Something Fishy


We were tired after a day’s walk around the city and needed to kill some time, so Kyle and I once again found ourselves in a mall. The malls offer air conditioned refuge, cleaner air and often a nice place to sit down and enjoy a tasty snack. So there we are, strolling up escalator after escalator when I see the Fish Spa!

The helpful signs inform us that for the meager cost of 99 Baht ($3) we can receive 15 minutes of treatment from the Doctor Fishes. They will apparently rejuvenate the skin, eating off any dead skin cells and calluses and leave us healthier and happier. I am immediately sold, but Kyle takes some convincing. I finally get him to agree to try it with me and we step into the spa. We are told to wash off our feet and then shown where we can sit on nice wooden benches and dangle our feet and hands into large fish tanks full of thousands of guppy-sized “Doctor Fish.”

I stick one foot in slowly, not sure what to expect and the fish immediately swarm to my foot nibbling softly and tickling like crazy. I am near tears when Kyle gets to the tank and tries. He too starts to crack up and we slowly try to ease our way in. It tickles so much that I think I won’t be able to handle fifteen minutes but I try to relax and sure enough I am able to stick it out. After two minutes or so it stops tickling and feels almost pleasant. They just nibble a bit at your skin and move around a lot. To be honest it hardly feels like anything.

Some Wikipedia-ing tells me that these fish are called the garra rufa and that the fish spa tradition originated in Turkey of all places. The little guys apparently just eat your dead skin cells leaving the healthy skin to grow. In reality I am not sure they do anything besides tickle. Our fifteen minutes of treatment was fun but I didn’t notice any difference in my nasty two-months-in-Ton-Sai feet (not that I expected to). As an added bonus you wash before you put your feet in the flesh eating fish tank but the lady working there informed me that I did not need to wash afterwards. Apparently the doctor fish had done the cleaning for me.


6 Responses to “Something Fishy”

  1. Andrew said:

    Is that a food stand right behind you?

    April 7th, 2010 at 1:58 pm

  2. Lizzie said:

    So jelly. I’ve wanted to get one of these ever since I saw Lindsay Lohan do it in Us Weekly.

    April 8th, 2010 at 12:42 am

  3. Candace Colomac said:

    Wow so gross but kinda interesting all at the same time. Miss you guys!

    April 8th, 2010 at 9:16 am

  4. CJ said:

    Kyle your facial expression is priceless. Now go hook up a new 55 gal. drum. I can hear the mf-ing air pump beating away.

    April 8th, 2010 at 10:21 am

  5. Kyle said:

    Ha. Your comment brings back memories. Dont just stand there like a monkey f-ing a football go get the god damn suction.

    April 13th, 2010 at 6:16 am

  6. C4bl3Fl4m3 said:

    This reminds me of growing up in the woods of Pennsylvania with a creek in my backyard. One of my favorite things to do was stand very still in the middle of the creek near a school of minnows, wait for them to swim over and start nibbling on my feet, and see how long I could stand it until it tickled too much!

    I would totally have to give this a try if I ever had the chance!

    June 2nd, 2011 at 10:32 am

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