Cambodia’s natural beauty, combined with the country’s predominantly Buddhist nature, the spirituality of Angkor Wat and the hundreds of other ancient sites that dot the Kingdom make it the perfect place to rebalance and find your zen. Here are the best meditation retreats and centres in Cambodia.
As Cambodia’s leading wellness retreat, stylish Navutu Dreams offers programmes to help guests reach the perfect mind, body balance. As well as meditation sessions, guests can enjoy yoga, detoxes, traditional Chinese medicine and holistic treatments. It has also developed a range of destination-inspired experiences, including Pradakshina, a forest meditation experience in the form of a spiritual journey through Angkor’s jungle trails.
As one of Phnom Penh’s most important temples, Wat Langka is home to a large collection of practising monks and ancient scriptures. Guests are welcome to roam the sprawling grounds and temples, provided they behave respectfully. Free meditation sessions, led by a resident monk, are held in the spacious meditation hall every Monday, Thursday and Saturday, from 6pm to 7pm, and Sundays, from 8.30am to 9.30am and 10am for longer sessions.
If you’re after a longer-term retreat, then Vagabond Temple is the spot for you. Located on a peaceful spot in rural Kep, Vagabond offers ongoing yoga and meditation retreats, where guests can choose how long they stay — as long as it’s more than five nights. Regardless of whether it’s less than a week or two months, experts work with visitors to create spiritual retreats based on individual needs. Each day has a timetable of yoga, meditation and dharma talks. Detox programmes, reiki courses and healing sessions are also available.
If you’ve got the cash to splash (rooms start at $1,000 a night), then Song Saa Private Island offers a slice of paradise. Under-stated luxury oozes from every inch of this exclusive resort, which sits close to Koh Rong island, off the coast of Sihanoukville. Boasting a beach complete with powder-white sand, 24 wooden villas, spa sanctuaries, and a protected coral reef, Song Saa is full of secluded and tranquil spots to meditate alone, or join in with the afternoon meditation sessions.
Siem Reap province’s unspoilt rural landscapes provide the perfect secluded setting for Hariharalaya Retreat Centre. Here, six-day yoga, meditation and conscious living courses steer guests towards a more mindful approach to life, with programmes spanning yoga, meditation, dharma talks, communication classes and community activities. And there’s no chance of peace being interrupted by social media because no mobiles are allowed as part of a digital detox, in addition to silent mornings.
Nestled in the heart of coastal Kep’s tranquil countryside, The Vine Retreat is the perfect setting to rebalance and revitalise. Set on 35 acres of farmland, the rustic resort is home to pepper plantations, paddies and tropical gardens, as well as a saltwater swimming pool, farmhouse accommodation, yoga centre and meditation circle. It hosts various retreats throughout the year.
Acting as the social enterprise for NGO Krama Yoga, which works with vulnerable children and young people using yoga and meditation, Nataraj Yoga Studio’s main focus is on yoga. However, it also runs a weekly Mindfulness Meditation class following the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. This involves silent sitting and walking meditation. The class is suitable for beginners and those with more experience.