imperial Citadel was built as the place for the emperor to hold important national occasions and the Royal to work and live as well. The citadel is located on the North bank of the Perfume River, inside Hue city. It is a huge complex covering an area of 2.5 acres and comprising three circles of ramparts, Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel), and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel). This place has still retained many unique imprints of the flourishing history and culture of the Nguyen Dynasty hundreds of years ago.


Private Yoga Classes

During your stay at Anantara Hoi An Resort, enjoy a morning yoga class led by the lodge's wellness staff. No experience is necessary to enjoy this class, as it will feature poses designed to help you relax and stretch within your limits. Ideal for runners! This activity is optional, though highly recommended to support your running recovery and relaxation. 


Hanoi Street Food Tour

Stop at Hang Be market, one of the Old Quarter’s most vibrant fresh markets, with picture perfect mountains of vegetables and a rainbow of tropical fruits. Next dive into a nearby alley and settle down with some Bun Ca and Ca Cuon (noodles with fried fish and fried fish cakes) served with or without soup and plenty of fresh vegetables. You’ll continue on to one of Hanoi’s most famous food streets where you can take your pick from a delightful assortment of Vietnamese cuisine. Finish the day with an egg coffee- a quintessential Hanoi specialty with a fascinating history. 


Anantara Signature Spa Experience

Anantara Hoi An Resort is an ultimate destination for relaxation with personalized spa and wellness journey designed to bring balance to your mind, body, and soul. Choose from comprehensive wellness programs that are tailored to your needs. This signature spa experience included in your retreat experience draws on local wisdom, fresh ingredients, and original concoctions for moments of bliss. It includes:

Signature Massage: Revered Eastern and Western massage techniques, combined with a signature oil blend, stimulate the circulation, promote deep relaxation and restore energy flow for supreme well-being. 

Green Tea Salt Scrub: Rebalance normal to oily skin with deep cleansing exfoliation and natural nourishment. Mineral-enriched sea salts sweep away dead skin cells and impurities while green tea leaves detoxify and revitalize. 

Vietnamese Herbal Bath: Soak in a revitalizing bath that combines the healing power of Vietnamese herbs and the detoxifying effects of mineral sea salt to draw out toxins and impurities from the body. 


Drink Tea + Meditate with Buddhist Monks

One evening, you'll visit a Vietnamese pagoda to learn more about Buddhism and experience a meditation session with Buddhist monks. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by the serene surroundings of the pagoda and the tranquil atmosphere that permeates the sacred space. As I make my way through the grounds, take in the beautiful architecture, statues and decorations that tell stories of Vietnamese history and culture.

Then we'll be invited to sit with the Buddhist monks and enjoy a hot pot of tea while we discuss the principles of Buddhism and the significance of meditation. The monks will share their knowledge and expertise with us, answering our questions about their spiritual practice before leading us through a meditation session. They will guide us through the process of focusing on our breathing and relaxing my mind and body. As you sit in quiet contemplation, you'll be able to connect with nature and within yourself, experiencing a sense of peace and calm that is hard to find in our busy modern world.

After the meditation session, you'll have a newfound appreciation for the importance of mindfulness and meditation in daily life. The experience of learning from the Buddhist monks and practicing meditation in the tranquil setting of the pagoda will be a transformative experience that may stay with you for many years to come.


Visit Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda (namely Heaven Fairy Lady Pagoda), also known as Linh Mu Pagoda, is one of the most fascinating and ancient pagoda in Hue city. It is situated on Ha Khe hill, on the north bank of the Perfume River. The pagoda's name derives from an ancient legend about an old woman who appeared on the hill where the pagoda stands today, telling local people that a Lord would come and build a Buddhist pagoda for the country’s prosperity. Lord Nguyen Hoang therefore ordered the construction of the pagoda the “Heaven Fairy Lady” or Thiên Mụ in Vietnamese. While the pagoda was constructed in 1601, its most striking feature, Phuoc Duyen tower (initially called Tu Nhan tower), was erected in 1884 by King Thieu Tri, and has become the unofficial symbol of Hue. This octagonal tower has seven stories, which is dedicated to a Buddha who appeared in human form. As the tallest stupa in Vietnam, it is often the subject of folk rhymes and cadao (ballads) about Hue.


Enjoy Traditional Vietnamese Coffee

No trip to Vietnam would be complete without trying the country's famous coffee. Vietnamese coffee is made with a blend of robusta and arabica beans, resulting in a strong and creamy flavor. It's typically served with sweetened condensed milk, which adds a perfect balance of sweetness to the coffee's strong flavor.


