The last time I was in Thailand I skipped the option of going for a traditional Thai massage. There were a number of reasons but today I had some time to kill in Chiang Mai so I decided to go along to the local women’s prison and let one of the inmates press, prod and bend me in ways I thought impossible, while paying for the privilege.
Now I understand that the Chiang Mai Women’s Correctional Institution may not be everyone’s first thought when deciding where to have a relaxing massage but they do really good work there, training the inmates in a skill that they can use to get a real job once they get out. Obviously they can practice on each other to some degree, but they also have the option for members of the public (and let’s face it, it’s 99.9% tourists) to have a decent massage at a decent price. And I know some of my friends will think this is some sort of “massage parlour” but there are prison guards present (and more importantly in charge), so there’s absolutely nothing dodgy about it, assuming you can ignore the fact that every masseuse is a convicted criminal.
My two hours with “Kwanjai the Killer” flew by and I left with my wallet, dignity and body intact so it’s a thumbs up from me!