Categories > Guides and Tips
- Best Time to Go
- Things to Know
- How to Get around Old City Chiang Mai
- Benefits of a Thai Massage
- It can improve your sleep quality
- It can improve your energy
- It can help against headaches
- It can improve your range of motion and flexibility
- It can relieve pain and relax your muscles
- It can boost your circulation
- Where to Get the Best Thai Massage in Chiang Mai
- Upscale Options
- Cheeva Spa
- Oasis Spa
- Fah Lanna Spa
- Mid-Range Options
- Makkha Health and Spa
- The Giving Tree
- Prison Massage
- Chiang Mai Women Correctional Institution Vocational Training Center
- Women's Massage Center By Ex-Prisoner
- Association Chiang Mai of the Blind / Thai Massage Conservation Club
- Supattra Blind Massage
- Association Chiang Mai of the Blind / Thai Massage Conservation Club
- Home Service Massage
- RLAX - Home Massage & Wellness
- Healthy Massage at Home Chiang Mai
- Where to Stay in Old City Chiang Mai
- Nine Hotel Chiang Mai
- Aksara Heritage
- Estia Chiang Mai Hotel
- Lamphu House Chiang Mai
- Tips When Getting a Massage in Chiang Mai:
- Where to Get Thai Massage Classes in Chiang Mai
- Ong's Thai Massage School
- ITM - International Training Massage School
- Sabai De Ka Massage School
- What to Expect from Chiang Mai Weather
- Apps to Download for your Old Town Chiang Mai Massage
Picture this – a tropical island basking in warm sunlight with clear skies overhead and some mango sticky rice on the side table while you’re getting a relaxing massage. Well, it doesn’t have to stay in your head as you can get all this Chiang Mai Thailand.
You can get Thai massages here from tons of different establishments but we’re here to give you the ultimate guide on where to get the best ones while you’re in the country. So, sit back, relax, and mentally prepare for that Thai trip to get that dream massage.
Best Time to Go
The best time to visit Chiang Mai and get a relaxing and soothing Thai massage is from October to April.
During this period, you get cool and pleasant weather which adds to the relaxing vibe of getting your entire body massaged deep down in your muscles and joints. However, this means that these months are peak season for tourists as well.
You may also want to visit Chiang Mai during the months of November and February to witness the province’s festivities while getting that massage. You’ll experience the Loi Krathong Festival in November and the Chiang Mai Flower Festival in February.
Things to Know
Currency: Thai Baht
(Check the current exchange rate)
Calling Code: +66
Address: Old Town Chiang Mai
How to Get around Old City Chiang Mai
Car Rental- You can rent a car in Chiang Mai through various car rental companies such as Hertz, Budget, and Avis. Competitive rates are also being offered here by smaller car rental companies so we suggest that you ask around for the best price.
To rent a car, you need to present your driver’s licence and your passport. Once you get your rental, you can drive around the city with ease and convenience, especially if you’re travelling around the city with your family or loved ones.
Songthaew- Chiang Mai residents and locals will use Songthaews for their daily transportation and if you want to feel like a local, you can always take these to make your way around the city.
They’re cheap and you can easily flag one down almost anywhere. These songthaews usually follow a specific route but if you ask the driver to take you somewhere specific, they’ll be happy to oblige (for a fee, of course).
Tuk-tuk- Considered an icon here in Thailand, Tuks-tuks are fun to take a ride in if you want to get around the Old City. They’re also a bit faster compared to the standard songthaew.
However, we highly recommend that you haggle or negotiate the price of the fare with the driver first to avoid any misunderstanding after you get to your destination.
You can find most of these tuk-tuks around tourist areas, hotels, and bazaars so it shouldn’t be a problem flagging one. Plus, you can take pictures or selfies with one to share with your loved ones and family back home– a truly unique ride from Thailand!
Motorbike rental- If you want to get around the Old City faster, then renting a motorbike might be your best option. Plus, it’s also cheaper than renting a car and is less affected by sometimes heavy traffic Thailand is notorious for.
You can usually get 100 to 125cc motorbikes here but if you want something beefier, then you can look for other rental companies offering larger bikes like dirt bikes, touring bikes, and road bikes.
Benefits of a Thai Massage
It can improve your sleep quality
You may experience significant improvements in the quality of your sleep after getting a Thai massage.
It can improve your energy
Your energy levels can also be improved with some Thai massage thanks to its assisted and active movements and stretching during sessions.
