MARK JONES reports from Vietnam on what Asian wellness retreats can do for achy Achilles and overworked minds Mark Jones前往越南的寧順安縵度假村,了解最新的亞洲理療如何紓緩阿基里斯腱疼痛及精神疲勞

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The coast of Vinh Hy Bay appeared. It was rugged, a bit like the weather and the roads. But the best resorts all require some effort to get there. Besides I was cocooned in the Amanoi’s Toyota Fortuner 4x4, whose suspension allowed me to make a more or less legible note. It went as follows.

Physical condition:

Stiff neck. Slight headache. Funny taste in my mouth – a bit acrid. Aching left knee – minor meniscus tear? Throbbing left Achilles tendon. Unspecified pain behind right shoulder. Dry skin, especially feet and hands. Puffy lips. Slightly swollen fingers. Blocked right sinus. Cloudy vision.


My condition was perfectly normal – for a middle-aged frequent flyer living in Hong Kong, drinking more than he should, working longer hours than he’d like, sleeping less than he ought to and playing rather more five-a-side football than his age and physical condition should justify.

Frankly, I couldn’t see why on Earth I needed a three-day ‘Mindfulness, Movement and Stress Control Immersion Programme!’ The words worried me, as did the exclamation mark. Ask me what my usual programme of activities at a high-end resort would be, and I’d probably say: ‘nice dinners, excellent wine, the occasional sports massage, a walk along the beach.’ Oh, and ‘decent Wi-Fi so I could do all the work and deal with all the emails I hadn’t got around to in the past three weeks’.

That’s not what my ‘immersion director’ had in mind.

The ID is one of the Asian medicine specialists brought in by Amanoi to create a new programme of intensive and, it says, highly personalised therapies. Aman is not alone. Luxury resorts, especially in Asia, are moving on. They reinvented the spa. Now they’re reinventing the relationship between leisure and health.

But before getting into all that, I settled down to a nice dinner. I looked at the menu. I was mentally pairing a grouper and ginger with a nice marsanne when, with profuse apologies, they took away my menu and gave me a card with my threeday meal plan listed.

I glanced at it and saw words like ‘broths’, ‘teas’, ‘juices’, ‘infusions’, ‘raw vegetables’ and something called a ‘decoction’. No coffee, no bread and emphatically no alcohol.

The ID explained why the next day during my orientation. In my experience, a resort orientation is usually a map and a gentle ride in a golf cart. This was more of an orientation around me: my body, mind and spirit, as analysed by the light of traditional Chinese medicine.

It turned out I am prone to getting heated, I’m restless and my qi goes haywire or gets blocked. So as well as the broths and decoctions, I had a pretty non-stop routine of massages, healing touches, meridian therapies, acupuncture and a sauna session that involved being assaulted pretty thoroughly with the local foliage. There was time for a hike through Nui Chua National Park, a scrubby wilderness of boulders, outcrops and granite bluffs in the blustery winds and blinding light of a Vietnamese winter.

The room was the other innovation

– not a room, but the Thuy Lien Spa House. Forget a plunge pool and getting a massage on your bed. This room has its own spa building, itself larger than resort villas, with a double treatment room, sauna, deck, outdoor dining area, steam room and 15-metre pool, all to myself, overlooking a stretch of lake and forest.

Now that was personalised; and it’s another indication of the way this new world of high-end health escapism is going. If you’re in a retreat and focused on your internal and external being, maybe

望見越南永熙灣的海岸了,看上去崎嶇平不 ,與變幻莫測的天氣和高低起伏的道路有幾分相。似 不要過 前往一流的度假村,酒店 總得費一番功夫。此時我窩在寧順安縵度假村酒店供提 的豐田Fortuner四驅車裡,車內的震避 系統不錯,我仍能寫下大致讀可 的筆記,內容如下:


頸部僵硬。輕微頭痛。嘴裡有股奇怪的、帶點苦澀的味膝道。左 痠痛,可能是半板月輕微撕裂?左腳的阿基里腱斯 陣陣抽痛。右

邊肩膊後方有不明痛楚。皮膚乾燥,雙足和雙手尤甚。嘴唇腫脹指,輕手 微浮腫。右邊鼻閉竇 塞。視力模糊。


我的狀況的確完全正常我。像 這樣一個居於香港的中年飛行常客,總是貪杯,被迫長時工間 作缺, 乏充足睡眠,加上經常踢五人足球,頻密程度已超齡出年 和體能的負荷,身體有上述這些情況,的確很正常。

坦白說,我完全不明白究竟為何需要參加為期三天的「正念、運動和力制壓 控

沉浸式體驗計劃!」標裡題 的字眼跟末尾的嘆感 號一樣,令我困感到 擾。要是有問人我,入住高級度假村酒店內通常會有什麼節目多,我 數會答「吃頓美味的晚,餐 配上香醇的葡萄酒,偶爾做做運動按摩,以及在海

