Massage in Bangkok - cheap and cheerful places where you least expect them

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Federicoita, Aug 24, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Massage??

    The question of where to have a massage is one which is often asked and having a massage is one of the widely available treats when visiting Thailand. Presently, in central areas, a one hour Thai massage will be approximately 300 baht while an oil massage will cost from 400 baht upwards.

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    However, provided you are a little adventurous, in just 10 minutes from Nana you can reach the On Nut station by BTS. Exit on the same side as the tall condominium called The Verve and walk back in the same direction your train came from.

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    Cross the first soi and once you reach the second soi turn right.

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    This soi is not only the short cut for the Big C store but also home to no less than a dozen massage places where a one hour Thai massage will set you back either 100 or 150 baht.

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    Of course, once you cross their threshold, they will try and sell you the more expensive oil massage but in my opinion the latter is really not necessary unless you have a fascination with oil on your skin.

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    Robes to change into will be provided and majority of these shops also have shower facilities.

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    If you have never visited a massage place before, just go with the flow. If price is important to you make sure you say at the beginning that you just wish to have a Thai Massage.

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    It is difficult to recommend which shop you should visit here.

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    On a recent morning I popped in three different ones for a one hour Thai massage.

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    All three were good.

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    All three made me feel welcome and I found them relaxing.

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    In two of them I was told I was a "Hansum Man" which is always nice to hear at my age.

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    Total cost for the three hours amounted to 300 baht. That is what I call a good deal!

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    which meant I had some spare change for a snack.
    Giorgio Federico
     
  2. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    I would be careful as I have been offered more than just a massage on more than one occasion.
     
  3. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    In my mind these prices are too low for a decent massage, they're banking on the $$ from a happy ending. For legit, local shop, non-gouging massages my experience is about 200 THB for an hour. But everyone has their own range and experience.

    I also tend to stay away from the Suk corridor and prefer neighborhoods with local businesses.

    Two main points:

    1) On Nut is more than 10 min from Nana, I'd factor in 25 minimum. It's a span of 6 stops.
    2) Gluay tawt, AKA deep friend bananas, nor potato, nor taro is lunch. They just serve to make you hungrier. :D
     
  4. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    :D :D :D ... nice to see you here again!
     
  5. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Mrs Sweet Willie & I have popped into more than one massage place while on our travels. (normally reflexology places).

    To get out of the noisy, hot street, into a tranquil, a/c cooled place where one gets a great foot massage while drinking fresh made fruit juices is just heaven !!!
     
  6. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    All,

    Thank you for all this feedback and 75 viewers too in the space of six hours or so...WOW!!!
    I have sometimes remarked that certain subjects have "Appeal" because they lend themselves well to dialogue.
    Equally worth of note is that some subjects tend to attract more interest than others.
    The subject of "Massage" seems to attract both.

    For the record, out of three venues I visited on that occasion not one suggested a "Happy ending"
    I assume they must have seen I was quite happy when I walked in.
    Allegedly, I had "happy" written on my face and it has been suggested that "Happy" as "Unhappy" is a pro active choice, which apparently may be liable to contagion and can spread to one's own writing.

    Kwai
    as will all other posters that I have had the pleasure of reading on this site, I will bow to your greater knowledge.
    However, it begs a question, when you completed the Nana to On Nut stretch, did you use:

    a) Horse and carriage
    b) A taxi
    c) The BTS

    I used the latter and it had no delay in between stops. I admit that I did not set the stopwatch facility on my i-Pod when I set off at Nana but it really did not seem 25 mns to me.I do not intend to argue on this as it serves no purpose. However, if someone is currently in Bkk and travelling in this direction, it will be good to hear from them and, given that this site allows for re-editing, I will be happy to amend it as suggested.

    To that end, as I believe that reports posted should be credible along with their source, thank you for the correction on "fried bananas" and I have amended it to simply read "snack"

    As to pricing, we could have a long and interesting discussion on understanding the local economy and its price structure , the differentiation of pricing between locals and Farangs, the areas, the environment, the amenities etcetera. However, if you believe the old saying that "Knowledge is best when shared" it would be great to receive your contributions of what you have tried and deemed to be "legit local shops - non gouging massages" along with the addresses and prices so that we can all try them out if we wish to do so.

