Thai Massage in Ban Dung


In my 12 years of travelling to the Land of Smiles, I have only ever visited a Thai massage parlour once. I’ll correct that. Once, that being, a Thai massage to cure my aches and pains, but in my early years in Pattaya, there were a few other visits to such places, but let’s just say boys will be boys.

That first and only genuinely intentional visit was to a Thai massage parlour in Soi Buakhao, Pattaya. I’d left England’s shores nursing a painful back complaint, and the 12-hour flight had made it worse. After a few days partying in Thailand’s wild-child resort, my back’s condition had deteriorated. I decided the only remedy was a traditional Thai massage.

I entered the Soi Buakhao massage parlour knowing too well that bed springs got replaced as often as aromatic oils. My chosen masseuse took me to an upstairs room, where I explained my condition and the pain I was suffering. She then put forth her position, she didn’t know how to massage and liked being on top, although she could do doggie and ‘mission-hairy’ too. For the record, I hit the streets of Soi Buakhao one hour later with my back even worse for wear.

I arrived in Thailand this time with my back none too good. And despite Wonderful Wi’s efforts at our village home to knead the nerd back to health, it was looking like it would be a slow process. She kept hinting I should go to Ban Dung, a small town 30 kilometres from our village home, for a proper Thai massage. Hints grew to badgering, and finally, I gave in.

Ban Dung Massage

When Wilai and I visit Ban Dung, she goes for a two-hour massage, and I hit a beer bar or two. This time I’d be joining her, but I had decided 30 minutes of inactivity would be the most I could take. I am a bit of a nervous fidget, and besides, Pattaya had made me very sceptical about Thai massage parlours. That, Wilai continually trumpeting their benefits. How wrong I was.

Ban Dung’s massage shop made full use of its yardage. There were six single size mattresses laid along the length of the premises. Luckily, there were two available when we arrived. The atmosphere within was one of banter and joy between the massage ladies and their clients. I’m sure I heard ‘farang’ whispered a few times, quickly followed by muffled laughter. My massage was so relaxing I twice fell asleep only to quickly snap back to reality as my masseuse continued to work her magic.

My massage experience in Bang Dung changed my views on one of Thailand’s oldest practices. That experience finally buried the bad vibes caused by my Pattaya one. And now my back is so much better.

A 30-minute massage cost me just 50 baht and Wilai’s two-hour session 200 baht. A total of five English pounds or eight US dollars. Once again proving what a great value holiday destination Thailand is if you are prepared to sample life outside of the tourist brochure resorts.

How about you, have the likes of Pattaya and Bangkok’s sex massage parlours rubbed you up the wrong way, and you now steer clear of a Thai massage, or have you found the more traditional style massage houses give you the right kind of relief. A relief to your body, and your wallet too.

Now I am hooked.


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

17 Responses

  1. talen says:

    Martyn, Massage parlors can be hit or miss in Pattaya…although there are many more reputable massage shops around town now.

    I have had some back problems over the years as well and have looked to the massage shops for some relief but my first experience was not a good one. The massage lady didn’t quite understand me when I said take it easy on me as my back hurts.

    She proceeded to beat the living hell out of me…but a few days later I felt great.

  2. Martyn says:

    Talen I’m in Chiang Mai at the moment and despite the city having a good sized population there can’t be enough people to fill half the massage parlours here. Every which way you turn there seems to be one.

    My back is now doing fine but I’m planning a Ban Dung massage on Tuesday.

  3. Mike says:

    Martyn there’s nothing exotic in Nong Hin as far as Thai massage goes. I personally prefer a Swedish massage, but getting the local lady to understand that let alone do it is nigh on impossible.

    My back just won’t stand the rigours of a real Thai massage!

    I’m in CM in July so I will see what’s on offer there.

  4. Martyn says:

    Mike there’s a massage parlour literally every step you take in the tourist area of Chiang Mai. I can’t believe how many there are and also how many farang are here too considering it’s low season. There’s plenty of day trips to keep you occupied.We’re flying back to Udon Thani in the morning.

