Perhaps besides food the best thing that everyone could lie for and relate to would be MASSAGES! Some people may be afraid of this and scared of the feeling as if someone was tickling you and definitely you are literally missing out in life. Massages are some of the world’s greatest pleasure. Hello! I mean legit massages okay! Not some funny little thoughts you may have inside. While there are many kind of massages in the world, from Balinese kind to those chinese Tuina, together the one that I am gonna introduce will be authentic Thai massages. Thai massages are unique in a way where they comprise the techniques from acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles and yoga movement. This is also the reason it is also known as Yoga massage. It involves lots of movement and stretching and you will feel the relief of pressure, some may find it a little painful, also Thai massages never use any oil if there is, it sure isn’t authentic. While there are numerous parlour and massage place in Bangkok, from those on the streets to the mall or even in your hotel, there are some which specialise in providing all sorts of treatment with well trained staff and a cosy environment. Some of this I found were Lavana Massage, Health Land and the one that I would like to share with you today, Asia Herb Association.
Asia Herb Association is one of the largest chain of massage centers in Thailand with 7 branches countrywide, alone in Bangkok there is already 4 of them, they also have branches in Cambodia. Asia Herb Association is especially popular among the japanese expatriates and the locals, the store that they have in Thong Lo at Sukhumvit 55 is the largest with their own three story building. Here, they are open from 9am till 2am. Reservations and charges can also be found online. I naturally feel that this is really something useful, especially when you are walking into such places that are on it’s own. Sometimes when you go in and find that it is too pricy and out of the range, you find that you can’t back out be it that you are embarrassed or pressured by the glaring eyes of the staff. Here in Asia Herb Association you won’t feel this way. You can actually find out what kind of massages suites your liking and make a reservation, in fact you are encouraged to do so to prevent any disappointment when you reach and find that no slots are available.
While their prices are definitely much more pricey than the usual parlour that you will find on the streets, they are still much cheaper than those you will find in your hotel and in the mall. You will feel the quality for the price that you are paying. The staff here are actually very professional. You first approach the counter and let them know which treatment you would like to go for, then if it is your first time they will first do a survey with you allowing them to know where you would like the massages to be more intense or any place they should not apply pressure on. They will also take in preference on your showers and place to focus on. A free membership will also be offered that gives you a loyalty 5% discount. I went for the traditional 2 hours Thai Massage which cost 950 THB. After the discount I paid about 902 THB.
First let me share about some of the common facilities and amenities before I go into the actual massage experience. There was a common resting lounge area and also a common toilet and leg washing area. A hot or cold ginger tea? will be served before and after the treatment. The common toilet also features a sauna and showering area, I feel that having a sauna is extremely impressive. In comparison to those parlour on the streets, Asia Herbal Association portrays a professional and clean image to me. I felt safe about my belonging and also the cleanliness of the towels and mattress that they used here.
The first step would be leg washing, your personal masseur will lead you to the common leg washing area and then they will wash your legs. Yes, speaking about royalty treatment here yo! I mean it makes it less disgusting for you too, since after massaging your legs they will massages your head or face with the same pair of hands too! Then I was lead to the treatment room, since I was in a party of three, we all were lead to a triple treatment room and had the room all to ourselves. The room was of a decent size with all 3 mattress on an elevated platform. There were hooks and baskets to hang our clothes and put our bags. We were then able to change in the room itself to some loose thai royal kind of pajamas. After all the treatment involves lots of stretching. The room itself also had showers with toiletries provided and it is one shower each. Yes! Even the showers are cater for each pax in the room itself.
The routine itself started with you lying on your back, they will do it from the legs first. All kinds of techniques are used, from stretching to pressing on certain points in your thigh and legs, they seems to really know the points to press on! They people here may seems really petite but they really know the way well and have tons of strength. Then they will slowly move up to other parts of your body. The stretching and pulling really works for me and I could feel the relief and also those cracking sounds of my bones. After you turn around and lie on your chest. They are super considerate in giving you a pillow to lie on to make it more comfortable. They will also help you cover with towels on the side of body that they are not working on, to prevent you from feeling cold. HAHA I actually fell asleep after them working on my back, it was super comfy and relaxing. I do remember the technique where they place their feet on your back and then pull back the both of our arms, I was so shiok where they stretch your back. You should hear a crackling sound, damn shiok. Totally the best part of the massage. Then they ask you to lie down to relax. Just when they leave the room and you thought that the treatment is over, they come back with a hot towel and massage your head and face. I would think that they went out to wash their hands before working on your face and head. Say about that service.
We were offered to take a shower after that although we declined. Once we were done changing they brought us back to the lounge area where tea was served and our shoes were brought back to us.
Some say that Bangkok is the best shopping paradise in Asia due to the wide availability of massage parlour in town together with amazing food and markets. After all life isn’t too shabby with a massage every night to smooth out those grinds in your leg after a day of shopping right? Do let me know if you went to Asia Herb Association! Let me know if you like it!