Posts Tagged 'Thai massage'

Tailor-made Thailand – 1st stop, Bangkok

We got back from Thailand a few days ago (but haven’t had the time/energy to blog until now).  We had an AWESOME trip!  I really think Thailand is a country that everyone should visit sometime in their life.  It has something for everyone.


Best described as dirty, gritty, and raw.  This city is huge.  It’s jam packed with foreigners.  Ironically, Micah and I were the ones being stared at, as you don’t see as many East Asians (i.e. Japanese, Korean, Chinese) as you do Caucasian Westerners. 

Side note: Most East Asians who visit Thailand are Chinese.  Thus, if your ethnicity is East Asian – Thai people will undoubtedly think you are Chinese.  They just don’t see Koreans and Japanese as often – so it’s hard for them to distinguish the look.

We spent two full days in Bangkok, and that’s about as much as we could handle.  It’s an exhausting, hot & humid, traffic-packed city.  The city feels alive 24/7 (even more so than South Korea). 


We spent our days doing TONS of walking and sightseeing and TONS of eating.  The food is fantastic.  We ate Thai food the entire time – and 99% of our meals and drinks came from the little street vendors who set up shop just about anywhere.  (And the food is SUPER cheap.  Micah and I spent about $3 US per meal for the both of us).  I’ll post all the pics of the food we ate in a separate blog post.

When in Thailand, you must drink the Thai iced teas and fresh fruit drinks.  They are so refreshing and delicious…and about $.50 (more expensive down in the islands). blog2

One of the days we went to the Western part of the city where all the temples are located.  We got to see the Grand Palace and Wat Pho (pronounced Poe, not Fo).  The temples are very ornate and fun to look at…but we were “templed out” after walking around these two.  They are huge!


Tuk tuks:

Bangkok has even crazier drivers than Korea.  There are taxi cars (bright pink taxis), taxi scooters, and tuk tuks everywhere.  It’s a fairly cheap way to get around the very large city.

Scooters weave in and out of traffic and you’ll see them all lined up at the stop lights rearing to go when the light turns green.

Tuk tuks are basically a scooter with a built-on cart to carry people.  While tuk tuk drivers will get you to your destination, they often will take you to other places along the way that you didn’t request.  We aren’t sure, but we think they must get some type of monetary “kickback.”  We were taken to a “special lucky Buddha” (and later found out that Lucky Buddha’s don’t exist), and to two different massive jewelry shops.   But still, for over an hour of driving us around we paid only 100 baht (or $3 US).

Tailor-made suit:

Micah’s 30th birthday happened to fall during our vacation time.  And he was interested in possibly getting a custom-made suit while in Thailand.  Perfect!  That’s exactly what I got him. 

Bangkok is filled with hundreds of tailors.  It’s hard to discern the good ones from the not so good ones.  So we just went with some word of mouth and landed at Raj Designs. 

Side note: Tailors have all types of material and quality levels.  They even make women’s suits, pants, skirts, and dresses.  I didn’t get anything though.  Prices are ALWAYS negotiated.  And the biggest factor of price is the quality of material.  If you want a low quality material, you can get a full custom-made suit for $100 US. 

Here’s how Micah’s suit came to be:

  • Pick out material and what type of suit you want.   You can be as specific as you want about collar, buttons, pockets, fit, etc.
  • Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!  We aren’t very good at this, but you just have to be.  They want your business and the worst thing that can happen is they say “no” to your offer, and then will give you a counteroffer.  We went back and forth on prices until we settled on something.  A full custom-made suit (jacket, pants, dress shirt, and tie – all medium quality) for $180 US.  Oh…and completely made in about one full day).
  • Get measurements taken
  • Come back the next morning for a fitting

  • Come back 8 hours later and…voila!  Happy 30th Micah!

Thai massages:

Thai massages are legendary.  We were told it’s the #1 tourist thing to do.  There are massage shops everywhere.  I had read that massage “parlors” are where the seedy things happen, but actual massage shops are totally legit.  We stuck to those. 🙂  Prices vary, but we paid 250 baht (or $7.50) for a one hour Thai massage.  And another 200 baht for an awesome foot massage.  We had to wear these for our Thai massage and we were in the same room together.


Thai massage involves a lot of stretching and pulling.  I didn’t think it was all that relaxing but it did feel very therapeutic and it did alleviate some of the chronic muscle pain I have in my shoulders.  Micah enjoyed it quite a bit too.  The pictures below give you an idea of what it is like (took pics from blog – thank you).


Side note: Massages aren’t as easily negotiated.  Prices are pretty fair to begin with. But we often got deals because there was two of us.  Or if you do two services.  For example, we did a one-hour Thai massage, followed by a one-hour foot massage and were able to save 100 baht on the total.

Final thoughts on Bangkok:

This is a poor city (the country as a whole is poor).  The people don’t make very much money.  Most have never left the country or even seen other parts of their own country.  Families are often divided, with some working in Bangkok to make money and others selling things on the side of the street. 

In particular this city has a significant population of panhandlers – most of whom are deaf, mute, blind, missing limbs, or are little kids.  It’s quite sad to see.

Also, Thailand is notorious for attracting Western men (many from Europe), who come to find “companionship” from the Thai women.  Everywhere you go in Bangkok, you’ll see old, balding, gross white guys holding hands with these young, tiny, too much make up Thai women.  It’s really disturbing actually.  I like to call these guys D.O.M.s (Dirty Old Man).

Next stop: Ko Phi Phi Island

Where in the world…

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