  5. malcolm says:

    Martyn, nothing like a GOOD massage to get your week headed in the right direction, for the last 2 years I have a lady that comes to the house every Monday at 9:am and gives me a 2 hour work-out , she has been told from the very start that I want no pain and rough stuff as I will be doing it every wek and I have to say she is the best , she is on call at our local hospital for the , really bad backs and necks and there are 4 resorts that use her and her team ,she has a team of 4 and they are always busy and in demand especially with the older folks as they are really in tune with what your body needs to heal it’s self . Glad you found a good one and for lasting results it should be a regular part of your week or when ever you can . Even when you are home in the UK , ask around for Holistic massage folks and you will be in good safe and certified hands .
    As you can see I’ve got the ole comp. working again . thanks for the post , and it’s time to stay away from the happy ending places ha ha . Malcolm

  6. Martyn says:

    Malcolm thanks for a great comment and it’s good to see you’re back online again.

    My apologies for my late reply but I’ve been to Chiang Mai and didn’t hit the net much and having come back I needed to write a post.

    I think if I lived in Thailand I would also make a massage part of my weekly routine. They certainly make you feel so much better and luckily I’m off for one in the morning prior to hitting Udon Thani for the last leg of my stay.

    Best wishes and don’t take offence at my latest post.

  7. Martyn says:

    Paul I’d never thought about massage being part of a detox routine but it makes sense. It would get the inmates feeling mentally and physically better straight away and that’s part of the healing process.

    I’ve always been like you, massages were not for me but I think my mindset has now changed in favour of them.

  8. Hi Martyn, when I went through the temple detox there was Thai massage as part of the treatment. It is also used quite a lot with Muay Thai so I get one occasionally at the gym. I’m always glad that I’ve had a massage, but I never go out of my way to get one. It is sort of like I forget about it unless someone offers. I never consider going into a massage parlour and asking for one; maybe I should.

  9. Deni says:

    A good massage is the best thing to end the week with. I actually prefer getting a decent massage on a Friday night, without any of the trimmings, than going to the pub for a few beers that will inevitably lead to a hangover and an even more achy body. Definitely all about finding the little, hidden places down side streets.

  10. Martyn says:

    Deni thanks for posting your comment. I too find a good knees up down the pub leaves me aching the next day, I put it down to my age.

    Finding a good massage house is worth its weight in gold.

  11. Snap says:

    Martyn…where do I start? YOU ARE/WERE IN CHIANG MAI???? and you didn’t tell me 😉

    There are massage shops around every corner, which is good for us. I have also found them to be quite cheap in comparison to those in Loei and Uttaradit. It is a hit and miss affair, like Talen says, unless you find a masseuse you like and make an appointment to ensure you get the same person. My experiences have been varied, from a feather light, wishy washy massages to one like I had the other day, given to me by an older women with callused hands. It was painful and even though I kept telling her so, she didn’t let up…I’m thinking she may have been enjoying that fact?

  12. Martyn says:

    Snap I’m now back in Udon Thani having spent four wonderful days in and around your city. There’s a massage parlour every second step, I couldn’t believe one place could have so many.

    Wat Phra That Doi Suthep was a fantastic place to see and picture.

    I didn’t contact you (thought about it) because I’m quite a private animal and you’d also not posted for a while and I thought you might have other things on your mind.

    Lovely city.

  13. Snap says:

    Martyn, you’re forgiven…I’m actually a hermit at heart, very anti social unless I have someone to give me a push. Unfortunately I haven’t had anything on my mind, hence the lack of posts. I’m glad you liked Chiang Mai but, I’m sure Udon Thani was a sight for sore eyes!

  14. Martyn says:

    Snap – I am a bit of a loner but not always, I kind of go with my mood. Udon Thani is a good base for me because if I want quiet then there’s plenty of places that are just that. If I want busy and loads of farang then I can get that too.

    I like Chiang Mai but there were too many westerners about for my liking.

  15. Snap says:

    Martyn, ditto on that last comment.

  16. Larry says:

    I have enjoyed your comments as I spend time in both Chiang Mai and Udon. C.M. to large and I prefer Udon also. Have falong friends there also from old military days at air base. Love the breakfast at Irish Clock also but have trouble getting gone and dont understand how you lady handled it. Never been to Ban Dung how far from Udon is it and what direction. I am in USA right now but will be back in Thailand soon. I would like to check there massage out as I love then when done right. Feels great to this old man.

  17. Martyn says:

    Larry I not totally sure how far Ban Dung is from Udon Thani because I travel there from our village house and the three places form a kind of triangle. My guess would be about 70 kilometres in a northeast direction on a map. I’ve just checked it out and as the crow flies that information is about right.

    Thanks for your comment.

Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved.  WP Premium Plugin

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap