Thailand has dozens of popular hot springs frequented by locals and tourists alike. Though mainly in the north of the country, these idyllic settings for rest and relaxation are worth traveling for. Whether the steaming mineral water and mud found at these destinations are actually healing is a matter of speculation, but that they are restorative is beyond doubt. The following are some of the country’s best.
1) San Kamphaeng
One of the best-known springs is near Chiang Mai. San Kamphaeng features a complete package of health treatments. It is also conveniently near the privately operated Rung Arun hot springs.
2) Pa Pae
Also located near Chiang Mai is one of the most luxurious hot springs in Thailand. Pa Pae Hot Springs (Pong Nam Duet) is the best of both worlds. Unlike many of the hot spring resort areas in the country, Pa Pae is neither over-commercialized nor lacking in amenities, set as it is in a beautiful valley in a well-maintained park.
Although it is located in a public park, this private resort has been granted rights to extract the precious spring waters and divert them to a well-appointed facility offering Thai massage, recreational activities, and a range of other services.
4) Emerald Pool
The so-called Emerald Pool and Hot Springs in Trang (near Krabi) is one of the few really excellent hot springs destinations that is located outside of the north. This network of naturally heated pools sits above a free-flowing river that allows for a refreshing dip in between soaks.