A Trip to Bangkok’s Best Spa: Pañpuri WellnessMatt Wilson
A review of Pañpuri Wellness, one of the best spas in Asia.
Read on for my experience baring it all in the Onsen Bath… and nearly having an out of body experience at Bangkok’s best spa!
Sore from my Muay Thai Boxing session and in need of reprieve from the chaos of Bangkok, the award-winning Pañpuri Wellness Onsen baths sounded like just the place. If there is a place to go over the top on a massage experience–Thailand is it.
I was greeted as one might expect in “the land of smiles.” An ice-cold towel was quickly placed on my neck and I began to enjoy a finger root tea–similar to ginger they told me.
Next, I received an electronic wristband for my locker, the Onsen area, and to pay for any incidentals. I received my yukata robe and was whisked away to the locker room.
Eager to put on my robe and honestly a little overwhelmed–as I didn’t want to break any cultural norms–I got suited up and walked into the Onsen looking as so:
I took one step into the Onsen and immediately a naked Asian man told me to put my robe back in the locker and strip down bare-assed.
You’ve probably heard Onsens are fully nude, tattoo free, and separated by sexes. In Thailand at least, the men chose to use a small towel to cover themselves modestly. The only sign I saw said, “no full body tattoos.”
Hot and Cold Plunge
I’m a big fan of cold thermogenesis for fat burning, immune system support, and mood-boosting, so I was thrilled to see 16.5*C water waiting for me. I closed my eyes–small towel covering my gonads–and went into a meditation. The meditation both helped me stand the cold and feel more comfortable in my nude surroundings. I brought myself to a strong shiver as recommended by Dr. Jack Kruse and then decided to warm up in the Himalayan Salt Sauna.
One of the coolest things parts of this protocol was shivering and sweating at the same time. My core temperature dropped in the cold plunge and I continued to shiver for the next ten minutes while sweating in the sauna. I’m a big fan of sweating for detoxification, as recommended in Dr. Dan Pompa’s detox protocol.
There are lots of places you can find cold pools and get a massage, but once I hopped into the nutrient-rich Onsen Bath, I knew this was the most special part of the experience.
I haven’t felt water so milky since the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. I can only hope these nutrients were absorbed through my skin–I certainly came out of the Onsen feeling silky smooth.
To be honest, I was enjoying my time in the Onsen so much I was actually disappointed when it was time for my massage…
Pañpuri was just one surprise after another…The entire experience was an event not to be rushed.
I walked to my “Massage Suite” in my yukata and was then instructed to make yet another wardrobe change into my “organic robe.”
The massage started with an organic foot scrub… The towels were warm and the service was flawless. She looked after small details, asking if I was happy with the light, music, and temperature in the room.
My therapist was well trained, but I was so relaxed, I don’t think it mattered what she did… she could’ve been terrible and I don’t think I would have noticed.
The massage came to an end and I was served another tea and fruit plate.
I decided to have a light dinner at the cafe– salmon, grilled vegetables and a green juice before calling a Grab back to my hotel.
Improvements and tweaks for next time:
If I could make one change to the spa, I would put in an infrared sauna, rather than one just warmed with rocks. Infrared saunas have amazing benefits combining light exposure and heat.
On my end, while I thought shivering and sweating at the same time was cool, I found that going in the sauna first before the cold plunge was much better. I sweated more quickly and then was able to cool off in the plunge.
Going from extreme heat to extreme cold is something I want to explore more. When I jumped into the cold pool I began to meditate counting down from 200 and I felt like I could have easily left my body. For anyone interested check out the Wim Hof Method.
I can’t recommend my experience at Pañpuri enough. The staff was delightful and I’d be thrilled to splurge again in Thailand. The Onsen + one-hour massage was 2.700 baht or about $80 USD.
Dinner was around 600 baht or $20. Not bad for five-star service!
Address: Pañpuri Wellness, 12th Floor, Gaysorn Tower 999 Phloen Chit Rd, Khwaeng Lumphini, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand