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Thai Massage in Hat Yai

 

        Page Contents

Thai Language Tip

The Thai for massage is 'nuat'. Thai traditional massage is 'nuat pairn tai'. Foot massage is 'nuat faa tao'. Oil massage is 'nuat naam-mun'. If you feel pain and want the masseuse to ease up, the magic word is 'jep'. 'bao bao' to indicate you want a softer massage.

Massage in Hat Yai

Work in Progress

I have been planning to add a massage section to this site for a long time. However, there are so many massage shops in Hat Yai that getting started has been a daunting task.

There are many places that I haven't yet covered but I am planning to add more over time. If you would like to provide feedback for somewhere that I haven't covered yet, please do so and I will add it sooner rather than later.

Feedback can be sent to: phil@phil.uk.net

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Introduction

Singapore prices for Thai massage - Click for larger image Many Malaysians and Singaporeans make frequent visits to Hat Yai for various reasons. One reason that almost all of them have in common is the opportunity to enjoy very cheap massages.

Cheap massage is a big tourist draw all over Thailand, not just in Hat Yai. It encourages tourists to spend their money in Thailand and it also provides employment for many poor girls from other regions of Thailand, as well as from neighbouring countries.

I arrived in Hat Yai as a single man and for many years took the opportunity to enjoy massages at ridiculously cheap prices. On average, I probably went for massages three times a week and sampled almost every massage shop in Hat Yai.

Some places charge just Bt200 for a two hour massage. In Singapore where there are Thai girls doing exactly the same thing in little massage shops, the price is well over Bt1,000 an hour. In central London a two hour Thai massage might cost you anything up to Bt5,000.

Places like London and Singapore have lots to offer but everything is expensive. Rural Thailand can't offer the same things as big cities in developed countries, but there are certain advantages ... such as cheap massage.

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Visitor Feedback

If you have visited a Hat Yai massage shop and would like to provide some feedback for this site I would really appreciate your input. The same applies for hotels, restaurants, and anything else in Hat Yai that you would care to comment on.

There is nothing I regard as being more important than real feedback and it really helps other people who visit this site.

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Defining Massage in Thailand

Massage is a very broad and euphemistic term in Thailand. At the 'hot bath and massage' places (aap op nuat) there is no massage at all because these places sell a very different thing.

There are genuine traditional Thai massage shops where trained practitioners offer massage for medical purposes. There aren't actually too many of these places.

In tourist areas there are LOTS of 'massage for pleasure' shops where poor girls from the north and northeast regions of Thailand, and also from neighbouring countries, have found work. Generally, they don't provide sex (although some do) and neither are they alternative medicine practitioners, but the service they provide can be quite enjoyable.

The girls doing the massage for pleasure don't have much training but some have been doing the job for a long time and although they might not be able to treat a specific medical condition they can provide a good experience.

On the other hand, some of the girls aren't very good at all. The ones who have only just started don't know what they're doing and others simply have a bad attitude. I've been for quite a few massages where the girl turns the A/C on full and then watches TV while performing a perfunctory kneading action on various parts of my body.

Depending on the kind of massage you want, you can find it somewhere in Thailand, and if you visit enough massage shops you can find which places are best. This guide, hopefully, along with any visitor feedback I receive will help to identify the best places to go in Hat Yai.

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Types of Massage

Getting my feet massaged after doing lots of walking in Sukothai - Click for larger image The massage on offer falls into three types: traditional Thai massage, oil massage (the Thai pronunciation is 'oy'), and foot massage.

Traditional Thai massage is designed to work on the musculo-skeletal system and with some masseuses it can be quite painful. If carried out gently it can be quite relaxing, but there is a kind of 'no pain - no gain' mentality in Thailand. Many masseuses seem to want customers to experience some pain, and some customers feel cheated if they walk out without feeling any pain.

Considering that Thai massage is performed in many places by girls who have had only a few days informal training and no proper training at all, there are a few things that concern me.

Some girls will walk on your back. I don't mind if they are small but the larger ones feel quite heavy. When they do this I can't relax and tense my body to try to prevent them snapping anything.

The girls also like to crack joints. I have never cracked my own knuckles and don't particularly enjoy other people doing it to me. I normally let them crack my finger and toe joints, but never let them crack my neck.

