What are you letting yourself in for with a Thai Massage? Read on to find out …
You’re in Thailand; the perfect place to experience this cultural massage. (Some people get them every week).
But what are you
letting yourself in for?
Continue reading to
massage or “Thai yoga massage” is a
traditional healing system combining acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and
assisted yoga postures.
Originated in India, around 2,500 years ago, the physician to the Buddha, Shivago Komarpaj, is said to have created the Thai massage.
Most of the recorded history of Thai massage was lost in 1767 during the Burmese attack in Ayutthia. However, there were records that survived and were inscribed in the Sala Moh Nuat, a massage pavilion in Bangkok.
Since the origin, there are a combination of influences for Thai medicine from Chinese, Indian and Southeast Asian culture, making the Thai Massage what it is today.
First, you will be
given a shirt and pants, then led to a changing room or bathroom. These are loose
fitting, clean, and comfortable. So for a thai massage, you are fully clothes, unlike oil massage.
In a Thai massage the therapist uses a
variety of different sequences of techniques on clients, who are
either lying face up, lying face down, seated, or on their side.
There is constant body contact between the
therapist and the client, but rather than rubbing on muscles, the body is
compressed, pulled, stretched, and rocked.
The masseuses will use
every part of their body in order to do this, including their thumbs, elbows,
and knees. Some masseuses might even walk on you.
certainly are not gentle. It is important to note that oftentimes, Thai
massages can feel like unpleasant, if not painful experiences.
Usually, the masseuse
will make it more or less intense depending on a person’s size and age.
Top Tip – “Jep” means “hurt” in Thai. So if the masseuses are making the massage too uncomfortable, this becomes and important word.
Thai massage is a therapeutic procedure that provides relaxation and restores healthy blood circulation. It also treats energy blockages, weak, dysfunctional organs, aches and pains, flexibility, paralysis, nerve problems and postural alignments, and many more. See below for more detail …
1. Lowers stress
Stress can negatively
affect mental and physical health. Chronic, or long-lasting, stress can lead to
serious illnesses, including depression
and cardiovascular disease.
Thai massage uses gentle pressure and stretching techniques to relax the body, to relieve physical and emotional tension.
2. Boosts energy
Research has shown
that Thai massage can increase people’s physical energy levels.
The Thai massage
technique is based on the notion of energy lines, or Zen. Most practitioners
believe that there are various Zen, or channels of energy, within the body.
Over time you body can build up blockages.
These blockages reduce the flow of life energy, which results in stiffness, pain, and illness. Thai massage uses different techniques that either open or constrict different Zen to correct the flow of life energy.
3. Stimulates circulation
Thai massage can
promote the circulation of both blood and lymph through the use of gentle
stretches. These yoga-like stretches increase blood circulation, which fills
the body’s tissues with oxygen. This helps promote cell growth and heart
They believe that this
is because it improved blood circulation, which, in turn, stimulates the
somatosensory system. This is a system that plays a major role in balance.
4. Improves range of motion
incorporates yoga-like stretches to reduce stress and improve circulation. The
gradual, gentle stretching will enhance the person’s flexibility over time,
allowing a greater range of motion.
Thai massage may also
improve the circulation of the fluid in the joints, or synovial fluid, which reduces
friction between the joints. This can improve joint mobility and range of
5. Thai massages are great for athletes
It works similarly as
a sport massage, due to it being in the same style of this deep tissue massage/stretches.
Thai massage also improves circulation, which brings
more oxygen to muscles and other tissues. This may prevent injuries and improve
the athlete’s ability to recover after intense training.
Thai massage prices
will depend on you go.
Generally you will see
them offered for around Thai massage for 300-400 thb ($9-12).
However resorts or
high-end salons will charge 500 thb ($15) plus.
If your masseuse does
a great job, it would be a lovely gesture to tip them, for their efforts. The
massages are incredibly cheap, and these people’s jobs are simply exhausting.
Usually an hour, but
if you body is really ache-y, you can differ to the 90 minutes.
This is a common
miss-conception and only very few places offer this service.
