Healthland Massage, Bangkok (Photo Credit: Healthland Massage)
In Bangkok, legitimate massage parlors line almost every block. Ninety minutes of pampering plus a generous tip sets you back about twenty bucks. At those rates, everyone indulges. On most trips, I go for a massage at least twice. (On some trips, I’ve gone three times in one week.)
We get our massages at Healthland. In the lobby, glasses of cold rose water are free for the taking. Pleasant staff members whisk away our dusty shoes, replacing them with cotton slippers and ushering us up the candlelit staircase to teakwood rooms with sparkling showers, comfortable tables, and crisp linens:
After we shower and lie down, a gentle knock announces our massuers’ return. They apply peppermint paste to the soles of our feet, then massage oils our legs, arms, and backs with long, soothing strokes.The mind races for the first ten minutes or so, but eventually, mental chatter melts into silence.
In the States, the McDonald’s of massage — Massage Envy — offers sterile forty-five minute massages for sixty bucks pop (plus tips). Here, the same money buys whole three hours of bliss.
I love the Thai people, culture, and cuisine, but when people ask, “Why do you keep going to Thailand?” massages at Heathland are one of the reasons I cite most often.