Review: Sayuri — Chiang Mai, Thailand
The city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand attracts a huge number of foreigners each years. It has a fairly large adult entertainment scene but most of it goes unseen by visitors from the West. A strip of bars on and around Loi Kroh Road staffed with mainly older ladies from Isaan and two go go bars are about the extent of the industry as far as some visitors are concerned yet there are many other venues around town.
Chiang Mai is home to a lot of karaoke bars. Taking a roll around town at night brings these places into full view. There are usually dozens of good looking women in nice dresses sitting outside waiting to attract customers. They tend to be visited by local guys as well as tourists and expats from East Asia.
Massage parlors dominate the rest of the scene. They range from the elaborate to the simple. There are also a few low cost brothels around as well as a few freelancers. I will cover this all in more depth at some point in the future.
There are a few soapy massage parlors in Chiang Mai. I have already reported on Celebrities. Sayuri is another soapy massage parlor that is larger and probably better known even though it is much more difficult to find.
It’s not that Sayuri is hidden. It’s on a regular road and there are signs pointing to the place from at least two main thoroughfares. It is just that it is not the kind of place a person would accidentally wander past in most cases. This is different from Celebrities which is just a short walk from the Night Bazaar that most tourists know and visit.
Sayuri is mainly known for its soapy massages. It also has karaoke rooms and a cafe though I don’t know how many people are really visiting for that.
Sayuri has a large parking lot because most people travel to it by car or motorbike. It is possible to walk to the place but it’s not common. The place is big and hard to miss. The entrance is right in front through a large door.
Immediately inside there is a lobby that looks like a lesser version of the interior shown at the end of the movie Scarface. Two flights of stairs wrap around a fountain and lead to the main center upstairs. There are some older pictures of ladies on the walls. Surprisingly this area is often empty. You might expect there to be security or managers around but most times they are not. Everyone is inside.
Going up either set of stairs and through the doors at the end of the hall leads to the rather large main room. One side is lined with rows of stadium style seating. These seats are occupied by service providers. They wear pins with letters and numbers. Women with the letter M on their pins sit to the left. They tend to have better bodies as they have not had any children. At the end of the room toward the counter there are some more elaborate couches. Well dressed women called models sit here.
Customers can walk up and down to have a look at things or take a seat in one of the many chairs on the other side of the room. Most of these seats give a good view of things. A few are blocked by objects. There is a waitress around who can bring drinks to customers who need them at times. At other times there is no one around except for a manager or two.
The place is more like a lounge than anything. There is practically no pressure at all. The women don’t pay much attention to the customers except a few who may smile or wink to try to win them over. The management doesn’t hassle customers either. It’s very laid back.
If customers find a lady they like they flag down one of the managers to make their choice. They identify the lady to the manager and head to the desk to make payment. Rates vary depending on the class the women are in.
The women in the least expensive class charge 1400 Baht ($40 USD) for a ninety minute full service session. M badge women charge charge 2500 ($71 USD). Models charge even more. Managers are able to explain the prices in rudimentary English but not much else. They don’t know or don’t care to tell who is a good performer or who has had a baby. Customers who arrive by taxi will be charged more so that the taxi driver can get a commission.
Most of the women are at least moderately attractive but tend toward their late twenties and even thirties. A few look very good. Some are worse for wear. The women tend to have white skin and hail from the north. Many of the women who work the soapy massage parlors in Bangkok are also from the north of Thailand. Brown skin women and ladies from Isaan are rare.
English speaking skills aren’t very widespread in the soapy massage parlors and Sayuri is no exception. The wait staff can speak enough English to take an order, the managers can speak enough English to book an appointment, the desk staff can speak enough English to take money and the service providers can speak enough English to get through a session. More is rare though at least a few of the ladies working at Sayuri can hold a conversation.
After customers select a lady and pay for their appointment they are led down some stairs into one of the rooms below. VIP rooms are available for an additional charge and provide much better quarters. The regular rooms are small with low ceilings and almost resemble prison cells.
All of the rooms have tubs that are large enough to fit a customer and one woman. This is used for the bath portion that kicks off the session. After that customers head over to the bed where the rest of the activity takes place. Most women provide covered oral followed by full service. Some may skip the oral and go right to the main event. After things are finished up the customer is taken back to the bath for a shorter wash. Then they are dried off and directed back up the stairs and into the main room.
Sessions are supposed to last an hour and a half. Sometimes they do. Usually they end long before that amount of time has run off of the clock. The name of the game for the ladies is to make money. They can make more if they spend more time out in the lobby. Guys who stretch out their sessions or insist on the full time will get all ninety minutes. Some who remain passive will too. Others will be shorted but may not mind that if they got what they came for.
Sayuri is the biggest and most popular soapy massage parlor in Chiang Mai. It is visited by lots of guys from all around the world. It doesn’t necessarily stand out from any of the other soapy massage parlors however including places right in town even though it charges as much as double. Two stars.
Sayuri. 3 Bumrung Rajd Road, Soi 2, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Open seven days a week from noon to midnight. Click here for a map.