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Thai Family Sauna

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One thing worth trying is a real family friendly Thai sauna. These are no flash saunas for Thais, in cheap areas of town, and they're often nothing more than a converted house with a tiny stream room. They're good, clean, fun. This one is near Bang Chak, and open at weekends only.
The basics are this: This is a family friendly place. Men and women are welcome, but you'll need a swimming costume and women need to wrap in a sarong or a beach cover dress like mine. She has towels and sarongs to rent there, but better to take my own. You change in one of the two changing rooms, men change separate from women.

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She has a little steam room, no bigger than a bathroom. It is blasted with steam from a wood burning boiler next door. Inside the boiler are aromatic leaves, and the steam it produces is blasted through a basket of crushed turmeric root, crushed lemongrass and Kaffir limes, the fruit not the leaves. These limes are pretty useless for most things, since they have hardly any juice in them, but here they add a very strong cleansing citrus perfume to the steam.

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You steam for as long as you can take the heat, rest outside on the plastic chairs, steam again, rest again, until you've had enough. The price is 50 baht each (about $2 US). I believe the plastic chair is now the national furniture of Thailand, surpassing the triangular mat we used to sit on!

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After the sauna, you can get a skin exfoliating massage if you want. She grows a white fungus that forms a paste, herself. Hang on, I don't mean she grows the fungus on herself, I mean she grows the fungus fresh at the sauna. The white fungus paste is spread over your skin. Again you keep your swimming costume on! A fan dries the paste to a tight mask, and once dry it is rubbed off, and takes the dead skin with it. It was 170 baht for both massage and sauna. Then its back to the shower to clean, and sauna again, to clean off the last of the fungus.

This is an experience to remember.


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