ICE BATH & SAUNA IN KOH PHANGAN | THAILAND
Updated: Feb 15, 2022
I was surprised that there are many places on this island where you can try an ice bath.
Growing up in Estonia, Northern Europe, it is very common to go sauna and afterwards jump into a cold lake, an ice hole or just roll in the snow, therefore, ice baths are not new to us either. When travelling to warmer countries and describing our practice in Estonia, people have usually rather shook their heads and thought we are crazy.
By now ice bathing has become a trend among high-profile celebrities and athletes, like famous extreme athlete and motivational speaker Wim Hof, who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts and is a staunch supporter of cold exposure. Other notable supporters of this activity are Joe Rogan, Lady Gaga, Kevin Hart and many more.
It is no wonder that ice baths are now gaining more and more popularity around the world.
In this Guide
What is an Ice Bath?
An ice bath is a form of cryotherapy in which an individual submerges their body in an ice-cold bath for a short period.
It is a form of cryotherapy but not nearly extreme. While Cryotherapy treatment temperature is -120°C / -200°F, then the ice bath recommended water temperature is 10-15°C / 50-60°F. Still cold enough to chill out your body, but not literally to the point of freezing.
You can make an ice bath at home by simply running cold water into a bathtub and adding several buckets of ice.
Ice Bath Benefits
An ice bath has a range of benefits for both body and mind. Ice baths will not only help your body feel better but they can also improve your performance and even your mood. The main benefits of an Ice Bath:
Help Your Muscles Recover from High Impact Training or Cardio
Help Prepare Your Body for the Next Workout
Can Prevent Muscle Soreness
Can Boost Your Mental Health
Can Improve Your Sleep
Reduce Risk of Injury
Can Boost Your Immunity
When Should You Take an Ice Bath?
Before you hop in an ice bath, keep in mind that timing is crucial.
Ice baths are excellent right after training, this is when your muscles are screaming to get cooled and the healing can happen, if you wait too long the process has already started.
If you do not train, it is good to use the sauna before an ice bath. When attempting the sauna cold plunge routine, spend 15 minutes inside a 50°C / 125°F sauna and 30 seconds inside a 10°C / 50°F ice bath. Repeat this process three times.
How Long Should You Stay in an Ice Bath?
Athletes immerse themselves in cold water for 15 minutes. This is of course the maximum time you can spend in an ice bath.
If you feel that even 15 seconds in cold water makes you shiver, remember to build up your tolerance. You can start with 30 seconds or a couple of minutes and add time each week until you are at a level you are comfortable with.
It is important to not stay in the ice bath for more than 15 minutes due to the risk of frostbite, if you notice that your skin is changing colour, then it is important to get out.
It sounds crazy, uncomfortable and a little bit dangerous but trust me: it is worth it. This experience can actually help clear your mind, lift your mood and it is good for your body.
Now find out where are the best places to enjoy ice baths in Koh Phangan
Dudka bar has it all – Russian sauna, ice bath, fireplace, restaurant and a panoramic view to watch the sunset.
This unique atmospheric place has really friendly stuff, always welcomes us straight away and has a fast service.
You can leave your belongings on comfortable sofas and head to a very hot Russian sauna. When you have finished your sauna session you can jump into the ice bath. Actually there are two baths. One is with ice about 5°C / 40°F and another is just a hole with cool water (I don’t know the temperature but it is much warmer than the ice bath).
You can repeat this routine a few times – I usually like to do 3 times.
As the ice bath in the Dudka bar is much colder than a normal recommended ice bath, then the previously mentioned maximum time of 15 minutes spent in the ice bath drops to a few minutes. I can barely be inside the Dudka ice bath for 15 seconds – really cold.
After relaxing in the sauna it is nice to sit on cozy sofas next to the fireplace and spend your evening. Dudka Bar offers Russian and European cuisine. I tried Russian traditional food – Pelmeni which was very delicious. Also some evenings they have live music playing, you can check on their Facebook feed.
Dudka Bar is open every day from 3PM – 11PM
The fee is 200 baht (February 2022)
I recommend bringing your own towel, because towel rent is an extra charge – 50 baht
Orion Healing Center
Orion is the best place for wellness and healing in Koh Phangan. They offer Yoga retreats, Yoga teacher training, Daily Yoga classes, Detox programs, Reiki healing sessions & courses.
Beachfront bungalows for accommodation and restaurant, which offers locally sourced, unprocessed and plant-based ingredients.
When visiting Orion for an ice bath session, you can choose between herbal steam room or infrared sauna, there are two ice baths and a nice lounge with a fireplace to chill out.
The ice bath session is only few times per week, you can check their timetable from here: https://www.orionhealing.com/weekly-schedule/
Fee is 200 baht (February 2022)
Xantiva Health Club
The health club includes a big gym, saunas and ice bath.
It has the coolest gym setting in the middle of the jungle, the indoor and outdoor areas are spacious, clean and equipment is newer compared to other gyms on the island. On the second floor you can find the air conditioned cardio room with sea view. It is also very spacious for other activities.
Walking to the backyard, there is a beautiful tropical garden with 4 saunas and an ice bath. Dome saunas are small and cute, fitting 4 people inside.
I really like that the ice bath is big enough to fit many people, so there wouldn’t be a line waiting their turn and you can be inside as long as you wish. Bonus points for cute little flowers inside the bath.
Next to the saunas are some seating areas around the fireplace. You can also order some drinks and protein shakes from the gym.
Xantiva sauna area is definitely one hidden gem on the island – quiet, relaxing and enjoyable place.