Yes, my main reason for going to Koh Tao was to dive and yes, I did 9 dives in 4 days (they’re efficient over at Big Blue). Buuuuuut, that doesn’t mean I didn’t have time for other fun things as well!
In Bangkok, you can get ½ hour massages in chairs right on the street, basically anywhere within a 2km radius from a hostel for 200THB (Thai Baht) (about 7 CAD). I thought it was strange that they were out in the open at first, but if you don’t want a “special” Bangkok-style massage, that’s one way to know you won’t be getting one for sure!
In Koh Tao, for an extra 100THB, you get full spa facilities, a warm-up foot rub, an hour-long full body massage and a cup of lavender tea. Since my buddy wouldn’t stop raving about them and since I had literally almost been scared out of my mind the day before and could use the relaxation, I decided I might as well give it a try.
After getting a quick foot rub – which got my feet cleaner than they’d been all trip, I was moved to a mattress in the next room over.
At first, my masseuse admitted that she was scared of hurting me (I must have been looking even more like a 12 year child than normal I guess), but after some quick reassurance (and happy puuuuuuuur-ing) on my part, she got over that quickly.
About halfway through the hour, techniques were switched and my buddy and I began getting stretched out. After getting his back bent about 3cm, my buddy began screaming “knock out, knock out, KO” boxing announcer-style (Thailand – 1: Dive Tourists – 0).
This new title of Thai boxing-massage champion seemed to please the other masseuse; so when it came my turn, I could tell my lady was ready to earn the title for herself. Unfortunately for her, she was completely unaware of my cheerleader/limbo champion status, so when she went to bend me backwards, I bent so far; she ended up toppling backwards over herself (Thailand – 1: Dive Tourists – 1).
Although I was quite proud of myself for tying the score, my buddy let us slip again, crying more KOs with each new body part. The final score was somewhere around Thailand – 15,000: Dive Tourists – 1. This is only an approximation, as I spent most of the remainder of my time contemplating how bendy characters like Gumby and Elastigirl would go about getting a massage.
By the end of the session though, all of the kinks had disappeared from my back (an impressive feat, considering the rock of a bed I sleep on), I had solved the great Gumby/Elastigirl massage conundrum
(my final conclusion ended up being that they would likely need to stretch themselves out as far as they could in one direction, then get steamrolled at a perpendicular angle in order to be sufficiently stretched out). Even with losing the Thai boxing-massage match, I was feeling pretty relaxed and productive. I even had time to finish my evenings with some quick sunset photoshoots: