Working in a massage parlor in Pattaya is better than farming rice in Isan, but not by much, two masseuses said.
Yubol from Surin and Jane from Ubon Ratchathani, employed at Nano Health Massage in Jomtien Beach, said they returned to their home provinces for much of the coronavirus pandemic because their shop was closed. They worked on the farm and in construction, respectively, earning just enough money to survive day by day.
When massage parlors were allowed to reopen in Pattaya, albeit under stringent health restrictions, they returned, hoping to make good incomes again. That’s not been the case.
The women said they used to average 10 customers a day during a 10-hour shift. Now they get three or fewer.
With Chinese and Russian tourists gone, their patrons are expats from Norway, Denmark and the U.K.
To spur more trade, Nano Health Massage reduced the price of its foot massages to 200 baht an hour.
The two women said they don’t foresee any future lockdowns, so they expect business to gradually recover.