Retreat and meditation centers

All centers listed here do not charge any fees. Donations are accepted (and indeed, necessary to sustain their physical existence).

Khao Tham is one of three related retreat centers, all following Buddhadasa Bhikkhu of the Thai forest tradition

Wat Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage – north of Surat Thani
This is the “mother center” — the monastery and retreat center founded by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu in the 1930s
10-day silent meditation retreats from 1st to 11th of each month.
Registration: Must be in person on the last day of the previous month.
Founded by Phra­ Ajahn Buddhadasa in 1989.
On Hwy. 41 (AH2), 53 km northwest of Surat Thani, and about 6 km southwest of Chaiya village and train station.
Theravada → Thai Forest Tradition → Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
1st to 11th of month. Actual silent retreat: 10 days. Session length: 1 hour.
Teachings: from tape; teachers available for guidance and questions.
Sleeping: Large dorms(?); thin mat. Capacity: 150?
Khao Tham Insight Meditation Center – on Koh Pha-ngan
English-language Samatha meditation retreats from the 10th to the 20th of every month.
Registration: Only in person, on Day 1 of the retreat.
Founded by Mae Chee Ahmon in 1988.
Retreat days: 10. Actual silent retreat: 7 days. Session length: 45 min.
Teachings: by Thai monk; teacher and manager available for guidance and questions.
Sleeping: dorms, 2 to a room, wooden bunk beds. Capacity: 40.
1.5km up in the hills above Baan Tai, Koh Pha-ngan, Thailand. [map] (You are here 🙂 )
Theravada → Thai Forest Tradition → Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
Dipabhāvan Meditation Center – on Koh Samui
English-language meditation retreats from the 3rd to the 10th and the 20th to the 27th every month.
Founded by Ajahn Poh, former abbot of Suan Mokkh, in 2005.
Registration: book online; form on website
In the south end of the island, in the hills above Baan Hua Thanon english ไทย русский
Theravada → Thai Forest Tradition → Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
Retreat: 7 days. Actual silent retreat: 5 days.
Session length: 1/2 hour. Teachings: monk teacher; teachers available for guidance and questions.
Sleeping: big dorm, one for men, one for women. Capacity: 80.

More meditation on Koh Phangan

Srithanu, Koh Phangan: Weekly walking meditation.
Phra Olarn Tanawuttho teaches 4-day courses in walking Vipassana meditation every week at Wat Samai Kongka.
Phra Olarn has been teaching at Wat Samai Kongka since 2016. The primary language of communication and instruction is English.
The four-day course starts each week on Monday, and goes daily from 12 noon to 5pm through Thursday. No registration needed. Be prepared to commit yourself to the entire time, for the most benefit to yourself and to the other participants.
On the “inland road”, south of Srithanu and north of Koh Phangan Hospital. [map]
Theravada → Thai Forest Tradition
More about Phra Olarn and his teachings is here, here, and here.
Srithanu, Koh Phangan: Morning or sunset or Sunday meditation sessions.
There are many yoga and spiritual centers all around Srithanu, and each sometimes has regular free meditation. These sessions come and go, and are not always listed on the centers’ websites. You can check on the big bulletin board outside the 7/11 in central Srithanu, on other bulletin boards around town, and at each location for the latest!
In and around Srithanu, on the northwest coast of Koh Phangan
Theravada, Western, …
Do a search for the websites or find them on the posters around Srithanu
Srithanu, Koh Phangan: Indriya Meditation Retreats
Anthony Markwell is starting up a new meditation retreat center, which is being built now, and expects to hold its first retreat in late September 2019. Anthony held retreats at Khao Tham for over two years, and has an excellent reputation. See for the latest info, and subscribe to the newsletter at the bottom of the contact page.
On ‘Coconut Lane’ off of the ‘inland road’, south of Srithanu and north of Koh Phangan Hospital, some ways north of Wat Samai Kongka. [map]
Theravada You can also find “IndriyaRetreat” on Facebook.

Other vipassana meditation centers

These days there are many meditation centers and retreats around the world.

We have listed some more Vipassana meditation centers in Thailand and around the world on the Other centers page

Virtual sangha

There are online sangha groups for many of the Buddhist traditions. They are usually run by an established dhamma center, but may also be led by an individual teaching on their own. They may get together through Skype, Discord, WhatsApp, etc.

Read more and find online sanghas on the Virtual Sangha page

About meditation centers

Choosing a meditation center, at
Good information for what to expect at a Thai meditation center.
Living at a meditation center, at
Good information for Thai customs, food, clothing, and more.

Experiences at vipassana retreats

Meditation retreat at Wat Khao Tahm
January 2016, by nand0. This was with teacher Anthony Markwell.
Nice writeup, and lots of good photos
My experience at a silent meditation retreat in Thailand (Khao Tham)
2016, by Susanne, who also taught yoga at the retreat. This was with teacher Tan Dhammavidu.
Another nice writeup with good photos
Garden of Liberation – Suan Mokkh
An experienced meditator’s retreat, in 2013