Massage is a serious business in Thailand. With dozens of massage services available in both Hua Hin and Cha-Am, it’s a real feature of our streetscape. If you have the need, the only problem is which one to choose. We took the opportunity to talk with two business owners to get some personal insights.
Although the businesses are within a few hundred metres of each other, they are not really in competition as these two ladies are mother and daughter! One of the reassurances a massage business can offer is certification from reputable training organisations. Rujira Changuan (Khun Tang) is the mum of the duo and proudly displays an impressive series of framed certificates from arguably the original and best.
Bangkok’s Wat Phra Chetuphon, or “Wat Po”, is well known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, as well as being Thailand’s first “open” University. Wat Po Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School was opened in 1955 inside Wat Po and is acknowledged worldwide. Khun Tang is very proud to have trained and then also contributed as an instructor at Wat Po. Commitment to age-old Thai massage principles is the basis of the business. Regardless of the background of incoming staff, Khun Tang insists on instilling her personal ‘touch’ and instruction before allowing any ‘hands on’.
Herbal House Spa and Massage offers many options including the use of traditional medicinal Thai herbs. She is eager to maintain this traditional focus to both the services provided but also the ambience of the premises. She refers to this as ‘old house’ but really traditional rather than just old. Another source of pride for Khun Tang is the achievements of her three children. The eldest daughter is a lawyer teaching at a Bangkok university and the youngest son has a construction business. Kamonwan Wayunij (Khun Bee) is the one following her mother’s footsteps; although she was heading for a different career path after completing a Master’s Degree in economics and business administration.
After a short stint as a resort owner’s secretary, the option of being self-employed and living in a less stressful environment, meant a move to Hua Hin and then as the owner of Thai Thai Massage. The difference between this business and Mum’s down the road is not the standard of the services. Khun Bee has a modern approach and has given the premises her personal touch with a contemporary feel. She also is able to offer confident and fluent English language conversation. Mum is prompting her take on another language (perhaps Chinese or Russian) before too long. Khun Bee’s only complaint about business is that Mum is a very eager and seasoned overseas traveller.
This means she has to manage both businesses when Mum takes off to Europe to get some more stamps in her passport. The two premises are situated at the entry to Khao Takiab, on opposite sides of the main road and near to the Cicada Market. Nearby resorts are a good source of business although about 30% of customers are Thai people from Bangkok; they have often heard about Khun Tang’s reputation. Location is always important and plans to expand to additional premises are being considered with perhaps a new marketing strategy, that’s Khun Bee’s job. Our advice……………. maybe a new logo to recognise the Wat Pho origins below?