Massage - Chiang Rai Guide by Joel John Barlow  

1. Introduction
2. Water
3. Transportation
4. Convenient Chiang Rai
5. Markets
6. The Best Views in Chiang Rai
7. Festivals, Tourism and Entertainment
8. Weather
9. Museums and Historical Places
10. Period Costume Photo Shops
11. Local Food and restaurants
12. Trekking Guides
13. Motorcycle, Bicycle, Horse & Boat Trips
14. Hot Springs
15. Caves
16. Waterfalls
17. Parks, Gardens, Natural Beauty and Other Attractions
18. Birds, Butterflys, Flowers and Nature-Walks
19. Go Fishing
20. Song Bars
21. Massage
22. Music, Arts and Crafts
23. Sports
24. Religion
25. Government, Law Enforcement & Public Records
26. Commerce
27. Education
28. Communications, English Language Newspapers and Books
29. Translation Services
30. Health care
31. Beneficial Natural Medicines
32. Housing, Power and Waste Disposal
33. Agriculture, Natural Resources and Natural Environment
34. Areas of the City
35. Provincial Towns
36. Distinctly Unique Elements
37. Tribal Groups of Lanna
38. The Yao/Mien Origin Legend
39. A Local Fairy Tale
40. Yao Taoism
41. Interview with a Shaman
42. The Enlightment Tree of ChiangRai’s Main Downtown Intersection
43. The Lahu
44. Acceptance into Thai society
45. The Heart of ChiangRai
46. Sangkalok (Sawankhalok) ware
47. Bus service to Luang Prabang
48. A Nam Lad occupation
49. Another NamLad occupation
50. The biggest tree in ChiangRai?
51. Banana Plantation Tips
52. Some Thai laws that resident expats should know
53. ChiangSaen Wetlands
54. Some Business Recommendations
55. National Parks in Lanna
56. Commentary with (gratuitous) Advice
57. History of Lanna (Land of a Million Rice Fields)
 - Ancient Immigrations
 - Ancient Royals
 - Forging a Successful Buffer State
 - Cultural Alignment
 - Royal Succession and International Position
 - Decline
 - The Emerald Buddha
 - Burmese Rule and Other Foreign Influence
 - Khon Muang
 - 19th Century Teak Trade
 - Absorption into Siam
 - From Dark Times to Modern Times
 - Present Overview
58. Population
59. Kings of Lanna
60. Glossary
61. Life on the Edge
62. Lahu New Years Festival, Feb 6, 2003 Ban Pa Kluai (Banana Forest Village), Doi Tung
63. The Dok Bua Tong Hilltribe Festival, Nov 16, 2002
64. Bibliography
CHIANG RAI GUIDE by Joel John Barlow


Chiang Rai town has many massage parlors. This site used to say "over 20" - now there's about that many within just a short walk from the WangKom Hotel! A few small, rather drab, unpartitioned ones opened recently in neighborhoods which never offered such service before, but the 'massage by the blind' seems closed down already!

The Dusit and Wiang Inn offer the most expensive rates, varying according to service. The Dusit has saunas, with either herbal or regular steam. The Wiang Inn offers "Ap Op Nuat," which involves bathing.

Pai Massage on Pahonyothin at Sanpanart Road, just south of the Wiang Inn Hotel and on the same side, has a Wat Po certification, with foot and oil massage. The owner teaches foot massage - one week, 2000 baht. Wat Po, in Bangkok, has the most famous and respected school of massage in Thailand.

Behind Tuk Khao (White House) Restaurant at the 5-way intersection by the King Mengrai Monument is Sayan Ancient Thai Style Massage, Herbal Massage and Coffee House (814/2 Nongbua Rd., tel 716228 or 01-980-6037. The coffeehouse isn't much, but the quality of massage is high, and much recommended. B200 (300 for tourists) for two hours.

Ruan Kaew Bar and Restaurant on Tanalai Road, just east of Rattanakhet (on the north side), offers herbal sauna and oil massage (Dok Gaeo Massage).

Right near the Wiang Come Hotel are Udom Rak (call 712032 for home or hotel service); Kinaree; Udom Rak; Bua Tong, nearer Jet Yod, offers foot massage (B150/hr) and oil massage (B200/hr). Gail-Dutchley (tel 053-713967 or 01-251-6365), offers health, foot and oil (B300/2 hours) in a clean, polite environment. By the Jet Yod corner is Kleen Barber, with ancient massage upstairs, and face massage in the barber chairs, B130/hr. The WangCome Traditional Massage shop next door, closer to the corner, offers regular (B200/2hrs), foot (1hr/200B), oil (2hr/300B) and "special" oil massage for B400/2 hours. 053-750889. Near Pahonyothin is Tong Sam "333" with mostly Burmese and hilltribe masseuses (still working on Thai and hardly ready for English!). There's another at the Night Bazaar and Korn on Pahonyothin, both of which specialize in foot massage.

Ganda Hatawada, towards Banpaprakan Road from the entrance to the Wang Kom Hotel (north section), has foot and oil massage for B300/hr, B500/2hrs. One hour traditional massage is B200, 2 hours 300. Tel.(053)752220-2 for home or hotel service, 9am to 1 am. And there's Happy House, north across from the hotel, just off Jet Yod (for hotel service call 053-752116) and Lady Massage...

Another parlor is at the Inn Come Hotel, by the locally famous Par Club, just off Highway 1 on the opposite side from Big C. The masseuses here are all well trained, over 30, and offer regular, oil and foot massage. There's a sauna, and good hot showers.

Manee, east of the bus station, is oriented to locals.

On Ruanjit Thawai Road, behind the smaller Post Office and Mai Thai Restaurant (but not as far as the casket shops) is Nutchanat, frequented almost entirely by tour groups. Customers without Thai language skills pay B300/2hrs.

On the north side of Pratu ChiangMai Road, at the back of the potted and landscaping plant business, is Chantanee Massage, 100B/hr, even for foot massage. They claim a special, healthful technique, have an herbal sauna and maintain a good reputation.

Massage by the blind (Nuat Pan Boran doi Thai Khon Ta Bot), opposite the Khai Mengrai Maharat Hospital past the Oub Kham Museum from Den Ha Intersection, was open 8 am to 10 pm, B100/hr (try phoning 053-759234).

Rates usually vary from 200 baht for two hours for Thai speakers (tourists arriving with a samlor or tuk-tuk driver pay at least B150/hr), to 900 baht for two hours at the Dusit, and more for "Ap Op Nuat". Tipping is recommended for a good masseuse one might like to return to.

In other towns massage is also available, but with less chance of any English or other foreign language capacity. In Mae Sai, many masseuses don't even speak Thai, but they're good at their work!

At Ban Muang Noi, Amphoe Wiang Pa Pao is the physically humble Sunshine House, where massage and meditation are taught. 80 km from Chiang Mai, just before the Hot Spring tourist trap, is a small turn-off across a fast stream. Several kilometers up a newly paved road is the Mae Tho River Valley royal agricultural project for Black Lahu, Lisu, Karen, Hmong and Akha resident peoples. In 1986, Ban Muang Noi Trekker Lodge opened there. A German Dharma teacher, Asokananda, then opened his Ayurvedic massage and Vipassana meditation center on the side of Doi Mot (Mu 8, Huai Nam Rin, or Lin, depending on one's abilities with l's and r's). E-mail or for more detailed information.