WHERE TO GET THE BEST THAI MASSAGE IN BANGKOK
The one thing on everybody’s to-do list in Bangkok is to get a Thai Massage. And the best Thai Massage in Bangkok you get at the famous Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School!
Why you get the best Thai Massage in Bangkok at the Wat Pho Traditional Thai Massage school:
The ancient practice of applying pressure along the muscular and nervous system that we call Thai Massage has been used in Thailand since the 12th century. The Wat Pho temple was the first center of higher learning in Thailand and it was here that Thai Massage methods and practices were studied and taught. Within the temple there are still many tablets inscribed with instructions for practicing Thai massage. You can still learn Thai Massage here in different courses starting from 30 hours, but you can also get a Thai massage and that’s what I did.
Guide to get the best Thai Massage in Bangkok:
Following a visit to the temple I found the Thai Massage pavilion and reception buildings. They are within the temple complex and you will find them easily when wandering around. The reception is in a different building than the actual massage room and you have to go there first and pay upfront for your massage. I went to the temple on a rainy day in September and didn’t have to wait. In busy season it might be better to make an appointment before visiting the temple.
After I paid I made a quick visit to the public restrooms (around the corner and super clean and modern!) and my masseuse was waiting for me and lead me to the massage room. This is a big communal space – lines and lines of mattresses on the floor with no partitions for privacy. It looks like a big massage factory! But once the massage started I completely forgot about that and the atmosphere was actually very relaxing and quiet.
Before your massage you are given a comfortable pair of loose-fitting fisherman pants and a top to wear and you can change in a small cubicle (here you have privacy). You take your bag and things and your masseur walks you to your massage mattress. Your personal belongings are then deposited in a box next to your mattress, so they are out of sight and nobody can grab them.
My lovely masseuse started out by asking if I have any health problems. Then the traditional Thai massage began. Traditional Thai massage involves a lot of hard pressing and stretching to reach your body’s deep tissue, so some of the techniques can be quite painful. You can say “bow bow” for softer – though no guarantee that they will listen. My masseuse knew exactly what muscles to work for the best effect and focused on some parts that needed special attention (hello tight shoulder muscles). I relaxed and enjoyed the calming atmosphere; the humid tropical air cut by the cool breeze from the fan, the quiet conversations among the masseurs, and the faint sounds of the city beyond the walls. The massage left me incredibly relaxed and rejuvenated – ready for more exploring of this amazing city!
How much does a Thai massage cost at Wat Pho?
Traditional Thai massage price at Wat Pho
- 420 Baht for 1 hour
- 260 Baht for 30 minutes
Foot Massage price at Wat Pho
- 420 Baht for 1 hour
- 280 Baht for 30 minutes
2 Sanamchai Road, Phra Borommaharachawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10020 (Immediately south of the Grand Palace)
By Taxi: Ask the driver to take you to Wat Pho (or Wat Phra Chetuphon as it is known to most Thais)
By Boat: Take the Chao Phraya River Express to Tha Thien, then walk 5 minutes to Wat Pho.
By MRT: The closest station is Hua Lampong; take a taxi from there.
Open every day from 8:00 – 18:00 hrs.
100 Baht to enter the Wat Pho compound
You should dress appropriately for a temple. Women who arrive in shorts or tank tops will be given a cloth to cover body parts before entering the temple – this doesn’t apply for the temple complex. For the massage you get simple pants and tops to wear, see above.
Wat Po Thai Traditional Medical School