Take Tai Chi Classes

At both resorts, you'll have the opportunity to participate in the ancient art of tai chi – a “meditation in motion” – which promotes serenity through gentle movements that connect the mind and body. In Vietnamese, the words mean cultivating (tai) energy (chi), yet the derivation is said to be from the Chinese ‘t’ai chi ch’uan’ meaning supreme ultimate boxing. For thousands of years, the Vietnamese people have practiced tai chi for their physical & psychological wellbeing. It is a way of life bringing ourselves and the universe in total harmony. It can be practiced by virtually anyone regardless of age or health and no prior experience is needed to take part. 


Dedicated Retreat Leader

Our highly trained retreat leaders provide the space and support for you to have a potentially transformational experience. As experts in mindful leadership, she provides valuable guidance on how to be mindful on and off the trail. Here's more about what you can expect from your retreat leader:

  • Leads the opening meeting on Day 1, explaining what you can expect, the general flow of each day, what's expected of you, how she'll support you and all the other logistics you need.
  • Works with our local staff, such as guides and drivers, to keep things safe, on schedule and running smoothly
  • Helps you get to scheduled events like yoga class, spa appointment and dinner reservations on time
  • Facilitates sharing circles, creating a safe space for the group to reflect and share openly
  • Provides emotional support if ever you need it


Regional Flight from Hanoi to Da Nang International Airport

Included in your retreat package is a round-trip 1 hour 25 minute flight from Hanoi to Da Nang International Airport that departs Hanoi on November 20 and returns on November 25, in time for your return flight home from Hanoi International Airport on November 26. The flight from Hanoi to Danang on Day 1 is scheduled to depart at 6:00 PM, so please make sure your arrival flights into Hanoi give you plenty of time to make this connection. 

About
About The Host

The host specializes in trail running- and wellness-based travel experiences that support women’s overall health and well-being. Our programs feature mindful running techniques that help women run better while maximizing running’s stress-reducing effects on the body and mind. Set in some of the world’s most inspiring natural destinations known to runners, each itinerary is an immersion in nature and wellness experiences such as yoga, hot springs, or spa.

We include the specific elements you need to have a wonderful retreat and leave out anything that doesn’t support that mission. 


Why Choose Us

We are about experiencing running as a means to cultivate mental and physical health and well-being. While our purpose is to provide transformational travel experiences for runners like you, our mission is to offer you the time and space to clear your mind and focus on breathing deeply, connect with nature, dial down stress, and release endorphins so that you can relish in the joy and inspiration running brings.

No one succeeds in isolation, which is why the empowering community and connections that women find through our retreats are such a gift. Time after time, we hear the most heartwarming stories of the friendships that were made on our retreats, and why so many women come back year after year (sometimes even multiple times a year!) to run with us in a new location and often with women they’d met before.

When you travel with us, you are choosing to:

🏃‍♀️ connect deeper with yourself because no matter how long you’ve been on this planet, there’s always more to discover about who you truly are. We offer things like travel journals for writing and sharing circles during the retreat that support your inner as well as outer journey.

🏃‍♀️ experiment with mindful running principles that make you a better, more playful runner because there’s nothing like taking yourself too seriously to stifle motivation. Our retreat leaders provide mindful running exercises and tips you can use on an off the trail to run and live more mindfully.

🏃‍♀️ be open to connecting with other like-minded women because meeting new people is less scary than you might think. You’ll meet women who value running as part of a health lifestyle as we all as a sport. It’s amazing how quickly retreat groups bond after the very first run together!

🏃‍♀️ receive support, even when you don’t necessarily think you need it, but are so grateful you did when you realize how great it feels. In addition to the company of our professional running guides and expert retreat leaders, we highly encourage peer support to give you what to need to feel comfortable in this group.

🏃‍♀️ experience the mental health benefits to running that having nothing to do with your last race result or next goal. Our retreat leaders help you replace expectations and performance pressure with intentions and a focus on simply having fun.

🏃‍♀️ be intentional with the words you choose to express yourself, promising to be authentic and forget about trying to be anything you’re not. Intentions are rooted in values, and there’s no better opportunity to reflect on your values than when you’re traveling.

🏃‍♀️ make peace with the runner you are today, knowing that you belong here because runners come in all shapes and sizes and that’s okay. Since this isn’t a training camp, we’re not focused on where the future, but rather, rooted in the present moment, since that’s where the magic happens.

🏃‍♀️ give up the need to control everything going on around you because that’s the only way to find peace, restore your energy and find true joy. Our expert travel planners have worked out the logistics, and our professional guides scouted the routes, which means you can relax and let go.

🏃‍♀️ trust us to take you on a journey that has the potential to be deeply transformational and profoundly meaningful in a way that is entirely unique to you. Our retreat leaders understand that getting vulnerable can be scary, so they’re prepared to hold the space you need to have your experience at your own pace.

🏃‍♀️ forget about comparing yourself to others, either in terms of pace, speed, accomplishments, age or any other way, and focus instead on what you share in common. This is what we mean by community; you don’t have to “qualify” to be here, you show that you belong here by simply being you.

. . . and so much more.

Itinerary

Location