As with all of Thailand, massage on Koh Chang is hugely popular and for many visitors, an integral and essential part of the whole holiday experience.
Across the island, there are literally dozens of different shops, beach beds and larger spas, offering the usual menu of head, body and feet in some or other combination with or without oil. Variations include the application of aloe vera or coconut oil, gentle pummeling with a Thai hot herbal compress (Pakop) or using another style all together, such as a sports massage or even the Swedish method.
Treatments may use tamarind (makham) with milk and honey as a moisturising and replenishing body rub, sea salt as an exfoliator and the traditional white mud, (din saw pon), as a deep, cleansing facial. Manicures, pedicures, waxing and even hair braiding are yet more options.
Prices range from 250bt to 350bt an hour, with perhaps double that in the hotel spas, which themselves have the full complement of jacuzzis, dry saunas, steam rooms and plunge pools.
Massage is, naturally, highly subjective and what one person raves about, another may not rate at all and for sure there are some very poor masseurs on the island. Finding the Koh Chang massage that best suits you is normally down to word of mouth and recommendations from others but above all, knowing what you yourself enjoy. It may be a soft gentle massage or the harder, more physical version, but most of all, it should be enjoyable, relaxing, sleep inducing even. If it hurts, there is no harm in telling the masseuse, as the old maxim of it must be doing some good may not always apply.
Koh Chang Massage – Recommended
Per Person: from 420bt for 90 minutes
Now much reduced in size from its many outlets to just this one. Still recommned though with massage, lymphatic drainage, ayurvedic,facials, body scrubs, waxing. From 08.00am to 10.00pm. Chai Chet opposite Flora i Talay Resort.
Joy and Ya
Per Person: from 250bt for standard massage
Husband (Joy) and wife team (Ya) massaging in open wooden buildings. 1 hour and 2 hour, compress, scrubs and facials. Deep muscle technique, busy, popular with management of resorts from Lonely Beach to Bang Bao. Open all day till 10.00pm. Bailan Beach.
Per Person: from 300bt upwards
Located just after Kati Culinary by the road, great down to earth massage house with a full menu of Thai style for neck, head, body and feet. Treatments including after sun, 2 hours for 600bt. Popular and recommended across the island. Klong Prao Beach, central
Koh Chang Spas and Saunau
On White Sand Beach, there are large spas with full facilities at KC Grande (Bodiworks) and Chang Buri Resort (Apsara), in Chai Chet at Paradise Resort (The Royal Spa), in Klong Prao Beach at Ramayana (Sita), Aana Resort (Aar’), Centara Tropicana Resort (Spa Cenvaree) and Emerald Cove (Breezes), in Kai Bae Beach at Gajapuri Resort (GajaPinn) and Seaview Resort (Bay Breeze) and finally in Bailan Beach at The Mercure Hideaway. Several of these are country wide chains and there is a great luxury element to all of them, with prices to match, but they do have packages and special deals.
There are also saunas at different resorts on the island but for the Finnish variety, try Sofia Garden Resort in Klong Prao Beach. The Bailan Herbal Sauna, with its unique adobe mud buildings, has changed many years ago from its original owners but it does still open.
Koh Chang Yoga and Detox
Yoga, meditation, Reiki, fasting and detox programmes are also available at on the island but on a much reduced scale. From time to time, residential yoga schools do also spring up at the big holidays, normally 10 day courses.
The Spa Koh Chang
Per Person: on application
Among the mangroves, full residential detox programs over 7 days from 14,000bt. Spa treatments, massage, herbal steam, facials and body scrubs. Yoga, reiki and meditation. Non residents welcome, pick up from Centrepoint Ferry arranged. Vegetarian restaurant. East coast, Salak Khok turning.