To avoid any
embarrassing encounters, do your research on the recommended ones.
As of 2018, of the 8,000 to 10,000 spa and massage shops in Thailand, only 4,228 are certified by the Health Ministry’s Department of Health Service Support (HSS).
Thai massages are a must in the Kingdom of the best! Dare to try?
This tasty delight is the perfect treat, which pleases all taste buds. It is made with crepe batter fried on a hot pan with any ingredients of your choice. E.g. banana and nutella, peanut butter, mango…
Street food at very cheap prices, around 50thb, will definitely leave you wanting more.
2. Emerge yourself at the temples
Try a bit of Thai culture when strolling around the Buddhist and Chinese temples. These are beautifully erected with the history and culture intertwined.
Click here – Go to our temple page to see the locations around the island.
3. Say hello to the
Koh Phangan has world-class snorkeling and diving spots. So take your snorkel and mask and dive into the warm sea.
4. Paint yourself up
at the parties
Get creative and express your wild side with the UV fluorescent paint you can buy from any small shop. Full Moon Party and Half Moon Party have the UV lighting everywhere so see your artwork come alive. Paints and brushes around 100thb.
5. Experience a Thai
This is a unique massage, and you have come to the best place to get one. Stretching, pulling and twisting your body into some interesting positions, with the aim of you feeling free and energised.
Traditional Thai massage uses no oils or lotions. The recipient remains clothed during a treatment. There is constant body contact between the giver and receiver, but rather than rubbing on muscles, the body is compressed, pulled, stretched and rocked.
6. Cooking courses
One of the most flavourful and mouth watering cuisines, you should definitely get an insight into a thai kitchen. Surprisingly easy dishes to make, you will build up your culinary skills to impress your friends and family.
7. Adventure into
Waterfalls and jungle is plentiful in Koh Phnagan, being over 70% protected National Park. Seeing the immense-ness of the diversity of different flora and fauna and surrounding yourself into nature will leave you feeling complete relaxed.
Phaeng Waterfall is the largest and probably the easiest waterfall to access, even by bicycle. It is part of Thansadej National Park and consists in Phaeng Noi Waterfall when you arrive just after fifty meters after the park entrance and Phaeng Yai Waterfall bordered by a path which 200 meters before the top crosses a path at the left that leads to Dom Sila Viewpoint.
This one is quite tourist, however it is a good day out for the whole family. The waterfall can be seen at different levels, depending one how high you want to climb. Therefore even if you are feeling lazy, you can still see this beautiful spectacle.
There is also a restaurant at the location for some tasty Thai dishes.
Watch the fireball of a sun dip into the horizon of the sea, lighting up the sky with magical colours, makes a beautiful end to a day. Can be seen from rooftop bars, beaches or a beachside restaurant.
This can be sighted at any spot on the West coast of the island.
Best viewed with clear skies and a direct line for the sun to disappear into the water. More often then not, the weather in Koh Phangan is perfect for sunsets, will only very few clouds. However, it is seasonal here so do your research for the best times to visit the island.
9. Visit the highest
point of the island
Want a new profile picture? Khao Ra with 360 views of the Koh Phangan is the place to do it. The trek is quite strenuous so bring your trainers, but well worth the sights when you reach the top.
Click here – to find out everything for this adventure.
10. Lounge out at the infinity
Also another great spot for picture taking. Spent the day relaxing in style with good music, sunshine and chilled vibes. Not to be missed!
Did you come here to party? Or are you looking for a little spiritual enlightenment? Big fan of the marine life? Or do you want to get lost in the Jungle? Well friend, Koh Phangan really has something for everyone. And you’ve come to the right place.
Yes this one is pretty obvious, but we have 35 beaches! Some secluded, others full of life why would you not see them all? for example, In the south, a fine white beach stretches from Thongsala all the way to the rocky outcrop that marks the start of the Haad RinPeninsula. Most of this beach is referred to as Baan Tai Beach. The portion of the beach nearest Haad Rin is marked off by a small creek and is called Bankai. Near the centre of Baan Tai Beach is a small pier where you can organize boat transfers or fishing trips. On both sides of the pier are some great stretches of beach.
