Spending an afternoon in the spa

By Kirsty Turner

Thailand is famous for its spas

Most people visit Phuket to rest and relax. The island’s intense natural beauty is a great place to chill out and simply lay on the beach and soak up the sun. However, when the heat gets a bit too much you need to retreat to the cool and tranquil atmosphere of the spa.

Spa treatments are becoming increasingly popular in Phuket and many people schedule a visit to the spa into their weekly routine, no matter how busy they are. Actually, a visit to the spa can be a welcome break from the stress of everyday life and provide the balance you need in order to meet every challenge with a smile. For the weary traveller, who’s spent hours on a plane or bus, it can seem like a relevation.

One great reason for indulging in spa treatments in Thailand is that they tend to be much cheaper than in Western countries. Massage and pampering treatments have been a part of Thai culture for hundreds of years. Thai people have always believed in the restorative power of Thai herbs to heal and rejuvenate the mind and body.

Phuket’s modern spas combine these ancient practices with modern treatments and offer an extensive range of beauty treatments. Most spas include a sauna or steam room and a Jacuzzi, and these are great place to relax in before your massage as they will warm your muscles and make it easier for the therapist to work her magic.

Many first time visitors to the spa are nervous as they don’t know quite what to expect. The key to success is to go with the flow and take your time. You should avoid eating a big meal and drinking alcohol before entering the spa as it can b e difficult to relax when you are feeling bloated. Bring a book and your ipod, although you might feel so relaxed you won’t want to read, and of course there’s all the soft tinkering ‘spa music’ and the natural sound of water features everywhere.

Although most massages require you to be naked, you don’t have to strip if you don’t want to. Thai people appreciate modesty and if you wear loose clothing the masseur should still be able to work on your muscles through the clothing. Some spas even provide special clothing for you to wear during the massage.

Spas are affordable to all, and highly recommended

Don’t be afraid to speak up if there’s anything you don’t like or simply want done differently. Each person is different and even the wrong background music, temperature or lighting can have a big effect on your massage experience.

Breathe deeply during the massage as it will help you to relax and try to keep your body loose. Concentrate on the massage and allow you mind to be still. Don’t get straight up after the massage; you should lay still for a couple of moments and then make sure you drink a glass or two or water before stepping back outside into the heat.

To get the most from your massage it is important to visit the spa on a regular basis as the healing effects of massage are cumulative and the more often you get a massage the better you will feel. Many Thai people visit the spa once or twice a week for a relaxing and restorative massage, which could be the real secret behind their tranquil natures and the famous Thai smile.

Although massage is the highlight of the spa experience, modern spas also offer a range of other great treatments. Take the time to try out a few different treatments and create a package that leaves you feeling fantastic.

Many people like to combine a massage with an intensive facial or hair treatment, while for others a Thai herbal foot treatment is the height of luxury, especially if you’ve been doing a lot of walking. For the complete all over body experience, try a body scrub or wrap. These are a great way to nourish and moisturize skin that has been dried by the sun.

The spa is a great place to meet people and catch up on little gossip, especially if you can speak a little bit of Thai. Thai masseurs love to gossip and a visit to the spa can provide an interesting insight to Thai culture.

There are a large number of spas to choose from in Phuket, all varying in the services they provide. With great service and a large selection of quality treatments, Oasis Spa is one of the best spas in Phuket. Some of Phuket’s other leading spas include The Banyan Tree Spa, Angsana Sheraton Grande Laguna, Body & Mind Day Spa and Senses.

Note! For complete peace of mind when travelling, regarding health and safety, travel insurance is essential. Even though Thailand is safe and you’re unlikely to have any problems at all with these spas, insurance cover is advisable in case you have an accident and need hospital care. It’s not expensive in Thailand but worth being covered to avoid any nasty bills. Find insurance for short trips online.

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