If you enjoy reading this, please subscribe to my blog by selecting the follow button on the top right hand side. Thanks!!
Every time I go to Bangkok, I try to make it for a massage at least once. Want to see more of my Bangkok trips? Here are some of my most recent escapes
- Singapore – Bangkok on Jetstar (October 2015)
- Singapore – Bangkok on Cathay Pacific (November 2015)
- Singapore – Bangkok on Singapore Airlines (June 2016)
- Mini Trip Report: Bangkok on Singapore Airlines (April 2017)
- Mini Trip Report: Bangkok on Cathay Pacific (May 2017)
- Mini Trip Report: Bangkok on Singapore Airlines (July 2017)
Sometimes it so happens I am taking my sweet time and am able to get to a massage every single day of my trip. However, as these are normally just Mini Trips (taking only a couple of days), there is always a lot of shopping and eating to do.
There are plenty of “happy ending” massage parlours, but I am not looking for that.
I want the traditional Thai massage, and while it may not be the cheapest, I pretty much always go to Healthland Spa. This is chain, and there are a number of branches in Bangkok. I normally go to the Asoke branch because it’s quite centrally located.
A traditional Thai massage will cost THB550 for 2 hours (about US$16, £12). Amazing value if you ask me. Some people have said that they prefer the hotel massages. If you want to spend at least US$100 for an hour, then that’s fine. However, this is not a case that the treatment/service is 5 times better.
How to get here? If you have read my Mini Trip Report: Bangkok May 2017, then you will have seen how to get to Jesse & Son, and the directions are very similar.
- get off the BTS at Asoke.
- exit on the side of Terminal 21/Westin
- walk between Westin and Terminal 21 along Soi Sukhumvit 19 and walk about 200 metres.
- Turn right onto 100 Pi Sayam Samakhom Alley, and the Healthland Spa is about 20 metres on the left hand side.
Below is a pictorial guide of how to get there.
And if you are in Thailand for longer, or have many people, I recommend going for the vouchers. This is a booklet of 10 and translates into about THB450 for two hours (US$13, £10).
My normal schedule is to get to the branch close to the opening time. Normally the Asoke branch opens at 9am, so I try to get there between 9-10 am. This means I can just walk in and have a massage. If you want to partake after 11am, you should book in advance so you don’t have to wait for a long time. It’s best to get your hotel to call on your behalf.
When you walk in, there are usually a couple of greeters who will ask what type of massage you want. When I first started going about a decade ago, they didn’t speak much English. Now, they greeter is comfortable conversing in English. They will also be able to help you decide what massages you would like to try.
As I normally have the vouchers, I just ask for the Thai massage and that I have the vouchers. They point you to the counter where you have to pay up front. This is probably a good policy. You don’t want to think about money after you have had your massage.
Once you’ve decided what form of paid torture you want to experience, you are invited to sit down in the waiting area. It’s an opportunity just to calm down after walking in the Bangkok heat, and relax.
There is usually some water in glasses (covered) for you to help yourself to. Don’t go crazy and drink loads as you’ll be in the massage room for 2 hours. You don’t want to interrupt your massage with an urgent call of nature.
After you’ve waited for a bit (usually I don’t have to wait more than 10-15mins), someone will call your name (usually over the speakers) and you will be introduced to your masseur.
The masseur will take you to another area where you remove your footwear and take them away. You are given a pair of sandals which you will wear when you walk around the building.
Then you get taken, by lift, to one of the many floors, and into one of the rooms.
This is a small room, they have larger rooms if you want to share with family. It’s very common for Thai families to receive treatment together.
They will provide you some massage clothes to get changed into. This is a traditional Thai massage so expect to be fully dressed. They do offer the aromatherapy options, if that’s what you’re into. There are some hangers and pegs for you to hang up your clothes.
Once you’ve changed, I open the door very slightly to let the masseur know that I’m ready for my massage.
You then lie down, face up or face down, and they will start the massage.
And enjoy 2 hours of calm. Or pain.
The masseurs usually have a smattering of English so they will instruct you as they work across your body but two words to learn, and for the good Lord’s sake don’t get them mixed up!
Keng = stronger/harder
Baobao = softer/gentler
Once they have finished the body massage, they will leave the room. The treatment is not over.
They will be going to wash their hands, so they can then massage your head, and stretching you while you sit for about 10 mins. After which, the treatment is over.
After they leave you in the room, you can get changed and walk out. Your masseur will be waiting. They will escort you back to the area that you removed your footwear. First they will bring you a warm (non-alcoholic) drink. While you are drinking, they will bring your shoes/flip flops etc back to you. When they are bringing your drink or footwear, it’s a good opportunity to check their name label.
They will then retreat to a discrete distance by the stairs and wait for you to finish. After you finish your drink, it’s common to go to your masseur (remembering the name from the earlier label check) and thank them again for beating you up. This is when you give a tip. My normal trip is THB100. If you are feeling particular generous there is nothing stopping you from leaving more.
What is new here is that they now have a separate building which houses the shop. This is fairly recent development (recent as in the last few years). There are a lot of various creams, lotions, soaps etc etc that are for sale.
Please show your support and subscribe to my blog by selecting the follow button at the top right. Thanks!!
You can find me also on