I’m not a massage guy. I should be, considering that I live in Southeast Asia, the massage capital of the world. No matter where I go in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, or the Philippines, where I currently reside, there are massage parlors and spas everywhere. No matter if I’m staying in the big city of Manila or traveling away out to small towns in smaller beautiful islands, it’s really never hard to find a massage service anywhere you go here.
That’s for good reason, of course. Not only did massage originate in this region (probably from India but also Thailand in the most popular modern-day form), but it speaks to the excess of human capital willing to do physical jobs for low wages. Additionally, massages are usually appealing to tourists, who want to be pampered while on vacation.
The end result is that there are massage parlors everywhere even in the area of Manila I just moved to, the McKinley Hill (named after the American President William McKinley) area of Taguig. In fact, I’m such a “newbie” to the Thrilla in Manila that I just flew in a week ago today on an epic non-stop flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport all the way to Manila’s NAIA, totally 16 hours and 40 minutes of flight time!
Traveling is arduous enough, but the twist and turn of my spine (not just this story!) started when I had to carry two 55 lbs bags as I went, loading them into the car, back out at the airport, and up the front counter. That’s not a crazy amount of weight, but they’re huge and unwieldy, so definitely felt it in my bad right shoulder, as I also had a carry-on and backpack at the same time.
Throughout the flight, I was crammed in a Coach seat against a wall that slightly protruded out, so my posture and body were a tiny bit tilted to the right the entire 16+ hours, which further jacked up my neck, back, and shoulder.
Add in loading my bags again at the airport and carrying them much further up the stairs into my Airbnb apartment at Morgan Suites in Manila, and my shoulder and neck were positively screaming – I couldn’t even turn to the right.
Thankfully, Baan Khun Thai Massage is right downstairs from my apartment building in a row of shops and retail spaces. So, that night I went against the grain and practically crawled in there, so exhausted and aching from the trip and lack of sleep.
I’m so glad that I did because it was a great experience.
The ambiance is very chill in there, with low lighting, flowers, and other traditional Thai garnish, soft music, and a deep chair to sit in as they started with a foot bath. From there, I was led into the small side room curtained off, and the nice lady gave me a Thai massage for a full hour.
That’s a LONG time for a massage (in my estimation, anyone who touches me for more than 30 seconds is crazy!) and it was so super relaxing that I almost couldn’t keep my puffy eyes open.
She did an excellent job at working out the kinks and knots and actually went super deep tissue on my back, neck, and shoulder without me even asking her. It was painful but a relief.
In all, it cost about $8 if I remember correctly for a full hour! Of course, they really try to upsell you on a 90-minute massage because I’m guessing the extra $4 goes right into the masseuse’ pocket.
But, in all, this place is clean, nice, welcoming, professional, and they really know what they’re doing. They offer Swedish, Thai, Oil, Deep Tissue, Aromatherapy, and Foot massages, so I’ll have to come back again and make it my ritual to get a massage more often at Baan Khun Thai!