Thai massage is world-renowned for its health benefits. No trip to Bangkok is complete without having at least experienced it once! If massage only brings to mind candles and aroma oils, the emphasis on stretching of the Thai style might surprise you at first. However, it’s famous for easing aches and pains for a reason! For those in the know, the OG source of Thai massage as recorded in the history books comes from one spot. It all started right here at Wat Pho massage. Let’s find out more about this ancient art below.
Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is one of the most popular temples in Bangkok for visitors. Firmly on many a bucket list, it’s one of Bangkok’s oldest and most grandest first-class royal temples. Many visitors come to see all 46 meters long of the famous reclining Buddha with their own eyes. Other cultural points of interest include the temple’s collection of over 1000 Buddha images, which is one of the largest in Thailand. The whole temple is also full of many beautiful murals. Upon a closer look, visitors might notice a more academic bent to the artwork depicted. These drawings of constellations and massage techniques were created by monks to educate others. Because of them, it lead to present-day UNESCO recognizing Wat Pho as Thailand’s first public university.
Every Bangkok visitor should make sure to experience a Wat Pho massage themselves! The main massage pavilion is located in the Wat Pho temple complex itself. Guests can choose their preferred massage and enjoy. It doesn’t get more authentic than this! Afterwards you can continue exploring the beautiful complex. There are also official off-shoots in the surrounding areas and even in Bangkok suburbs. Just be sure to keep an eye out for the official logo.
If you never knew before, Thai massage’s health benefits include:
Many who try it for the first time end up addicted for life!
You can define Thai massage as a complex traditional healing practice that draws from acupressure, Indian Ayurveda and assisted yoga positions. At its heart is the theory of “sen”, also known as energy lines that radiate through the human body. The founder of Thai massage is popularly agreed to be a monk by the name of Shivago Komarpaj who lived over 2,000 years ago. Did you know: Every modern Thai massage begins with the therapist sending a quick prayer to his memory! Thai massage features stretching and deep kneading with both the masseuse and the client dressed in loose, breathable clothing. It is recommended as a welcome addition to one’s normal routine, however be sure to enjoy it within moderation.
Here are the most popular types of Thai massage:
An important safety note: As with any kind of physical activity, those with pre-existing health conditions should double-check with their doctors before trying it. Pregnant women or ill people with high blood pressure, heart disease, joint pain, fever and similar ailments should avoid it. Always get the go-ahead from their trusted medical professionals first.
If you enjoyed receiving that invigorating massage and want to know more about it, don’t fret! Thai massage fans can actually learn this ancient art from the pros! But Thailand is full of almost as many Thai spas as there are Thai restaurants, so don’t veer into unproven schools. The Wat Pho massage school is popular for its proven history and name-recognition. It also offers many different courses for every level of learner. This can range from mini-workshops to professional full-time 165 hours courses that you graduate from with an official certificate. It’s a great idea for a hands-on learning experience and holiday memory. Or, another option for people who want to switch career fields and start their own business.
Contact: www.watpomassage.com (Bilingual website).
Those interested to learn should contact the school between 8 am – 5pm.
Telephone: 02-622-3533 / 086-368-3841
Remember to adhere to basic Thai temple etiquette! This means modest outfits for women that cover the shoulders and chest area, along with bottoms that go past the knee. For men, shirts with sleeves and pants that also go past the knees are a must.
The temple is only around 2 kms away from ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai. Walk if you feel like it (and weather allows), or take a taxi or tuk tuk from the hotel and get there fast. Or, rent an e-scooter or bicycle. If you’re travelling from elsewhere, you can use the new MRT blue line. Get off at MRT Sanam Chai station, Wat Pho is only 500 meters or a few minutes away.
The official address: 2 Sanam Chai Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200