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Wat Pho centre for Massage in Bangkok

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    Hello

    I've been reading about places to get massages in Bangkok and keep coming up with Wat Pho, The temple of the Reclining Buddha. I understand that ther is a centre for massage here, and from what i've been reading, it has certainly grabbed my attention as place that I would like to go, to experience a proper Thai massage. Has anyone experienced a massage there? Do you need to book ahead? I've no idea on the proceedure of going there, and would really appreciate any info on it, also how to get there?

    Best wishes

    Samantha

    #1 Posted: 31/5/2006 - 18:52

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  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Posts: 2300
    Total reviews: 47

    Hi Samantha,

    Depending on where you stay in Bangkok, you'll have either dozens or hundreds of legitimate Thai massage places within a short walk of your accomodation. The easiest way to find the type of place you want is to see what the staff are wearing. A cosmetologists uniform is good. Evening dress at 10 am might suggest something else. You can always ask to see the massage area first too before you decide.

    The massages at Wat Pho are done in an outer courtyard, under a long, semi-open pavillion. You'll likely be sharing the experience with many others at the time. I wouldn't expect that you'd need to make an appointment in advance. Just stop by and check in first. If there is a wait, you can always wander around the temple and enjoy the hall with the reclining Buddha while you wait.

    Thai massages aren't usually expensive, so hopefully you'll be able to treat yourself to one at a few different places.

    Wat Pho itself is on the outskirts of the Sanam Luang area, where Wat Prakaeo and the National Museum and lots of other fun sites are located. It is walking distance from the Khao San Road area. Have fun.

    #2 Posted: 31/5/2006 - 22:00

  • totallygone

    Joined Travelfish
    6th May, 2006
    Posts: 6

    exacto - out of interest, when were you last at Wat Pho? I got a massage there in January 2006 and the massages were conducted indoors, in a building not far from that housing the Reclining Buddha.

    You won't need to make an appointment, but if it's busy (unlikely, off-season) you may need to wait a few minutes.

    Samantha, If you go up to Chiang Mai, check out the Old Medicine Hospital for massages, they're excellent. Also get a foot massage on Ratchadamoen Rd on a Sunday night, it's the night of the walking market - lie back and watch the world pass as you get your feet and legs worked over!

    #3 Posted: 1/6/2006 - 13:23

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    Thanks exacto and totallygone. Unfortunately I'm not going to be in Thailand long enough to go up to Chiang Mai, hopefully that will be for my next trip to Thailand! Thanks for all the advice. :)

    #4 Posted: 1/6/2006 - 15:23

  • iwillfly525

    Joined Travelfish
    13th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 46
    Total reviews: 5

    I was there in May 2005 and i loved it (it was indoor). I couldn't wait to go back again when I was there in May 2006. There priced have almost trippled (i guess thats what happens when you get good guide book write ups). and they now charge extra if you want clean sheets. its still a good massage, but I won't go back again at the prices they are charging now (there are other places that are just as good that havent inflated their prices).

    #5 Posted: 1/6/2006 - 19:30

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Posts: 2300
    Total reviews: 47

    hi totallygone. you are right, it has been nearly 18 months since i've been to wat pho, so my info on the inside/outside could definitely be dated. even so, i agree with iwillfly525 that the prices and atmosphere there aren't as good as i've experienced in dozens of other massage places around bangkok. cheers.

    #6 Posted: 3/6/2006 - 08:07

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    Hi Exacto

    Just out of interest, if you were going to get a really good massage in Bangkok, where would you personally choose to go?

    #7 Posted: 3/6/2006 - 16:33

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Posts: 2300
    Total reviews: 47

    samantha,

    in which part of town will you be staying? the problem with recommending a place is that staff tends to turn over pretty frequently, and what was good one month might not be good the next. there are a few places i'd recommend anyway, but i can't remember the names right now. (we are in narita airport in tokyo right now, waiting for our connecting flight to bangkok.) if you are interested, let me know when and where you'll be in bangkok, and hopefully i'll be able to make a good suggestion. otherwise, just try your luck at a place nearby where you are staying. you can always ask to see the massage room, and compare prices. that should give you a good idea.

    by the way, are you interested in the thai style massage, an oil massage, or a skin polishing?

    also, i saw a pretty good write-up on thai massage (mr. magic?) in the features section on the site here. type at you soon. regards.

