Chiang Mai

Thai Massage

May 21, 2005

Today we had a traditional Thai massage. Kate, the lady we met from Vail the night of the big storm, recommended a place to us. She is taking classes on traditional Thai massage and has been getting several herself throughout Chiang Mai, so we trusted her recommendation. I'm glad Tina and I were doing the massage together or I may have been sold the other type of massage commonly sold to many Western men here. I almost had that problem just trying to get a haircut in Bangkok.

Before starting our massage they brought a big bowl with warm water for our feet to sit in. Next, they scrubbed our feet clean. This was quite nice, plus I didn't have to worry anymore about having stinky sweaty feet during my massage. After they cleaned our feet they escorted us into a curtained off room with two mattresses on the floor. They told us to change into the clothes provided and left the room. The pants were Thai Fisherman pants and a light weight cotton shirt. After we changed into our clothes I was dancing around for Tina with my new ninja outfit on when one of our masseuse ladies walked in. I imimmediately felt stupid. She told me to lay down on my back.

My massage began by her kneeling down by my feet stretching my legs outward. For those of you who don't know, a traditional Thai massage is a deep muscle tissue massage with some stretching also involved. This is all done by putting your body into some unusual positions. The first unusual position was when my masseuse was holding onto my foot pulling it towards her and shoving her heel up and down the inner part of my thigh working from my knee towards my groin. She was shoving her heel into my muscles as hard as she could. She worked her way down toward my groin I swore with that much pressure her foot was going to slip. My parents will be glad to hear her foot didn't slip since they are expecting to have grandchildren. She had me in several unusual moves which are hard to describe, but one reminded of my childhood days watching WWF wrestling. She had me in some type of super-quad-suplex move to stretch out my knee and back with her leg locked through mine. Another unusual position was when I was on my back with my legs bent at 90 degrees, she was standing on my hamstring with her legs intertwined with mine, at same time using her hands to beat up and down my back. To a stranger looking in, this may have looked like I was getting my butt kicked by this little Thai lady. If Tina would have had her eyes open she would have been cracking up at the sight of this lady on top of me. The massage was finished off with some side hand karate chops up and down my back and neck and also with some open palm pounding on my back. The sound was very loud and Tina looked over and thought, "what is she doing to him?"

Tina said her massage was very relaxing and my mine was for the most part. It was definitely a deep tissue massage so it did hurt some of the time, but I felt so good afterwords. This excellent massage cost us a grand total of 200 baht ($5) per person for one hour. You gotta love that.

After our massage we went out to dinner where I had my usual dish, pad thai with tofu. After dinner we found a interesting rooftop bar. The entrance to this bar reminded me of a haunted house. On the ground floor we had to duck our head to get through to a hallway where the walls were made of black painted plywood. This turned into several stairs and more hallways. The black walls were decorated with fluorescent colored paintings with black-lights shining down to illuminate the colors. We eventually made it the top where there were no table or chairs. We sat on the bamboo mat floor and set our drinks on a small bamboo woven table. We had a great view of the city while listening to the bar playing "The Wall" album by Pink Floyd. It almost felt like college again.

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