Activities

Thai Massage Guide

Where to get a Good Thai Massage on Koh Chang

For many visitors to Thailand getting a good Thai massage is a quintessential holiday experience.  It’s a tad exotic and not something you do at home.  As with all tourist destinations in Thailand, you’ll find Thai massage shops by the roadside and on all the beaches on Koh Chang.  And all will offer numerous variations and options.  You can have all your body massaged or just  a specific part – head, shoulder, back, feet etc. 

At this point, I should ass that if you’ve come to this page looking for info related to getting a massage with a ‘happy ending’ on Koh Chang, then unfortunately you’ve come to the wrong site.  Sure, you will be able to get your tackle expertly massaged on the island but you’ll have to figure out where by yourself.

OK, moving on for any readers that haven’t just gone back to do another Google search . . . 

You can just have a regular Thai massage in which you will wear loose fitting clothes.  Or have the masseuse use coconut oil or aloe vera, in which case you’ll be down to your swimwear or underwear – or less.

Many massage shops also offer additional services, for example, hair braiding or a manicure or pedicure. These are a good way of gaining repeat customers. 

Traditional Thai massages on Koh Chang are priced at around 200 – 400 Baht/hour in roadside massage shops and on the beach.  Of course you will pay lot more than that if you decide to have a massage at your resort’s spa or massage center.  In which case figure on 500 – 1,000 Baht an hour or more. 

This doesn’t mean the quality of the Thai massage will be any better than you receive on the beach nearby, just that you are paying extra for the air-conditioned luxury in which your massage is taking place.

There are some recommendations below for the best Thai massages on Koh Chang.  But in reality the type of massage one person enjoys might not be the same for you.  Ideally, a good massage should be relaxing but in reality if it’s your first traditional Thai massage, there’s going to be some pain.  

Although if you are having a serious, tough Thai massage aimed at getting all the knots out of your crooked joints then expect some pain.  A good massage may hurt at the time but afterwards your muscles will feel like jelly and you’ll probably just want to sleep.  The after effect of a bad massage is that your body will hurt the next day.

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Recommended Massage Centers on Koh Chang

As I mentioned there are dozens of places you can get  a massage on Koh Chang.  In fact, you could probably wander into any of them and you’d be happy.  However, many of the smaller places change owners frequently.  Or staff leave and new staff arrive. And if the massage center doesn’t have any set standards for staff then it doesn’t make any sense to recommend a place that might be great one year but awful the next.  

This is why I’ve just picked three places.  All have been running for many years and have proved to be consistently good will no doubt still be operating long into the future. 

If you want more of  a hotel spa type of Thai massage then Ayurvana Massage at Santhiya Tree Resort and Spa Cenvaree at Centara Tropicana Resort both get a lot of good reviews.

Sima Massage

 

Sima Massage, Klong Prao

tripadvisor logoSima MassageSima Massage
4.5 tripadvisor stars
4.5 Stars - Based on 94 Customer Reviews

Sima Massage is a longstanding favorite and somewhere that I have been recommending to guests and readers of this site for 15 years.  It is a stand alone wooden building on the roadside built in a rustic Thai style.  

It’s probably the best place to go on the island to have a proper, tough, beat you up, traditional Thai massage.  The staff there spend their low season studying massage at different temples around Thailand.  They can feel what is wrong with you before you tell them.  I also know people who plan their holidays on Koh Chang around daily massages at Sima.  

Go with an open mind, be prepared to be twisted like a pretzel and then come out feeling hungry and light-headed.  At which point you walk next door to Kati Culinary (one of the best Thai restaurants on the island and eat like a horse.

Other types of massage are on offer, and the staff will be gentle with you if you don’t want the traditional Thai experience.  

Prices from 300 Baht/hour

Located on the inland side of the main road in Klong Prao village. 100 metres north of the turning for Centara Tropicana Resort.

