Fah Lanna Spa Chiang Mai - Poplar Travels
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Nov 25 2014

Fah Lanna Spa Chiang Mai

After six hours of driving our scooter back from Chiang Rai, Thailand, the day before, we were more than excited to spend the morning at Fah Lanna Spa. This traditional Thai spa sits on a beautiful street in the northern part of the Old City of Chiang Mai. At the entrance, we were met with tropical trees and flowers surrounding a calming pond built under a walkway extending back to the private treatment rooms. We were warmly greeted as soon as we stepped inside and sat watching the Koi fish swim around while we sipped our welcome tea.

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The private treatment rooms at Fah Lanna are named after different cities in Thailand and decorated according to that city’s signature crafts and products. Our large room with two massage beds and a spa tub was decorated with small ceramics painted in warm hues. The dimly lit room was spacious but still cozy with closet space and a bathroom.

The session began with our masseuses washing our feet with bergamot and a tarmarind and sea salt scrub. We changed into comfortable, loose clothing and lie on the treatment beds with a bowl of floating lotus flowers beneath us. Soothing music played softly and the smells of herbs and flowers made for a complete experience involving all our senses.

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Eric chose the Tok Sen treatment, a massage unique to Northern Thailand and a specialty of the Fah Lanna Spa. Wooden blocks are used to tap along the meridian lines of the body to release tension and toxins. Before the tapping begins, a menthol balm is applied to warm up the muscles. It is not for the faint of heart and each knock of the blocks drives deep into the tissues. If you have tried a Thai massage and think you can take a little more intensity, this treatment might be perfect for you. The pounding bordered on uncomfortable, but was never painful, and afterwards Eric felt very relaxed.

I lay listening to the methodical knocking of the wooden blocks while I received my more gentle Thai Herbal Ball Massage. Kaffir lime, lemongrass, ginger and other herbs are packed into a heated compress. The cloth ball is then used to massage the body. I thought it would end up being more of an aromatherapy session, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was definitely a massage. I love the smell of lemongrass and even mixed with the strong menthol from Eric’s treatment, it was calming.

Fah Lanna Spa might be unassuming from the outside, but once inside the wooden entryway, the noise of the city disappears and you are transported to a beautiful soothing oasis. The natural elements of Fah Lanna spa – the wooden tools, the herbs, the water feature, even the name which means Lanna sky – work together to create a serene environment where you can’t help but relax as soon as you enter.

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Quick Tips

  • Fah Lanna spa has private treatment rooms for one or two people
  • For a unique treatment originating from this part of Thailand, try the award-winning Tok Sen massage.
  • Give yourself time before your scheduled appointment to enjoy your welcome tea and fill out your assessment card. Take the time afterwards to sit and enjoy the water feature and let the effects of your treatment sink in to get the most of your spa day.
  • Schedule an appointment at night for a candlelit experience
  • Visit Fah Lanna online to see their full spa menu and to make an appointment


Poplar Travels was a guest of Fah Lanna Spa. Our opinion is always our own.

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Evanne and Eric left jobs in Washington, D.C., headed for Chiang Mai, and look forward to exploring everywhere in between.

  • Looks like a place i will have to book a spa day for my wife! We have not had many of those anymore being on the road.Good post.

    December 1, 2014 at 8:52 pm
  • Hibiki J.

    I’m glad that reviews like this exist! It is hard to sort through all the trip advisor reviews for the many spas in Chiang Mai. I am making my appointment at Fah Lanna spa soon!

    December 2, 2014 at 9:37 am
    • Evanne

      Thanks for reading. Enjoy! I’m sure you will have a wonderful, relaxing experience!

      December 3, 2014 at 8:01 am
  • Shayna

    I just booked a massage here for me and my boyfriend! Thanks for the great tips!

    December 9, 2014 at 9:43 pm
    • Evanne

      Yay, you’re welcome!! Enjoy!

      December 11, 2014 at 12:20 pm

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