Wat Pho Massage

Jul 9th, 2005, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 322
OK I'm a rookie. Have been reading a lot about massage b/c I plan to travel to BKK this fall and want to know what I can't go home without doing.

My questions is...I read about Wat Pho and the one big room, but what is the privacy situation. How to modest people do here?
123Go is offline  
Jul 9th, 2005, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 888
The Thai massage at Wat Pho is done clothed without oil, so modesty is not such an issue. There are two types of thai massage - and in one of them they will use herb compresses. Having said that they don't use oil, if you have a thai massage done on the beach (so you are in a swimming costume) they often use oil.

Thai massage is sometimes called Thai yoga massage in the west as it follows a series of positions that are very like yogic positions, which the therapist places you into. The therapist also uses some (very!) deep tissue pressures. You can read a little bit more about how it works here - http://thaiyogamassage.infothai.com/thaimassage.html

At Wat Po, they give you loose fitting clean clothes to change into - fisherman pants and a simple top - and, the Thais being modest people, you change behind curtains away from prying eyes.

The room is semi-divided with three beds next to each other in each section. They are not massage beds as such but futons on the floor. It is clean. The first time I went there, I had my massage next to a BBC reporter who was being filmed for a travel programme. As the therapist was contorting me into all the positions I was wholly aware that my white tummy was exposed - and being filmed for British TV (I am from London)!! However, I think had the camera not been there, I wouldn't have been bothered one jot by the exposure of my waist.

The room is quite busy - and the therapist do chat to each other sometimes and giggle (probably at their client!!). However, thai massage is not a particularly relaxing form of massage so that did not ever bother me.

At Wat Pho, you can have thai massage, reflexology (or foot massage) or thai massage with herb compresses. I like the first one but if you only have a short time then the foot massage is fantastic (but quite hard!). Sometimes the waiting time for foot massage is shorter too.

If I was you, and you have time, I think I would have both a spa treatment and a massage at Wat Pho. The two experiences are poles apart but both wonderful. Most spas in Bangkok offer both traditional thai massage and massage with oils (more along the styles of Swedish massage using essential oils). So the former would be done with some clothing on - the therapist might be a bit shocked if you suddenly stripped off! But for the latter you would take your clothes off, normally keeping your underwear on. I would check with the therapist what they expect.

You can read more about Wat Pho massages on their website - http://www.watpho.com/massage_e.html.

Hope this helps.
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 05:50 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 109
It depends on what you are looking for. For luxury, definitely go to spa in the hotels. But I prefer traditional massage and enjoy the experience. I believe (only my opinion) Wat Pho is more traditional and staff are well-trained, while the quality of spas in different hotels varies a lot.

If you worry about the environment, take hobbes's advice above to ask for a/c room.
r_shum is offline  

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