They say you should try to do something new every day, right? Well, that’s why I decided I had to go out and have another first. One that really should be on everyones bucket list visiting Thailand. A proper, traditional, Thai massage.
I have to say, I’ve had some mixed feelings about getting a massage in Thailand, as you hear stories and see signs saying ‘pretty 18+ girl massage’. I also wasn’t quite sure about the Thai massages itself, as I heard the massage is more so moving you in different positions and pressing your muscles instead of the relaxing, oily back massages I’ve only ever had. But since I was way too curious about what it actually would be like and knew I would forever regret it if I wouldn’t get one, I set aside all my doubts and went for it.
I looked up a few recommended places to go, since it was going to be a first and I wanted to get it done properly to be able to judge it right. This doesn’t mean I was looking for an expensive one though. I still had my budget set on 200Baht (8AUD, 5EUR) for an hour, which is the price they usually advertise them for.
Finding a very high recommended one close to the Night Bazar I usually get my dinner from, I decided that was going to be the one. After dissolving a delicious Pad Thai I started looking for the massage place. Turned out, the website I looked at had written down the wrong address and the massage place was on the other side of the city. Since I really didn’t feel like walking there and set my mind on having a massage that night, I just started walking around looking at all the other massage places around. There are always a lot around, especially close to the markets. I walked past one place that gave me a good feeling straight away and since it was 200Baht for an hour, decided to go for it.
I really tried hard to not expect anything, but I knew this was basically impossible after hearing and reading so much about it. I read for example that often you’ll be in a big room with heaps of others getting a massage at the same time. So surprisingly, when I walked in the lady took me upstairs to a kinda bigger room divided into 4 little rooms by bamboo walls. It wasn’t fancy in any way with only a fan on the ceiling and a mattress on the floor, but I did get my own private room! The lady pointed at a pair of white fisherman’s pants and a loose white shirt and left the room again. I changed into these typical Thai massage clothes and waited for someone to come to me. I felt a bit unsure of what to do, as I wasn’t quite sure if I could lay down on the bed already or should sit on it, so I went for the safest option and just stood there like an idiot for about 10 minutes. Then a different lady walked into my little room and told me to lay down on the mattress. She washed my feet with a warm damp towel and then started the massage which was way different then I expected it to be.
She spend about 20 minutes on each leg and the last 20 minutes on my back, neck and head. It was way more relaxing then I ever thought it would be. She did move my legs and arms in different positions, but I could still relax my muscles as she was leaving my legs or arms to rest in a certain comfortable way and I felt like she could access the muscle way easier like that. It was not the stroking movement you get in Western massages, but pressing on your muscles to loosen them up. The most interesting thing about this massage was that she really used her whole body to massage mine. She for example would put my foot on her shoulder and would half lay down on the mattress and start walking/pressing with her feet on the back of my upper legs. There’s a lot of physical movement and you do interact with the person that’s massaging you a lot, but because you’re not naked, are just laying there and don’t have to do anything for what’s happening, it still feels relaxing. It was for me at least. The lady did an absolute awesome job and after cracking my back 15 times each way in the end I felt like reborn.
When my time was up she asked me if everything was okay and left me alone to change my clothes again. I walked downstairs when I got myself all sorted and as another little surprise, my shoes were already waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs. A drink was waiting for me at the desk and I got a thousand thank you’s and smiles from everyone there. I love how these little things make an experience so much nicer. It was definitely the perfect place to go.