I wasn't sure if cracking joints caused any problems later in life with arthritis, etc. According to a report by the BBC, it doesn't. In most cases it has no effect, and it can actually help.

Does cracking your knuckles cause arthritis?

If you don't feel comfortable with anything, simply tell the girl and she will stop. The girls are normally quite obliging and will do what you ask ... within limits.

Foot massage sign - Click for larger image Oil massage can vary enormously. At some places - normally spas - you will listen to relaxing music while an elegant Thai girl soothes your body slowly and gently with essential oils. At other places the girls act as if they are desperately trying to rescucitate a corpse. There is nothing slow or gentle at all regarding their massage technique and the oil might resemble something found in a chip shop.

Whereas the better places use good quality aromatherapy oils, a few cheaper shops use the cheapest oil they can get hold of. At one place where I went for a few oil massages I subsequently broke out in ugly spots and ended up visiting a dermatologist.

Foot massage also varies. All foot massage shops display fancy reflex charts on the wall but not many masseuses know where the reflex points actually are or what bodily organs they relate to.

A properly trained reflexologist will watch the customer's face to detect when there is pain and will associate this reaction to a problem in a particular part of the body.

In most Thai foot massage shops this doesn't happen. It's really a foot rub instead of being true reflexology. However, if you've been walking all day and have aching feet then a good foot rub can be very enjoyable.

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Customer Differences

Hat Yai massage girls have lots more Thai and ethnic-Chinese customers than farangs. Most farangs enjoy a gentle, soothing massage but most Asian customers like a really hard massage.

For this reason farangs may need to tell their Hat Yai massage girl to be more gentle ("bao bao"). If, on the other hand, you want a harder massage, tell her, "nuk nuk."

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Spas

A number of places have opened up that refer to themselves as spas, rather than simply massage shops. They are more expensive but offer a very different experience.

The service is less hurried and the massage girls more attentive. They offer beauty treatments as well as massage and have facilities such as saunas and steam rooms.

A few are quite upmarket and expensive but some places, such as Preuksa Spa, offer a much better experience than a normal massage shop without being that much more expensive.

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Location and discounts

Massage on offer inside Dusit zoo in Bangkok - Click for larger image Most of the larger hotels have their own in-house massage shops. Anyone can use them and you don't need to be staying at the hotel.

There are also a number of independent massage shops that are located in the central tourist district around Lee Gardens Plaza. Once you get into residential areas away from the tourist areas, the number of massage shops decreases dramatically.

Price fixing cartels are very common in Thailand. Taxi drivers get together and set artificially high prices for certain routes, such as from the middle of town to the airport. It's an unfair way of keeping prices artificially high but if no one breaks the cartel it's a system that works for the business owners.

Massage shops in central Hat Yai do the same thing. If you go to a shop at a busy time they will tell you the standard price and not offer any discount.

There are various ways you can pay less. You can sometimes get a discount during quiet times when business is slack. The ability to speak some Thai also comes in very useful when trying to negotiate discounts.

Finding places not located in the central tourist area will save you money. For example, places in town will ask Bt250 for a foot massage but I've found places away from the tourist areas where the price is Bt100.

Some travel agents sell discount coupons. For example, just around the corner to the Sakura hotel is a small travel agent that sells massage coupons for the Sakura massage shop for Bt260. The normal price is Bt300 so you make a small saving.

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Tipping

If the total price of your massage is Bt240 (or maybe Bt200), the girl will only earn about Bt80 for two hours work.

The girls work from early in the morning until late at night and they only get three days off each month. They need to pay for somewhere to live and they need to buy food and other things.

Any money left over is normally sent back to their families. In short, their lives aren't much fun at all.

I have never not given a tip - even if the girl was completely uninterested in giving me a decent massage and just sat there watching TV.

Don't be mean. Even if you give a Bt100 tip, the total cost is still a lot less than you would pay at home.

One massage girl I was talking to went to a hotel room with a friend to give two Chinese Malaysians a massage. The girls were given a Bt10 tip between them. Even in Thailand where the cost of living is cheaper than the West, a Bt5 tip doesn't go very far.

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Extra Services for Gentlemen

Extra services are not on offer everywhere in Thailand - Click for larger image Everyone knows the reputation Thailand has (and it is well deserved). Poor Thai girls doing massage only do it for the money and nothing else. They might only earn Bt80 for a two hour massage and the rest will go to the shop. Some girls get tips but many customers are quite stingy.

