A Not-So-Relaxing Thai Massage
Thai massages. It may come to mind when you think of Thailand. Rather than Swedish massages, they have Thai massages. Other than that, I had no idea what the heck to expect before signing up for a two-hour massage.
Having an evening free, Chika and I decided to give it a try. There must be hundreds of massage parlors around Bangkok, some looking more shady than others. Near the condo we were staying in was a nice-looking place called Healthland. Because it was in a non-touristy part of town in Pinklao, it was more of a local place with better prices and better trained masseuses. For 500 baths ($15), we were able to get a two-hour Thai massage. We were excited to experience it all at a quality place for a good price.
Before begin taken to the room, we took off our shoes and were given slippers. We were led up three flights of stairs and into a small room with two different mattresses on the ground. Soon after, two Thai women, the masseuses entered. This was both of our first massages and were both quite nervous. The masseuses knew almost no English, just the basics they’d need for their job like “Lay down”, “Other side”, and a few other short phrases.
We were surprised by the massage, to say the least. Rather than a relaxing feel good massage, it was more of a push you to a certain level of pain kind of massage. Nothing was done without a good amount of pressure. From the feet to the calves and the shoulders to the scalp, it was done at full-force. There were moments that felt good, but a good part of it was at least somewhat painful. Putting full force pressure on the calf muscles isn’t necessarily what I was looking for, but it was nice on the hands. The final 20 minutes were a combination of different arm and body movements which often resulted in back cracking, and it even included a bit of being walk on, literally. It was two full hours of non-stop Thai massage.
Not what we expected, but we are happy to now know what a Thai massage means. My body definitely didn’t forgive me until a few days afterwards!