Apr 11, 2022
TO BE ALONE WITH your thoughts is nigh-on impossible in this day and age with non-stop notifications buzzing from your devices. Of course, you could just turn everything off, and that’s nice for an hour or so. But you’re still likely be stuck in your usual environment. So, we’ve curated a list of 8 top places to digital detox around Asia-Pacific to unplug, relax and recharge. Most are wifi-free , and also TV-free , and each resort or retreat encourages healthy living, inward reflection and outward thinking. No apps required.
Bay of Fires Lodge
The Bay of Fires Lodge is the only building on 20 kilometers of outstanding coastal wilderness. While most of the materials for the eco-lodge had to be helicoptered in, the same won’t be happening for you. Your digital detox begins by the fact that you have to walk in to the resort—it’s the best way to slow down and appreciate the beach and bush views that have remained largely unchanged for thousands of years.
Boasting fresh produce, fine Tasmanian wines, hot showers, king-size mattresses, and a small library, this lodge is a firm favorite for walking aficionados.
Three-day guided walk / two-night stay from A$1,795 per person, twin share, inclusive of food and activities. taswalkingco.com.au
The Island Hideout
Koh Yao Noi, Thailand
Treehouses are fun. But they’re not just for the young. The Island Hideout has taken their lofty platforms and made them a luxury, with the caveat that they have no internet, no walls, and not even power. How’s that for a legit Southeast Asia digital detox?
With a range of activities—batik printing, massages, a swimming pool (thankfully on the ground), yoga, meditation, and cooking classes—you’re not likely to be bored. Add to this organic food, handcrafted tonics and sodas, all to be consumed while overlooking the jungle canopy, and you’ve got a sky-high, wifi-free resort experience.
Deluxe treehouse from Bt2,800 per night, double occupancy. hideoutkoyao.com
Three Camel Lodge
The Gobi, Mongolia
In this luxury tented resort on the wifi-free steppe, millennia of history, culture and legend at a crossroads of Asia and Europe are distraction enough. Your plush local accommodations, tents called gers (pronounced ‘gaire’), are fit for Genghis Khan: hand-painted custom furnishings, king-sized beds, thick wool carpets, camel-hair blankets, a wood heater, and a private bathroom.
Nowhere does wide-open spaces quite like the Gobi. You’ll take in grasslands, deserts, and expansive star-crowded skies. You’re surrounded by serenity.
Deluxe King Ger for two people from US$1,637 per person, per night, inclusive of accommodation, meals, activities, excursions, and local airport transfers; minimum two-night stay. threecamellodge.com
Southern Mentawai Outpost
Mentawai Islands, Indonesia
If you’re looking for a truly remote digital detox in Southeast Asia, allow us to suggest a five-hour, two-boat journey from the western Indonesian city of Padang? Southern Mentawai Outpost is situated on its own tropical island. With sunset views steps from the ocean, the location of the resort is pristine—but it’s wifi-free (though emergency access is available), so you can’t ruin the moment with IG posting. And it just so happens to have some of the best waves for surfing on the planet, both for beginner and experienced surfers.
With ecologically constructed bamboo huts, a 10-guest limit, freshwater well, an organic fruit and vegetable garden, and more fresh seafood on offer than Poseidon could desire, this is an oasis away from the world of tech.
Beachfront Bamboo Bungalows, with double bed, from US$1,435 per person for eight days, inclusive of all meals. Double and twin share available. surfsmo.com
Namosi Eco Retreat
Viti Levu, Fiji
Courtesy of Namosi Eco Retreat (2)
Known for its beaches and reefs, Fiji’s pristine mountainous interior is often overlooked. At Namosi Eco Retreat, the misty valleys are the centerpiece for you to enjoy a real, wifi-free escape from first-world drama.
In this true digital detox environment, no electronics or cell phones are allowed, though service would be spotty if they were, which is a great reason to seek out the most remote spots in Asia-Pacific. Activities here revolve around local life: cooking classes, raft building, morning mountains strolls, sunset walks to the river, storytelling, and nightly kava sessions. We promise the last will convert you from melatonin forever.
Traditional Bure from FJ$249 per person, per night, inclusive of all meals; minimum two-night stay. namosieco.com
Exmouth, West Australia
“Where the outback meets the reef” is the apt tagline for Sal Salis, a luxury, off-grid glamping site. With the pristine Ningaloo Reef out the front, a vast backyard full of nothing but the outback, and a trillion or so stars glittering overhead at night, this is a perfect spot to disconnect and be awed by nature.
With zero phone or wifi signals around (there is a camp phone for emergencies), peace and serenity are assured. At least until you jump into the water and swim with the whale sharks, where you’ll likely be grinning and laughing like a kid again.
Wilderness Tent from AU$960 per person, per night; minimum two-night stay. salsalis.com.au
The Windflower Jungle Resort and Spa
Located in a unique mist-belt forest reserve, this resort offers simple and beautifully crafted stone huts for your stay. Their spa offers more than 20 different massages and treatments—but the true relaxation is being pampered to the serenade of lovely native songbirds.
As the resort is TV- and wifi-free, you’re encouraged to simply enjoy the forest, with daily nature walks scheduled. There’s also a communal fire pit, so you can meet others in the evening and chat face to face, instead of screen to screen.
Windflower Suite from Rp13,000 per night, double occupancy, inclusive of all meals. thewindflower.com/bandipur
Does being separated from your gizmos stress you out? Then being able to unwind in a hot tub filled with glorious spring water may help. You start your digital detox in this country in Asia known for promoting mindfulness by handing over all the devices you have such as mobile phones, laptops and music players on arrival, and only get them back in case of emergency.
Then, you can spend your days here stretching, jogging and hiking, meditating, breathing, fasting, enjoying tea ceremonies and walking through the town built on a mountainside that rises directly up from the sea. At only 50 minutes by bullet train from Tokyo, you’ve no excuse.
Two-day, one-night digital detox program from Y23,000 per person, inclusive of accommodation, tea ceremony and two meals (the meals are simple, usually consisting of brown rice, fish and vegetables). retreat.kushunada.jp/eng.htm