If the girl can perform an extra little service which puts Bt500 into her pocket she might be tempted because it is a lot of money to her. Some girls may provide extra services in a hotel room but not in the shop where they work. However, many massage girls won't provide extra services under any circumstances, so respect their decision and don't push it. Don't assume anything or take anything for granted simply because you are in Thailand. The country is a lot more conservative than you may think.

I remember reading about a Russian tourist in Pattaya who insisted on groping a massage girl who wasn't interested and he ended up getting arrested.

Don't expect too much, apart from maybe a happy ending to your massage. If this is what interests you, there are a few places where this kind of service is easier to find.

If you want any more than this, then there are lots of other options in Hat Yai where the girls will offer more than a massage. If you're not sure where to go, the magic words are aap op nuat.

Rambutan fruit in Thailand - Click for larger image At some places you may be asked if you require a 'ping-pong' massage; 'ping-pong balls' being an idiom for testicles because of their size and shape. If you say yes, thinking you're going to get a happy ending to your massage, the girl will go off to get another (normally older) woman trained in the art of testicle massage. Some men like this kind of massage, while others don't. Expect to pay extra for this service if it interests you. The going rate seems to be about Bt200.

For some reason, this type of testicle massage is quite often referred to as prostrate massage. I didn't pay much attention to the term at first until someone wrote asking me for more details. He correctly pointed out that in order to massage the prostrate it would be necessary for the masseuse to insert her fingers up your back passage. This could actually be quite dangerous.

Picture of the prostrate

This doesn't happen (as far as I am aware). The term 'prostrate massage' is misleading and the Thai term 'ping pong' is far more accurate for what they actually do. The purpose of this kind of massage, I am told, is to heighten the man's libido.

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Masseuses

The girls inside never look anything like the photos outside - Click for larger image I once had a massage at Glenwood Springs in Colorado and was slightly shocked to find out that my masseuse was the same sex as me.

It shouldn't matter, of course, but I feel more comfortable with female masseuses and the massage industry in Thailand is dominated by females. The exception is at the foot massage places where there are often males working as well.

Some ethnic-Chinese visitors prefer a male masseuse because they are stronger and can give a harder massage. Some women visitors prefer a male masseuse for the same reason that many men prefer a female masseuse.

Finding male masseuses for foot massage isn't a problem, but it could be a problem finding a male masseuse for Thai or oil massage. I believe there are a few places, but these places are intended for gay men rather than for women. I don't know anything about the gay scene in Hat Yai.

Regarding the girls working as masseuses, there is so much variation with every facet of life in Thailand that whenever you make a generalisation it isn't long before you are proven wrong.

In the more upmarket spas and massage shops you will find some very conservative local girls. The cheaper places tend to employ girls from poor parts of Thailand. They also employ girls from Burma, and maybe even China.

The Burmese girls work even cheaper than Isaan girls. The shops give them Thai nicknames and unless you can speak Thai you may never know where they actually come from.

If you can speak Thai and talk with the girls you will hear a recurring story. Many of the girls had a child in their teens and as soon as they got pregnant the teenage father disappeared. Their children are being taken care of by their parents back in their villages, while they work at the other end of the country sending money back each month. I must have heard this story a hundred times.

The majority of tourists in Hat Yai are ethnic-Chinese from Malaysia and Singapore who have a preference for girls with light skin. Many of the girls are fair-skinned and many speak Chinese, whereas not many have very good English skills.

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Choosing Girls

The woman in charge of the shop (the captain) who asks you what you want will happily make a selection for you. This being the case, she will no doubt select the toothless old hag in the corner who never gets chosen by any customers.

The same applies if you call a massage shop and ask them to send a girl to your room. On my wedding day we had a couple of spare hours in the afternoon between the morning ceremony and evening reception. I called a massage shop to get two girls sent over for me and my new wife.

The two women they sent had foul mouths, terrible massage techniques, and referred to me repeatedly as farang. It was an awful experience and I would always recommend choosing the girl yourself.

It used to be the case that the girls sat on display in an open area or 'goldfish bowl' waiting to be selected. Some years ago, a law was passed and they are now all hidden behind partition walls. However, you can still view the girls in order to make your selection.

