We really didn’t know what to expect when we decided to come to Thailand, that was why a lot of the things about Thailand came as such a nice surprise.
One of these nice surprises was discovering traditional Thai massage. We got addicted to this (and for $7/hr, it’s hard not to) and got one at least every other day (what a tough life traveling can be).
Places offering Thai massage are everywhere, and some sidewalks have been converted into an impromptu spa simply by placing some reclining chairs.
I have always found that even the deep tissue massage one gets here in the States is never – and not trying to sound too masochistic here – painful enough. Some of you will know what I mean, no?
Thankfully, I never had that problem with traditional Thai massages. This is the massage for those who crave that invigorating feeling, that ‘Oh, it hurts so good’ sensation.
My first time getting a Thai massage came as a mild shock. It was a lot different than what I was used to.
First, they ask you to change into a pajama/robe thingy and proceed to wash your feet.
Second, the masseuse use not only her hands, but her arms, elbows, knees and feet – that’s right, feet – to apply the pressures.
Third, some of the areas they work on are just simply more intimate than your regular Western massage. Your butt, inner thighs, outer thighs, and your groin area are all fair game. And not only that, they get pretty close to you – physically. As in, they get all over your body while pulling, stretching, and bending limbs.
And fourth – I had the skinniest Thai women with an amazing vice-like grip that made me go ‘Oh my holy mother gaaawd’. I mean, the one masseuse I liked to go to in the states was this burly Mexican guy (who has sadly moved to Texas) and whom compared to these Thai ladies, had a grip as soft and gentle as a fluffy kitten. How did they get so strong?
And if the vice like grip is not enough, they stand on you. I found out about this as I was laying face down and noticed an out-of-this-world strong pressure on my pelvis. I was like, “What the heck?” – craning my neck I noticed the shadow cast on the wall.
“Eeeek, she’s standing on my back!!”
Which, was awesome. If you like hard massages.
Thai massage is for you if you:
– find regular deep tissue massage is not deep enough
– are looking for an invigorating more than a relaxing massage
– are not particularly ticklish or shy
Thai massage? One more reason why we love traveling in Thailand so much.
Where to find a good Thai massage place in Bangkok and Chiang Mai
Unfortunately, not all Thai massage places are created equal. If you ever had to endure a bad massage (where 1 hour feels like an eternity), you know it’s important to find a place that works for you.
For a Thai massage place in Bangkok, we love Boonsita in Soi 1, Sukhumvit (the best Thai massage yet!), and in Chiang Mai, we like Lila Thai Massage (3 locations in Chiang Mai) that employs rehabilitated women prisoners. Some hotels in Bangkok and Chiang Mai also offer good Thai massage but these will be more expensive.