Mapping massage parlours (อาบ อบ นวด)


I brought up this topic a few years ago and the results were inconclusive.

I would like to propose the tag amenity=soapland as these establishments match the description in the Soapland Wikipedia Entry

Being such a prominent part of Bangkok, I think the data will be more complete with these features included. What do you guys think?

Best regards

On the other hand, Thai wikipedia entry for อาบอบนวด links to English

Tricky question. Three years ago I had the feeling it should not be shop=massage. So it would not conflict with the places where you go to have a massage.

By tagging it with something else it would as a consequence disappear from most (all?) current map renderings.
This could be intentional if you want to promote a family-friendly image. Same to ban brothels from a map rendering.

On the other hand: they exist and are real. Further than that, their building front is often quite visible, so can be used as a landmark for giving directions. Much in contrary to massage shops which are often quite small businesses without big advertising.

I have seen tagging as shop=massage with additional min_age=18 and a “description” tag mentioning bodymassage. At least in OsmAnd it would give you a hint what it is when selecting the POI details. So no need to worry that someone ends up there accidentally.

In case we decide to move away from the shop=massage tagging, I would go for shop=* instead of amenity=*. This will tell in general that it is a place to trade money for some service.

For reference in the older tagging thread it was also suggested to consider amenity=brothel.

How is it tagged in Japan? I found a larger amount of amenity=brothel there being dual-tagged as shop=massage as well and having a name which suggests a soapland.

Shall we do this? Would cover both scenarios.

I understand that legally these business in Thailand are not brothels but specially licensed entertainment venues. So while amenity=brothel might describe what could be agreed between you and the stuff there, it is not what officially happens there.

In case someone wants to go for a personal inspection, for the purpose of OSM survey: Until 3rd December you can get up to 15.000 Baht back tax refund for spending there. See


I have no idea why I don’t consistently get notifications, so this has been idle for almost a year, sorry :frowning:

The massage aspect only covers นวด (Nuad) in อาบ อบ นวด so อาบ (bathe) and อบ (bake?) contain more services which closely resemble the Wikipedia entry for soapland.

Or, we can settle for something similar to the Japanese scheme with amenity=massage, min_age=21 (quick google says this is what is posted in front), male=yes, female=no and อาบ อบ นวด in the name. I think this scheme also solves the problem of other establishments listed in the Massage Parlour Wikipedia page such as Karaokes and Restaurants. Nightclubs I believe are also min_age=21 by law but that’s why I also propose having male=yes and female=no so you know services are directed to a specific sex.

My main concern with amenity=brothel is the fact that you cannot really call places brothels in Thailand and technically, even if it’s unlikely, someone can file a police report saying OSM defamed an establishment by calling it a brothel.

Best Regards