One massage shop in Hat Yai had a policy at one time whereby customers couldn't choose. They said that the girl's look weren't important. I don't think this policy was very popular and they dropped it.

Some of the spas work on a rotation basis, therefore, you can't choose. If you can choose, it isn't always necessarily best to choose the best looking or youngest girl. The young girls new to the job can be painfully shy and spoil the experience. The girls with a few year's experience behind them normally give you a better experience.

Not all girls can perform every type of massage. They can all do the traditional Thai massage, but not necessarily oil or foot massage. The captain will tell you which girls can do what.

Normally the girls wear badges with a number on. The badges are sometimes colour-coded to indicate what type of massage the girl can do.

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Outcalls

Some people prefer to have a massage in the comfort of their hotel room, rather than go outside to a shop. Anything and everything is available in Thailand and you will always find someone willing to oblige.

Regarding outcalls, the policy of individual shops varies enormously. Some promote outcalls and are very happy to offer the service. At other places, if you enquire about outcalls they give a disgusted look as if you are a pervert. I've tried to indicate in my listings whether outcalls are allowed or not.

If you call your hotel reception they can arrange for a masseuse to visit your room. If the hotel has a massage shop AND if the shop allows outcalls, this is where the girl will come from.

If not, they will call somewhere that does provide such a service. Be aware that if you don't choose the girl yourself, the masseuse that eventually turns up may not be the epitome of Thai refinement and beauty.

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The Thai Ear Tickle

On one trip to Singapore I passed a small massage shop and saw a sign in the window offering the Thai ear tickle. I knew what it meant as I had been for many massages in Hat Yai and some girls had performed the ear tickle on me. You certainly won't get your ears tickled at one of Hat Yai's spas, and this isn't anything that will be taught at a kosher Thai massage school.

Some girls at some places do it, and apparently some customers like it. I'm not a big fan. I find it quite irritating and as soon as they have finished I can't wait to give my ears a good scratch to relieve the irritation.

Towards the end of the massage, after lying on your front and back, the girl will sit up and rest your head in her lap while she massages your head. After the head massage she may or may not administer the ear tickle. Remember, only some girls do it.

If she does, she will pull a hair out of her own head and tie a small knot in it. Alternatively, some girls keep ready-knotted hairs in a drawer for this purpose if there is a convenient drawer in the room.

She then inserts the hair into your ear until it is quite a way into the ear canal and twiddles it between her thumb and fingers. It sounds quite loud, because it is so close to your eardrum, and it does indeed tickle. You will either enjoy this treatment or you won't.

If you wish to receive the Thai ear tickle and it isn't offered by the girl, you can ask if she can do it: "bpun hoo dai mai?"

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Massage Shop Listings

Page 1 of 5. For more listings see Page 2, Page 3, Page 4 and Page 5.

Aladdin Ancient Massage (Kosit Hotel)
Aladdin Ancient Massage, Hat Yai - Click for larger image Address: Basement of Kosit Hotel, Niphat Uthit 2 Road
Telephone: +66 (0)74 354071, 234366
E-mail: kosithotel@hotmail.com
Web page: Kosit Hotel
Map: Map 3
  Deg/Min/Sec GPS
Latitude N 07° 00' 02.3" N 07° 00.038'
Longitude E 100° 28' 15.2" E 100° 28.253'
Google Maps Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Aladdin is located in the basement of the Kosit hotel. Basements aren't very good places to be when there is a flood and the 2010 flood completely destroyed this particular massage shop.

For a while after the flood the massage shop was relocated inside the hotel but then it moved back to the basement again after rebuilding. Before the flood the rooms were quite grotty, but now they are a lot better.

This is one of the cheapest massage shops in town. Traditional Thai massage costs just Bt200 and oil massage Bt500. It used to be that other shops charged Bt240 and Aladdin charged Bt200. These days the other shops are charging Bt300, but the Aladdin price is still Bt200.

They tell you the massage is for two hours but the time is shorter. When you first go into the room the girl disappears for quite a long time while you are getting ready. During the massage she normally disappears again. I guess that you probably get between 70 and 90 minutes of actual massage.

The girls working here are mostly Burmese. They speak Burmese, obviously, and most speak Chinese. This makes them popular with ethnic Chinese tourists from Malaysia and Singapore (along with fair skin, cheap prices and extra services).

Most speak a little Thai, but not that well. If your only languages are English and Thai they can be quite difficult to communicate with.