Much of Baan Tai is peaceful beach fringed with coconut palms. The water is blue and in the distance you can see Koh Samui. Most nights of the year there is a wonderful sunset.
The resorts are spread out and the road is some distance from the coast.Moreover there is a coral reef about 200 meters from the coast. This means that during the low tidal seasons (May to October) the water is shallow until the reef. It is great to paddle in but is not the beast beach for swimming.
During the windy months Baan Tai becomes the best place for kite boardingin Koh Phangan. So if you like to party at night and do extreme sports during the day Baan Tai is the ideal destination.
The Parties and Events
While Koh Phangan is worldwide famous for its Full Moon Party in Haad Rin, Ban Tai has its call in the party and nightlife.
For those who prefer live bands there are also bars such as Outlaws Saloon and BM Barthat have a fun live music venues.
The Restaurants and Bars
Baan Tai is probably the area in the island with the greatest variety of places to eat and drink. You’ll find are cheap, local restaurants serving Thai food as well asWestern cuisine. There are also beautiful seaside restaurants and bars likeLa Casa Tropicanaor more exclusive restaurants such as Fisherman’s Restaurantwhere you can get great food enjoying a beautiful sunset. For those who prefer fast food there are plenty of places to get pizzas, burgers and fish and chips such as The Food Factoryopened 24/7. For those looking to experiment Eastern cuisine you’ll find the best Russian restaurant Friends Cafeand the brand new delicious Silk Wayserving Uzbek cuisine.
For those wanting to self-cater the supermarkets of Thongsalaare just a few minutes away too.
Baan Tai has a lively nightlife with many beach bars like Infinity Beach Club as well as fun bars where you can play pool, showcasing live music and great variety of beers like BM Bar. You are never far away from a bar that suits you.
Koh Phangan is a pretty big island, fourth largest in Thailand in fact. The best way to see it and the surrounding ones is to book one of the island tours! Go by boat, jeep, or bike, these companies will show the best of Koh Phangan.
Phangan Bicycle Tours
Mingalaba Road Trip
Asia Blue Tours
Ocean Drive Speed Boat Tours
Spa & Massage
While Koh Phangan is known for it’s crazy parties like the infamous Full Moon Party, it is also famous for its massages and wellness centers.
Thai massage is of course the signature massage in Thailand, being originally performed by the monks to heal the body and mind. Indeed, Thai Massage is an ancient healing practice that combines acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures.
However, you can find many other types of massages such as the aroma oil and a full range of skin treatments in the numerous spas around the island. Enjoy a massage or a full day spa package to leave you refreshed, and recharged.
Here are our recommended places on Koh Phangan to get your body relaxed.
Gaia Nature Spa
Cocohut Resort & Spa
Santhiya Resort & Spa
Paradiso Beach Spa
Pure Relax Spa
If your looking for a little adrenaline rush, or want to see why Koh Phangan one of worlds best Scuba diving spots, check out our friends with the water sports below. Make the most of your trip in Thailand!
Slip N Fly
Wake up Wakeboarding
Asia Blue Tours & Scuba
Reefers Scuba Diving
Haad Yao Divers
The best of Mind Body and Soul
Koh Phangan is a true heaven for yogis around the world. You should know that Koh Phangan is a famous destination for Thailand yoga holidays, as well as Thailand yoga teacher training programs. More than a deeply relaxing island, Koh Phangan yoga retreats will deliver a unique experience to remember forever. Take your time to marvel at the endless sunny beaches or the lush coconut forests.
Orion Healing Center
Wonderland Healing Center
The Sanctuary Thailand
Pure Flow yoga
We could honestly keep going on, there are too many options. Browse our site and find something that’s good for you!
Read our other guides for more info about Koh Phangan:
Every month on Full Moon, up to 20,000 people on Haad Rin beach are fuelled on buckets of alcohol, from countries all around the world, listening to loud electronic/dance music, painted in UV artistic and creative designs, dancing to their hearts content under the stars, until the early hours of the morning. An event not to be missed!
The main party is on the Full Moon Beach (Haad Rin Beach), however the party is celebrated in the whole of this pier town.
100THB entry fee, which goes towards the mass clean up the next day from rubbish, straws, lost items and whatever else gets left behind.
The 10 Tips and Tricks:
Have a meeting place
This may sound like something your mum would do when you were a kid, but it is extremely easy to lose people in large crowd in the dark. So to avoid pick a point to meet I this ever occurred.
Near Full Moon time, the prices of accommodation rise to the roof, and availability is scarce. So be savvy and do a little research prior, to get the best deals.
Leave the valuables at home
Just take what you need, and nothing else. Pick pockets are crafty where they use your unaware, distracted state to their advantage. If you insist on bringing one, be sure that your pockets are deep enough or you have a secure pouch to place them in to protect them from getting swiped or from slipping out.
These are basically sandcastle buckets filled with a deadly concoction of alcohol finished with 10 straws poking out. The easy way to get absolutely hammered. They can be seen everywhere from the 100’s of lined up stall, side by side, all over the beach. Buckets are usually 150THB-400THB, depending on the alcohol. However they are all open drinks so never leave unattended and watch the drink tender make your bucket as they may put a nasty surprise in there instead.
There is no need to risk it and drink and drive. Taxis are doing their runs all over the island this day of the month, so no need to worry about transport.
Buy your own pain.
More fun and a lot cheaper to DIY. The small pots can be bought in the town streets or prior to the events at 100THB with paint brushes. A great warm up activity to get you hyped.
Stay away from fire jump rope
This might look appealing and a great idea in the moment, however with the next day’s painful burns, you will surely have some regrets.
You can easily dehydrated from the continuous dancing and hot and humid weather. Drink a lot of water before and during the event! It will also help your hangover the next day.
Shoes or flip flops?
This all comes down to personal preference. It is a beach so ideally flipflops are more suitable, however just expect the occasional crazy dancing drunk to step on your foot. But wear something on your feet as you never know what is on the ground.
Don’t go in the ocean
There’s a reason the water is warm, and it’s not because you’re in Thailand. People use this as the easiest available toilet! Plus not to mention the correlation between drunkenness and drowning. Be smart!
Full Moon Party is an unforgettable experience, with crazy stories and wild people.
Just take these top tips on board and you will be remembering your Full Moon experience for the right reasons.
Do something filled with adrenaline to push you out of your comfort zone!
Surrounded by glistening flat seas, luscious mountains and valleys, and will the sun dazzling down; Koh Phangan entices adventure and exploration for all ages, interests and experience!
Adrenaline – Feel the Rush!
When you feel fear, your heart starts pounding. Adrenal glands dump the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream – adrenaline rush! Your body is now activating at a heightened state of physical and mental alertness. All of it reminds you that you are alive!
However it is that same element of fear that stands between a thrill and just plain fun. Phangan Explorer wants you to live life to its fullest potential!
Here are some examples to give you that burst of human jet fuel to rejuvenate your spirits!
Take an adrenaline-filled jet-ski ride over the crystalline blue Koh Phangan waters, while going full throttle to discover secret, deserted beaches all to yourself!
Tip – You don’t need a license to go on one of our jet-ski tours, just to sign a consent form. Be careful for jet ski scams if you break them, you don’t get racked up with a big bill. However feel like James Bond cruisning or speeding on the flat waters in the sun for your exciting adventure!
Kiteboarding (The Heart Racer)
Harnessing wind power to ‘fly’ gives you a superhuman feeling. You don’t have to be particularly muscular to hold down the kite; it’s harnessed around your waist, so your body weight counters the kite’s power, not your arms.
Lessons – First, you’ll start learning to skim across the water — a skill that takes just a day or two to grasp. Once you’ve got the basics, you can graduate to jumps.
3. Bouldering (The Dangerous)
Find your own route and jumping and climbing from rock to rock, along the sides of cascading waterfalls surrounded by the thick tropical jungle.
