Tipping for a Thai massage
Posted by patjee on October 05, 2011 10:11 PM
Malaysians often visit Thailand. The Chinese also come here, as well as the Japanese, South Koreans, Indians, and Europeans. Of course, not a few of them would have Thai massage.
A Thai massage could cost Bt150 ($4.99) to Bt750 ($24.96) per hour. In Wat Phra Chetuphon, the oldest and biggest temple offering Thai massage, an hour costs 250B ($8.35).
Since a service of Thai massage is already quantified, how much a tip should be depends. A tip is an extra payment given voluntarily to service sector workers as a matter of social custom. Failing to do so can be a serious faux pas, or an unethical violation of etiquette.
Tipping is said to be uncommon in Thailand. The Thais themselves do not do it. They would pay, for instance, Bt60 even if the taxi fare amounts to Bt61 without hesitation. Restaurants and hotels in the country also already charge a service fee, which is supposed to be the tip.
Tipping becomes common, though, with foreigners. They must give $1 to a waiter, $1â€“$2 to a porter, $1 to a taxi driver, $2 to private drivers, and $10â€“$20 to tour guides. Except for soup shops and roadside food stalls, eateries have a "keep the small change" policy.
A session of Thai massage connotes a $3-tipâ€”cheap if travellers would consider that massage therapists in Thailand have to finish high school, and study a training program that would last for six to 12 months. The course involves various courses in anatomy, physiology, public health, professional ethics and hygiene. In most states in the USA, prospective masseurs and masseuses have to undertake a written exam to qualify.
In Wat Pho, massage courses cost Bt7,000 ($225.86) for 30 hours, and Bt11,000 ($354.92) for 60 hours. Thai massage does not necessitate oil, but customers are advised to wear loose clothing.
Massage therapists earn about between Bt1,162,300 ($37,502) to Bt1,760,031 ($56,788) if they work for 64 hours in a month (2008 survey). High-end masseuses earn around Bt2,055,550 ($66,323). In 2009, the average salary of masseuses amounts to Bt1,797,595 ($58,000). It was not a surprise if salary.com listed massage therapy as one of the best-paying career!
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