Thais try to rub out tiredness on the road

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The Independent Online

Better think twice before you choose lubrication at a Thai petrol station. Thailand's health ministry is launching a massage service for tired drivers next month and massage oil will be on offer beside engine additives at 21 selected fuel stops across Bangkok and the country's major highways.

Better think twice before you choose lubrication at a Thai petrol station. Thailand's health ministry is launching a massage service for tired drivers next month and massage oil will be on offer beside engine additives at 21 selected fuel stops across Bangkok and the country's major highways.

"The more hours people continue to drive on roads, the less concentration motorists tend to have and the more accidents are likely to occur," said Vichai Chokevivat, the head of the ministry's department of traditional and alternative medicine. "A pause for stretching or massage will help relieve stress."

Bangkok is notoriously steamy and congested and drivers face an onslaught of tuk-tuks – motorcycle taxis – and even elephants lumbering through lanes of stalled buses. It can take hours to cross town and stopping for a traditional Thai full-body massage is unlikely to make much difference to the length of a journey.

"On a long journey it is not practical for drivers to check into hotels to sleep," the ministry official said. "But if massages are available at petrol stations, they can relax. They will be able to concentrate on driving."

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