After building up a sweat, discover secret pools and spots along the way for you to take a well-deserved dip.
Tip – Full focus is needed, as some rocks can move beneath your feet! Also you may be having to use your whole body when climbing along a rock with the rush of the waterfall stream beneath you.
4. Diving (The Time-Flier)
Explore the undiscovered, unknown world of the deep sea. Watch in awe of the beauty of other life forms while going out in the water for an hour feels like only 10 minutes. You will hack into the ‘zone’.
Tip – Day trips for the inexperienced, or courses can be taken for you to have a unique experience that you will remember for the rest of your life!What will you find down there?
5. Parasailing (The Tongue Swallower)
Muster the courage to get lifted higher than the eagles. You will have a beautiful bird-eye view of the whole island and its amazing landscape. Truly mesmerizing!
Tip – To stop your shaking knees, reassure yourself by knowing the equipment, the company and the staff.
Standing atop a cliff, stretching arms like wings, staring into the abyss, and jumping off from hundreds of feet into the water below is an experience reserved for daredevils and thrill-seekers. However we don’t want you crazy kids to go flinging yourself of ridiculously high dangerous, rocky waters. Be smart!
Tip – Only should be attempted with people of experience. Know your surroundings, your limits and should be done with friends to minimize risks.
Challenge your physical and mental strength on Koh Phangan by releasing some of that adrenaline into your bloodstream to make you feel alive!
Nevertheless, incorporating extreme sports in to your trip doesn’t fit for everyone. So you choose the activity!
Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is the national sport and cultural martial art of Thailand. It was developed several hundreds of years ago as a form of close-combat that utilizes the entire body as a weapon.
Often referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs”, Muay Thai utilizes a beautiful symphony of kicks, punches, knees, and elbows with fluidity and grace. You will know if you get hit!
Did you know?
Muay Thai fighters train many hours a day and may accumulate as many as 120-150 fights (3 times as many as an active boxer) before they reach their mid-twenties! That’s a lot of punches!
Muay Thai in Koh Phangan
Muay Thai training will continues to grow in popularity. Especially as Koh Phangan has an abundance of muay thai classes and gyms around the island, equipped with the best trainers and coaches. It is easy-peasy to find gyms in your area, for your intensive aerobic workout!
At the beginning of every bout you see the fighters perform a ritual dance – The Wai Kru – which has deep meaning to muay Thai practitioners.
The wai kru is performed by fighters in order to pay homage to their teachers and family and to bless themselves with victory in the ring.
Taking up to 5 minutes, to performing the detailed choreographed patterns of movement, the fighters are adorned with a headpiece called a mongkol and armbands called prajioud.
Is Muay Thai for me? Here’s some inspiration …
Today, Muay Thai is becoming very popular on a global scale. It was recently accepted as an Olympic sport, finally gaining its deserved recognition. But why try Muay Thai?
It is simple and easy to learn –
Known for its raw simplicity. That’s why Muay Thai is for everyone: men, women and children alike.
Great fitness –
Being a very physically demanding sport, it is a great way of getting keeping in shape. This full body workout will definitely leave your muscles sore, but then you know you have really pushed yourself and released the stagnant energy in your body. Proven to burn over 1,000 calories an hour.
Let off some steam –
Angry about something? Well Muay Thai is the perfect cure! What feels better than releasing all your negative emotions on a punch bag with some gloves?
Learn a new skill –
Hey it’s not every day that you get to try this sport where it originated from. The authentic and correct methods of teaching will be passed to you. Which you can then take away to your home country and show off and impress your friends.
Effective self- defense –
Hopefully you will never have to use these skills. However it might give you the confidence and ability to get out of some sticky situations.
Toughens and strengthens not just your body, but also your mind and spirit –
As the late great Muay Thai Grandmaster Kru Yodtong Senanan once said, “Muay Thai is good for your confidence and inner strength.” As well as cultivating your physical conditioning, Muay Thai enhances confidence and promotes discipline of the mind through the control of emotions and feelings.