The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

WoWasis comes clean: What’s a Thai soapy body-to-body massage? How does it work, and where do I get one?

Written By: herbrunbridge - Feb• 05•11

Friendly masseuses in a “fishbowl”

My goodness, did we get some responses to our recent men’s spas in Thailand and soapy massage and museum on same day blog posts! Many of those writing were curious as to how these soapy body-to-body massage spas are operated, and how they can get one. We’re going to tell you how these soapy massage parlors work, discuss some of the procedures you’ll want to follow, and generally make it as easy as possible to have a go if you’d like to participate yourself. At the bottom of this post, we’ll give you two recommendations for good soapy massage venues in Bangkok.

Opening soapy massage procedures

When you walk into a soapy massage venue, the first thing you’ll see is what’s known as a “fishbowl,” where various masseuses sporting numbers on their clothing will be smiling and hoping you’ll select one of them. Massage venues offer lots of services, and not all of them include soapies. Typically, the soapy ladies sit on the left of the fishbowl, but ask anyway. You may see some  Japanese customers there, who  love to get right up to the fishbowl glass, then look at the masseuses through binoculars, presumably so they can check the pores of their skin. Pick the masseuse you’d like, and the manager will call her to the desk, where you pay for your massage and meet your masseuse.

Special soapy instruments create an awful lot of hot, foamy suds

She’ll lead you up to your room, which has two discrete sections, a “wet” area for the large bathtub and a bathside deck where the large plastic inflatable mattress sits, and a separate “dry” area for a bed, a couch, and a coffee table. . You’ll be asked if you’d like something to drink. Please do, as the drink server makes $3.00 USD per day, and you’ll want to tip her at least 20 baht to show the good manner.  Another attendant will bring a large plastic basket with everything your masseuse will use for the massage, including soaps, lotions, and small special baskets and sponges she’ll use to generate hot, soapy suds. After your session is over, your masseuse will leave a 20 baht tip on the top of the basket for the attendant. Now that your drink has arrived, your masseuse will lock the door, and your soapy experience begins.

Your soapy massage

Your soapy massage experience occurs in three stages: a thorough washing in the large bathtub, a full-body nude rubdown-massage on the hot, soapy air mattress, and a final massage/adult services session of the bed. Although the bathtub washing generally occurs first, some masseuses prefer giving you the air mattress treatment first. In both situations, you and your masseuse will be fully nude (with the exception of the Minnie Mouse or Hello Kitty shower cap she may be wearing to keep her hair from getting wet) and all soaped-up. If you’ve treated your masseuse well (see #1 below), she may even sing to you through the entire experience, at no additional charge.

Hot bath & air mattress, ready for action, note mirror on ceiling

The air mattress experience 

Veterans of the soapy experience are essentially here for the mattress part. Initially, you’ll lie face down on the mattress while your masseuse first covers you with hot, soapy water, then uses every imaginable portion of her body to slide over the back of your body.  A WoWasis tip: Remember that there’s more body surface on a curvy masseuse when you make your initial selection. The laws of physics really do apply here, especially relating to inertia. After every imaginable area of the back of your body has been body-massaged by every imaginable frontal area of your masseuse’s, she’ll ask you to turn over for a little front-to-front. There are some amazing positions for massage wherein your masseuse faces you while lying down, then intertwines her legs around and through yours, then massages you with her thighs. There’s always a mirror above so you can get a bird’s eye view of your experience. This activity lasts 10-15 minutes.

A final flourish 

You’ll be very relaxed after your mattress, bathtub, and shower experience, so dry off, move to the bed, and enjoy yourself. If your masseuse didn’t give you a real muscle massage on the air mattress, she may do that now. Or she may do that after other activities more adult in nature have finished. Every masseuse has a different approach, and it’s best to let her be the director. You’re role is the actor.

After it’s over

Clean sheets, mirrors, and pillows: the “dry room” stop in your soapy experience

When you’re finished doing everything you wanted and have had a nice conversation, your masseuse will give you a final shower. You’ll dry off, put on your clothes, then go back down the elevator together. Tips are not required, but if you liked your experience, a 300 baht tip ($10 USD)  is very much appreciated. In an average soapy massage parlor charging 1900 baht for the sapy, the masseuse will get 1,000 baht of it. Remember that these nice ladies are, just about all circumstances,  the main or only breadwinners for their sometimes very large families. If you’ve been a polite customer, you’ve brightened her day. 

Is the soapy experience only for men?

No. Women can come by themselves for a soapy, so can couples. The manager can help you, and he or she will speak English (your masseuse’s English may be limited, but don’t worry, she’ll know enough to ensure that you’re happy). If you’re a couple, you’ll be expected to pay for two masseuses, and all you have to do is tell the masseuses what you’d like to do. As an example, one masseuse told us that a western couple both came for a soapy, then the man had protected activity with the two masseuses before bare-backing his wife. The bed’s big enough, and has enough mirrors, that everyone gets a nice, scenic view.

A few things to remember

1) These ladies all support immediate or extended families. Before you session, while the bath water is running, ask if they have brothers and sisters, and ask if they have children. Most of them do, and many of them will happily volunteer to show you a picture of one of their children on their telephones. They love talking about their children. They are working in the massage business to make a better life for their families, and showing that you understand this makes you a more empathetic customer.
2) You may not always find your favorite masseuse available. They work pretty much the schedule they want. If you have a great experience and want to see the same masseuse again, ask for her phone number before you say goodbye. That way, you can call at a later date to ensure she’ll be there for you.
3) These ladies deserve your respect. They do want you to have a pleasant experience, and “work massage” to support their families instead of working at a $1.75 USD per day factory job, as one masseuse told us she used to do. Ask about her family, joke a little, and do whatever you can to make sure she has a good time too. If she has as good a time as you do, you’ll walk out of the massage experience feeling that it’s one of the nicer things you’ve experienced in life.

