In this post, we’re going to touch some statistics and look at where we find the largest number of Thai Massage course and training centers in Thailand and where the least. We’ll also briefly look at what kind of Thai Massage courses and classes you find where.
Before we start, some remarks: this post is about massage schools that are fully or more or less accessible for foreigners, that is — for non-Thai. There are a lot more training centers to be found in Thailand, notably a large quantity of so-called vocational schools, like those associated to the UTTS and other Thai Healing Arts organizations. For more on this subject, you may also read our article How Thai People learn Thai Massage in Thailand.
Currently we have about 250 Thai Massage schools and training centers in Thailand registered in our database. Mind that many of those schools additionally offer a variety of one or more related training courses, like Thai Foot Massage, Abdominal Massage, Oil Massage, Thai Yoga, Thai Herbal Compress Massage, Tok Sen, and so on.
The above counts for more than 1500 Thai Bodywork courses and workshops being offered, not even counting that some of those are available in several levels, teach-the-teacher-training, or specializations, like for instance Thai Massage Level 1 to 5, Thai Massage Therapy Levels, etc.
Okay then, having said that, now first a quick overview of massage school distribution across Thailand, where we only take into account the best known cities, islands, and/or regions.
CITY/REGION % of TOTAL Chiang Mai 39% Bangkok 23% Koh Phangan 7% Phuket Island 6% Pattaya 4% Isan 4% Chiang Rai 3% Koh Samui 2% Rest of Thailand 12%
From the above it’s clear that Bangkok and Chiang Mai together take up almost two-thirds, that is — 62 % of all Thai Massage schools and training centers in Thailand. The islands together make up for another 15%. The Isan region, Pattaya, and Chiang Rai each take about 4% of all Thai Massage schools. The rest of Thailand, spread from North to South make up for the last 12%.
With almost 40% of all massage schools, without any doubt the center of Thai Massage training in Thailand. Here you’ll find an abundance of schools, among them famous ones like ITM, TMC, Sunshine, Loi Kroh, Pichest, Ong’s Thai Massage, Massage School for Health, The Old Medicine Hospital, Sinchai, and many, many more.
For Thai Abdominal Massage (Chi Nei Tsang) and Thai Tok Sen you can not avoid Chiang Mai, because those modalities are very rarely offered in other places in Thailand. Most of the Thai Massage teacher training courses are also to be found in Chiang Mai.
With 23% of all Thai Massage training centers, Bangkok boasts about a quarter of the total Thai Massage course and workshop offerings in Thailand. Of course, in Bangkok you’ll find the most famous Thai Massage school in the world, the Watpo Medical & Thai Traditional Massage Center. Additionally, in Bangkok, you’ll encounter quite a number of schools specialized in Thai Spa & Wellness training.
Although Bangkok has quite a lot of massage schools and some instructor training options, you’d most likely want to go to Chiang Mai if you’d like to become a Thai Massage instructor.
Koh Phangan, Phuket, and Koh Samui together come to a total of 15% of all massage schools. Not much compared to Bangkok and Chiang Mai, but still definitely some choice. Certainly it’s pleasant to study Thai Massage and being near the beaches at the same time.
Pattaya, Chiang Rai, and Isan
Pattaya, one of the main holiday destinations in Thailand, about 100 kilometres south of Bangkok, offers about 4% of all Thai Massage schools in Thailand. Chiang Rai, the next major city north of Chiang Mai, has about 3%, and the North-eastern region of Thailand (Isan) about another 4%, the schools of the latter region scattered across 20 provinces.
The Rest of Thailand
Well, we find the last 12% of all massage trainers (about 30 Thai Massage schools) spread over the rest of Thailand, some in the north or central Thailand, others on other smaller or less known islands and in the south in the regions below the islands, let say, in the Satun and Songkhla regions. The deep south, counting the Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat provinces basically have no massage schools accessible for foreigners.