Thailand // The north //

Hot springs, spas and traditional massage


Just because you’re hundreds of kilometres from the nearest beach, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good soak. The Pai area is home to some natural hot springs and a clutch of decent spas, all of which offer massages.

Accessible from the minor road south from Wat Mae Yen, 2km beyond Joy Elephant Camp, are some hot springs, part of Huai Nam Dang National Park, which have one or two very hot, rough pools that aren’t really up to much. Much better than the pools, however, are the nearby spas, which put the piped hot water from the springs to more productive use. Pai Hotsprings Spa Resort, down a side road about 1km north of the springs, has two shady mineral pools and provides various massages, plus accommodation with spa-water bathrooms.

Massages are also available at several spots in town, including Mr Jan’s guesthouse, famous for its Thai and Burmese/Shan massages and saunas. Having trained at the Old Medicine Hospital in Chiang Mai, the staff at Pai Traditional Thai Massage (PTTM) on Thanon Tessaban 1 have a good reputation for traditional massages, as well as foot, herbal and oil massages and saunas, and run government-approved, three-day massage courses.

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