Travel for mind, body and spirit: Shoulder A beach massage in Thailand
Lisa Markwell is the editor of The Independent on Sunday. She was previously executive editor of The Independent, i and The Independent on Sunday and has edited the features pages, and both the Saturday and Sunday supplements. She writes comment pieces for the papers and restaurant reviews for the New Review. Lisa has worked across a variety of newspapers and magazines and can now tick off every publication cycle from daily to quarterly. She is an enthusiastic foodie, mother of two teenagers and drives an electric car. She is writing a book about adoption.
Saturday 09 January 1999
Travelling for four hours to Koh Samui (below) in a rickety boat to get a massage was a bit extreme - but this was an emergency. At Chaweng Beach, I'd spied the gentle-looking Thai woman on a low wooden platform earlier in the day, but it was only in the afternoon that I saw her in action. Frazzled sun-worshippers would stroll over, lie down and get pummelled into a further state of relaxation.
At dusk I approached her, or rather, I hobbled. So it was her powers of perception rather than her powers of observation that let the masseur know exactly what I needed. Now I've had a few massages in London so I could make a comparison. The silence was a bonus, and the palm trees and sand made for a better view than framed qualification certificates. The language barrier meant I just let her do her thing - strong, kneading movements that soon loosened my muscles. For less than pounds 2 my shoulders were ready to carry my scuba kit once more. Lisa Markwell
You can reach Koh Samui in 14 hours from London, with a quick change in Bangkok, for around pounds 450.
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