The first time I saw a fish spa was in Singapore. Clients would put their feet in a tank of warm water filled with garra rufa
, or doctor fish as they're known to most of the world, and let the fish nibble off the dead skin and calluses. I was intrigued by it, but couldn’t quite bring myself to try it.
Since then, I’ve seen fish spas throughout Asia, and I decided that it was time I plucked up my courage and let the little fishies have their way with me. There are a number of fish spas in Chiang Mai; the place I chose is called “Fish Actually” and is located in the lobby of the Parasol Inn.
It’s pretty simple: you take off your shoes, sit on a padded bench above a large aquarium filled with doctor fish, and put your feet in the water. The water is skin temperature and the fish do the rest. At first it tickles a little, I laughed a lot, and then it feels like a million tiny fingers massaging your feet. Since the fish don’t actually have teeth – they nibble the skin with their lips – it doesn’t hurt,
Little fish hard at work
but it is a unique sensation.
The fish cleaned up a lot of dead skin on my feet, and my skin feels a lot smoother. Thanks little fishies; I’ll be back.
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