Hatta Thai Massage and Wellness Center

 

Hatta Thai Massage, Klong Prao, Koh Chang

tripadvisor logoHatta Thai MassageHatta Thai Massage
4.5 tripadvisor stars
4.5 Stars - Based on 142 Customer Reviews

Hatta Thai Massage and Wellness Center is a step up in comfort from Sima. There’s air-conditioning for a start.  In addition to deep tissue traditional Thai massage, Hatta also offers Aromatherapy, Hot Stone, Aloe Vera Sunburn Relief and Slimming Massages.  Therapists are licensed by the Government of Thailand in the art of Thai Massage. 

As most patrons are staying at the Emerald Cove or Dewa, and the massage center is furnished with hard wood floors, chunky wooden furniture and uses only the best oils and lotions, prices are higher than in a small roadside shop unit. Starting price for a massage is from 400 Baht upwards.

Located in the side street leading to the entrance of Emerald Cove Resort and The Dewa, Klong Prao. 

Good Massage

 

Good Massage, Bailan

tripadvisor logoGood MassageGood Massage
5 tripadvisor stars
5 Stars - Based on 109 Customer Reviews

Back to basics now.  Good Massage is one of those nondescript massage shops that line the roadsides in some areas of the island.  Just  a simple glass fronted shop unit with some outdoor seating and small air-conditioned massage area inside.  Clients praise the professionalism and friendly attitude of the staff.   

This longstanding massage shop is run by a skilled masseur, a Thai guy called Mr Obb.  He will offer advice about what type of massage you should have and explain the reasons for having it. So it’s a good spot for newbies to learn more about massage and how it can benefit them. 

Starting price for a massage is from 250 Baht upwards.

Located on the inland side of the main road in the centre of Bailan village, opposite the turning for Elephant Bay Resort

What is a Thai Massage?

A proper Thai massage is often described as a mix of yoga and massage.  The masseuse will use stretching and slow, compression techniques along your body’s ten energy lines, known as ‘Sip Sen’ in Thai. 

When people study the art of traditional Thai massage they learn how to manipulate these energy lines and also unblock them.  Blocked energy lines can be the cause of illness and disease. Masseuses learn how to use various parts of their body, thumbs, forearms, elbows, palms, fists, knees and feet, to stretch, press and pull. This is done to relax the patient and loosen the joints. 

Energy Lines in Traditional Thai Massage

What Should I Expect if I have a Thai Massage?

Firstly, and most importantly, keep your clothes on.  Don’t strip off.  You can wear your own loose fitting t-shirt, shorts or wrap around skirt.  Or many massage shops will provide this for you.  There isn’t a requirement for the massage to be on a special massage bed. 

Traditional Thai massage is often done on a thin mat on the floor.  You will be moving around during the massage, so those massage tables with a hole where your face goes, aren’t used. They’re for a passive massage where you just lie there and get pampered. Figure of a proper Thai massage taking an hour or 90 minutes.  It’s not something that is rushed.  

You can also think of Thai massage as ‘assisted yoga’.  You’re not going to willingly contort your back and limbs into positions they haven’t been in for years.  this is where the masseuse comes in.  They will do this for you. With their assistance, you will be bent, stretched and pulled into yoga-like positions. 

Expect to come out of a session feeling battered, beaten and devoid of energy.  As though you have had a good workout. However, the next morning you should feel rejuvenated and full of positive energy.

What are the Benefits of Thai Massage?

A traditional Thai massage is good for you.  It will stretch your muscles, remove muscle knots, improve circulation and reduces stress.  Thai massage has been studied extensively and has been shown to help relieve tension headaches, reduce back pain, reduce muscle pain, stimulate circulation, boost energy and calm the nervous system. 

Who Invented Thai Massage?

No-one really knows where Thai massage came from or how it was invented.  It was borne from a melting pot of cultures, with both Indian and Chinese influences. 

But it’s development over 2,500 years ago, along with that of Thai herbal medicine, is credited to  Dr Shivago Komarpaj, who was Lord Buddha’s physician.  To this day many masseuses will start the day with a prayer, spoken in Pali, the original language of Theravada Buddhism which pays respects to Dr Shivago. (not Dr Zhivago – that was Omar Sharif.Don’t get the two confused.)

Enjoy your Thai massage experience on Koh Chang :-)