Thai massage is perhaps one of Thailand’s greatest cultural export. It’s an ancient practice that has been used since the 12th century, before the Sukhothai period. Having an authentic Thai massage is an experience you must have when visiting Thailand.
TIPS FOR TREATMENTS
Crowds know best, so when you see parlours with a decent number of customers, you know you’ll be in good hands (literally). Empty parlours are most likely empty for a reason, so try to avoid those (unless recommended otherwise).
Tipping is recommended after every session. A 100 baht tip is usually a safe number, but feel free to tip more if you enjoyed your masseuse’s treatment. You can ask for their names too, so you can request for the same therapist on your return trip.
Let’s Relax Onsen & Spa
Let’s Relax is an established spa chain in Thailand. It’s pricier than the usual massage parlours, but you do get what you pay for.
We visited one of their newest (and grandest) branches at The Grand Centre Point Thonglor, and it truly felt world-class. Spacious lounges, outfitted in calming zen-style decor (and bonsai plants!) immediately tells you, “let’s relax!”
This branch is also home to Bangkok’s largest onsen, and it’s a must-try. Thankfully, Let’s Relax offers many massage packages that include access to the Onsen bath, so you can definitely spend a whole day here just rejuvenating.
While most spas tend to just serve tea at the end of a treatment, Let’s Relax gives you a small serving of traditional Thai mango sticky rice. It is delicious! Personally, it tastes as good as if not better than the famous one at Supanniga Eating Room. Or maybe that’s just the effect of their treatments.
Recommended Treatments: Onsen, Thai Massage
Branches in Bangkok: 11
Thonglor Branch (Recommended)
Centre Point Sukhumvit 55, 300 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), Bangkok 10110
Daily, 10am to 12midnight
Asia Herb Association Herbal Massage & Spa
From its name, Asia Herb Association specialises in its use of traditional Thai herbs, oils and aromas in all its treatments. These are all produced at their own organic farms at the foot of the Kho Yai Mountains. We highly recommend their fresh herbal ball therapy – its ability to thoroughly regenerate you feels almost like magic.
If you’ll notice, Asia Herb Association has quite a bit of Japanese influence. That’s because its founder, Yumiko Kase, relocated from Japan nearly two decades ago just for this. She fell in love with Thai traditional therapy, and made it her life’s goal to master its art.
Our favourite branch is the one at Thonglor, Sukhumvit 55. It’s an entire 4-storey building is theirs, complete with a yoga studio at the top floor. You can also buy their vast selection of fine herbal blends for your own home therapies.
Recommended Treatments: Fresh Herbal Ball Therapy, Thai Massage
Branches in Bangkok: 5
Thong Lo Branch (Recommended)
58/19-24 Sukhumvit Soi 55, Klongton-Nua, Bangkok 10110
Daily, 9am to 2am
Tel: 02-392-3631 (Advance Reservations Recommended)
Asia Herb Association – Website
Health Land Spa & Massage
Health Land is perhaps the largest and most well known massage parlour chains in Bangkok. What makes them stand out is their sheer size and scale. The Asoke branch is an 8-storey complex that impresses even if you don’t consider their lavish interior furnishings.
With hundreds of therapists at every outlet, their prices are comparable to even the dingiest street side parlours. Expect quite a bit of a crowd because of this. But with such great value, it’s not surprising really. For best results, do call in advance and make a reservation.
Recommended Treatments: Thai Massage, Aromatherapy Body Massage
Branches in Bangkok: 9
Asoke Branch (Recommended)
55/5 Sukhumvit 21 Road, Asoke, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Daily, 9am to 11pm
Tel: 02-261-1110 (Advance Reservations Recommended)
Health Land – Website
Urban Retreat Spa & Thai Massage
Urban Retreat’s spas are true escapes from the bustle of the city. Step through their doors into a peaceful sanctuary. Let wafts of soothing lemongrass and the hymns of new age music set you at peace as you leave the busy world behind.
It’s a cosy retreat, not as large as the others on this list – but that gives it a very quaint and intimate setting. It’s got that sense of exclusivity and prestige that might just do the trick when you’ve been out and about all day.
Excellent service all around, complete with lofty treatment rooms that elevate your mood instantly. Check out their massive floor to ceiling windows! You can leave these open to let in the natural sunlight. Don’t worry – the tall swaying grass surrounding their grounds shield you from prying eyes on the streets.
Recommended Treatments: Thai Massage, Urban Touch (Warm Oil Massage)
Branches in Bangkok: 2
Asoke Branch (Recommended)
1 Sukhumvit Road, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110
Daily, 10am to 10pm
Yunomori Japanese Onsen & Spa
Yunomori is the first to set up an authentic Japanese Onsen in Bangkok. It combines ancient Japanese Onsen bathing culture with traditional Thai massage. The bath uses sacred water sourced directly from the thermal springs of Wat Wangkanai, all temperature and mineral balanced to detoxify the body.
The spa grounds are beautiful, immersing you in a truly relaxing experience both inside and outside.
Recommended Treatments: Onsen, Aromatherapy Body Massage
Branches in Bangkok: 1
Phrom Phong Branch (Recommended)
A-Square 120/5 Soi Sukhumvit 26, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110
Daily, 9am to 12midnight
Tel : 02-259-5778
Yunomori Onsen & Spa – Website
Wat Po Thai Traditional Massage School
Wat Pho, or The Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is also the spiritual home of traditional Thai massage. The majestic temple complex is where any masseuse worth their salt begins their journey as master therapist. Within the temple grounds are tablets inscribed with ancient instructions for the practice of Thai massage. More impressive is its pharmacopeia recording over a thousand herbal cures – the ingredients for which are planted all over the temple grounds.
This is perhaps the Mecca of Thai Massage. Getting a massage here is as traditional and authentic as it gets – no frills, just solid and effective deep tissue presses that thoroughly rejuvenate your body.
If you wish, you can take up a course in Thai massage here too. They have introductory classes that last five days. To hone your skills, you can take their 5-week professional therapy course. As the official institute of higher learning for Thai massage in Thailand, there’s no better place to master the art and culture of Thai massage.
Recommended Treatments: Thai Massage, Foot Massage
Branches in Bangkok: 8
Watpo Branch (Recommended)
2 Sanamchai Road, Wat Po, Tatian, Bangkok 10200
Daily, 9am to 6pm
Wat Po Thai Traditional Massage School – Website