Best Places to Get a Massage in Bangkok
Thai massage is probably the land of smiles’ most famous cultural export. The practice dates back to ancient times and techniques have been refined from as early as the 12th century, prior to the Sukhothai period. It has roots in India during the time of Buddha, with his physician said to have created one of the earliest forms of Thai massage and with the spread of the religion to the east, the massage techniques came with it, along with a whole host of traditional medicines and therapies.
Health benefits associated with treatments are likely to be short-term, they’re certainly not a miracle cure for back or muscle ailments. However, they’re not without their benefits. Thai massage is world famous for its incredible ability to relieve stress, especially with tensions in your joints and muscles. It is the perfect remedy for someone travelling or after a long flight. Though actual research into the long-term benefits of the treatments is limited, there have been suggestions that it could be used as a treatment for people on the autistic spectrum to promote relaxation and mental wellbeing.
In any case, if you’re a visitor of if you’re an expat, it’s certainly something you should experience at least once during your stay in the Kingdom. We’ve put together a rundown of the best Thai massage experiences available in Thailand today:
Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School
Wat Pho, housed alongside the famous Temple of the Reclining Buddha, and is the apt and spiritual home of traditional Thai massage. The stunning temple surroundings play home to the school which is where any famous masseuse honed their craft to begin their journey as an expert therapist. The temple houses ancient artifacts that are carved with the instructions for Thai massage. They also boast a vast array of pharmacopeia, with other a thousand herbal cures available for various ailments, all planted on site.
This school is the best option for cost-effective and authentic experience. You can expect no luxury, as you may do in some of Bangkok’s five star hotels. However, you can rest assured that you will receive an expert and relaxing deep tissue therapy that will rejuvenate your body.
As previously mentioned, this location also offers a Thai massage courses, including a short five day course for beginners, or a five week professional therapy course for people looking to go into business. As the official institute of learning for Thailand, you will not find a better place to educate yourself on the art and culture of Thai massage.
Let’s Relax Onsen & Spa
Let’s Relax is a very well established chain of spas that operate around Thailand, but with great luxury comes higher prices. However, in the treatment circle, you do tend to get what you pay for and this stunning brand is no exception to that rule.
One of their newer branches is hosted in the beautifully decorated and suitably elegant The Grande Centre Point Thonglor, and both the spa hotel has a world class feel about them. With stunning lounges, the spa has been fitted with a wonderfully minimalist feel, while still embracing its elite nature, it is impossible to feel relaxed and at home here. This branch is also host to the largest onsen in Bangkok, something you must experience if you get the chance. Their massage packages do allow you access to the onsen bath without additional charge, meaning you can truly spend the whole day rejuvenating.
When your treatment has come to a close, you will also receive a delicious portion of traditional Thai sticky mango rice! The perfect way to round off a wonderful day at the spa and with a taste to rival some of the most famous restaurants in Bangkok.
Health Land is part of the best-known and biggest chains of Thai massage parlors that operate in Bangkok and Thailand, they have been operating for over 20 years and have become a staple location for locals, tourists and expats alike. It’s set apart from the competition because their locations are huge, the Asoke branch is set inside an 8-storey building and they’re designed to have the feel of a lavish luxury mansion, with beautiful furnishings and traditional decor.
Each of their branches is equipped with the services of hundreds of massage therapists and prices are very reasonable because of their sheer volume of clients. It’s advisable to book an appointment or you need to wait to be seen during their peak times. They also sell a range of high quality relaxation and aromatherapy products at excellent prices.
Asia Herb Association
As the name suggestions, Asia Herb Association use ancient traditional herbs in their treatments that are all organically grown in their own farms near the Khao Yai Mountains. The herbs make up the ingredients for their luxury oils and aromas that are present around the chain’s branches, which includes a stunning location in Thonglor, which includes a yoga studio. One of their specialties is the fresh herbal ball therapy, a process of muscle compression done with hot balls of herbs, the perfect way to relax.
You will notice that Asia Herb Association has some influences from Japan. That is down to the owner, Yumiko Kase, who is an expat from Japan and has been living in the kingdom for two decades. She became a fanatic of Thai traditional massage and therapy and has made it her life’s goal to master it and to transform it into a luxury service.
The brand also has a retail side which offers their unrivalled herbs, oils and aromas to allow you to bring relaxation into your own home.
Urban Retreat Spa & Thai Massage
Another one of Bangkok’s thriving massage and spa chains, Urban Retreat, offer the patrons a wonderful escape from city living into a relaxation paradise, even in the heart of one of Asia’s busiest hubs. You will be greeted with the relaxing scent of lemongrass and soothing hymns to allow you to leave the hustle and bustle behind.
Though not as large as some of the brands in this article, their locations offer a cosy and intimate settings. It still offers the sense of prominence, while still feeling warm and comfortable enough to help you unwind after a busy day.
You will be blessed with excellent service throughout your service with them, as well as beautifully decorated and expansive treatment rooms, designed to allow the release of stress, including huge floor to ceiling windows offering stunning natural light, while the tall swaying grass in the grounds will shield you from the public outside.
Yunomori Japanese Onsen & Spa
The Yunomori Japanese Onsen & Spa boasts Thailand’s first authentic Japanese onsen and they combine the ancient art of onsen bathing culture with traditional Thai massage practices. Their baths are filled with special and sacred waters that are sourced from the Wat Wangkanai thermal springs, they are all temperature and mineral balance to detox your skin and body.
The brand has locations both in Bangkok and Pattaya and they’re absolutely stunning, with attention to detail and research that promotes relaxation and well being. They also offer Gold and Platinum memberships that allow unlimited use of the onsen baths for a year and prices for basic Thai massage remains competitive.
Perception Blind Massage
Perception Blind Massage launched in 2014, with a completely unique concept. They bring gainful employment to visually impaired massage therapists and they have found huge success in their two Bangkok and one Chiang Mai locations. The brand says that their therapists disability brings about a heightened sense of touch and sensitivity and their dark but comfortable treatment rooms are designed to simulate the lack of sight experienced by the blind.
You will find the prices to be mid-range, but the cause is fantastic and to support businesses like this is to support the disabled people of Thailand, who would have struggles finding employment without them. You can expect exceptional care and world class hospitality and all three of there locations.
Baan Sabai is located in the heart of the city in Sukhumvit and also operates a location the glamorous city of Rome in Italy, building on their success in their home country. The branch in Bangkok has a very personal and cosy feel, with the perception of a small family run business. For those who don’t want to compromise on quality, but would like to keep a handle on the purse strings, this location would be a perfect choice.
Lose yourself with quality Thai massages and treatments provided by their expertly trained and knowledgeable team of therapists, all conducted in their comfortable and cosy traditionally decorated rooms. You will be hard pressed to find better value for money in the city.