    #8 Posted: 4/6/2006 - 15:15

  • thaibeachlo-
    vers

    Joined Travelfish
    25th May, 2006
    Posts: 38

    The main attraction about Wat Po, is that it is an historical massage school ( I'm sure all that will be in the guide books ), and that you will, theoretically, get a "proper" Thai massage. Yes, there are lots of proper Thai Massage places, but it's always a bit hit and miss as to the massage you get, as it comes down to the individual giving the massage. The disadvantage of Wat Po is that there is no air con, just fans, and it can be quite stuffy. If you go there, you'll understand why there's some dispute as to whether it's inside or semi-open ( unless it's moved in the last couple of years, or they've bricked up the gaps between the pillars ). Why don't you have a look and check out the prices there ( it's 20 bht to get into the grounds ) and compare them with other places before you make up your mind. Wat Po is worth a look anyway, especially the reclining Buddha, so you won't have wasted your time. As for Thai massages, they really don't have to involve a lot of pain, so if your masseuse is getting a bit carried away, just ask them to go easy.

    #9 Posted: 5/6/2006 - 05:28

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Posts: 2300
    Total reviews: 47

    Hi guys,

    We just arrived in Thailand last night, and had a nice walk through Wat Pho this morning. I think I'm sticking to my guns that the massage areas there are semi-open pavillions, enclosed with chain link fence and screens. I was surprised at the asking prices for the massage there - 220 baht for 1/2 hour and 360 baht for a full hour. By contrast, a little massage place just down the street from our guesthouse (We're on Tanee Road, just two streets up from Khao San Rd) had an hour of Thai massage for 160 baht. My wife had a oil massage this morning, which she absolutely loved, and the cost was only 300 baht. Cheers.

    #10 Posted: 5/6/2006 - 12:49

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  • underwaterj-
    am

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2006
    Posts: 4

    I am also interested in a good place for a Thai massage in BKK. I will most likely be staying at teh New Siam I. Thanks! -Kerry

    #11 Posted: 6/6/2006 - 04:06

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    Hi Exacto, sorry I didn't answer your question sooner about where I'll actually be staying in Bangkok, we'll be staying on New Petchburi Road, I know it's not in the centre, don't mind travelling to get to places. As for the kind of massage, whether it be a Thai/oil or skin polish, I really don't mind, as I've not experienced any before. What is skin polish by the way?!

    I'm not too concerned about the price.

    Best wishes

    Samantha.

    #12 Posted: 6/6/2006 - 16:08

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    Hi Exacto, sorry I didn't answer your question sooner about where I'll actually be staying in Bangkok, we'll be staying on New Petchburi Road, I know it's not in the centre, don't mind travelling to get to places. As for the kind of massage, whether it be a Thai/oil or skin polish, I really don't mind, as I've not experienced any before. What is skin polish by the way?!

    I'm not too concerned about the price.

    Best wishes

    Samantha.

    #13 Posted: 6/6/2006 - 16:08

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Posts: 2300
    Total reviews: 47

    Hi again Samantha,

    Great. The place I had in mind in on Sukhumvit Road, somewhere between Soi 8 and 12, which is not too far from where you'll be staying. We'll be there on Friday evening to check it out, and will send full details on price, location, etc. if it is still good. I hope that is soon enough for you.

    The skin polish scrub is an herbal exfoliant rubbed all over your skin. It is particularly great if followed by a oil massage or milk bath.

    For Kerry,

    I think you'll be more in the Khao San Road area. Near the intersection of Thanee Road and Soi Rambuttri are a few places that offer a combo skin scrub, oil massage, sauna and milk bath treatment in the 400 to 500 baht range. There are likely many others throughout the area. It isn't necessarily a first class environment, but it is nice enough, and what you get for your money is definitely excellent. We did one of these treatments a few days ago and our skin is still singing. Just so you know, the massage girls tend to be pretty matter of fact (more so with women than with men), so this might not be ideal for the shy or modest types.

    If you do decide to try this, I'd love to hear back about if you liked it and if you can recommend a particular place. Cheers.

    #14 Posted: 8/6/2006 - 07:44

  • underwaterj-
    am

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2006
    Posts: 4

    Hi exacto,

    Actually I've booked at Suk11, so I'll be in the Sukhumvit Rd area as well. That spa treatment sounds great but I really want to try a traditional thai massage as well. I'd love to hear what you find out! Thanks!

