Welcome to week 213th (02/05/2015) of Travel Photo Thursday. . Have you ever been massaged by a female prisoner? No? Well, come to Chiang Mai, and you can do just that. The Chiang Mai Women’s Correctional Institution vocational facility runs a popular restaurant and massage facility staffed by prison inmates. The program offers training, and I would say hope, to inmates that are soon to be released.
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Located just steps from Chiang Mai’s museum complex in the old city, this sign makes the vocational facility easy to find.
The restaurant fronts on a lovely, shady, and relaxing courtyard. If you prefer a/c, you can eat in the dining room. The wait staff are very friendly, and the service is quick and efficient. I took this shot after eating, and you’ll notice that one of the servers is folding up the table clothes. Closing time, 4:30pm, was close at hand.
I chose Pad Thai from the extensive menu of Thai and foreign dishes on offer. Delicious!
This wasn’t my first visit, and since the last time, they have moved the spa facility to a 100 year old teak house right next to the restaurant.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get beyond the front door of the spa on this visit. They were closing, so I will have to go back another day. I really want to see the inside of this teak house. The former spa was a few doors down, and I always felt like I was walking into a cement air raid shelter! However, these women do give a good massage!
Since I couldn’t experience the real thing, I decided to try out the Women’s Massage Center by Ex-Prisoners. I wish I could say that the massage was as good as that at the Women’s prison, but sadly it didn’t come close. The staff seemed to be more interested in chatting among themselves than providing massage. Maybe it was just bad luck on my part. The facility has received some great reviews on Trip Adviser. I wouldn’t say to give it a miss, but be aware that the service here can be a bit hit or miss. I would definitely try spa run by the women’s prison first.
The first time I had an inmate massage I was a little apprehensive. I’d never been in a prison before, so had no idea what to expect. Thankfully, the ladies are friendly and just want to do a good job. How would you feel about receiving a massage from a prison inmate?
Chiang Mai Women’s Correctional Institution Address:
100 Rachvithi Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm Cost: Traditional Thai Massage – 180 Baht; Foot Massage – 150 Baht