It can help against headaches
Thai massages can also help you out if you’re suffering from migraines or headaches as this kind of massage can help relax muscles and promote improved blood flow.
It can improve your range of motion and flexibility
Through assisted stretching, Thai massages can help improve your flexibility and range of motion.
It can relieve pain and relax your muscles
This is one of the major benefits of Thai massages. It does this by helping you do some stretching and by manipulating some pressure points
It can boost your circulation
Your blood circulation will be greatly improved by a Thai massage by improving blood flow through stretching and assisted movement.
Where to Get the Best Thai Massage in Chiang Mai
1. Upscale Options
Price Range: $$$
1. Cheeva Spa
- Monday to Sunday, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Cheeva Spa is a phenomenal choice for you if you’re into aromatherapy sessions! They offer foot massages and facials but their most in-demand service would have to be their aromatherapy massage which we recommend you try out when you’re in Chiang Mai.
Plus, they offer a lot of spa options for you to choose from and include their entire body spa treatment. This full-body service is ideal if you have a lot of tense muscles and sore joints from all that travelling and touring around Thailand.
The spa also gets a thumbs up from us for using organic products that are not only all-natural and safe but are also environmentally friendly!
2. Oasis Spa
- Monday to Sunday, 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Here’s another spa place to check out. It uses traditional Northern Thailand massage practices which they combine with more modern methodologies– perfect if you want that tender but firm massage technique.
What we liked most about this Spa, however, is that you can visit the nearby Wat Prasing Temple after getting a relaxing massage. A big plus is that you can also avail of their free shuttle service to get to where you want within Chiang Mai City.
3. Fah Lanna Spa
- Monday to Sunday, 12:00 NN to 9:00 PM
Fah Lanna Spa is one of the most popular massage parlours in the Old City Chiang Mai area. It’s also near the night bazaar so it’s perfect if you want to do some shopping after getting a relaxing massage here.
You’ll immediately notice that the spa has a calm and idyllic charm to it thanks to its traditional style facade and interiors. It’s also a bit on the pricey side of the spectrum but it’s definitely more affordable than Western massage places.
Overall, we recommend that you consider Fah Lanna Spa if you have the money to spend and if you want to get that Thai massage in an aesthetic setting or environment.
2. Mid-Range Options
Price Range: $$
1. Makkha Health and Spa
- Monday to Sunday, 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Staying true to its traditional roots, Makkha Health and Spa is located in one of Old City’s ancient homes. You’ll surely appreciate the old-style vibe this establishment has and the photo opportunities you can get while you’re getting your massage here!
This spa also uses all-natural products (like oils and creams) made from flowers, almonds, and various medicinal plants which are perfect if you’re going for a healthier and more natural alternative to health and beauty products.
2. The Giving Tree
- Monday to Sunday, 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
The name of this massage place, “The Giving Tree” fits perfectly with this establishment as they can “give” you some of the best massage and spa packages on this side of Thailand.
Before you even get that massage, you’ll be offered a plate of delicious cookies. You’ll then be led to one of their private and delightfully air-conditioned rooms where you will get the massage and pampering you deserve.
Don’t hesitate to tell the friendly and attentive staff here if you want your massage to be a bit lighter or a little harder. They’re very professional here and will do the best they can to please their customers.
Price Range: $
1. Chiang Mai Women Correctional Institution Vocational Training Center
Address: Ratvithi Rd, Si Phum Sub-district, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Phone: +66 53 327 053
- Monday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
This massage location may seem strange to most people who are not local but here (and in most parts of Asia), women prisoners are allowed to do work such as providing massages. The exciting part is that you literally have to go to prison to get their service!
No need to worry though, as you’ll get the service with friendly prison staff around. It’s also relatively cheap at around 250 THB per hour and you get to experience some of the best massage techniques in all of Thailand.
However, we recommend that you come early as most slots get filled up quickly. The place and the unique service it provides can lead to crowds lining up for it so it’s best to proceed on site as early as you can.
2. Women’s Massage Center By Ex-Prisoner
Address: Women’s Massage Center By Ex-Prisoner
Phone: 18/2 Wiang Kaew Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
- Monday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
This massage centre offers services from former female prisoners which means you’ll get one great massage from the highly experienced masseuses here. The venue is also relaxing with incense sticks and calming interiors to soothe you into the experience.
You’ll also get your money’s worth here as they only charge around 250 THB for an hour’s worth of massage. Depending on your preference, you can also opt to go for a head massage, neck, and back massage, and our favourite, the foot massage!
