Welcome to my new series ‘That Time I…’ where I share fun and/or crazy stories from the road. This week I want to share that time I got a Thai massage in Bangkok. Also known as ‘that time I got beat up by a tiny Thai lady’.
I thought I was in for a lovely relaxing day in Bangkok but it quickly turned out to be the opposite. This little woman beat me up so bad. I felt violated after she was done with me. It was definitely the worst massage I had ever experienced! Here is my story of that Thai massage in Bangkok…
About Thai Massages
Thai massages are very different to the type of massages you may be used to in the West and can be very hit or miss with people. Like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. Having never had one before I wasn’t sure what they would be like but I was curious to find out. A decision I later went on to regret!
While Thai massages are known for being a little rough, they have incredible benefits. People get them to lower stress, boost their energy, relieve headaches, stimulate circulation and improve their range of motion. With all these benefits it’s no wonder a lot of people are willing to deal with a rougher than usual massage.
My Thai Massage Story…
This story begins right at the start of my three month Asian backpacking trip taken back in 2016. I started the trip in Bangkok where I met up with the lovely Sarah whom I met on the Kerala Blog Express. We spent three days together before she had to head home to Australia. After that I was on my own and that’s when this story takes place…
A friend I’d made in my hostel had found out I had never had a pedicure before so insisted we go out for one. While we were sitting there getting our pedicures we also decided to treat ourselves to a massage but we had no idea which one to get. Neither of us knew what a thai massage was so we opted to get a back, shoulder and neck massage. I was about to put my body through months of carrying a backpack around Asia so a little treat felt in order.
After we were done with our pedicures, we were taken out back and given some purple clothes to put on. With one size for everyone they were quite big on us! Being girls on holiday we were laughing and joking and taking lots of pictures of our sexy new attire.
At this moment it was all fun and games but that was quickly about to end…
I’m a girl who loves getting sports massages so I’m used to a masseur getting rough on me. In fact, I quite like it as it gets all those horrible knots out but there is a rough massage and there is just getting beaten up! No wonder we were taken to the back room where our screams wouldn’t be heard.
The Horror Massage Begins
I was lying there while this woman pushed down really hard on my body, clicked things I never wanted clicked and pulled at my joints like she wanted to dislocate something. It was just horrible. I was looking over at my friend thinking “why isn’t she getting pulled about as much?!”
Then while I was lying there hoping the massage was almost over, I suddenly felt something heavy on my back. Was she walking on me! Again, I looked over at Lilly to see if her masseuse was doing the same but she wasn’t. So why the hell was I getting walked over?!
This was just so unpleasant. I was lying there wondering if I should ask her to stop. I figured she must know what she’s doing so let her continue but I was lying there trying not to scream out in pain. Just as it was getting too much and I was about to scream at her to get off, she stepped off my back. Thank God!
Next, it was time for her to do my shoulders and neck. I was not looking forward to this! It really wasn’t the gentle massage I was hoping for and I just couldn’t wait for this thing to be over with! She put my hands behind my head and threw my body one side to make it click and then repeated the other way.
After seeing that happen to me Lilly was quick to say she didn’t want that! It was at this point I realised she had seen things happen to me and was telling her masseuse not to do the same to her. That’s why I was getting beaten up more than her!
At least that was the end of it. Finally the torture was over.
Was I Being A Baby?
If you’ve ever experienced a Thai massage you know they are a little rougher but you’re probably sitting there thinking I’m just a big baby and maybe you’re right. Maybe I was overreacting. Lilly didn’t seem to mind hers as much but even she admitted that mine looked worse. Unfortunately, thanks to genetics, I do have some back problems to look forward to later in life so maybe that’s why it felt so painful.
Whatever the reason, I did not enjoy my massage. I’ve never been beaten up before but I imagine that’s what it feels like. My muscles may have felt a little more relaxed afterwards but my spine was killing me. For the next few days it was really painful to sit or lie down. I certainly won’t be doing that again in a hurry!
Should You Get A Thai Massage?
Please don’t let my story put you off if you’ve been thinking about getting one. As I mentioned, Thai massages are hated by some (like me) but absolutely adored by others. There’s no telling which way you’ll feel about them until you get one and experience it for yourself. You never know, you may love them!
You may be wondering, if I’m not trying to warn you off them, why am I telling you this story? Honestly, I just wanted to have some fun with you guys and give you a giggle. I tell this story a lot in person so for me it made sense to also share it on my blog. Travel doesn’t always go as planned and sometimes we don’t enjoy the things our fellow travellers do and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Half of the fun of travelling is experiencing new things and you’re never going to like everything but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. While I was in pain after my massage, I have no regrets about doing it. If nothing else I got a fun travel story from the experience!
Will I Ever Get Another Thai Massage?
Honestly, I’m in two minds about this! Part of me doesn’t want to let one bad experience put me off for life. However, I really was in a lot of pain afterwards and I’m not keen to go through that again.
Someone did suggest that maybe I had just gone to the wrong place. Apparently there are many people offering tourists an ‘authentic Thai massage’ without being trained to do so. This could explain why mine left my spine aching for days afterwards.
Perhaps one day I’ll get another one but for now I’m going to enjoy the memories and keep having fun with those ‘Thai Massages: Love Them or Hate Them’ debates.
Either way, Thailand is somewhere I will keep returning to. I love the culture, the people, the food, the beer and the place is just stunning.
So, have you ever had a Thai massage? Do you love them or hate them? Let me know in the comments below!
More From The ‘That Time I…’ Series
Did you enjoy this post? While travel guide style posts are helpful when travel planning, the reason many of us fall in love with bloggers is for the personal stories. I plan to write more of these in the future but for now why not check out the following:
Other Personal Stories
If you enjoy reading my more personal stories you may like these posts:
- Confessions of My First Solo Trip
- How I Got Into Travel
- Why Business Trips Aren’t As Great As They Sound
- A Year in Review: A Look Back at 2019