Those giving massages in legit spas in Pattaya are properly trained and very skilled with their hands, offering a genuine muscle rehabilitation service. If you are more interested in massage as a ‘naughty’ activity, you should visit our page on dirty massages.
Thai massage has been a special art for hundreds of years. It has been refined by practice and passed down through generations throughout Thailand. In Pattaya, massage is still alive and well and enjoyed by thousands of visitors and locals every day. The methods used today are traditional and date back to the Indian Ayurvedic practice originally developed by Buddhist monks almost 2,000 years ago. All across Thailand, particularly in tourist areas such as Pattaya, you will find massage shops.
Spending an hour or two having your muscles pushed, pulled, kneaded and relaxed is an invigorating experience and eradicates all the aches and pains you get from travelling, water sports, and sitting on long bus and air journeys. In Pattaya, Thai massage is liberally offered and this is one experience you should certainly indulge in; the whole two-hour experience will cost you less than the price of a gym work-out at home.
There are three popular choices of massage in Pattaya:
Thai traditional massage
Involves the vigorous treatment of more than 100 areas of the body. Using hand pressure and the masseuse’s own body to apply forces. They aim to work specific pressure points and realign energy lines in the body. Ideally, this process takes at least two hours and can be rather uncomfortable at times.
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, and you’ll need a shower to freshen up, but this type of massage can be a very sensual experience.
Works the internal organs of the body through manipulation of pressure points on the soles of your feet in a very similar way to that of reflexology. This is another skill that has been passed down for hundreds of years and can be quite effective in producing a relaxing effect on the whole body. On the beach and at the Tuesday and Friday market on Soi Buakao, as it joins South Pattaya Road, you can find foot massage widely available.
Many places also offer massages specialising in specific areas of the body such as the hands and head.
More on Thai massage in Pattaya
Thai massage primarily concentrates on 10 energy points in the body, known as ‘sen’, though there are over 70,000 recorded sen in all. It differs from other forms of massage in that there is a focused spiritual aspect involved, and most properly trained masseuses will say a short prayer before commencing in order to focus their own energy on your body.
Some aspects of yoga are incorporated in the massage, bending and twisting the torso to ‘reset’ the muscular-skeletal position. The procedure is a slow and patient one, with most attention given to areas which are most muscular, such as the thighs. There aren’t many sudden brutal movements in this type of massage, but the kneading can be quite painful, especially if your muscles are all tensed up. The masseuse will usually ask you if you prefer softer or harder massage.
The most active tool in the masseuse’s repertoire is the thumb, however, as with the fingers, indirect pressure is applied and the ball of the digit is used rather than the tip. A properly trained Thai massage practitioner will avoid sensitive areas such as the knees. Should you have ailments or chronic problems sensitive to body pressure, such as a history of back pain, you are advised to receive your massage from a professional spa, where the masseuse will usually discuss with you beforehand any existing problems so as to avoid anything painful or harmful. It’s also not advisable to go for a massage directly after eating or if you are pregnant.
Thai massage shops in Pattaya
In Pattaya, you will find plenty of massage shops liberally scattered throughout the tourist centres, often advertising themselves with a large reflexology diagram outside. There are a profusion of large and popular ones around the junction of Beach Road and South Pattaya Road, where 20 or more clients can be catered for at a time.
Other massage shops in Pattaya are very simple, consisting of a few mattresses on the floor (with clean linen), though this doesn’t suggest that the massage will be inferior. In general, older women are the most experienced and skilled at giving massage. Those that display a selection of young girls outside are less likely to give you a real Thai massage.
Hotels and spas offer a more luxurious environment, often with nicely decorated and scented private cubicles with soft music, as well as more of a guarantee that the masseuse is a good one. However, they are typically at least twice as expensive and not necessarily any better. Usually a Thai massage in Pattaya will cost 200 baht an hour, and a foot or oil massage 300 baht an hour in the small shops. On the beach, most of the ladies are mature masseuses and will settle for 200 baht even if they start off by asking you for 300 or 400 baht for one hour.
Although there are plenty of massage shops in Pattaya to choose from, we have recommended a few for you. When looking for a massage shop, it’s worth looking out for the certificates on the wall which show that the masseuses have been properly trained. Some locals have a favourite place they regularly go, often due to the friendly and relaxed character of the masseuse. Most masseuses are ladies. Foot massages are always offered at the Tuesday and Friday market off South Pattaya Road, on the beach and at popular events.
Chaan Massage and Spa: will give you a Thai massage with a good masseuse. A whole spa package is also available. 33/35 Moo 10, Pattaya 2nd Rd., tel: (038) 720 465.
Anong: Thai Massage here is popular with locals and expats and is easy to get to. 30/2-3 Moo 10 (near Soi Valida), South Pattaya, tel: (038) 423 049.
Pha’s Original Thai Massage: as the name suggests, they have experienced masseuses and offer foot massage, oil massage and facial treatment services. 144/99 Thappraya Road, South Pattaya, tel: (038) 250 591.
Suriree Sauna Herbal Steam Bath Traditional Thai Massage: another favourite with locals and expats to soothe away aches and pains. 172/6 Moo 5, Soi Ping Pah, Pattaya-Naklua Road, Banglamung, tel: (038) 423 794.
At the Walking Street end of South Pattaya Road and round the corner in Beach Road are several Thai massage shops to choose from, all equally well patronised. They will charge you about 200 baht for Thai massage, 200 baht for foot massage, and 300 baht per hour for an oil massage. Face, hand or head massages will also cost around 300 baht for an hour. Most open at around 10:00 and close at midnight.