    Kerry

    #15 Posted: 8/6/2006 - 07:54

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    Hi Exacto, I'll be flying Friday night, I'll try to get a look at my e-mails when I get to Bangkok. I'm definately interested on the place you mentioned, so will be great to hear your feedback. :-)

    #16 Posted: 8/6/2006 - 15:30

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Posts: 2300
    Total reviews: 47

    okay samantha. it's friday night now, and with any luck you're landing in bangkok and getting ready for a great holiday.

    i've got the info on various massage places.

    for a first-class experience, the place i used to go is called king and i. it is on sukhumvit soi 12, about 20 meters in on the right side of the street. they are open until about midnight or so. they do many different services, but the best value to me looks like the oil massage at 700 baht for an hour.
    telephone is 0-2653-0700 if you want your hotel to call and ask questions for you.

    on the thai massage, like i said, the staff turns over pretty often, but here is a place i've frequented for years with consistently good results. it is called hutthasat.

    this is on sukhumvit soi 22. you'll go about 150 meters down the soi and turn into a small center on the left. it is on the left, with a big sign. they'll charge approx 300 baht for a full traditional thai massage, which last two hours more or less, and included a nice foot washing prior to the massage. address is 15-19/1 sukhumvit soi 22. telephone is 0-2259-5885 and 0-2258-2260.

    in addition, there are dozens of other places you can pop your head in and check out. we're staying on sukhumvit soi 8, and i think there are about six places between our hotel and the main road.

    whatever you decide, i'd love to hear how you like the massages. they aren't terribly expensive here, so hopefully you'll be able to try a bunch. cheers.

    #17 Posted: 9/6/2006 - 19:29

  • samanthas2g-
    oode

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2006
    Posts: 18

    Hi Exacto

    Well, I'm back in England now, landed here late last night, body clock all over the place! - Had a fantastic time in Thailand and will be going back. We stayed at the Sea View Resort in Koh Chang for 6 nights, in a deluxe bungalow, which was great, staff were very friendly, and the place was really looked after. Managed to put my hand on a blow fish by accident whilst swimming at the beach there - lucky me!!!

    I had an oil massage there at Sea View and it was a lot more expensive than other places we went to (1850bht) for 90 minutes but to be honest It was the most relaxing massage I've ever had, it was really good. And the price is still excellent to prices here in England.

    Loved Koh Chang, and we were VERY LUCKY with the weather,we only had 1 not so nice weather day, which was still a day that we enjoyed. We managed to go on a snorkelling trip, and we were the only english people on it, the rest were Thail, and they made the day to be honest, they were really lovely to us and made us feel welcome, saw loads of fish and it was really good, I didn't think the sea would be clear enough at this time of year, but it was, it was really clear.

    Also did an elephant trek, can't remember name of the place but it was the second place going away from Sea View Resort. We went for 2 hours along the river and in the jungle. I rode bearback on the elephants neck and spent ages with the elephant after, on my own feeding it, the people were quite happy for me to do this, and left me along with the elephant. Great experience. The normal price was 900 bht for 2 hours but we went a couple of days before to enquire and she remembered us, so when we went back, the price was 800 bht, which was good.

    We hired a moped for the time we were on the island, and it was worth doing, the roads are good and it really did help us getting to places. We went to White Sands in the evening quite a bit, and sat on the beach and ate at 15 palms a few times and other places. Kai Bae was dead quiet.

    I had a foot massage in White Sands, upstairs in a indoor market, paid 250 bht for an hour which was good. The massage was ok, but not fantastic.

    After Koh Chang, we went to Ko Samed for 4 days. We hadn't booked anywhere to stay, and when we arrived we were tired , so walked along the main resort, we'd followed the LP and went to Jebbs place - payed 100 bht for an a/c room for one night, and the place was hideous, really not worth the money, absolutely horrible, padlock on door, loads of mosquito's the room was really dark and dingy, so we dumped our bags there, and set off to find somewhere else. We ended up in the main resort, towards the top end of the beach in a log cabin style, can't remember the name of the place, it began with a T. The place was excellent, staff were really friendly and the cabin was great, looked new. Would recommend, when I remember the name, I'll let you know.

    From advice on T/F we went to Tib Tubs beach spent the day there, and ate there. Food was great, beach lovely, and the best massage I've ever had - was there on the beach, by an old Thai lady, under a tree, Paid 200 bht and it was fantastic, that was my best massage in Thailand.

    We made the mistake of hiring a moped for a day, (because my partner fell off some rocks in Kai Bae and foot was hard to walk on) before we really saw the state of the road there. We both ended up coming off it whilst going up a hill, just after the posh resort and were both pretty shakend up and bruised - though ok.The roads (if that's what they can be called) are terrible. I can't understand them charging farang 200 bht to stay on the island, and the roads are in such a state, I was pleasantly suprised by the roads in Koh Chang.

    People on Koh Samed didn't seem so friendly as the people on Koh Chang, we did meet lovely people on both islands but, I have to say I'd go back to Koh Chang but not so sure if I'd go back to Koh Samed.

