It’s September in Thailand and rain mostly in the form of storms dominates the Khao Lak weather. Indeed, September equals October as having the most average rain days and rainfall than any other month of the year. But today it’s hot and sunny with the Khao Lak temperature perched just above 30C. I have an open invitation to swim in a friend’s pool nearby, but the water temperature is more likely to resemble getting in a warm bath than having a cool and refreshing dip in a mountainous lake! In any case, I’m on my way to “Bussaba Massage”, which is situated in Soi Bang Niang, the street that connects Bang Niang beach with the main thoroughfare of Khao Lak. A stroll of only around 5 minutes from the main road of Bang Niang gets one to the massage parlour, which is set around 20 metres from the road on the right-hand-side as you go to the beach. The shop is flanked by an art gallery on one side and a travel agent on the other side. I go for a weekly oil massage from Bussaba herself, the owner of the establishment. (I also have a monthly pedicure as an act of pure indulgence!) The Thai name “Bussaba” means “flower” in English. Like some other Asian countries, the Thais often use nouns or adjectives to name their children. For example, many girls have names such as Nok, Wann, Faah, and Noi, which are best translated as bird, day (can also mean “sweet” depending on which tone is used), blue and little, respectively. Bussaba speaks a fair amount of English, but having already communicated to her that I particularly enjoy strong massages, that is indeed what I get every time. If I want to let her know something in detail, I use Google Translate via the free Wi-Fi in the shop.
Bussaba Massage is currently #3 on TripAdvisor’s website listing for “Spas and Wellness Centres in Khao Lak”. It seems other customers have enjoyed the services provided by the business as much as I have. It is clear to me why this is so. I found the ladies to be friendly, respectful and relational; typical of Thai hospitality. In addition, the shop is spotless, tastefully decorated in a cool green colour, and surprisingly insulated from the noise of the outside traffic. The shop is also maintained at a comfortable temperature by an efficient and quiet air-conditioner. But, most of all, the oil massage is fantastic. (I would love to have a Thai massage, as I used to have several years ago, but my joints are rather creaky these days, especially my dicky knees which could disintegrate upon too much bending pressure!?)
Having a massage is one of the most rewarding things to do in Khao Lak. Since I live in Bang Niang, and Bussaba Massage is only a few minutes away by motor-scooter, it’s easy for me to come here. Also, each massage sets me back only 400 baht (or around $12) which means I can have one every week. Given the past massages I have received here, I am confident I will leave feeling revitalized and relaxed.