The Sanctuary – Another Reason to Love Koh Phangan

Recently, a reader of Gluten Free Thailand asked me about gluten free resorts in Thailand. I was clueless; usually I just book somewhere cheap and then sort out dining as I go. If there are gluten free restaurants, then I am happy and go back. If not, I suffer with plain veggies and rice.

Well, The Sanctuary in Koh Phangan knows how to deal with gluten-free diets, which is another great reason to visit my favourite island!


Lovely views

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When my rice stocks were dwindling, I went to my local Lemon Farm to stock up. I was surprised by the array of rices, and asked the cashier to help me find something as close to plain brown rice as possible (knowing I should stay away from the delicious-but-nutrient-deficient Thai Jasmine stuff). She pointed me to the ‘GABA’ organic rice, for 100thb a bag.


Available in most shops, except 7 Eleven

I have bought red rice before, but never really considered the health benefits. In a quest to ensure I am consuming enough nutrients and protein, I did a little research.  This is a brief summary of what I found:

GABA brown rice contains nutrients, vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and is more aromatic due to the rice grain being coated with the aroma of the husk. Consequently, GABA brown rice offers more nutritional value than any other rice grains. It will keep you healthy and helps maintain body balance, strengthens the immune system, protects against infectious diseases. Furthermore it contributes to the prevention of metabolic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, arthritis, premature aging syndromes, kidney failure, neurological conditions, cerebrovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancers.

There are many benefits to switching from normal white rice to GABA rice. The selling point for me is the wealth of B vitamins, fiber, protein and antioxidants. Not to mention that it is filling and perfect for my school lunches. For more information, check out the Thailand Canada Chamber of Commerce post here.


Maison du Vins / Sense of World Taste – Sukhumvit Soi 19


This is the first gluten free shop I found in Bangkok. It took some time to find, since I didn’t know what I was looking for. It’s about 500 metres from Sukhumvit, on the left hand side.

It is Thai owned and run, so don’t expect a high level of English to be spoken here. They carry a lot of Orgran products, including crackers, cookies, a range of different pastas, cake mixes, brownie mixes, bread mixes and pancake mixes. They also have a few different types of flours and lentils.

You have to walk around the corner and enter the door to the side here.


Don’t be put off by the ‘Maison du Vins’ – there’s a great selection of wines you wouldn’t find in your local 7Eleven. They also have some interesting imported meats.

Word of caution: if they are running low on stock – don’t get upset. You need to check their availability every once in a while, as it takes time for stuff to reach them. But you can request things and buy in bulk (and get a discount!)

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