Armed with 1627 Thai Baht ($50.00US) spending money for the day, we hoped a water taxi to the sandy white shores of Phuket, Thailand for a day of pampering while on a fun cruise with my Momma over the holidays. I had always been told that you got real bang for your buck when travelling in Thailand, so I was intrigued to see just how far our money would go. We were having a bit of a girls indulgent holiday anyway, so it seemed like a fun idea to hit up the shops & get our pampering on!
We decided to fully immerse ourselves in the holiday experience and try the dead skin eating fish (Garra Rufa) pedicure experience, yes… we were feeling adventurous! We stopped off at one of the many salons (I swear, every 3rd shop was a beauty salon) up the road from the beach, & there it was, a tank filled with slimy flesh eating fish that sat proudly out front of the shop beckoning at us, and we looked at each other thinking, does this look fun or just totally weird?
The cost of this experience was roughly $6 for about 20 minutes, obviously the money suited our budget, but it was well….. weird right!. The salon was clean looking and the therapist spoke excellent English, so we thought we’d ask some questions.
Does it hurt? I asked. No, No, NOooo she says, it feels like tiny little kisses, which to me didn’t sound so bad. I nodded to signify I was ready to let her parasite flesh eating fish begin & I gingerly slipped off my thongs (that’s flip flops to my Yanky friends OK!!!). The therapist washed my feet in fresh water telling me her fish didn’t like any chemicals & encouraged me to put my feet in the tank, so I carefully dipped my toes in and waited for the little suckers to come at me.
Once they started feasting, I could barely hold still, it was nothing like kisses, more like someone full on tickling and pinching me over and over. In my humble opinion, I think I should have been paid the $6 for feeding her fish, a tick for the bucket list sure, but hot dang it was torturous.
With that little extra something in our step, we cruised back down to the beach in search of lunch. There really wasn’t a shortage of amazing foodie hotspots, but the lure of dining amongst tropical plants under ceiling fans, with free WIFI & somewhere out of the high humidity won us over.
We ordered a couple of cold Tiger brews for $1 each, and a Fantasie Krevettensalat in Ananas (Prawn, scallop, tomato, onion salad with a creamy mayonnaise in a Pineapple) for $5 each. A couple of hours of delicious contact with the world again later (we were internet starved on the ship) and a number of brews downed, we moved along for some more beauty therapy.
We had hours still yet to burn before we got back on the ship, we flopped our overly relaxed bodies on the beach before elderly Thai woman for an hour long open air salas massage for $4 each & gossiped away the time. A gentle breeze cooled my skin, the beach sounds and the crash of the waves lulled me off to sleep, probably aided by a few $1 beers. Seriously, is there a better way to spend to spend an afternoon?
In a state of pure relaxation we padded back along the boardwalk towards the water taxi to our decadent floating home. The locals hounded us trying to sell their wares, much of which was junky, but perfect as gifts for friends back home. We purchased a couple of fridge magnets, genuine copy sunnies, sarongs and shirts and finished our magical day in the tropical paradise Phuket, Thailand with a Virgin Pina Coladas for $2 each.
So it turns out ‘they’ were right. We had an amazing day and came home with some change.
I’d love to know, have you been to Thailand? If yes, did you find it inexpensive like me?