A soapy massage is an experience probably not available in your own country, and is one of the joys of a visit to Thailand. Understanding its procedures and the massage providers will enhance your experience.

WoWasis recommends the following soapy massage venue in Bangkok. You’ll be treated fairly, and the masseuses, as a rule, provide very good service:

Chao Phya 2 (Chao Phraya 2)
537 Sri Ayuttaya Road
Tel: 02-455-7403
GPS: N13°45.393’  E100°32.466’
Open 12 noon – 11:30 pm
Body-to-Body soapy massage 2000 baht, 2 hours in duration
Directions: BTS Skytrain to Phaya Thai station, take exit 4, walk right onto Thanon Sri Ayuttaya. Cross to other side of the street, and Chao Phya 2 is a 7 minute walk up the street.

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  1. This request is more common than you’d think. Ask at any soapy massage place. Depending on who’s working that day, you could have a great choice. Nataree is now closed, but there is another soapy parlor next door and one across the street on Thanon Ratchadaphisek (one is called Emanuelle). Typically girls are younger, prettier, and more expensive than at Chao Phrya 2 (see article) or Annie’s just off Sukhumvit Soi 2. After you’re successful, please write back and tell us of your experience!

  2. Tei Ho says:

    I will go to BKK with my girlfriend this weekend and we never tried soapy massage before. we would like to try couple soapy massage this time with two girls. Any suggestion of good place ? and can we ask more than just a couple soapy massage?

  3. King says:

    I was in thailand a few years ago had a soapy at annies and emanuelles. Emanuelles had girls that were tens great massage. Annies was ok cheaper than emanuelle

  4. scott says:

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful article. Many thanks for providing this info.

  5. All we can say, deca, is that the girls would deeply appreciate it if you’d empty your bowels at your hotel before visiting the soapy massage establishment.

  6. deca says:

    Can i lose weight by by eating only apple and drinking only apple juice and water for like three or seven days?, and how many pounds or kilos i may lose?.

  7. In our experience, Thai women are among the cleanest in the world, both in terms of washing and keeping away from STDs. While nothing is guaranteed, we’d bet on the cleanliness of Thai women against western women any day.

  8. lovelyHORNS says:

    Hi,I certainly have a serious doubt of whether these Thailand girls are hygienic??. I have read that Thailand once had a huge HIV population and People esp. sex girls suffer from severe STDs (like genital herpes, warts etc). I am very much eager to visit Thailand to experience the famous “SOAPY MASSAGE”, but the thing i mentioned above obstructs me from enjoying the experience. Can anyone pls help me out to find where i cud get a hygienic sex girl or can you explain me whether is it true that they have health hazards (or) Thai girls are hygienic to have fun and the news are rumours!!!….. PLSSSSS reply to my queries….

    Thanks in advance for your sincere knowlegde…

  9. belo says:

    Its such as you learn my mind! You appear to know so much about this, such as you wrote the e book in it or something. This was a great read.

  10. Hi Far, We’ve got a pretty good post on three-ways in Bangkok at Check it out and you’ll be able to pick some venues.

  11. far says:

    Me n wife had experience the best threesome in eden club bangkok
    will coming to bangkok in jun2013
    can i know other best place i can go that have hot girl..
    P.s eden club have the best experience but lacking of hot girl

  12. Adream says:

    bangkok Soapy Massage now also available in the comfort, privacy and hygienic cleanliness of Your Bangkok Hotel.
    Call +66 8 7706 3266

  13. BigGuyBKK says:

    Annie’s, just last night 6 Pm – nightmare! Horrible massage in tub, worse yet on bed, and no mattress treatment. Worst HJ ever experienced, painful even! For 2500 B, an absolute waste of money. Worst soapy experience in my 6 attempts, but all others at Nataree. IMHO, the BEST is Nataree.

  14. Near Sukhumvit, you have a choice of Annie’s ( or Darling Massage. Annie’s is located in a soi between Sukhumvit Sois 2 and 4, in the same building as the Rajah Hotel. The masseuses are a little older than those in Darling, service is always good. Darling is on Sukhumvit Soi 12, a little up the street and on the right. Darling is pricier than Annie’s and the masseuses are typically younger.

  15. hello says:

    any soapy massage parlours on or near sukhumvit road?

  16. edufilm says:

    Another thing that’s interesting about these massage parlors is the girls move freely behind the glass from one category to another. I saw a girl that had just finished a soapy session (1900 baht) move to the adjacent Super Star (sex, but no soapy) section (2000 baht) at CP2. The same night at J-One, I saw a 2000 baht lady move to the center of he fishbowl (2500 baht) and back again, then a 3000 baht girl move to the 2500 section.

    What this tells me is that a girl can instantly decide that she doesn’t want to give a soapy, or change her odds of getting selected, depending on her price category.

  17. FlightRisk says:

    Great article! This reminds me of the opening of that old classic, “Emanuelle in Bangkok” where two persons are enjoying the famous and sensuous experience of the “Bangkok soapie.” That film has other vintage scenes from Chiang Mai and so on, really worth a trip down memory lane to see it. You’ve really captured the essence of this truly sensuous experience here.

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