In the area around our hotel (the beautiful one in the picture to the right) there were lots of massage establishments, presumably because the area is quite touristy. I’m not someone who spends exorbitant amounts of money on pampering myself, so I’ve never gotten a massage in the U.S. However, in East Asia, the pampering costs a lot less! =) So, while in Thailand, I indulged myself on two occasions, each time in the evening after a long day of the teacher conference.
I did something I never dreamed I would do. I willingly let fish chomp on my feet, and I paid money for it! Wow. My friend and I walked by a place and saw people with their feet in a tank of fish with the fish swarming their toes. My first thought was, “Gross!” but my friend’s comment was, “We should try that!” After much coaxing from my friend and an encouraging word from my boyfriend, I decided to go for it. At first, I was very nervous, and it took me several minutes to sink my tootsies into the tank.
Eventually, I relaxed my feet and enjoyed the ticklish sensation of the little swimmers nipping. The Garra rufa fish (also called “Doctor Fish”) eat away at the dead skin thereby acting as a natural exfolient and leaving smooth, soft feet when the process (lasting about 20 minutes) is over. I don’t know that I’ll have the urge to do this again any time soon, but it was certainly a fun experience!
The next night we went back to the same place that had the fish spa to get massages. We opted for the hour-long combination head/shoulders/back and foot/leg massage for a whopping 500 baht which is roughly $15 USD. It was heavenly, and unlike Taiwanese massages, the pressure was not too hard. Here is a picture of my friend getting her massage; I was in exactly the same state of bliss.
We also enjoyed the fabulous shopping at the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok. It is a HUGE market with everything from designer jeans to handicrafts. We shopped in the handicraft area and bought scarves, wood carvings, bags, jewelry, instruments, etc. I am keeping myself on a tighter budget right now, so I didn’t buy very much, but what I did buy were great souvenirs at a bargain price. (The picture to the right shows the busy street at the SkyTrain stop for the market.)
Here is a video of a vendor inside the market showing us how to play the instruments from his shop:
I wish I could have captured the smells, sights, and sounds of the market more fully, but here is a quick glimpse of the noisy shuffle of humanity: