Wander Women Thailand:
An Adventure + Beginner Aerial Arts Retreat
Bangkok, Koh Tao + Koh Phangan
April 9-16, 2023
Kick off your Thai New Year right by joining Alexandra Baackes of Alex in Wanderland and Jess Lubin of Good Karma Studio for an eight day yoga + aerial arts retreat in Thailand. This retreat will begin in Bangkok before island hopping Thailand’s Gulf Coast — brace yourself for eight days of aerial and adventures set to a backdrop of white sand beaches, organic healthy eateries, and the Thai New Year, Songkran!
We’ll dive into beginner-friendly workshops in aerial hammocks, lyra, pole and silks, swing through the palm trees on an aerial trapeze rig, practice yoga on paddleboards, and put our aerial strength and nerves to the test with a day of rock-climbing and cliff jumping! Trod off the beaten path with Alex as she shows you all the reasons why she called Thailand home for almost ten years; from the bustling streets of Bangkok, to the sleepy dive island Koh Tao and the infamous yoga center of Koh Phangan. Along the way, we’ll pause to celebrate Songkran, a bucket-list experience described as the world’s biggest water fight!
When we aren’t in the air, we’ll be touring temples, exploring markets, hiking, watching the sunset from the beach, eating delicious meals, and sipping cocktails. Alex will be behind the lens every step of the way, ensuring everyone leaves with profile-picture worthy shots of themselves in the air, in their favorite asanas, and smiling in the sun.
Thailand stole Alex’s heart from her very first visit, and is just thrilled to show you what makes this one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. She and Jess can’t wait to share this experience with all of you. After running their first retreat together in St. Pete, Florida in the summer of 2018, and again in Cabarete, Dominican Republic in 2020, they’re thrilled to rejoin forces again!
Please note that this retreat is open to all level of yogis and aerialists, from fresh beginner to long-time enthusiast, and we’ll split into aerial groups as needed to make sure every skill level is addressed. If you’re a beginner, consider this a tasting menu of our favorite aerial apparatuses — Jess will help you find success right away! If you’re a seasoned practitioner, take advantage of this time to hone your craft with true aerial artists at every stop.
The dates of this retreat are April 9th-16th, 2023. Pricing starts at $2,600 and includes just about everything.
• Seven nights accommodation in chic boutique hotels
• Seven breakfasts, six dinners, and four lunches
• A welcome massage
• One aerial hammock class, one pole class, one trapeze lesson, one Sip + Salutations boozy partner yoga class, one SUP yoga class, one aerial yin yoga class, and one silks and lyra workshop
• A tour of Bangkok’s famous temples and markets
• An introduction to rock climbing and abseiling trip
• A snorkeling and cliff jumping boat trip
• A Songkran celebration
• An aerial water photoshoot and professional photos of the retreat
• A lush welcome bag
• All in-country transportation
• 5% profit donation to local charities
What’s Not Included
• Meals + alcohol not included in the itinerary
• Optional additional silks or lyra workshop ($40)
• Optional additional suspended aerial photoshoot ($150)
• Transportation to Thailand
• Airport transfer (VIP meet and greet may be available)
• Mandatory travel insurance
Oh, The Places We’ll Go
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea!
Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok and settle into the hipster enclave of Ari, our home away from home in the big city! Relax by the pool until it’s time for a welcome aerial hammock class with Jess at a nearby studio. After, unwind with a post-travel massage at a chic spa, followed by a getting-to-know-you dinner.
Day 2: Kick off the day with a visit to the awe-inspiring Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. We’ll relax with lunch alongside the Chao Phraya River overlooking Wat Arun before heading to Chatuchak Weekend Market, the largest in Thailand! In the evening, enjoy a pole class with a local Thai expert to get yourself in the mood for a night on the town. We’ll kick off with drinks at one of Bangkok’s famed rooftop bars before dinner. Still raring to go? We’ll take the late night party crew to Bangkok’s infamous Khao San Road.
Day 3: It’s time to say goodbye to the bustling city and hello to island life! A flight + ferry will see you washing up on the shores of Koh Tao, where Alex once called home. A healthy lunch awaits us and after getting settled into our beach front digs, it’s time to fly! An afternoon of trapeze amongst the palms will have you ready to run off and join the circus — or at least give up the city life for this idyllic paradise come sunset. This night, we’ll meet up with the retreaters at the simultaneous Wander Women Dive + Yoga Retreat for dinner at a rooftop favorite.
Day 4: A big breakfast will start your day before heading off on a morning hiking and rock climbing adventure. Once we reach one of the best viewpoints on the island, you’ll be given some basic abseil training before moving on to climbing techniques. After lunch at one of our favorite simple local Thai restaurants, we’ll head back out on a speed boat for an afternoon of snorkeling, cliff jumping, and, for those that choose the optional upgrade, an aerial photoshoot suspended over the ocean between two cliffs! At a beachfront fusion dinner, we’ll once again join forces with our fellow Wander Women and swap travel tales of your time so far in Thailand.
Day 5: You thought fireworks were cool? Just wait until you see how Thailand marks the start of the Buddhist New Year: with a nationwide water fight. This is real life. Before we get all wet and wild, we will rendezvous with both retreat groups for a sip + stretch yoga class (cocktails will be provided of course!) kicking off a day of non-stop fun. Don’t forget your best outfits because dress-up is strongly encouraged — think tropical prints, sequins and fun inflatables!
Day 6: This morning, it’s choose your own adventure! Feeling a little fuzzy from the previous day’s festivities? Spend the morning sipping coconuts with your toes in the sand or head to the spa for a little bit of pampering. Raring to get back in the air? Sign up for an optional silks or lyra class at the trapeze school! After lunch, it’s time to kiss Koh Tao goodbye and jump aboard a speedboat to the neighboring island of Koh Phangan, where we will be staying in the hippie chic town of Srithanu. Here we’ll stay in adorable boutique hotel and decompress with a hangover aerial yin class in an ocean-front shala. After, we’ll have dinner at Alex’s favorite Middle Eastern restaurant in Thailand before we detox at The Dome, a unique sauna and sound-healing experience.
Day 7: Today is all about aerial in paradise — you can sleep on the flight home! In the morning, we’ll head to a local studio in the jungle for a mixed apparatus silks and lyra class. Come afternoon, we’ll head out to salute the sun on paddleboards with a SUP yoga class and when the sun sets, don our best glow paint for a UV aerial yoga class — your own private taste of Koh Phangan’s famous Full Moon Parties. Finally, we’ll gather for a closing dinner and toasts on the beach.
Day 8: We’ll round out our time in Thailand with a sunrise overwater photoshoot on a bamboo rig — salty hair encouraged! Poolside goodbye breakfast at our hotel followed by personal time + departure — or continue on to Koh Samui as part of the Post-Retreat Elephant Extension with Alex and Jess!
Come Fly With Us
On this trip you’ll be traveling with Wander Women Retreats founder Alexandra Baackes and Good Karma Studios founder Jessica Lubin as your hosts.
Alexandra Baackes has called Thailand home for the better part of seven years! She is a RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher, an aerial vinyasa and yin instructor, a Buti Bands and Sculpt instructor, and an aerial arts enthusiast. In fact, Alex took one of her multiple aerial yoga trainings right in Koh Phangan!
She runs retreats around the world, from Egypt to the Maldives to the Dominican Republic and beyond. But there’s something special about bringing you all “home.”
Jess Lubin returned to her hometown of Albany after her life path took her around the globe, living and studying yoga in Guatemala and India. She opened Good Karma Studio, the first and only aerial yoga studio in Albany, New York in 2011. Jessica has since studied & trained under Tribe Yoga, Gravotonics, Rolf Gates, Janet Stone, Shiva Rea, Yoga Works NYC, Kula Yoga’s Schuyler Grant, and Sadie Nardini. To know Jess is to love her — she’s developed a cult following in Upstate New York and loves to teach, to learn, to be inspired and to inspire!
Where We’ll Stay
We’ll be staying at a variety of picture perfect boutique hotels as we swing through Thailand!
In Bangkok, the stylish area called Ari is where we’ll be based — think hip restaurants, chic cafes and where the vibes of old souls mingle with young spirit in one community. The rooms of our hotel are tastefully decorated with fun elements and thoughtful details, while facilities include a pool, trendy bar and a picture perfect ice-cream stand!
Down in Koh Tao we’ll wake up, walk outside and find our toes in the sand and the ocean right in front of us! Nothing screams holiday like a beachfront hotel, so these cute and cozy rooms will have you blissed out before your morning coffee has a chance to take hold.
Our final stop is Koh Phangan where we’ll stay in a community of carefully crafted luxury one-bedrooms villas. An onsite pool, sundeck and tennis court allow you to choose your own adventure when we aren’t hanging from the rafters of the nearby aerial yoga centers.
Shared rooms come with two twin beds when available or one queen sized bed to share. Of course, you can room with a friend but if you’re traveling solo, fear not, so are most of our Wander Women guests! We’ll do our best to pair you with someone we think you’ll click with based on your intake forms — and we’ll all be besties by the end anyway. A small supply of private rooms are available should you wish to have your own space.
What We’ll Eat
Thailand is world-famous for its mouth watering cuisine for good reason as they artfully balance the four flavors of salty, sweet, spicy and sour. Expect a curated selection of our favorite restaurants, street stalls and rooftop bars as we eat a variety of local Thai specialties and healthy Western favorites.
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and other diets can easily be accommodated. The islands in particular are a plant-based paradise!
How to Get to Thailand
This retreat will start in Bangkok and will end in either Koh Phangan or, if you decide to add-on the extension, Koh Samui (more on that below!).
Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is the largest international airport in the country and most likely your port of arrival. Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) serves as a secondary hub for low cost carriers and both are viable options for your arrival into Bangkok. Thailand is a visa-free country for most passports. If you’re from the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and most of Europe, you can enter for thirty days visa-free. We’ve been navigating Thailand’s visa rules for years and are happy to help you figure out your specific situation. From the airport a taxi will take you to the hotel, expect to pay $12-$15. We are able to arrange private transfer should you wish at an additional cost.
As return flights out of the same airport are normally the most economical option you will most likely have to make your way back to Bangkok to catch your flight home. Luckily Thailand has perfected the art of moving tourists over the years and there are plenty of options for returning to Bangkok. A joint boat, bus and flight package will be available from any island to get you back up to the city and our team are happy to assist with the booking process!
Health + Safety
All Wander Women must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to join us, in compliance with the laws of the Kingdom of Thailand.
On November 1, 2020, Thailand began allowing vaccinated international travelers who have resided in one of 63 countries to enter without having to enter into a lengthy quarantine!
In order to enter you must meet the following requirements:
• Fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no less than 14 days before traveling
• Obtain a negative COVID-19 test result (RT-PCR), issued within 72 hours before traveling
• Insurance with minimum coverage of $50,000 USD
With this trip being over a year away, we are sure travel requirements will change and likely become less stringent over time. We will keep a close eye on things and keep you updated along the way!
Extend Your Adventure
Not ready to head home soon? Keep the good times rolling and island hop with us for a three-day Post-Retreat Elephants Extension that will add on the island of Koh Samui to your itinerary.
We’ll hit the ultimate Thailand bucket list moment of meeting elephants, Thailand’s national animal, and slip into ultimate bliss for an afternoon at the trendiest Koh Samui beach club to toast to the trip of a lifetime. When the extension ends, there’s an airport ten minutes away to whisk you to your connecting flight from Bangkok.
We’re proud to have sold out every single 2021 trip we ran, and expect this trip will too. Book early to avoid major FOMO! A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot, and remaining invoices are due 60 days before departure. Alternatively, payment plans are available upon receipt of your deposit.
If the retreat is full, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to the waiting list — also sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when enrollment opens on future retreats.
How much aerial experience do I need?
None! This is a completely beginner-friendly retreat, and Jess specialized in teaching to a multi-level group. If you have the opportunity, we certainly recommend trying out any aerial classes you have access to, in order to get the most out of the retreat. But this is really a fun, try-everything-once and experience the joy of aerials kind of retreat in a beautiful location, rather than an immersive in any one apparatus.
Will I have time to do my own thing?
This is your trip and we want you to make it exactly what you want! There’s so much we want you to see and experience in Thailand in a pretty short time, so we’ll have a pretty full schedule. Any time you want to bow out to have some “me-time” or do your own thing, please do!
I want to extend my trip. Can you help me?
Absolutely! First of all, we recommend booking our Post-Retreat Elephant Extension to add a few more bucket list Thailand experiences in just a few short days.
Beyond that, Alex and the Wander Women team have traveled Thailand extensively. We offer an hour of complimentary consultation on expanding your trip, after which we will offer our hourly consulting at a special retreat guest rate.
How much should I expect to spend on non-included meals?
Thailand has plenty of options when it comes to food which makes it easy to eat like a queen no matter the budget. Munch on street stall pad thai for only $2, order a whole BBQ’d fish for $10 or treat yourself to a steak dinner for $15, you will be hard pressed to spend more than $20 for a fantastic meal! When it comes to alcohol, budget $2-3 for beer, $3-6 for cocktails and $6-8 for a decent glass of wine.
Is there an age requirement?
You must be 18 years old or older.
So, does non-refundable really mean non-refundable?
The $500 deposit to secure your space is non-refundable and remaining invoices are due 30 days before departure. If the trip must be postponed or cancelled due to events beyond our control, you will be offered the choice between a full refund and applying your payment to a future trip.
The reason our deposits are non-refundable is that we start incurring costs from the moment someone presses “book” — from credit card fees to high hourly wages for our team who corresponds with guests, manages trip inventory and our e-commerce platform, analyzes forms to create room assignments, coordinates with our local vendors, and beyond.
There’s nothing we want more than for our guests to take and enjoy the travel they have worked hard and paid for. Thank you so much for your understanding and respect of our need to enforce this policy strictly. We want to be here to travel with you for years to come!
Can I do a payment plan and pay in installments?
Absolutely. Email us at email@example.com.
What if I test positive for COVID while abroad?
We understand this is a major concern for many traveling internationally right now.
In the very unlikely event that you contract COVID-19 while traveling with us, we will assist you in confirming your positive test results, finding a location to isolate, and rebooking your travel home. We resumed our trips in May of 2021 and our guests have had a 100% success rate of staying positive and testing negative ever since
If you are worried about the cost of quarantine should you test positive abroad ensure your policy covers COVID-related expenses.
Will I need travel insurance?
Yes, everyone will be required to have travel insurance for the duration of the trip. Our affiliate, World Nomads offers both at incredibly affordable rates.
I still have questions, or cute photos of my dog. Can I contact you?
Um, yes please! Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.