The Thai Massage Phenomenon Down Under
As an avid purveyor of all things massage, I have noticed that in Sydney, Thai massage establishments are springing up rapidly. In the central business district dozens of massage shops have sprung up and every suburb has at least two. Young female touts try to entice people in with special promotional rates, sometimes as cheap (relatively speaking) as $39 AUD for a 1-hour traditional Thai massage.
Now, as a Stick reader, I understand from reading the submissions, that in Thailand this would be regarded as quite expensive.
As I and a few friends here love massage, you can expect to pay anything from $50 AUD to $90 AUD for a Thai massage. Cheapest being the traditional Thai massage with oil massage the most expensive.
For any punters wanting extra services, I would suggest not to waste your time or money; and certainly do your research in advance otherwise you will be disappointed.
My point is, don’t act on impulse, as you will find most Thai places are legit.
When escorted in to the premises by a young Thai masseuse, you may be asked for payment in advance; only to find a sign in the massage room stating “All our masseuses are fully qualified, please do not ask for sexual service as this offends, and you may be immediately requested to leave“.
They will also request you to keep your underwear on..so much for the lovely nude massage.
If that is what you have in mind, you may be asked to leave and forfeit the fee.
My guesstimate is that almost all Thai massage establishment (97%) here purport themselves as only providing legitimate massage.
They are all very beautifully appointed, very ornate and certainly have ambience. Also, the young ladies are generally in their colorful garments.
I would say if it’s happening in Sydney, it probably is happening Australia-wide.
Now, of course what the establishment can do is dictated by local council regulation permits.
Seems that most Thai massage places are run by an older Thai dragon lady, who employs young, dark-skinned Thai girls (you wont find any non-Thai girls there); who say they are here on temporary visas to study English, tourism, business studies and the list goes on.
May I suggest that I think their motives are somewhat different.
As one young masseuse admitted, “Once we come here, we don’t want to go back.”
So it seems that some don’t exclusively have this extreme desire to just study in Australia.
Cynically, I think the motive is to rapidly convert the student or work visa to a spousal visa. And I can say that just about anyone, irrespective of age, can be targeted for this spousal visa.
For example, I am mature aged (shall we say) and when I have chatted to the Thai girls during the massage session that I will be going on holidays to Thailand next year, all of them will ask qualifying questions to gauge if you are a likely candidate to help improve their lifestyle (spousal visa) such as is this the first time you go? You go with family, wife, girlfriend?
Nice of them to ask, huh?!
One may ask why so many Thai places are springing up here.
Not withstanding the above comments, I just wonder if the older Thai ladies (the owners of these establishments) have previously landed a farang, become entrepreneurial and discovered that many farangs go to Thailand to be massaged by young Thai girls, albeit for different reasons.
Now farangs that are willing to part with $90AUD could be assumed to be complete suckers, as that amount would probably get you far more than a legitimate oil body massage in Thailand or elsewhere in South-East Asia.
Dragon lady fully realizes that the AUD has a lot of buying power in Thailand and many still have houses and condos and family over there.
Power to them I suppose, but as a red-blooded male, just be aware that in Sydney you shouldn't expect the massage scene here as a facsimile of what you believe Thailand to be.
As someone else on a blog suggested, why pay $90 AUD for a massage, be disappointed afterwards, when for as little as seven of these very ordinary massages, will get you a return flight to Bangkok.
You can then enjoy the spoils of cheap massages for 10 – 15 dollars and decide if you want to pay for something extra!
It would be nice to find out if the Thai massage phenomenon is occurring elsewhere.
Moral of the story: Go where you definitely know, that you will get what you want, for the best and fairest price! It’s your hard earned cash, you owe it to yourself.