Thursday, December 6, 2012
Fantastic Nails at KaeKai, Bangok, Thailand
Bangkok is busy 24/7 and it's constantly changing, so it's always fantastic to go back to a favourite place and find that it's still there, and the staff are the same. KaeKai is one of those places. It was recommended to me over 10 years ago by a friend, and it's still doing what it does and doing it well.
KaeKai is a nail/hair salon. It's cheap, cheerful and local. You can have your hair done on the ground floor, and manicures or pedicures on the first floor. You don't need to make an appointment. I've never had my hair done there, though it's very popular, but I go for pedicures and they do a fantastic job.
A standard pedicure is 170 baht (less than €5!) and nail art (hand drawn art on each nail - you choose from huge binders full of designs) starts from 10 baht/per nail. Essentially, you can walk out with two perfectly pedicured tootsies for 270 baht. But please factor in a tip, these girls live off their tips and they do a great job - about 50 baht for your pedicurist and 50 baht for the nail art girl (if you have that done).
KaeKai is another one of those places that's quite hard to find unless you know it's there. It's down Soi 39, off of Sukhumvit Road (closest Skytrain/BTS stop is Phrom Pong) and there's not much signage. Basically, turn off Sukhumvit Road into Soi 39 and walk down about 200-300 metres - it's on your right and there's plants and things on the verandah - and usually a few staff members too!
Nails are done upstairs and you need to thread your way through all the hairdressers and clients, heading to the back of the salon, through the door and up the stairs. Leave your shoes at the top of the first flight of stairs and go on up the second flight barefoot, through the sliding glass doors and into the room full of arm chairs. Someone will tell you where to sit, and then you can choose a colour from the huge selection of polishes and make yourself comfortable.
Because they don't take appointments, you can be waiting for a while, but it's cool up there and I take a book along with me to kill some time.
Please bear in mind that this is a place for locals, it's not shiny and glitzy and you won't find it in guidebooks, but it's been there for at least 10 years and they do a great job. I go there at least once every visit, though their pedicures last for about 4 weeks.