    We spent our last 2 nights in Bangkok, back at the Amari Atrium, we walked to the metro and then used the skytrain, which was great, very easy to get around. Hotel was fine for us, no problems there at all.

    A couple of points I'd like to make about Bangkok

    When we arrived in Thailand, we stayed in Bangkok for 2 nights. We had a massage at a place in Nana near the Amari Boulevard, was meant to be a place where blind people do the massages, but they weren't blind! (it states in Lonely Planet that they are blind) - it was a great Thai massage and would recommend, think I paid 300 bht for 1 hour. Worth it!

    As for the tuk tuk driver's, one driver tried to scam us, but thankfully rfom the advice on here, I knew where it was leading to (he said that he would charge us only 20 bht to go where ever we wanted andhe'd wait for us) but then whilst we were in his tuk tuk moving, he said about taking us to a tailors, I said no politely, that at that time, we didn't want to do any shopping that we wanted to see temples, and he turned quite nasty, he then said he had a baby to feed and such, and he said that the tailor's sponsered him (!) and if he didn't take us, he would get it trouble and that they wouldn't pay for his fuel (so we even said that we would pay his fuel for him, but we weren't interested in going to any dodgy tailor, and he refused and wasn't the nicest person I've ever met, but we stayed firm and stuck to our guns and he drove off leaving us at some temple we hadn't even planned to see, still enjoyed it though!!

    Are there official tuk tuk driver's in Bangkok and do they all wear blue shirts?

    Oh, we also went to a night market (the one with the ferris wheel - which is great to see for the views) but it was closing when we got there, about 11pm, never mind.

    Sorry this has been a very long message,but wanted to share my experiences with you and to thank you and travel fish for all your advice and help.

    May I ask one final thing?

    Whilst on Koh Samed, outside the 7 -11 shop on the main road, every day lies an extremly thin dog, you can see all it's bones I gave it lots of food whilst we were on the island, if anyone happens to be passing the 7 11 shop please can you give it some food? I stayed around to make sure no other dog took the food.

    Is there an animal welfare place in Bangkok or Koh Samed that I could contact about this dog? I'd like to help it in some way.

    Best wishes and thanks again

    Samantha.

    #18 Posted: 24/6/2006 - 13:58

  • underwaterj-
    am

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2006
    Posts: 4

    Exacto,

    I just checked out Hutthasat today and it was GREAT. My 3rd thai massage so far in Thailand then definitely the best by far. And 300baht for 2 hours was a pretty good deal! The woman I had was firm but still gentle and really found all my trouble spots and worked them hard (which I like!)

    Thanks so much for the recommendation!

    -Kerry

    #19 Posted: 19/7/2006 - 20:11

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Posts: 2300
    Total reviews: 47

    Kerry,

    Glad to hear it. We'll be back in Bangkok in a week or so for our last three days before flying back home, and definitely plan to visit Hutthasat during that time. Cheers.

    #20 Posted: 20/7/2006 - 10:30

  • Tilapia

    Click here to learn more about Tilapia
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Canada
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    At least 71

    FYI, many of the people giving massages in the usual massage spots are trained at Wat Pho. Having said that, I've never had two massages that were the same. I guess everyone has their own way and order of doing things.

    #21 Posted: 27/7/2006 - 02:09

  • calitraveler

    Joined Travelfish
    24th July, 2006
    Posts: 25

    can you recommend any massage place in silom square? i'm leaving in one week, and i'm *so* excited!

    #22 Posted: 8/8/2006 - 15:14

  • massagelond-
    on

    Joined Travelfish
    28th July, 2005
    Posts: 4

    yes, wat pho is overrated and overpriced - there are massage clinics all over, but the quality differs. However you can find Wat Pho educated therapists working everywhere.

    The best is to ask receptionist or the other staff in your guesthouse for a local recommendation - they should know.

    If you are around Khaosan Rd I would recommend Pians massage shop on Khaosan Rd (on a small soi leading towards Thanon Rambutree http://piangroup.com ) - they have several branches in this area, one on Soi Chana Songkran (behind the temple) and on Thanon Phra Athit, near the boat stop.

    For the good and cheap treatments you have to go where thai go - not in the tourist areas. Head to Taling Chan, on the Thonburi side of the river, by the Taling Chan floating market. There are several shops run by blind - 2h the first quality treatment 180 baht last year.

    In that area you can find several of traditional thai teak wood homestays - you will feel here like staying in a thai village.

    #23 Posted: 25/8/2006 - 07:29

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