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Spa In Thailand [1]



1. Introduction
The word ‘spa’ probably comes from the name of the town Spa in Belgium.
East meets West, a spa is a place to go to treat and heal your mind, body and spirit using a variety of different techniques such as massage, scrubs, yoga, acupuncture, reike, reflexology, nutrition and body wraps etc.

Back ground / History of Spa in Thailand

Introduced in the early 1990s, spas in Thailand are a relatively new phenomenon – but one though, which has only very recently sky-rocketed in popularity. Not only are spas popular and fashionable with foreign tourists and expatriates, but the local Thais are also enjoying this new alternative therapy, one which is often ideal to ensure a smooth natural balance. A balance that has been rocked in Bangkok in particular by the unhealthy, serious life-styles and polluted environs. At first, spas were only to be found in 5-star hotels but they have now mushroomed everywhere.

Thailand: Asia’s Spa Capital

Thailand is a destination to indulge in this pastime therapy. The country prides itself in countless spas offering the highest world-class services at extremely reasonable rates. Much of the recent success of this therapy is due to the tremendous support given by the Thai Spa Operators Association. Not only have they assisted in the training of therapists to international standards, but they have also trained them in keeping methods traditionally and distinctively ‘Thai-style’. And it is this kind of service along with the one and only Thai Smile that are the key factors for so many visitors to revisit a Thai spa. Furthermore, most clients walk away from the spa with their head held high in the air with a feeling of rejuvenation and a well-being of mind, body and soul. Thai spas are not only quantity, but also quality. Spas can be found at all the major tourist destinations in Thailand such as: Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Ko Samui, Chiang Mai and Hua Hin.

Facts and Stats

During the years 2000-2002, the growth of the spa industry in Thailand rocketed by an exhilarating 64% and since 1999 Thailand has secured itself a top-5 world rating. In fact, Thailand is the second highest ranked spa destination of the world with an overall grade of 93%+ (just slightly behind Australia).

Chiva Som International Health Resort located in Hua Hin, is ranked number one in the world while the Regent Chiang Mai Resort and Spa is ninth.

During the period June 2001 – June 2002, 230 operators serviced 2.5 million international clients, creating revenue of $85 million. This amount well exceeds that of competitive countries, such as Singapore ($35 million) and Australia ($15 million). In total, 79% of all clients were foreigners.

Services and Hospitality

Thailand is a friendly country and a must-go for all those who enjoy nothing more than a rejuvenating spa. The country is famed for its world-class natural healing techniques and especially Thai massage. For those who appreciate the authentic Thai way of life, there are numerous home-stays, including those in the unique hill tribe villages of the north.

Thailand, home of Theravada Buddhism, is the ideal location to do a bit of spiritual soul-searching and reap the benefits of Vipassana meditation, a technique which has exploded in popularity in Western countries. Then, there is the sumptuous cuisine to wine and dine on, with cooking classes available too.

2. Reasons for Thailand’s spa popularity

Well, for one, they are rather different to the ones found in the West. The spas in Thailand are based on the deep-rooted harmony of Buddhist teaching, so creating an inner spiritual calm, complementing the equation of mind, spirit and body. Meditation is also used. Spas in Thailand have an altogether very Thai touch embodied upon a time-honoured healing tradition based on herbal and holistic remedies and generations of folk wisdom.

Thailand also offers award winning service at reasonable rates and makes a beautiful spot for a holiday vacation.

Reasons why most people go to a spa in Thailand
Thailand prides itself as having some of the finest spas in the world offering services at extremely competitive rates. Since Thailand has never been colonialized, the original culture has remained embedded within society and foreign visitors will find the Thais very hospitable and friendly.

Not only does Thailand, boast some of the most dazzling islands and beaches in the world, but also year-long sunshine; perfect for those who wish to get a lovely shiny suntan.

Thailand has an abundance of reasonably priced top quality accommodation where for the equivalent price of a completely basic home-stay in Europe, visitors to Thailand can enjoy the luxury of a four-star hotel. Then to top that off, they can soothe their aching minds with ancient Buddhist a meditation technique, qi gong, tai chi, solar bath and yoga.

3. Thailand’s Spas

There are numerous different types of spa services in Thailand which focus heavily on Thai massage. They are categorized as massage for health, massage for beauty and traditional massage.

The myriad variety of spas in Thailand is quite phenomenal and is found at almost every destination in Thailand. They are:

– Destination spa, Destination spa, the famous destination spa in Thailand is no doubt, the one and only Chiva Som which attracts floods of visitors from all around the world who come to Thailand specifically to be pampered there.

– Hotel spas / Resort spas / Retreat spas: Popular spas like there can be found at the top hotels in the major tourists destinations such as: Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Bangkok, Ko Samui and Chiang Mai.

