Dec 6th, 2005, 06:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 171

I notice some of the massage rates in the major BKK hotels sound wonderful (especially the "jet lag" ones), but are at high prices (or close to U.S. prices). Do people often venture outside their hotel (or nearby) to get those $10 massages I hear about (LEGITimate ones )? I think we'll need something after that 17 hr plane ride..
jacqui72 is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 07:04 AM
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The Wat Po massages are in that kind of range. Often people have the Wat Po massessues come to their hotel room. One of the questions is whether you want traditional Thai massage (I have a disc that can't tolerate that).

There are also lots of free-standing spas and the prices there are about half the price of the hotel spas. I highly recommend Face for spa treatments. We had a two hours of treatments for 2200 baht each (about US$55). Check the website at for the full spa menu.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 07:32 AM
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Can somebody describe what a traditional Thai massage is, exactly?

My understanding is that you wear loose clothing and that it's "more athletic".

I'm not sure that I wouldn't just rather lie there passively under a towel and have someone rub my back with warm oil!
marcy_ is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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For Thai massage, you are clothed, usually in a soft, loose fitting cotton outfit. There is lots of pulling and stretching, the masseuse using their hands and feet to stretch you. It's very different from more western-type massage. People either love it or hate it!

You can also get many other kinds of massge in Thailand (but not at Wat Po). I especially like the scented oil massages.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 09:00 AM
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In Thai massage, you will be placed into assisted yoga stretches and twisting positions, so it is quite manipulative. It also uses rhythmic massage and acu-pressure. There is not much call on you to put effort into it but it is not a relaxing 'soothing' massage and the pressure can be deep - but it can be quite invigorating so I guess it could be good after your 17 hour plane ride if you are trying to stay awake for another few hours! If you have a very skilful practitioner, it can be very harmonious and almost feel like a dance. If you have an unskilful practitioner, it can be agony!

Massages with oils are readily available - but do be careful if you are then going in the sun. Certain essential oils lead to skin photosensitivity (that is make you more likely to burn in sunlight) within 12 hours of use.

The other treatment you may want to consider which I have found to be v helpful for jetlag and which doesn't sink you into oblivion (if that is not what is needed) is reflexology which is widely available (and also available at Wat Po).

Oh - and as regards the traditional Thai massage, there are contraindications which are rarely explained to you (although I am sure they are in the high end spas) - it is unsuitable for anyone with a serious heart condition or high blood pressure that is not under "control"; for those with osteoporosis or very brittle bones; for those who have had spinal fusions or an artificial joint such as a hip or knee replacement; for those with lymphatic cancer; for those with haemophilia or phlebitis. I would be wary of having this treatment if I had a back problem also - although practitioners do say it is therapeutic for certain conditions - unless I was 100% comfortable that the practitioner knew what he was doing.
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 09:11 AM
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Traditional Thai massage is one of the great things in life. It's a combination of accupressure and mild twisting. There will be a multitude of shops offering Thai massage in any tourist area. However, they are of mixed quality. My suggestion is that you call the Wat Pho School of Massage and have them send someone to your hotel. This is the most affordable, reliable and efficient way to obtain a great massage. The hotel massages tend to be very good, but they cost about 3 times as much as a Wat Pho. You can also go to Wat Pho and get a massage. If you look at previous posts, there are many recommendations for good spas separate from hotels. They tend to be cheaper.
Gpanda is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 11:06 AM
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I absolutely adore thai massage. I thought I would miss the oil or creams of deep tissue or swedish massage, but I don't.
The feeling afterwords is like a combination of massage relaxation and the exhiliration of a great workout.
dperry is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 06:12 PM
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If you like yoga, you will love Thai massage. It is like having a great work out without having to work! Every muscle feels stretched and relaxed, and you feel totally rejuvenated. But I would heed the advice of Bella Bluebell and not try it if you have any of the conditions or ailments she mentions, or a bad back.

GPanda and others, how far in advance do you have to book to have Wat Po come to your hotel. We arrive at about midnight, and I'd love to have a Wat Po massage the next day. I didn't care for the massages at the Mariott Riverside -- which was the ONLY thing I didn't like about the hotel. Any other massage places you would recommend near the river so I can start out my first day in BKK with a Thai massage?
CFW is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 02:32 AM
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Dear Jacqui,

If you are not feeling up to full body massages, you can always start off with a foot massage. These are much needed after the shopping in Thailand. You will find legitimate massages everywhere, as you will see them through a glass window. All shopping malls have massage corners or shops.

The average price is 200 baht or USD$5 for an hour.
yvonne_c is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 10:50 AM
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CGW-If you call Wat Pho in the morning, they will send someone in the afternoon. Everyone has a cell phone.
Gpanda is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 06:25 PM
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Great. Thanks. That's the first thing I'll do when I get up in the morning -- call Wat Po. I'm dreaming of that Thai massage!
CFW is offline  

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