Thai massage is always close to the top of the to-do lists for many visiting Thailand – right up there with temples, Pad Thai and elephant rides. With so many massage options available to visitors, it can be difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 5 places in the city where you can get a genuine Thai massage.
Unlike Western massage styles, the Thai massage focuses on pressure points. Treatment often begins with the feet and gradually moves upwards towards the head. Rhythmic compressions and manoeuvres are employed to relax and realign energies in the body. Varying amounts of pressure are applied to energy lines along the body in accordance with the Ayurvedic principles of balancing one's energy.
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour
- Banyan Tree's Apsara Dinner Cruise
- Vertigo & Moon Bar Rooftop Dining
- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Shangri-La Hotel's Buffet Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
- Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Half-Day Tour
Interested in this tour? Book it here.
Local Thai massage shops – great value
You can’t really walk down a street in Bangkok without coming across a massage shop. They really are as ubiquitous as 7-Elevens. Massage shops are usually spread over several floors. On the ground floor, you’ll find a row of chairs and footstalls where you’d sit if you request a foot massage. Upstairs, there’ll be a series of mattresses separated by curtains for Thai massages. You put on some pyjamas that make you look like a 19th-century labourer, so the massage therapist can bend and stretch your limbs easily.
Because there are so many in the city, it would be impossible to pick out a selection of the very best, so it’s more a case of common sense. Often smaller hotels will be able to make recommendations too. Most massage shops will speak basic English and prices will be advertised outside the shop. On average it costs 200-300 baht for an hour’s Thai massage.
Asia Herb Association
With around 5 handy locations in Bangkok, Asia Herb Association is a smart choice if you want a massage treatment that’s designed to accommodate foreigners as well as locals. You’ll need to book ahead (the receptionists speak English), pick a time and duration and you can select the treatment once you get there.
Besides a Thai massage that usually lasts an hour, you can also get oil massages, scrubs and a Thai herbal ball treatment here. You’re given a tick sheet at the start where you can ask the massage therapist to focus on certain areas of your body, highlight any health issues you might have and choose the amount of pressure you would like. There are private rooms in which you can enjoy the treatments either alone or as a couple. Below is the contact info on the main Sukhumvit 24 Phrom-Phong Shop location.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 7am to 2am
- Location: 50/6 Sukhumvit 24, Khlong Tan, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 261 7401
Wat Pho is considered the home of traditional Thai massage, with the guiding principles of massage actually inscribed in stone within the temple grounds. Massage skills have been honed and cultivated at Wat Pho for centuries so you are in really good hands. Wat Pho also runs a school, so if you enjoy the treatment you could even take a new skill home! We recommend that you book your massage before you look around the temple as after midday it can get busy.
A massage in the air-conditioning here is a welcome treat after visiting the temples. A recent refurbishment has added a floor to ceiling windows that offer a great view of the glittering buildings, but if the sun is out they will close the thick blinds and you can forget about the bustle of Bangkok. The price for an hour’s Thai massage here can be higher than regular massage places but is worth it for experiencing a slice of Thai history. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 8.30am to 7pm
- Location: 392 / 33-34 Soi Phenphat 1, Grand Palace, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)81 854 1055
From the outside, Health Land looks like a retro mansion and inside, it’s a little like a hospital. But if you speak to the locals, this is often their number-one pick for massage treatments in Bangkok – the facilities are high quality and the massages are of great value (especially their 2-hour Thai massage options).
Other treatments include foot reflexology, body polish and facials as well as enjoying the spa Jacuzzi or tourmaline sauna that’s designed for one person. Be sure to book ahead as Health Land is extremely popular. There are several Health Land spas throughout Bangkok. Below are the contact details for the main branch in Asoke.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to midnight
- Location: 55/5 Asok Montri Rd, Khlong Toei, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)2 261 1110
Massage by the blind
It’s often said that because of their lack of sight, blind masseurs are more in tune with your body and can provide better treatments. It’s also a great source of income for blind people, who often struggle to find employment in Bangkok. Perception Blind Massage is one great place in Bangkok where you can enjoy a massage delivered by blind therapists.
For first-timers, it may seem strange at first, but the massage therapists are very friendly and you’ll often find yourself soon relaxing and enjoying the experience.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 10pm
- Location: 56-58 N Sathorn Rd, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
- Tel: +66 (0)82 222 5936