    With reagrd to my own experience, call me naive if you wish but I did not notice anything illegitimate in these opearations and I certainly did not experience any "gouging", if that is the right term, that would have caused me any concerns and I can only apologise to you if that is the impression that you inferred from my plain and unsophisticated report.

    Best
    Giorgio Federico
     
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  7. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    I'm a buffalo, why would I ever confer with a horse? :D Sheer math would indicate your numbers are too low for time allowance. On Nut is the sixth stop past Nana and there is little chance BTS is efficient enough to hit each station in 2 minute intervals. My 25 was based upon BTS entrance to BTS exit and I'll stand by it (on all four legs thank you). I've not done this specific route but $hits and giggles I will next week.

    I'd prefer you don't edit info like this regardless if you're correct or otherwise. Keep the evolution in the thread.

    Did you try the fried potato or fried taro? The sign indicates she had those also, though by the relative size of the signs most people were banana-files.

    I like your style of hiding shots at me in a self-depracitive wording. ;)

    You obviously weren't gouged if you received 3 hrs of massage in 3 hours. However, anywhere foreigners are there will be shops that give the run-of-the-mill massage for quite a bit more than you paid. Foreigners have this nasty habit of justifying a price gouge by thinking, 'well, it's still cheaper than at home.' Look at the Wat Po Massage School. Foreigners are charged double (1.5x?) what locals pay and the one time I was there we both received far less than stellar massages. My, now wife, told me at the time that she didn't think it was worth the Thai price!!! Or the penchant for agreeing to a set fare taxi ride no matter how often they are told use the meter or find a new taxi.

    Further I can guarantee you that any 'happy business' that concerns only locals will not be seen by foreigners. I'm not calling you naive (you may if you so choose) but you may have seen only above the board maneuvering while locals get a completely different menu so to speak.

    As for my haunts? I can pretty well assure you that people who spend time on Suk and enjoy it probably wouldn't care to come over to my typical areas. In fact I'd prefer not even to advertise my local favs. Apologies for that.
     
  8. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Kwai,

    Thank you for clarifying my query.:confused:

    A buffalo? My dear that would allegedly make you "slow" in all kind of manners and not just for completing the mentioned stretch but a "Buffalo" who can read and discern well meaning irony and banter from fact and fiction and who can also provide intelligent responses like you do, is likely to be an educated fellow not adverse to reading and worth of anyone's respect and that certainly includes mine.:)

    As to the time, please, if you can, start the clock once you are on the train.
    False starts and use of anabolic steroids are not permitted for the driver. :D

    Regarding "editing" point taken and I shall comply as suggested.:(

    With regard to fried potatoes/taro, I am not sure what I had (shows that I am the real buffalo here ;)) but I used the Giorgio Federico's tested and tried methods of watching how many people were buying first and when I was reasonably content that no discoloration had occured in the complexion of the subjects observed and that they seemed to retain their usual motor-skills co-ordination while chewing and the nodding of their heads and smile seemed to indicate approval, then I placed my modest order for these succulent little objects. All I can tell you is that they tasted sweet. During the transition I deployed the Giorgio Federico's legendary communication skills involving moderate Italian hand gesturing (the polite version of gesturing that is), generous portions of smile dispensed freely often uninvited and a certain level of graciousness when pointing with my finger at anything/anyone...it seems to get positive results...most of the time:)

    Finally, I agree with your remark on making the mistake of converting the price asked into "our western currency", By doing so one easily gets a distorted impression that things are so cheap, when slightly more observant study of the local economy and a smattering of local median pay would suggest that they are not.

