By Sonia Ahmed | 7 August 2020
Santichon village is a spectacular tourist destination in Pai, Thailand. It is inhabited by Yunnanese people who fled Yunnan, China, through the China-Thai border and settled in Santichon during the communist revolution led by Mao Tse Tung.
These Yunnanese brought their cultural heritage with them; the handicrafts, traditional dresses, shops made out of mud and clay, and their authentic cuisine - the sublime attraction of the village.
Santichon Village & the Hidden Gems of Pai Valley
The Santichon village was declared open for tourists back in 2005. Since then, it has become one of the best tourist destinations in Thailand. It is symbolic of the old Chinese Yunnan heritage, customs, and traditions.
It's a small village, and you can experience all the main attractions in a couple of hours. But don't return yet. Take the bumpy road out of the town to Yun Lai Viewpoint and behold the magnificent view of the entire Pai Valley. Camp down here for the night, enjoy the sunrise, witness the field of fog, and take advantage of the freely flowing chi in the Pai mountains.
If you wish to experience authentic traditional Kung Fu at a place that captures its true spirit, consider spending a few days at the Nam Yang retreat. It's a world-famous Kung Fu retreat, not far away from Santichon Village, hidden in the Pai forest.
The Ideal Location and Abundance of Chi
Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat is affiliated with one of the oldest and the most authentic training institutes - the Nam Yang Pugilistic Association.
Located on the Tat Moh mountain, this martial arts school has attained significant importance worldwide because of its ideal location and the complete Kung Fu lifestyle. The school is surrounded by misty mountains, natural waterfalls, caves, and a worth exploring forest.
The weather here is perfect for practicing martial arts, and chi remains fresh and peaceful for the most part. Pai gets all four seasons with high rain probability only in August. Usually, the weather is warmer, suitable for building endurance and stamina. Chilly weather from December to February is much more apt for strengthening forms and focusing on meditation.
Life at Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat
At Nam Yang, you get to experience Kung Fu as a holistic way of life instead of just an exercise or sport. From form to meditation, nutrition, and social experience, every aspect is led by the principles of real Kung Fu.
The retreat grows its herbs itself and gets fresh produce from local farms. The dining area also serves as a community center where people from different cultures meet and greet. Living at this retreat makes you feel part of a big Kung Fu family where everyone is equal and treats each other with respect and care.
The campus provides both shared and separate accommodation. If you're looking for inner peace and tranquility, single rooms are a little farther from the school into the forest. Shared accommodation is ideal if you're looking to immerse yourself in the culture and community.
Training starts at sunrise. Instead of modernized superficial kungfu, you get to practice traditional art with its traditions, ethos, and wisdom. Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat is for everyone, from kids to older adults of any gender, nationality, or beliefs. You're unlikely to experience such an inclusive experience anywhere else.
World-Class Instructors For Travelling Martial Artists
Nam Yang is uniquely suited for western students and traveling martial artists interested in learning real kung fu or meditation. You can stay for as little or as long as you want. All the instructors at the Nam Yang are world-famous masters in Shaolin Kung Fu and Chi Kung.
Master Iain Armstrong, head of the Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat, is two times world champion, trained by grandmaster Tan Soh Tin of Singapore. All sessions are conducted in English. Enroll in a discipline you like. If you find something else interesting, you can transfer your credit to that retreat.
Retreats, Camps, and Training Programs
Whether you're on a recreational trip with your friends or family, or on a journey to improve your life and skill, Nam Yang has tailored retreats for you.
You can learn the real kung fu moves like a Shaolin warrior and equip yourself with courage and confidence. Shaolin kungfu is the oldest and most popular martial art form. You can learn its true forms like the snake form, tiger form, leopard form, and the dragon form during your stay.
Internal Kung Fu retreat helps you draw energy from deep within and use it to improve your physical and mental health through meditation and movement. If you're more interested in meditation and balancing your chi, Chi Kung teaches you how to harness your energy and unlock your true potential.
Many accomplished martial artists live and train at Nam Yang Retreat to become Chi Kung or Kung Fu teachers. The Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat has pledged with the highest honor of Chinese traditions to impart the essentials of real Kung Fu to new generations.
The core achievable aspirations at the campus include health, will power, inner peace, resolve, and most importantly, the self-defense techniques.