But with every road in Chiang Mai swamped with massage places, it is easy to feel confused on where your money will be best spent. To help here is my little black book of where you can find the best massage places in this city, along with some common thai spa etiquette. I am in my own massage a bit of a massage addict. I must have tried out over 30 massage places here in Chiang Mai alone for the sole purpose of work and researching this article of course, ahem. Places do vary hugely from being a very relaxing and beneficial experience for mind and body to Chiang a complete waste of money even given how generally cheap they are, which is saying something.
I hope that by sharing my experiences and tips here, it will help you make sure that every massage you have is divine and beneficial for both your body and wallet. Some even offer complimentary services to add to the whole experience like a hot tub, pool etc so you mai spend the whole day there. But to expect to pay fairly high rates for the luxury of these amenities. Middle of the price — there is quite a variance within these places but the one thing they all have in common and the way I have defined this tier is that all these places offer private treatment rooms.
This means you get the privacy of having your treatment alone, or with a loved one if you wish as most have treatment rooms with two beds for couples. The majority of the places I recommend in this post fall into this category. Lower end — the name of this sounds a bit seedy and misleading.
These places can still offer brilliant massages and indeed one of my favourite places to get a massage — coming in at 4 in this post — falls into this category. Often the only difference of these places to the middle end tier, is that they tend to offer shared massage spaces. This means that you will be massaged on your own mattress on the floor with a fabric curtain separating you and other customers a few inches away.
This tends to lead to a less relaxing experience as you can hear all the noise of other people talking etc. However, these places are as professional and clean as the middle range places. They still offer good customer service; they will wash your feet before treatments and serve you with a hot herbal tea afterwards just the same as the middle tier places. Golden Tip: In lower end places, I would recommend visiting early in the day because massage places tend to be quieter then.
This means you are quite likely to be the only person in the communal massage room at the time.
This has happened to me quite a few times which meant I got a private treatment experience for a snip of the price. Unlike with western oil massages, you keep your clothes on with a Thai massage as can be seen in the photo below.
Before you start the treatment they will give you a clean set of loose clothes to change into and then apply pressure with their fingers over your muscles. Rather than a stroking motion used in oil massages, it is more firm pressing down over one area, then moving to another area before pressing down again. These massages tend to be quite firm and acrobatic; as they move your limbs in different positions so that when they press over your muscles you get the maximum stretch.
The first time I had a massage in Thailand, I committed a few faux pas of my own.
This was quite embarassing and took away from the relaxation of the experience somewhat. So to save you the same fate, follow these tips and you will impress the Thais with your etiquette:.
Get off at Saen Prung gate, cross the main moat road to the old city side and walk up Samlan Road for a few minutes. Kiriya spa is on your right hand side down a small drive, but there is a on Samlan Road so you cannot miss it. Website: www. They offer a wide range of treatments with your usual suspects such as Thai massage, as well as some more unusual treatments for Thailand like a Swedish massage.
They also offer a wide range of mouth watering body wraps that sound good enough to eat such as papaya or chocolate almond. I chose the oil massage.
Where to find the best massages in chiang mai, thailand
They offered me a selection of oils to choose from and I went with the blueberry oil which smelled divine. It was firm so that I felt it deeply working my muscles but at the same time relaxing so that I nearly fell asleep. This is a rare combo to find not just in Thailand but anywhere. Prices range from thb for an hour Thai massage or foot massage to 1,thb for an hour oil massage and 2 hour spa packages starting from 3,thb. This cute peaceful little spa house is located off the main road down a small driveway.
It is beautiful and serene location with no noise apart from the sound of water trickling down the stones. There is a footpath leading from the main building where the reception is located to the separate treatment rooms. The treatment room was perfectly clean with flowers on the bed and in dishes of water including the one they wash your feet in before the massage begins as well as gentle music playing and low light which set a relaxing mood.
From when I arrived at the reception, a lady greeted me and welcomed me in to show me the treatment menu.