You can have girls from Aladdin sent to your hotel room if required. The shop is open from 10:00 until 23:00 every day. This shop has something of a reputation among Malaysian and Singaporean male visitors, if you know what I mean.

Customer Comments:

  • If the purpose of my using Alladin was to get a good massage I would have been greatly disappointed. Rather disinterested and lackluster service. The girl was from China, and everything was on offer, and that part of the service was good. (October 2012)
  • Alladin girls quite naughty and will name price for a night (ignore them). The ones that don't offer are okay. (2012)
  • aladdin ladies can offer you more than a massage. it is also full service for 1000 baht although i have not been there yet i saw a few were brought to golden crown hotel then sent to the occupants from malaysia.
  • Alladin massage, one of the worst i have been too. The massuer don't even know where is the pressure point and your tired muscle, they just press and press just to get the job done, at the same time watching TV while giving you a screwed up massage. Those girls are from Burma/China Border, they can speak Chinese, fair and young. The massage turn out to be more of a torture. They have a cheek to ask 100bt for tip!

    Good for those men who wants young girls to touch them and do the same. Also, according to my friend some offer special services. The place is at a basement of a building, cannot remember the building name, it is located a road just behind Sakura Grand. Rooms not so clean soso only. Not my cup of tea. Cheap, cost only 200bt for 2 hours, actual massage time is 1hr 40mins.

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Areewan Thai Massage
Areewan Thai Massage, Hat Yai - Click for larger image Address: 14/1 Chaiyakul Uthit, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Telephone: +66 (0)74 357102-3
Mobile: +66 (0)81 677 7574, +66 (0)86 694 9511
Map: Map 4
  Deg/Min/Sec GPS
Latitude N 07° 00' 07.5" N 07° 00.125'
Longitude E 100° 28' 27.1" E 100° 28.452'
Google Maps Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Areewan is located near the Hat Yai Merlin and Daiichi hotels.

Without going into too much detail, the girls working at Areewan are a little more obliging towards male customers than the girls at many other massage shops in Hat Yai.

Depending on what kind of massage service you actually want, Areewan may suit you or it may not. Of course, the extra services aren't mandatory and you can just have a regular massage. If you do happen to want more, there are services available here that many other places don't offer.

The opening hours are from 9am until 3am the next morning. If you arrive for an early massage in the morning you will find that there are very few girls around. When they do start arriving around lunchtime they look sleepy from working the night before.

Thai massage (2 hours): Bt300
Oil massage (1 hour): Bt300
Foot massage (1 hour): Bt250

The cost of any additional service needs to be negotiated directly with the girl giving the massage. Areewan is happy to provide an outcall service. Give them a call, or inform your hotel bellboy, and they will send a girl to your room. Of course, if you do this you can't choose the girl and you never know who is going to show up knocking on your door.

The girls working there are mostly from Isaan and when they don't have customers they can be seen lounging around the shop listening to look tuung music and eating gai yaang and som tum. The Isaan girls are always easy going and know how to take care of men. A massage from an Isaan girl can be a very good experience. However, if you start to go for frequent massages and get involved with one of the girls, be very careful as that is a completely different story.

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Bangkok Massage
Bangkok Massage, Hat Yai - Click for larger image Address: 70 Chee Uthit Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Telephone: +66 (0)74 247737
Map: Map 4
  Deg/Min/Sec GPS
Latitude N 07° 00' 13.5" N 07° 00.225'
Longitude E 100° 28' 22.2" E 100° 28.370'
Google Maps Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: This massage shop is located close to the Only One massage shop and the Cholatarn hotel.

Thai massage (2 hours): Bt300
Herbal ball massage (2 hours): Bt400
Oil massage (2 hours): Bt600
Foot massage (1 hour): Bt250

I believe that 'Herbal ball' massage refers to the ball of herbs that they massage you with and not the part of the body that gets massaged.

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Blind Massage Shop
Blind Massage Shop, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Blind Massage Shop, Hat Yai - Click for larger image

Address: 26 Pasawang Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Telephone: +66 (0)74 238607
Map: Map 2
  Deg/Min/Sec GPS
Latitude N 07° 01' 13.0" N 07° 01.216'
Longitude E 100° 29' 30.6" E 100° 29.510'
Google Maps Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: I have often been told that the best masseuses in Thailand are blind. They 'see' with their hands and can sometimes sense problems intuitively that sighted masseuses aren't aware of. Not to mention, you don't have any problems with them watching TV while they are supposed to be giving you a massage.

