I spent a recent weekend in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Read earlier article)
It was a busy weekend with many family activities but that did not stop me from making a quick run to a local Thai Spa; the Ancient Thai Spa. I had discovered this gem of a Thai Massage in my last trip to KL and it was a return visit for me.
The Ancient Thai Spa is located at one end of Jalan Alor, the famous open air food street, that is famously associated with Bukit Bintang, the ultimate KL shopping triangle. Almost every tourist that comes to Kuala Lumpur would have visited Bt Bintang or Jalan Alor as part of local culture initiation. You have not been to Kuala Lumpur if you have not been to Bukit Bintang or Jalan Alor.
The very busy Jalan Alor open air food street; just off Bukit Bintang
Open air food stalls will open in the evening
Ancient Thai Spa offers a quiet haven at one end of busy Jalan Alor
The spa offers private parking – where chauffeurs dropped off business executives
In fact, Bukit Bintang is lined with foot reflexology and massage shops. You cannot take two steps without being approached for massage services. While prices are generally lower, these shops are open and noisy, and not quite my cup of tea for a relaxing massage.
Hence, I was glad to discover the Ancient Thai Spa, which is clean, air-conditioned, does not hard-sell, hire only Thai massuers and offers calm and peace in the hustle and bustle of busy Bukit Bintang. Best of all, it offers authentic Thai massage services.
The receptionist is a local Malaysian Chinese and the rest of the operations are operated by Thais. Prices are a little higher than most shops along Bt Bintang but are still acceptable. Certificates proudly displayed indicate that the shop is endorsed by the Thai embassy, Malaysia Police and all the masseurs has attained at least a 2nd Thai ancient massage Certification level. You do feel relaxed in such a shop
The spacious reception area
Multiple certifications that vouch for the skill authenticity of the shop
The foot massage area – decked in a pleasant blue
Private partitioned area for body massage
Body massage and foot massage are carried out by mostly middle-age male and female Thai masseurs. From their mild mannerism, lack of English skills and good massage skills, you can tell they’re not from the commercial areas of Patpong or Bangkok in Thailand but probably from the inner provinces.
It is good that you tell your masseurs if you can accept a hard massage because Thai massage from authentic masseurs trained from the ancient Wat temples can be a no-holds bar for hard cracks and twists. Not many of us can take the ultimate Thai ancient massage and it may be better to opt for Thai oil massage or request for a milder version of the massage. For me, the harder the better.
But I had to surrender too when it came to Thai foot massage. Unlike Chinese or Japanese foot massage, Thai foot massage utilises a stick to poke at the pressure points instead of only using fingers. If you cannot take the pain from normal foot massage, Thai foot massage will send you up the wall.
Again, pain is proportionate to the light and floating feeling you have on your feet after a painful foot massage, but ultimately it is up to you if you can accept the initial pain. Be warned, if you cannot take normal foot massage pain, do not try Thai foot massage!
We had both body and foot massage and ‘floated’ our way out into the busy Jalan Alor after our treatment. Just nice to hit the Jalan Alor food stalls at 6pm when they’re just starting to start up for night business. A most pleasant way to spend time in Kuala Lumpur!
One end of Jalan Alor; off Bukit Bintang
Size of Spa: About 15 partitioned treatment rooms and 15 foot massage chairs
Friendliness: Friendly and professional
Pricing: 1 hour massage starts at M$70. Other treatment and massage services start from that price onwards. Discount available for visits before 3pm.
Others: Sport, ladies and pregnancy massage are also available