Thailand has been called "the land of smiles," but it could also be called the land of spas. Therapeutic retreats are found throughout this Southeast Asian kingdom, naturally emanating from a Buddhist culture accentuating relaxation, wellness, meditation and nirvana. After a hard day elephant-trekking in the jungle, kayaking at Phang Nga Bay or tuk-tuk driving through Bangkok’s traffic jams, Thailand’s resorts, hotels and urban oases provide spa treatments designed to soothe seething souls and soles.
I recently experienced some of the best Thai spas across the country, from tropical islets to downtown Bangkok’s high-rise hustle and bustle.
A true spa resort
There are many resorts around the world that have spa components, but few flip the table to make it a spa with resort components. The upscale Six Senses Destination Spa Phuket, located on Naka Yai Island near Phuket, has done just this however, emphasizing spiritual and physical healing and calming. Wellness director Bryan Hoare says, “This is a spa-centered place quite different from the average resort spa experience. It’s a mixture of spa, holistic, fitness and integrated health. It’s more than a spa—people come for the wellness experience and destressing.”