So kneady: Thailand takes mass-massage record

So kneady: Thailand takes mass-massage record

Hundreds of masseurs in Bangkok prod and rub their way to a Guinness World Record
thailand massage record
Not a sweaty tourist in sight. Is this really Thailand?

Guinness World Records can be baffling (most toilet seats broken by the head) or worthy (fastest hurdles wearing swim fins). But none is more impressive for a weary traveler than a mass-massaging world record.

The latest has been taken by a group of 641 masseurs in Thailand, who massaged 641 people simultaneously for 12 minutes on August 30, 2012.

The most impressive part of the event was arguably the absence of any string-vested tourists with gnarled toenails and salacious grins, whom you might expect to be the first volunteers when free Thai massages are being given out.

This event however took place in the clinical setting of the Thailand Medical Hub Expo 2012, at the Impact Mueangthong Arena in Bangkok.

Both the expo and event are supported by Thailand's Ministry of Public Health and presided by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Also on CNN: Bangkok's best massages

The record for “most people being massaged” was previously held by Tourism Victoria, from Australia, after 263 people were massaged at the same time for five minutes in March 2010.

The Expo, which runs from August 30 to September 2, has been devised to strengthen Thailand as a hub for medical tourism and services. The record-breaking spectacle, on the other hand, highlights Thailand’s position as the massage center of the East.

“Thailand has good potential for development into the medical hub, since its health business, especially spa services and traditional Thai massage, is recognized worldwide,” said a government press release.

Thailand currently also holds the “longest massage chain” Guinness World Record, which stands at 1,223 people performing temporal lobe, neck, shoulders, arms and back massages to the person sitting in front.

Also on CNN: 22 travel world records

CNN Partner Hotels

Destination Berlin

It's crowded and outdated, but Berlin's hexagon-shaped Tegel air hub has won a place in the city's heart