Association Chiang Mai of the Blind / Thai Massage Conservation Club
Price Range: $
1. Supattra Blind Massage
- Monday to Sunday, 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
This blind massage centre may look like a simple establishment, but it offers great massage services thanks to its well-trained team of blind masseuses! You can request the therapists here for either a soft or hard massage to relieve your tension.
A lot of the locals in the area book the services of this massage centre because they actually get to experience something similar to “acupressure”. This is where certain pressure points get pressed so that your muscles can get more relaxed.
So, if you want more than just a simple massage, why not visit Supattra Blind Massage to relax your tense muscles? We guarantee you it’s worth it!
2. Association Chiang Mai of the Blind / Thai Massage Conservation Club
- Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
The Association Chiang Mai of the Blind is usually overlooked by tourists due to its simple exteriors. However, it is a hidden gem indeed and one you shouldn’t miss.
Their blind masseuses are some of the best therapists in the area, starting off with light presses and gradually working their way up to identify pressure points and release all your tension. It’s not surprising that this place is a local- favourite then!
Home Service Massage
Price Range: $$
1. RLAX – Home Massage & Wellness
Address: (Areas served) Cha-am, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Phattaya City, Bangkok
Phone: +66 53 920 174
- Monday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
If you feel like staying in your hotel room but want to get the best massage service in Chiang Mai, then we highly recommend booking a session with RLAX – Home Massage & Wellness.
It’s one of the most popular home service massage options here and it’s easy to see why. Their therapists are well-trained and very professional and can provide you with very specific massage techniques to reduce or totally remove any pain!
What’s more, you can request which therapist you prefer especially if you already tried and liked the services of one of their staff.
2. Healthy Massage at Home Chiang Mai
Address: Chiang Mai, Thailand 50200
Phone: +66 803424800
- Depends on the client’s booking
Here’s another home massage service you can book if you want top-notch relaxation in the comfort of your hotel room.
Healthy Massage at Home Chiang Mai offers standard massage packages such as foot, back, and head massages but we recommend that you go for their 2-hour massage deal. That way, the therapist can get to work on your problem spots more!
Their therapists will also bring scented candles to provide your room (or location) with that aromatherapy vibe experienced in most spas. You simply don’t need to go out for a massage when you have these massage experts around!
Where to Stay in Old City Chiang Mai
Nine Hotel Chiang Mai
This hotel should be on top of your list if you want to see everything there is to experience in Old City Chiang Mai. Located at the heart of the Old City, Nine Hotel Chiang Mai will give you walking-distance access to most attractions around the area.
You’ll also get spacious rooms and some of the comfiest beds you’ll ever sleep in here in Thailand. Plus, the hotel has a swimming pool with some lounge areas around it– ideal if you and your family just want to hang out after an entire day of going on tours.
We also recommend that you don’t skip breakfast here as their buffet spread is one of the most varied we’ve seen. The hotel offers local dishes and some standard Western fare (like pancakes and waffles) which we’re certain you and your family will like.
Phone: +6653 279 224
The Aksara Heritage is the hotel for you if you want some peace and quiet during your stay here in Old City Chiang Mai.
Located near some of the busiest streets in the city, the hotel is able to maintain its calm and peaceful atmosphere thanks to the surrounding greenery. If you’re a health buff making your way through Thailand, you’ll be glad to know that they have a fitness gym.
You can also just relax by the hotel’s swimming pool if you feel like you’ve done enough travelling for one day. Their breakfast is also something you should look forward to as the dishes are divine and the garden dining area offers a phenomenal view of the hotel!
Estia Chiang Mai Hotel
If you want a budget-friendly hotel with all the amenities and creature comforts you need while travelling around Chiang Mai, then this hotel might be your best option. It has traditional and home-style interiors which will immediately make you feel welcome.
You also get access to the hotel’s pool and free coffee in the hotel lobby. What’s more, you can easily access most of the temples in Old City Chiang Mai from this property- most of them are just 7 minutes away from this location!
Bars and party places are also pretty close by so if you want some fun and excitement with your friends, you can simply walk to the bar or club of choice to drink and party the night away!
Lamphu House Chiang Mai
Lamphu House Chiang Mai is a mix of the modern and the traditional and it shows in the hotel’s design choices. The facade and the lobby may look vintage but the rooms you can get here give off a modern and minimalist vibe.
