As a huge massage fan, I’ve tried the experience all over the world. The expensive London hotels where you are swathed in expensive fluffy towels and heated blankets, the beach-side rubdowns in Goa that cumulate in oily – and euphoric – head massages, my salt-soaked hair bound into tight plaits, or the firm strokes of a Balinese massage in a rickety and charming roadside salon.

But one of my all-time favourites has to be the bend-you-everywhere Thai massage; the ultimate stretch and, in my opinion, a thoroughly body-calming experience. In Thailand, wellness is a very serious business, with massage regarded as an important part of Thai medicine.

The technique actually reportedly came from India originally, as Thai Massage and Thai Medicine are said to have been founded by legendary physician Shivago Komarpaj, who honed his craft over 2,500 years ago. Shivago Komarpaj originated from northern India and was said to be the personal physician of Buddha himself.

For those who haven’t tried the experience themselves, Thai massages are traditionally carried out on the floor on a firm mat rather than a massage bed, and the technique is markedly different to the Swedish or deep tissue massages we’re accustomed to in the UK. Oil isn’t used and the muscles aren’t worked as deeply. Instead, the therapist will use their hands, thumbs and elbows to stretch, pull and gently rock the body.

These are the best spas in Thailand for an authentic Thai massage.

Best spas in Thailand

Six Senses, Yao Naoi

Perhaps the most luxurious place this Team Coco member has ever stayed, the spa at Six Senses Yao Noi is next level.

Enjoy holistic treatments in individual treatment salas set on the tropical hillside, with a Thai-inspired long house and open-air yoga studio with a jungle backdrop. Heaven on earth.

Amanpuri, Phuket

A real show-stopper of a spa, that centres around ‘immersions’ that have been dreamt up by Aman’s CEO, wellness expert Vladislav Doronin.

The spa features a hideaway setting, made up of traditional villas nestled in a former coconut plantation. Thai massages are a holistic experience here, teamed with pioneering fitness classes and meditation sessions for a 360-approach to wellness.

Chiva-Som, Hua Hin

Perhaps the daddy of all Thai spas, Chiva-Som is a complete sanctuary, where you’re guaranteed one of the best Thai massages in the world. Winner of numerous accolades, this really is the spa to beat. Their wellness philosophy centres around a complete approach to wellbeing – mind, body and spirit – and their excellent massages follow suit.

Kamalaya, Koh Samui

Centred around the Indian philosophy we’ve learned is an integral part of Thai wellness. This Thai spa is the product of two powerhouse leaders – John and Karina Stewart.

John spent 16 years as a monk in the Himalayas and brings this knowledge to the spa, while his wife Karina is a Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Expect a Thai massage with some serious credentials to back it up.

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