灘上漫步。」啊,還有「暢順的無線網絡,讓以我完可 成過去三個星期來未能抽處空理工和的作電」郵 。

可是我的「沉浸式體驗導師」另有打算。這師位導 是寧順安縵度假村酒店請來的亞洲醫師會,賓為 客度身設計全的新 密集式療程安。 縵並非一枝獨秀,豪不少 華度假村酒店目前亦朝這個方向發展不, 過在亞這趨洲種 勢更則 為明顯。豪這些 華度假

村酒店為水療體驗注入新意之餘在,更現要重新界定休憩和健康間之 的關係。

不過在投入這些新體驗之前打,我算首先好好享一用 頓美晚。讀味 餐 閱 餐單時,我腦海裡自然而然地將薑汁石斑配上怡人的marsanne白葡萄酒,正要開口點菜,應侍滿懷歉意地拿走我手上的餐單,遞然後 上一張卡,上面列出我這三天裡的膳食計劃。


you don’t want to share spa space with other external beings.

But was it a truly ‘personalised’ experience? At the end, I concluded that it’s more an off-the-peg programme that’s been smartly tailored, not a solution designed for every quirky inch of your being. That would take more time and resources than even these well-equipped, fully-staffed resorts can offer. They should also make at least a nod to unglamorous, unpoetic conventional medicine. Those swollen fingers and puffy lips of mine are a sure sign of high blood pressure. Did they monitor said blood pressure? No. The qi came first.

Still, at the end of the immersion I bounded up the flight of steps to reception like a young gazelle. The Achilles tendon was acting efficiently on the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, the structural integrity of my knee as it underwent tension and torsion was just fine, and the corneas of my eyes appeared to be firing on all 43 dioptres.

I felt good. Was that the double espresso I’d sneaked in at breakfast? I hope not.

我快 掃視「果汁」、速「花草茶」一遍、,「生瞧見蔬「湯」菜」等字、「茶」眼、,

還有什麼「煎劑」。沒有咖啡和麵包也罷了竟, 然酒連 也沒。有第二天,導向師 我介紹酒店設施時解

釋了背後的原根因。 據我以往的經驗,入

住度假村酒店時導覽常是通 都 獲發地一張


村內一兜 圈。不這過 次導覽的對象似乎是

我自己包, 括的我 身體、情緒和精神狀態,

全按部 照傳統中醫的醫理來分析。

結示果顯 我容易上火,而且煩躁不安,

體內的「氣」若非失控亂,竄 就阻是 塞不


得密集地接受按摩碰、 觸治療經、 絡針和

灸;,療程 此外 我還做了一次特別的桑拿,


健程括康療 還包 到Nui Chua國家公園遠足

的時讓, 在南冬日的 風和耀眼崖間 我越灌 強 陽崗光前中, 往這片 木叢生、佈滿巨石和花岩峭懸 壁的荒野中走一圈。房間是亦 個創意新發明,我並非指客房,而是Thuy Lien Spa House水療中心。日將水和池 躺在床接上受摩按的景情 統統拋諸腦後因, 為這個「房間」擁有自家的水療建築,面比積 度假村酒店的別墅更,大設有雙人療理室、桑拿浴室、、陽台 戶外用餐區、蒸汽室和15米泳池,全部由我一人獨佔。從這裡望,出去 還可飽覽湖泊和林森 景致。這才算是真正為個人度身訂造的務服和設施,而且再次顯了示 高級養生之旅這種新事生 物正朝著哪個方向走。如果你正在進行一趟安靜的養生之旅,專注於個人內和在 外在修為,大概不希與望 其他不相識的人共享水療空間。但那是否真的是名副其實「度身訂造」的體驗?我認為這不過是一個經過巧妙安的成程排 現 療 ,並不能迎合閣下身心各種奇怪的需求;因做為要 到這一點,需所的時間和資源之多,即是使 這些設備齊全而人手充足的度假村酒店亦難以付應。我認為他們應向既無魅力又缺詩意的主流醫學取經,我那浮腫的指手 和腫脹的嘴唇顯然是高血壓的徵狀,但他們竟沒有監察我的血壓,水平 而只專注於氣「 」的運行。不過成,沉完 浸療式 程後,我就如初生羚羊般健步如飛,輕鬆躍上通往接待處的階梯。阿基里斯腱乖乖聽從腓肌腸 和比目魚肌的使喚,膝蓋張在弛之間仍感覺良好而, 眼睛更彷精彿 光四射。我感良覺好。那是否只是我在吃早餐時偷偷點了雙份特濃咖啡的威力?但願不是。


Amanoi is a seven-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City, to which Cathay Pacific flies from Hong Kong 19 times a week

探索 順安縵度假村酒店

寧順安縵度假村酒店 離胡 明市七小時車程;國泰航空設有由香港飛往胡 明市的航班,每周有班19

Stick to the programme Amanoi’s tailored wellness programmes aim to feed, treat and knead away aches and qi inbalances 順應養生安排寧順安縵度假村酒店為客人度身訂造的養生療程,為他們提供膳食理、 療、按摩紓緩痛楚及疏通氣血循環

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