The idea of getting a Thai massage has always seemed unappealing to me. In a Thai massage, I was always led to believe, one’s body is stretched mercilessly into all sorts of uncomfortable positions, and instead of the masseuse’s long, swooping movements, there are individual applications of pressure up and down the body. Sounded like way too much work. But a recent trip to Thailand, where I sampled the treatment at Chiang Mai’s Four Seasons and the spa at Phuket’s Trisara resort, proved me wrong. Not only was the massage, a combination of exacting moves, yoga and physical therapy, oddly energizing, it actually made me feel like I had done a bit of exercise—a serious plus. Still, the real bonus for me was the discovery of Thai fisherman pants, the oversize one-size-fits-all cotton trousers that one wears during the massage. The sarong-pant hybrid makes more of a style statement than sweats, and is the ultimate after-hours uniform. I scooped up 10 pairs at a local handicraft store for 100 baht (about three dollars) each; you can score a pair online for $22 at fisherpants.com.
Fisherman photo: APICHART WEERAWONG/APPhoto