Close-Up: Thailand's school for blind masseurs

This small shop has only blind masseuses. I'm not even sure if the shop has a name; I couldn't find one so have simply called it the Blind Massage Shop.

Unless you can read Thai it is unlikely you will know what goes on inside. There are just Thai signs outside and not the usual pictures and huge 'Massage' signs in English that you see in the tourist areas.

To find the shop, head up Phetkasem Road going away from the town centre. Go past Big-C Extra (formerly Carrefour) and turn left just after Sanguan Square into Pasawang Road. On the corner of this road is a branch of GH Bank and also a 7-Eleven. The shop is only about 50 metres down the road on the right-hand side.

The price for traditional Thai massage is Bt120 per hour and by using this shop you are helping people who would otherwise lead difficult lives in Thailand.

Customer Comments:

  • The price is B150 now and just this afternoon the 7/11 down the corner closed. (January 2014)

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Bpaa Lek Massage
Bpaa Lek Massage, Hat Yai - Click for larger image Address: Basement of Robinson Department Store
Mobile: +66 (0)83 616 0736
Map: Map 3
  Deg/Min/Sec GPS
Latitude N 07° 00' 14.6" N 07° 00.243'
Longitude E 100° 28' 08.5" E 100° 28.141'
Google Maps Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: This small massage shop is located inside Robinson Department Store in the basement adjacent to TOPS supermarket.

There are small massage shops in most of the large department stores. They aren't as private as the massage shops outside but they are cheaper.

The shop mostly caters for foot massage (shoppers have tired feet), but they can also do Thai massage. Both types of massage cost just Bt200, which is cheaper than most other places.

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Carawa Ancient Massage (Golden Crown Hotel)
Carawa Ancient Massage, Hat Yai - Click for larger image Address: 12/8 Pracharak Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Telephone: +66 (0)74 246777, 247188
Map: Map 2
  Deg/Min/Sec GPS
Latitude N 07° 00' 27.9" N 07° 00.466'
Longitude E 100° 28' 21.8" E 100° 28.363'
Google Maps Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Golden Crown is a fairly recent hotel and its massage shop rooms are decorated tastefully. I've only been once and it was fine. If you have been and can offer some more information, your comments will be very welcome.

Thai massage (1 hour 45 mins): Bt300
Foot massage (1 hour): Bt300
Foot massage (2 hours): Bt500
Oil massage (2 hours): Bt700

Carawa is open from 8am until 10pm.

Customer Comments:

  • I used to stay at both Golden Crown Plaza and Golden Crown Hotel, both owned by the same company. In the lobby of Golden Crown Plaza, the ladies from Cerawa have set up a foot massage area but you can visit their main shop beside The Golden Crown Hotel or just use the hotel in-house telephone, request what you need and in a few minutes, a lady will come to your room. Be careful as complaints were stated in Trip Advisor about some of them demanding extras even if the customer is a lady i.e stomach massage and for a man, the ping pong massage without a release.

    I had an excellent lady by the name of Ah Pim who studied massage and can pin point my state of health just by feeling my veins.Sadly, she has left so I have stopped using this place. Unlike Grand Plaza massage ladies who can travel all over central Hat Yai to visit a customer's room for massage, I am sure these ladies covers only the two affore-mentioned hotels. It would be better to check them out in person. (October 2010)

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Cenvaree Spa (Centara Hotel)
Cenvaree Spa, Hat Yai - Click for larger image Address: 3 Sanehanusorn Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Map: Map 3
  Deg/Min/Sec GPS
Latitude N 07° 00' 20.9" N 07° 00.348'
Longitude E 100° 28' 16.9" E 100° 28.282'
Google Maps Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: Cenvaree is the in-house spa at the Centara hotel. By Hat Yai standards, this hotel is expensive and so is the spa. However, costs are relative and many foreign tourists would consider the prices a bargain.

It is located on the 7th floor of the hotel where there is also a swimming pool and fitness centre. The swimming pool and fitness centre are free for guests of the hotel, but there is a charge of Bt250 if you aren't staying at the hotel.

