The only woman who got a real massage in Thailand

Finding real massage parlors in much of Asia can be a Herculean effort (as massage unfortunately means something completely different across the pond). But this tale from one Australian businesswoman shows us all that it can be done! Even in Thailand!

Before a conference in Bangkok, our group spent a few days in Chiang Mai. There were 20 of us on the trip, and we were all encouraged to sign up for the famous Thai massage of Chiang Mai.


Once we all gathered in the lobby, we were told to hop on a rickety smoke-spewing bus that was going to take us to the best Thai massage parlor in the city.

I remember thinking that you can’t judge a massage parlor by a bus. And I also remember thinking that the place must be absolutely huge to accommodate 20 people in private rooms.


A tiny woman came into the room and commanded us to undress. We were told to take off everything except our undies and then put on some loose-fitting Thai pajamas.


In a few minutes, the door opened, and 20 even smaller women came into the room. Apparently, these were our therapists, and they were the troops sent to give us what they called a “group” Thai massage.

For one hour, we were pummeled by legs, elbows, knees, hands and feet. The therapist found muscles I haven’t used since I was 7 years old. At one point, she flipped me over her back. I whimpered.

Excerpted from The New York Times.