Chiang Mai, Thailand: Loi Kroh Road Massage

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Loi Kroh Road streetside massage

Loi Kroh Road runs east-west between the east side of the moat of the Old City wall at Kotchasan (Kotchasarn) Road to Charoen Pratet where the night market area is located. It’s a fun road with lots of great restaurants, bars, and most importantly, almost two dozen massage establishments! The food alone makes the street worth the visit and I eat here often but it’s good and cheap massage that really keeps me coming back.

Here’s a quick review of what’s available. Three or four places have a dozen or so chairs out front streetside for foot massages. These are cheap and fun, let you relax while watching doing some people watching or talk to fellow travelers. There’s a constant flow of ‘foot’ traffic as tired tourists get there feet worked on for 150-200 baht an hour. At these same places, you can also go inside for a more private Thai or oil massage (oil massage is about 250-300 baht per hour.).

Then there are the more regular massage shops which usually have three to six or more girls sitting out front, beckoning you in as you pass by with their calls of ‘Hello welcome’ or ‘Hello massage.’ Here’s where you need to be a bit careful. There are respectable shops with ‘good girls’ and there are somewhat more ‘naughty’ shops (some might call them sleazy). If you’re a male and are out for a ‘normal’ massage, be aware that many girls will want to make some extra money by offering you a ‘special’ massage (and the extra service might cost you from 500-1000 baht more).

How can you tell which is which? I’m reluctant to give you names of places as ownership and names change constantly. Here are a few basic guidelines:

  1. If the girls are aggressively grabbing you and pulling you in, they’re probably ‘naughty.’
  2. A couple of shops have a lot of ‘ladyboys’ out front and they’re probably ‘naughty,’ too but I’ve never tried them.
  3. If they’re seductively dressed or not dressed in matching uniforms, they’re probably ‘naughty.’
  4. If you’re not sure, ask. Tell them that you want a normal massage, no extras, no happy endings. They may say ‘Go somewhere else’ but if business is really slow, they may give you a massage (and probably still try to ‘persuade’ you to take the extras when they get you ‘in hand.’ Some of them can be very pushy and persuasive, so if you’re definitely not in the mood, don’t follow them in).
  5. If you choose a ‘Thai’ massage, your chances of getting asked for ‘extras’ is reduced but not necessarily! Asking for an oil massage to many of these girls is almost an automatic signal that you might be interested in extras.

All that said, there are plenty of respectable places where you can get a decent massage without ‘extras’ pressure. One place that’s been consistently professional is the ‘White Orchid’ (down about 60 metres or so from Kotchasan Road (the ‘moat’) where a dozen or so girls work and they’ve told me that there is definitely no hanky-panky allowed.

Even in the respectable shops, though, there might be some girls who might try to make a few baht if they think they can get away with it.

By the way, these girls are only making about 50-100 baht per massage, the rest goes to the house, so a good tip goes a long way to enhancing their difficult lives (some of these girls actually sleep in these shops to save money and most send their earnings home to their families.

Enjoy!

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