by Aimee Claire,
Thailand is a beautiful country, full of fascinating places to visit, but where do Thai people themselves go on vacation? One of their favorite destinations is Chiang Mai, which is nestled among the forested mountains of the north, where rivers thunder into sparkling waterfalls and elephants carry logs between the villages and shrines. It’s an amazing place to explore old traditions or to indulge in delicious khao soi and other culinary treats. For the ultimate in relaxation, though, a trip to the city’s spas should not be missed; they attract visitors from all around the world.
Located in the opulent Ping Nakara Hotel, on the banks of the Ping River, this spa is easy to reach and offers an intensely personal experience, with treatments adapted to suit individual customers’ tastes. It uses Ayurvedic techniques, including scented oil massages and acupuncture. Afterwards, clients have the option of relaxing at the bar or taking a refreshing dip in the pool.
Angsana Spa Green View
Enjoying a fruit scrub, a tomato body wrap or a cucumber cleansing facial in the tranquil atmosphere of this beautiful day spa, makes it easy for visitors to leave all their troubles behind. They may be on the expensive side, but the Thai massages offered here are really something special. There are open air pavilions available, which are just perfect on a hot day.
A wonderful place to get away from it all, this little wooden spa resort is rich in traditional atmosphere. Visitors are greeted with tea and led through peaceful gardens to private gardens where they can enjoy full body scrubs, wraps and massages. Saunas and baths are also available and afterwards there’s sticky mango rice to sample before guests have to return to the real world.
Four Seasons Spa
Situated in peaceful Mae Rim, out among the hills, this simple but elegant spa is a former winner of the Conde Nast Traveler’s World ‘Best Spa’ award. It features outdoor showers and soaking tubs, herbal steam rooms, yoga and reiki treatments, along with traditional oil massages. Though the prices are high, it’s an indulgence guests will never regret.
Healing Rishi Spa
Set amid lush gardens, just outside the city, this spa provides a personal transport service for its clients, so they are indulged from the moment they leave their hotel. It also has accommodation on site and is widely acclaimed for its weight-loss programs. With charming staff and superb Thai massages on offer, it’s a real treat.
Getting to and around Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai has an international airport, which is easily reached from the hub airport of Hong Kong. Despite the need to transfer, cheap tickets are surprisingly easy to find, especially at the beginning and end of the season. Chiang Mai can also be reached by train or bus from Bangkok, ideal for those who would like to explore a little more of the country during their visit. Once there, the easiest way to get around is by tuk-tuk, small three-wheeled taxis. The fares are not unreasonable and most drivers understand some English. Visitors can expect better service than in traditional taxis, of which there are few. If in luck, travelers may find that their drivers will tell all about the city, further enriching their Chiang Mai experience.