Popular Hotel and Resort Spas are:

Bangkok – The Oriental, Imperial Queen’s Park, JW Marriott Hotel, Marriott Royal Garden Riverside, The Regent Bangkok, Peninsula Bangkok, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Sofitel Central Plaza, Thavorn Beach Village, The Westin Banyan Tree

Phuket – Amanpuri Resort, Banyan Tree Phuket, Central Karon Village, Diamond Cliff Resort & Spa, Dusit Laguna Resort Hotel, The Evason Phuket, Pearl Village, Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket

Koh Samui – Central Samui Beach Resort, Central Samui Village, Health Oasis Resort, The Samui Dharma Healing Center, Santiburi Dusit Resort, The Spa Resort and Health Center, Tamarind Retreat

Pattaya – Central Wong Amat Beach Resort, Royal Cliff Beach Resort

Hua Hin – Chiva-Som, Melia Hua Hin, The Evason Hua Hin, Royal Garden Resort, Royal Garden Village, Sofitel Central Hua Hin Resort
Chiang Mai – The Regent Resort Chiang Mai (Lanna Spa)
– Day / City spas, are located in the center of the major towns, Bangkok particularly. They are aimed at business folk who have been stressed out because of their rushing serious life-styles. It may take only 30 minutes or one hour.

– Club spas: emphasize on strong body through different facilities being massage, steaming and sauna, hot and cold Jacuzzi, yoga and other physical exercises without a stay at the provider’s place.

– Cruise ship spas are popular in Thailand with the older generation who wish for not a spa but also the views of the sea and a breath of fresh air. There is also a healthy Thai Spa diet for passengers during the voyage.

– Home / Mobile spas are spas in Thailand where the trainer visits the client and not the other way around, beats having to travel through the busy streets of Bangkok.

– Hospital / Medical spas are provided in Thailand’s top hospitals. They are popular patients who are being treated in the hospital.

– Fusion spas are popular with hip Thai and foreign people who want to try out the latest most fashionable type of spa.

– Theme spas are in the form of Thai-style parks, gardens or parties.

– Genuine spas are the type of spas where their themes are deeply rooted in Thai Buddhism and its cultures and traditions.

– Mineral spring spas attract those who have an infatuation for Thai mineral water and its various minerals.

– Detoxicating spas are popular with Bangkokians whose body has suffered due to unhealthy urban life-styles.

4. Popular Spa Treatments in Thailand

Centuries worth of tradition have devised a myriad of different methods to ease the mind and make one feel a whole lot better. They include: pastes, mudpacks, specialized oils, muscle kneading and water jets. More of them are:

Body scrub which includes
– Honey scrub
– Herbal slat scrub
– Vegetable body scrub
– Loofah scrub
– Lavender and apricot scrub
– Royal lotus scrub
– Wasabi scrub
– Chocolate scrub
– Fruit scrub

Body Wraps: the techniques include:
– Red clay body wrap
– Dead sea and caramel body wrap
– Algae body wrap
– Sun soother body wrap
– Vegetable body wrap
– Royal lotus body wrap
– Chocolate body wrap
– Wasabi body wrap

Facial by the use of different types of products such as creams, gels, serums, electrical currents, oils and oxygen jets.

Hands and feet: There are three different types of techniques available in Thailand to both enhance the appearance and health of the hands and feet. There is a manicure (appearance), pedicure (health) and ‘happy feet’ (health). The latter of which can be used to treat dry, tired or anti-bacteria feet which have been worn down due to Thailand’s streets and hot and wet climate.

Waxing by using depilatory or shaved cream. There are different types of waxing available in Thailand, they include:
– Brazillian waxing, Bikini and Male genital waxing
– Underarm or arm waxing
– Foot waxing
– Full wax
– Eyebrow waxing
– Back waxing
– Complete body wax
– Chest waxing

Massages A massage is the most popular technique offered at spas in Thailand. The stats coming out of Thai spas conclude that 85% of the treatments given are massage. There are however, many different types of massage.
– Thai massage is by far and away the most popular type of massage provided by Thai trainers. Many of the clients feel satisfies in the knowledge that the massage they received was traditionally authentic, unlike perhaps the ‘Thai’ massage they are used to back home.

Other types of massage available in Thailand include:
– Swedish massage
– Aromatherapy massage
– Ayurvedic massage
– Craniosacral massage
– Deep tissue massage
– Lymphatic massage
– Sports massage
– Stone massage

Alternatives:There are two types of alternatives:
– Yoga
– Acupressure

– Hydrotherapy Bath: For e.g. Jacuzzi
– Inhalation Therapy: where the saunas or steam rooms are scented with oils or herbs.
– Aromatherapy
– Thalassotherapy
– Vichy Shower

Other Types of Treatment
– Mud
– Signature Treatments

Spa Per individual has soared in popularity in recent years in Thailand. The individual spas available in Thailand include:
– Spa for Women is popular with both local and foreign women who prefer the company of people of their own sex. They are excellent places for meeting new friends

– Spa for men is popular with both local and foreign gay men who prefer the company of people of their own sex. They are excellent places for meeting new friends

– Spa for couples attracts mainly foreign couples who are on holiday in Thailand together. They offer a good way to rejuvenate that relationship.

– Spa for mom attracts mainly local Thai women who have been feeling wear and tear of both mind and body.

[to be continued]

Source of content and photographs : Tourismthailand.org & Wikipedia.org

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