Spa services are not free, of course, even to hotel guests. However, hotel guests are entitled to a 10% discount. There are many different packages offered, as well as a special promotion each month. The special promotion is different each month.

To give you an idea of prices, a basic one hour Thai massage costs Bt1,171 and an oil massage Bt1,642. The head-to-toe package that takes about four-and-a-half hours costs Bt3,800. There are many other options within this price range.

The staff are very polite and the rooms tastefully decorated, comfortable, quiet and relaxing.

Customer Comments:

  • At the higher end, we tried the Centara spa at Novotel 7th floor, cost about 3000bt for about 3 hours, include, scrub, wraps, oil massage.etc. Everything is good. The service, the place, the ambience, the only complaint is 'peng peng' (very expensive). but compare to Singapore 'may peng' (not expensive).

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Cholatarn Ancient Massage (Cholatarn Hotel)
Cholatarn Ancient Massage, Hat Yai - Click for larger image Address: 251/1 Saengchan Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Telephone: +66 (0)74 354092, 354580-6
Mobile: +66 (0)89 876 1916
Map: Map 3
  Deg/Min/Sec GPS
Latitude N 07° 00' 14.4" N 07° 00.240'
Longitude E 100° 28' 22.5" E 100° 28.375'
Google Maps Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: This is the in-house massage shop belonging to the Cholatarn Hotel.

It is one of the few Hat Yai massage shops that I haven't tried personally. If you have, I would appreciate your comments to add here.

Thai massage (2 hours): Bt300
Oil massage (2 hours): Bt700
No foot massage

Customer Comments:

  • There were not many ladies working here and rate for 1 hour of oil massage was 300 baht and the manager sent a young but rather hard faced lady who was very forward with the offer of a ball massage for 400 baht which I then laughed as being too expensive. She then commented in thai that i was stingy.. anyway, so-so massage, i saw more matured ladies here so maybe they are better in giving a proper massage. the rooom that i was in was very clean and a shower room is also available after an oil massage. (April 2011)

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Christina Salon
Christina Salon, Hat Yai - Click for larger image Address: 80/1, 80/2 Prachathipat Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Mobile: +66 (0)83 659 0238
Map: Map 3
  Deg/Min/Sec GPS
Latitude N 07° 00' 22.3" N 07° 00.372'
Longitude E 100° 28' 19.6" E 100° 28.326'
Google Maps Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: There is a plethora of beauty salons (raan serm sawuy) in the central tourist area around Lee Gardens Plaza. They all provide the same services.

They will cut your hair, wash your hair, dry your hair, dye your hair, cut your nails, and provide various other beauty treatments.

Most have a foot massage service and some also offer Thai and oil massages. It must be a lucrative business because shops are very expensive to rent in this area. I was told years ago that the cost of renting shops in the central tourist of Hat Yai is second only to prime tourist areas in Bangkok.

The salons open around 9am and although they publish closing times they will stay open for as long as tourists keep coming for massages and beauty treatments.

Christina is one such place, just a few yards away from Lee Gardens Plaza. The masseuses normally sit outside the front of the shop trying to sell their services to passing tourists. Inside is a row of comfy foot massage chairs.

I've been to this place a few times and the service is fine. If you are wearing long trousers, you can either roll your trousers up for a foot massage or ask to borrow a pair of shorts from the shop. Personally, I prefer the latter option.

gaang geng kaa sun = 'shorts' in Thai

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City Park Massage
City Park Hotel, Hat Yai - Click for larger image Address: 717/17 Phetkasem Road, Hat Yai, Songkhla, 90110
Telephone: +66 (0)74 345491-5
Fax: +66 (0)74 345496
Map: Map 2
  Deg/Min/Sec GPS
Latitude N 07° 01' 11.1" N 07° 01.185'
Longitude E 100° 29' 13.8" E 100° 29.230'
Google Maps Street Map or Satellite View

Comments: The City Park hotel is yet another Hat Yai hotel that has its own in-house massage shop. The hotel is located next to Big C Extra (formerly Carrefour).

There aren't many tourists in this area and the staff seem to be desperate for customers. I only called in to find about prices but the woman didn't want to let me leave without giving me a massage. She then followed me out of the shop and stared to see where I was going while talking to her friend about me. I found her behaviour rude and slightly annoying.

Thai massage is Bt200 for two hours and oil massage is Bt300 for one hour. They don't have any foot massage chairs.

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