Travel Tips : Having a massage in Thailand
Body-to-body massage is actually more a sexual oriented massage where the customer can choose a massage lady (or man) sitting behind a huge window (also called the "fish bowl"). There are many variants on this sexual oriented massage like "Japanese oil massage" or "soapy massage". You will find this kind of massage almost everywhere in Thailand, sometimes at the back-side of big hotels. Well if you want to know more about all this kind of massage I am sure you will find information about on Internet. Just Google it.
So we are back at "Thai massage" which originated at the Wat Pho in Bangkok. Here is the only international official recognized school to learn Thai massage. This is both for Thai and non-Thai, so if you like to learn more about Thai massage have a look at Wat Po Massage
Thai massage is a combination of muscle movement and pressure on some special points of the body. It can be very relaxing and there are many variants of Thai massage. The most popular are the "Foot massage" and the "Face massage", but the best is a full body Thai massage.
Although said that it can be very relaxing one should also be careful when you have some problems in your body like back-pain or some muscle distraction. Why? Well because massage saloons are popping out everywhere and really believe me not ALL Thai people can massage and not ALL Thai people will recognize problems in your body. And when you have problems in your body a wrong (or too hard) massage can be a disaster (or worse). So do not be afraid to take a Thai massage but tell the people if you have a problem. And also when being massaged do not be shy to tell that it is too hard or too soft.
The foot or Face (and neck) massage are most times done in one open room with big comfortable chairs where you sit and relax while you are being massaged. The Thai massage is mostly done in a big room with mattresses on the floor and curtains between each massage place. Most time the massage saloon will offer you a kind of pyjama to wear for the massage. The massage takes normally about 60min to 90min and the price depends on the location and the offered comfort of room, but you can have a good Thai massage for 100 Thai baht per hour up to 500 Thai baht.
How to know that you are going to the right massage saloon for Thai massage? Well if you walk in and you can choose the lady of massage then you are not getting only massage. In the "normal" massage saloon you mostly will see the open room where they do the Foot & Face massage and they will have signs outside with the prices.
Personally I do not like the Thai massage anymore. I prefer a good oil massage, sometimes it is so relaxing that at the end I fall asleep. In Pattaya are along the beach road & WalkingStreet many Thai massage saloons and a bigger one along Pattaya Nua called "Health Land". They also have saloons in Bangkok. See http://www.healthlandspa.com/home.html
Another good massage & spa in Bangkok is "Lavana", see http://www.lavanabangkok.com/