Thai massage is one of the skills that make the country famous and it isn’t because of sleaze either. In fact, there are many qualified Thai massage practitioners across the city that have been properly trained in this ancient art that derives from Ayurvedic medicine and has been passed down through the generations. Most famously it is taught by the monks at Wat Pho and is considered a very healthy and rejuvenating treatment.
Getting a massage treatment while here on holiday is a popular experience that everyone should try at least once. Of course, many visitors to Bangkok imagine a trip to a massage shop as something entirely more discreet and dirty, and if that’s what you are after we recommend you read our page on full body massage.
For the rest of us, receiving a Thai massage in Bangkok is one of those activities that ought to be top of your list, and it’s a great way to soothe the aches and pains and relieve the stress of a busy day hitting the pavements in Bangkok. It’s surprisingly cheap and during a one or two hour session you will be gently kneaded, stretched, contorted and ‘re-aligned’, leaving you relaxed and rejuvenated.
Not surprisingly there are hundreds of Bangkok massage shops dotted throughout the city offering a full range of massage services at excellent prices. Massage services can be found in small shops and in the lobbies of many hotels. Wherever there are tourists, a massage shop is not far away. Prices for an hour of traditional Thai or foot massage in Bangkok costs 150 baht per hour and up, oil massage is a little more. It’s far more expensive in hotels, luxury spas and if you choose extras such as using herbs etc. Some massage shops are better than others, where effort has been made to create a soothing environment and provide privacy.
There are actually several different massage types and techniques.
Thai massage vigorously treats more than 100 areas of the body, using hand pressure and the masseur’s own body to apply forces that aim to work pressure points, and re-align energy lines in the body. Ideally, this process takes at least two hours and can be a little uncomfortable at times, but leaves you feeling very relaxed.
Oil is gentler than Thai massage and involves deep muscle tissue treatment using specially blended therapeutic oils. Of course it leaves you a little oily afterwards, requiring a shower to freshen up, but can be a very sensual experience.
Having a foot massage works the internal organs of the body through manipulation of pressure points on the soles of your feet in much the same way as reflexology. This is another skill that has been passed down through the ages and can be quite effective in producing a mild detox effect on the body.
The centre for massage in Thailand is the school of natural medicine at Bangkok’s Wat Pho. Better known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho is well renowned for its massage school and for preserving the practice of Thai massage, which has been a practice passed down for centuries in Thailand.
Visitors to Wat Pho can enjoy a massage at the skilled hands of the practitioners there. Visitors to Bangkok can also take some of the ancient techniques of Thai massage home with them by enrolling in a 10 to 15-day massage course at Wat Pho.