Some guy in a “sum gai” spa
Funny spa exprience in Thailand
Thailand is internationally famous for its massage and world class spas but there is one kind of spa I recently tried in Nan that you may not know about: the sum gai spa
. Very affordable they offer relaxation of course but also an unforgettable memory and a funny selfie.
Sum gai spa, what it is?
Spa sum gai
(pronounce sapa soum guy)
could be translated as chicken coop spa
. In these little very local spas you get your own personal sauna composed of a bell that cover you leaving only your head poking out.
These bells are actually bamboo cages used by farmers for a long time to enclose roosters called sum gai
. The genius idea here was to cover them with an insulating blanket and make an opening for the head.
The client is sitting on a wooden stool and has a small cauldron with boiling water and different herbs at his feet. It diffuses steam and scents into the modified chicken coop. After a few minutes, if you manage to forget about the funny situation, you can really enjoy and relax !
Personally, I only took one 30 minutes session. It costed 70 THB. An hour (120 THB) in this position seemed a little long to me but afterwards I thought I should have taken 60 minutes.
They also offered a 1 hour massage for 200 THB but I had to pass. Not that I didn’t want but I had to hurry to discover the nearby Ban Sao Luang Weaving Village 5 kilometers further and go 65 kilometers up to the North to Pua where a nice room in the middle of the rice paddies was waiting for me.
Where to find these spas in Thailand?
Sum gai spas in Thailand are often in small communities outside major cities. The spa that I tested is about ten kilometers from Nan city. It is called Spa Sum Samun Phrai Ban Nawa Ra Sot สปาสุ่มไก่ สมุนไพรบ้านนวราษฏร์. I already send them a few french clients who where pleased and amused by the experience. The place opened only a few months ago so only a few tourists know about it… for now.
Otherwise, the most famous place in Thailand to get a Chicken coop spa session is Chong Chang Tune Live Ecomuseum in Bo Rai District, Trat province. It was the first place offering the experience to tourists.
One thing is sure, I will go there every time I stay in Nan. I Love feeling like a chicken in a steam oven !