She spoke very good English so asking any questions I had was not an issue. She then asked me to smell their large selection of oils to choose which one I wanted to have during my massage. I was then shown to my room and introduced to my masseuse. She was very polite and again spoke good English.
She washed my feet in warm water with flowers and used fresh lime to scrub my Chiang before leaving the room to let me get changed. If you walk down Nimman Road from Maya shopping centre it will take you about 10 minutes to get to soi With soi 17 on your left hand side keep walking for a few more seconds and you will see a car park on your left. Walk to the bottom of mai car park and you will see Nimman House. I have always enjoyed my prices here and there is a very massage range of treatments to choose from.
I have tried the Thai, oil and foot massages plus facial and body scrubs. They were all carried out well with firm pressure and attentive staff who focus on any areas that you ask for special attention. However, do note that Thai facials rarely feature steam and extraction so it is more like a facial massage with cleansing and mask. However nice none the less. The reason I did not give full marks is that the treatment rooms have mattresses on the floor rather than raised beds as you can see in the photo I took.
To be it makes it feel less luxurious. They have the best prices I have found out of everywhere I have gone, and then on top of that their treatments and service are excellent. So overall this is the best value for money I have found.
An hour Thai massage will cost you thb, an hour foot massage thb, an hour oil massage thb, and a body scrub thb. They also do awesome packages, and you can pretty much pick whatever treatments you like and they will package it up and give a discount. The reason why this place loses a point from full marks is that the treatment rooms have mattresses on the floor rather than raised beds as I mentioned above. Apart from that the rooms are private, and have a low relaxing light and nice brick work walls.
There is also a treatment lobby seperate from the reception room, which has low light, relaxing music and some nice flowers. This place never seems to be that busy so always serene. I consider I have found a hidden gem here.
Thai massage styles and best massage places in chiang mai
The quietness and calmness of the place is apparent from when you enter their courtyard with the mai of the water fountain trickling away to the quietness of the treatment rooms. The staff speak basic English so they understand what they need to in order to deliver your treatments to your needs but are not great conversationalists. There is always a staff member in reception to sit you down with a menu and a drink before you choose your treatment, and then a biscuit and hot herbal tea again when you finish.
However, wherever you are and whichever branch you want to go they have free car pick up to make it super easy for you. I had an exotic Tok Sen Lanna massage which is basically an all over body oil massage with use of a small wooden mallet which they use to hit over your Chiang and shoulders to un-block the meridian lines in your body. This was a lovely treatment and a very good oil massage which as I have commented on I have found rare to find in Thailand. However, the use of the wooden malot lasted about 5 prices and cost ificantly more than a standard Thai or hot compress massage so for me massage down on price but the actual treatment was very relaxing.
I also had a shirodhara head treatment where they dripped hot oil on your head to relax you and gave you a scalp massage.
What is a thai massage?
I have a bit of a weak spot for scalp massages and this one was divine. I went with my mum who had the same treatment along with herbal hot compress massage which she really enjoyed. She said it was very gentle which she wanted not like the hot compress massage I had in Bangkok where the lady whacked me over the head with the compress! This is where Mai felt Oasis spa fell down on price. But due to the lack of facilities and the limited use of the wooden malot on my massage treatment as I mention in this review, I thought it was a bit over-priced. It costs 1,thb for an hour Thai massage, 1,thb for an hour foot massage and more for the exotic treatments like those we had.
As you can tell from the photos, the decor and landscaping of the spa was very beautiful. The light sound of relaxing music and trickling water as you walked over the paving slabs to get to the spa massage was a warm welcome of what to expect. And although set back from a Chiang busy main road, you could not hear a sound. The wooden huts where the treatments are carried out are furnished beautifully with prices outdoor shower areas. However, where this place lost a point was its lack of amenities.
For a high end spa, I would expect extras like an outdoor seating area where you can relax with a book and your drink before or after or even in-between and make a day of it!
There was also no washing ritual like a bath, pool or sauna to use before your treatment either.