Having only ever had one professional massage in my life, the opportunity to have an authentic Thai massage in Thailand was an exciting prospect. Although I didn’t have a clue what to expect. My mind was flooded with questions. How do I choose the correct massage parlor? What happens in a traditional Thai massage ? What other options are available? Do I have to get naked? What if they are massaging my back and ask me to roll over and I’m pitching a tent? What if it’s a lady boy? Very possible since it is Thailand.
With massage parlors on every street corner and down every alley way how was I to choose which one to lose my Thai massage virginity to? After extensive review readings on Trip Adviser I gave up. There is too many to choose from. All had positive and negative comments. I will ask the receptionist at the hotel I thought to myself.
“You go lef. BTS. Coss ova. Walk back. In alley. Gween Sign,” is all I understood from the very fast speaking Thai women.
Fully knowing that all would be forgotten by the time we set foot outside I said thank you with a smile on my face stepped outside.
Navigating through Bangkok will have your senses overloaded. From the aromatic fragrances of the street food sold from hawker stalls, seeing the constant traffic jams of multicolored cars, to being hailed at from drivers of the brightly tuk tuks every time you pass one. You even need to acquire and extra sense of foresight to predict when a motorbike is driving behind you on the sidewalk. I think it was by good old-fashioned luck that we stumbled upon the green massage shop, down the alley just like the receptionist had said. All of her instructions now made sense.
After all the effort we put in to finding this massage parlor, we didn’t feel comfortable inside. It looked run down and had a musky scent in the air. So we were back to square one. Fortunately down this alley there were at least five other shops. As we stepped through the doorway, everyone inside was glued to their phones. Surprised to see us they leapt out their chairs to attend to us.
“Sawadee ka. How can we help you?“
“Two Thai massages please,”
“Okay, 600 Baht. 300 each,”
We paid and were led to the back of the shop where the receptionist started to fill a basin with luke warm water.
“What do we do?” I whispered to Cathy
“I don’t know. Put our feet in the water I suppose,” she replied.
Sitting with our feet in the water from a door way our masseuse appeared. They were middle-aged Thai women, with big arms and shoulders. I knew from this point on, a Thai massage was not going to be a relaxing experience. After they cleaned we followed them through the door where they first appeared and up a flight of old, wooden stairs that creaked with each step. At the top we entered a room that was divided into 10 areas, each with 2 beds inside and could be closed off with a curtain. Shown to our room we were instructed to change into the loose-fitting clothes provided. One of my worries had been put to rest. I don’t have to get naked in front of the Thai women.
My initial thoughts from when seeing the masseuse about not being a relaxing experience were confirmed. 30 seconds into the massage. For the next hour she proceeded to kneaded me like pizza dough.
At one point during the massage I heard some poor man in another room make a “urrrgghhh!” noise. I couldn’t help think what lay ahead for me.
After being beaten for an hour and manipulated into positions a contortionists would be proud of, I was asked to sit up and cross fold my legs.
“You are a very strong lady,” I said
Both Masseuse laughed with one saying, “Hard massage, is good massage.”
“Lift up your arms and clasp your hands,” she said to me.
She interlocked her arms with mine in some sort of wrestling move and twisted my body.
“Urrrghhh,” I let out as my back made more cracking noises than glow sticks at a 90’s rave. Now I know why that poor old man-made that sound.