Here are some tales about massages in SE Asia:
Chaweng main st, Dusit Spa 2 this place should become an institution. The exterior, with ludicrously high steps that wouldn’t pass OHS inspections in Aus, is quite a large shopfront but as soon as you’re through the front doors and past reception this grand interior looks like it’s been taken from the old Roman baths. Highest of high ceiling with sandstone Romanesque columns, spacious to the point of looking like a ballroom including extravagant, dimmed chandeliers. To my left as I walk towards the back of the building is a pool… or is it a spa? After being out in that Thai heat I’m dying to jump in, clothes an’ all! My new TEFL buddy, Molly, and I are led to the bench seat opposite so we can drool at the pool and have our feet bathed in rose petal water. Seriously.
Next we are lead upstairs to our shared massage room. Don’t they know I’ve only known this girl for a week? We have to semi nude up, thankfully “shy” Molly went to the ladies whilst I strip and race to my massage bed before her return so that she’s not subjected to boobs hanging around my knees. Lucky for me I am face down and don’t have to pretend to look elsewhere whilst she takes her turn getting her clothes off. Little did we know that this was only the beginning of our nudie runs on Koh Samui!
The massage is possibly THE best I’ve had, definitely the best I’ve had in Thailand that’s for sure.. and I’m sure I’ve had quite a few. The Thai massage ladies are so gentle in personality but can be brutal with their slim, strong, tiny fingers that could lift a full cement truck without strain. Not this time my friends. I know it’s a relativity subject, but I like the semi firm but relaxation touch and I felt like this lady knew exactly what I needed. If only I was that way inclined, I’d marry this woman! Dust Spa 2 is THE place to go for massages on Koh Samui.
Is there really such a thing as a bad massage? Yes, yes there is! 2013 – Cat Ba Island, Vietnam, I treated myself to a 3hr massage. After 30 mins my skin is stretched so much that I feel as though I’d be looking like a sharpei dog when I finally stand up. Try explaining to a non English speaker that oil is required for massages. My skin was pushed, pulled, stood on and simply tenderised like a steak pre bbq… all 3hrs without oil.
This one time, with a friend, whom shall remain nameless – unless he confesses – in Nha Trang, Vietnam. Again, a shared room is kinda awkward with a friend, but we soldier on. We were advised by a “trustworthy” local that this place was the safest to go to. Insert evil chuckles here. I’m out to the world in my blissful happy place when I hear quiet giggles and my friend urgently whispering my name. I refuse to be mentally removed from my relaxed state and ignore them all, but it continues – for about 15 mins. I’m sure the rest of the story is best told by my victimised friend, however, I’ll give it a go. Apparently, once he was told to roll onto his back, he was mildly abused by numerous Vietnamese girls. A few tweaks here, a few tweaks there.. you get the idea. I laugh still about that time.
My lady boy in Pattaya was funny! So feminine in her attitude. Loves shopping, looking after her skin (collagen tabs quite popular here), dislikes the sun and heat (wants to move to Norway where its not warm – these people who prefer cold weather really do exist!), hates doing oil massages because the oil gets under her perfectly manicured long nails, wonders why tourists love elephants but also loves her super strong whisky straight up.. and lots of it apparently. It’s Songkran week and she’s receiving texts from her friends to hurry up and get drunk and wet outside the shop front with them!
My right foot kept cramping, she tried to help me but to no avail. I think we wasted half an hour on that stupid foot and giggled at how silly my body is. In fact, she told me to stop walking everywhere because my calves were too tight.. “get motorbike taxi and stop walking you crazy lady.”
The request to remove my Wonder Woman underwear leaves me feeling vulnerable and without power just like Samson having his hair cut. So here I am, face down on the table which I’m sure is just a handmade MDF board on unstable legs (kinda like my body at present) disguised with a yoga mat and towels awaiting the evil little fingers to work out all the chinks in my armour. Witchit, my masseuse, is brilliant btw! He’s the only person where I’ve not mentally screamed in agony during a Thai massage. I think the fact that he has male(-ish) hands and not tiny, skinny, manicured, truck movers made the difference.
The security of my towel is removed and replaced with a hand towel. Hahaha I can’t help but laugh.. I’m a western woman with – as mum likes to call it – a ducks bum, that hand towel is lucky to cover one cheek! Then that mini towel, let’s call it a face washer for size comparison to my butt, is removed and gently shoved into my crack. No joke. I have to wonder if someone gets to use this towel after me, because I haven’t showered yet?
I clearly typed the following comment pre-today’s awkward massage. And that’s all I’m saying…
Basically, when it comes to massages in SE Asia I am grateful for being female and not being asked if I want a happy finish.
It’s all about education.. of the mind, body, spirit and locating a relaxing massage.