Why bother with a Thai massage when you can be massaged by snakes, snails or a pair of meat cleavers?
A rub down with some scented oil might be fine for some, but an elephant or python makes for more drama. Here is the Skyscanner guide to some of the world’s strangest massages and body treatments.
1. Knife Therapy, Taiwan
If you like a good, penetrating massage then being chopped at by a couple of meat cleavers could be good for you. Yes, your therapist uses a couple of choppers to pummel your body. It all happens above your towel, so the knives don’t hit bare flesh. The therapy dates back some 2,000 years to China, and there are some 2,000 knife therapists practicing in Taiwan today.
2. Snake massage, Philippines and Indonesia
A deep muscle massage by four giant pythons? Are you crazy? Visit Cebu City Zoo and you’ll find people queuing up for the experience of laying down on a bamboo bed and having the four potential killer Burmese pythons giving a squeeze. To stop them crushing you to death, the pythons are fed whole chickens beforehand. Apparently, this puts them in a good mood. The snakes used in snake massage joints in Bali and Jakarta are smaller though. Phew!
3. Fish Massage, Thailand
Actually, you can get this kind of massage in many countries around the world, but you are very likely to come across it in the massage capital of the world, Bangkok. Basically, you stick your feet into a tank swimming with hundreds of little ‘doctor fish’, which originate in Turkey. They nibble away at the dead skin, and if you can bear the tickling, you will soon have very smooth feet and legs. In some places, you sit in a bath full of them and you can get a full body nibble, if you can stand it.