The swimming pool of the hotel is also a sight to behold as it’s surrounded by perfectly trimmed plants, bushes, and small trees where you can sit and relax while reading a book or join your loved ones in splashing around its refreshing and cool waters.
A big plus for us, though, is that this hotel can help you arrange tours if you want them. Just ask the friendly hotel staff if they can get you great deals on elephant experiences or cooking classes around the area.
Tips When Getting a Massage in Chiang Mai:
- You may want to bring your own baby oil when getting a massage in Chiang Mai (or anywhere else for that matter). This is because some shops use inferior oil which tends to stick to your skin, making you quite uncomfortable afterward.
- Most massage parlour customers prefer getting their massages in the afternoon or evening. If you want a little more peace and quiet, then opt to get your message earlier in the day.
- You can also bring your own towel to ensure hygiene when you lie down face-first on a massage table.
Most of the massage parlours that are high-end (and those that are featured here) observe high standards of hygiene but we can’t say the same is true for all low-end ones.
Where to Get Thai Massage Classes in Chiang Mai
You don’t always have to be on the receiving end of a massage service since you yourself can learn the ancient art of Thai massage while in Chiang Mai.
Imagine impressing your loved ones back home with some soothing back massages once you return from your trip! Most Thai massage classes will ideally last a couple of weeks but you can take a crash course that will only take 1 to 2 days to complete.
There are a number of Thai massage schools in Chiang Mai, but we strongly recommend that you only enrol with those that have been accredited by the Ministry of Health. This will ensure that you get training only from experienced professionals.
Below are some massage schools you should consider when in Thailand:
Ong’s Thai Massage School
This massage school has been certified by the Thai Government so it’s guaranteed to give you some high-quality training when it comes to Thai massage techniques. Depending on the course you enrol in, you get to learn different massage techniques.
They can teach you Karsai Nei Tsang (pelvic massage), Chi Nei Tsang (internal organ massage), and Toksen (hammer massage), among others. You can take a 1-day course which costs around 2,000 THB while a 5-day one costs around 4,500 THB.
ITM – International Training Massage School
ITM – International Training Massage School is one of the most prestigious massage schools in Thailand and is accredited not just by the Ministry of Health but also by the Ministry of Education.
This massage school has also received multiple awards so you can rest assured of the high standards you’ll get here when you enrol. They offer programs based on your skill level and you can register for their Level I Beginner Course up to the Advanced Course.
Their 3-day training will run you around 4,500-5,000 THB while their 5-day training will cost you around 7,000 THB. It’s all worth it though as you’ll be trained by some of the best massage therapists in the country.
Sabai De Ka Massage School
Address: 93/2 moonmuang Rd, Sriphum Muang Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Phone: +66 81 881 3697
Sabai De Ka Massage School has a team of professional masseuses that can teach you the traditional art of Thai massage! If you want a crash course on learning about massages, then this is the massage school for you!
The shortest course you can enrol in here is their 3-hour course on Head, Face, Back, Neck, Shoulder Massage Course which costs around 1,200 THB. For more comprehensive training, you can apply for their 5-day course for around 8,000 THB.
What to Expect from Chiang Mai Weather
Cool Season: Chiang Mai’s cool season covers the months of November to February. During this time, the weather is just perfect for tourists as it is cool and comfortable enough for you and your family to tour the area.
However, the months of December and January of the cool season can bring in large throngs of crowds due to the New Year’s celebration. Expect heavy traffic and prepare to do some itinerary planning to make the most of your time during these months.
Hot Season: The hot season in Chiang Mai runs from March to May. The air can be especially dry during these months and this is also the hottest season here.
If you visit during April, you’ll notice a very festive vibe across Thailand as locals will be celebrating their Thai New Year or Songkran. To cool down, you can engage with the locals in some good old-fashioned Songkran water splashing!
Rainy Season: The months of June to October are mostly rainy here in Chiang Mai. August and September are the worst in terms of rain as heavy downpours can happen all throughout the day during this period.
You can still enjoy your time here despite the rain as the temperature is definitely much more comfortable compared to the summer season. Also, expect the greenery to be much more lush– perfect if you want that vibrant green background in your selfie!
Apps to Download for your Old Town Chiang Mai Massage
Grab: Ride-hailing, food, grocery, and delivery services
Line: Call and messaging, file sharing
Klook: Book tours, attractions, tickets, restaurants, hotels, and other activities
Agoda: Book hotels, flights, and other activities
Google Translate: Translate various languages