    Shame that we cannot learn more about your favourite haunts but I respect your sense of privacy.
    Best
    Giorgio Federico
     
  9. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    As I stated here in Spa / Massage in Bangkok, I personally don't hang around the tourist areas, but for a massage, I'd rather go to spa around the area I am staying at ... Reflexology at Times Square (Asok area) is legit (no hanky panky) cheap, efficient, and most importantly offers great massages.
    But all the same, thank you for posting on the On Nut area (upper Sukhumvit) as more farangs are heading and staying there as more hotels are opening in the area, such as the Best Western posted here ...
    [​IMG]
    Here is my rendition of the Verve building and the adjacent market at On Nut. More photos of the area can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalboz/page44/
     
  10. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    I am rather good with self deprication as my ID is generally used in Thai to denote a bumpkin or other unworldly uneducated folk. Slow maybe, at times. ;)

    Definitely no steroids. I like working parts to continue working properly thank you.


    And my wife didn't believe me that Italians talk with their hands when I first mentioned this to her some time ago. As with many a street food the deep fried goodies on offer at the stand in question are ordered by stating an amount of money. You'll rarely go wrong with these foods, but your observational skills are quite excellent all the same.

    With time you begin to discern the merely edible stuff from the 'oh man let's go back and get more' stands.

    My favorite deep fried bananas, bar none, are from a little stand (and I do mean little) on TNN Jabhan in the old city Chiang Mai. She's about 50m north of the Ratchadamnoen (Sunday walking market street) intersection on the east side. Generally she's there from 9AM until 3PM daily.
     
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  11. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I have a Thai massage place I've been going to for 6 or 7 years on Sukhumvit, near Emporium mall. I've been getting 2 hours for 200 baht or so for all that time. Not the kind of place for happy endings. I've run into those kind of offers a couple times, and usually can tell in the first few minutes since they can't massage worth a damn.
     
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  12. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    so do you ask for your money back if they can't massage worth a damn?
     
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  13. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    probably best to leave and call it a learning experience.
     
  14. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    I usually grin and bear it and feel lucky when I've only paid for an hour (vs 1.5 hours).

    The reality is that it's not the shop per se, it's the massuese. If you can find someone who's good you ask for them each and every time.
     
  15. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I usually just let it go. Tip requests, however, are met with scorn.

    Normally I just stick with places I've gone before.
     
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  16. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    I highly recommend the TK first lounge - spa -- the complimentary full-body massage is heavenly!:) Yes, you need to be on a TK F tkt to gain access!;)
     
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  17. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Did you mean TG or Turkish Airline? Because TG has an awesome massage in the F Lounge at BKK. Yours truly have gotten the treatment several times before the trans-pacific flights
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  18. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    opps - my bad, yes, I meant Thai (TG)!:oops:
     
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  19. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I've gotten the 30 minute massages in Biz. I've been in the TG F lounge when flying LH, but only had enough time to grab some food. I get excellent massages at my house in Indonesia, so usually not a big deal, if I miss the lounge ones.
     
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  20. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    My friend & I went to Lavana on the recommendation of another MPer & enjoyed the treatmts there! They had a nice pkg deal on top of what we had reserved for!:cool:
     
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  21. Eddy121

    Eddy121 New Member

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    I found a great article where with best budget massages in bangkok. I believe that this can help you looking for the best. I tried these aswell and can agree that the places are good. massageguruu.com
     
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  22. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Maybe not the cheapest, but we like HealthLand which is not far from the Asok intersection and is very clean. 500 Baht for 2 hours. They'll do a nice couples massage too. They also do facials.

    http://www.healthlandspa.com/asoke.html
     
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  23. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    I also like Healthland. I went to a cheap foot place with Kalboz the last time I was there and ended up walking out :)

    -David
     
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  24. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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  25. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    haha . "rudimentary" .. I thought the place smelled bad. :) It certainly was very basic.

    Anyway, I know you like the place, but we also both liked Healthland which is much nicer and consequently more expensive. I forget .. how much was the foot massage at Healthland?

    I'm sorry I never got to try the place you liked at Times Sq.

    Carl .. Healthland is a chain, I think there's 5 of them in Bangkok, but I've only been to the one at Asoke. It's really very nice, sort of like a standalone mansion in the little neighborhood behind T21.

    -David
     
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