Chiang Mai’s Women Prisoners Massage for Travel Photo Thursday

Posted by on Feb 5, 2015 in Chiang Mai, Destinations, Thailand, Travel Photo Thursday | 14 comments

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.


Chiang Mai Women Correctional Institution


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.


Chiang Mai Women's Prison Restaurant


I chose Pad Thai from the extensive menu of Thai and foreign dishes on offer. Delicious!


Pad Thai, Chiang Mai Worm's Prison Restuarant


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.


Chiang Mai Women's Prison Massage Spa


Chiang Mai Women's Prison Spa Facility


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.

Women's Massage Center by Ex-Prisoners, Chiang Mai

Women’s Massage Center by Ex-Prisoners


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?

Travelers Tip

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

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  1. I would be up for it Nancie. As they are about to be released the inmates would be wanting to do a good job and not jeopardise their release. It’s rather a good idea isn’t it?

    • Hi Jan. I think it’s a fantastic idea, and like supporting them.

  2. Honestly, I would take a massage anywhere. I love Thailand for its abundance of massage opportunities. I think its a fantastic way for the inmates to prepare for making a living as well.

  3. Hmmm…I think I”d take the massage as long as I don’t have to go to prison to get it! 🙂

    • Hi Kathy. Haha. No time served required, I promise!

  4. I’m up for a massage just about anywhere. If students of massage need a back or neck to practice on, I’m generally quite willing. 🙂 This looks like a great program to support.

    • Hi Bob. Definitely a great program to get involved with, and I am always a willing participant!

  5. I never turn down a massage especially if it’s cheap. This looks like a wonderful program and I’m glad they’re giving the inmates a chance to start at another life with some skills. I wonder if they have programs like these elsewhere especially in North America. That Pad Thai looks delicious and I’ve never seen it presented that way. Hope you’ve had more eventful massages during your vacation.

    • Hi Mary. I’ve had some fantastic massage here in Chiang Mai. I take this one rather lack luster experience as the exception to the rule!

  6. A fantastic lunch followed by a massage, wow sign me up! I would love to go back to Chang Mai again and eat my way through this city.

    • Hi Noel. Yeah, it doesn’t get much better!

  7. A great post, Nance. Most interesting place and I’d love to visit – will definitely go in my ‘must do’ list should I get back here one day. I am DM you on FB about earlier message!

    • Hi Jackie! I read your info. about the automatic shifts, and said YAY! 🙂 I hope you do get back to Chiang Mai someday (when I am here of course), and we can hang out. Maybe we’ll find another Subway (haha).

  8. I was too leery of getting a massage at the Women’s Prison when I was in CM even though I had heard good things about it. It’s interesting that you found the in-prison experience better than the one by the women who had already been released. I really like the fried egg presentation of the pad thai. It almost makes me want to try that technique at home.


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