This spa, opened in 1998, was first recommended to me when I had our company conference in Chiang Mai in January 2000. Located above MacDonalds at the night market, just opposite the night bazaar, it was then a small simple spa offering Thai massages. I have since make it a point to visit the spa whenever I come to Chiang Mai, which has been 12 years since. And the spa has grown to take up two levels. The menu and price have grown in tandem. At 600baht an hour, it costs three times more than elsewhere but a good reason to splurge if you want to pamper yourself. Still cheaper when compared to Singapore, we decided on the 2 hour Thai massage with an additional 200baht for herbal press.
We were served a chilled pandan juice and towel, and a cold towel to freshen up. A pair of disposable slippers were brought to us before we were invited to go for foot washing. It’s hygienic as the masseur would be starting at your foot before moving up to your head and face. Thus, I am weary of spas which do not clean your feet first, even if it’s with wet wipes.
We were lead to our private room with three mattresses on the floor.
Unlike other massages with massage bed, Thai massages are done on the floor as the masseur sits on the bed with you. This creates a problem for me when I am on my tummy as my head is turned to one side, since there is no hole to put my head through. I get stiff neck after a while.
My masseur was a large-sized woman with thick wrist. She started at my foot and as she moved up my calves, alternating between squeezing and kneading, I told her to be gentle. As she pressed her palm on my thigh, I winced. She apologized but her pressure did not lessen. She probably felt I needed it after my hike yesterday.
Moving up, she pressed both palms on my hips where the lymph nodes are located for a long few minutes before releasing, and I immediately felt a lightening at that area. Then she rested my one leg on her shoulder and used her foot to apply pressure on my glut.
My arms were given the same kneading and then it was on to my tummy. She had folded a bath towel into a pillow for me but I preferred to not use it. Again, she started kneading my legs, using her palm, and then her forearm to stroke the thigh. I like how when she pressed the hot herbal compress onto my upper shoulder, I immediately felt my muscles relaxed under the heat, releasing any tension I had.
Then I turned over and the hot compress was repeatedly pressed onto my legs and tummy.
Next, she sat crossed leg against the wall, propped a pillow on her legs and made me lie on it while she massaged my neck. When she unwrapped a heated towel and pressed it at the back of my neck, I could feel my stress draining away. It was heavenly.
I was disappointed when she ended the massage without the twist and full body stretch which are often associated with Thai massage. Instead, I was given a few slaps on my back which signalled the end.
We were lead back to the waiting lobby and served hot tea with mango sticky rice. What a treat.
All this nice surprises made the experience worth the money. After all, if you want to pamper yourself, might as well make it a great one.