Fon founded Ruen Thai Massage & Spa in 2014 but her story begins in a rural village near Khon Kaen in central Thailand. There, she grew up helping the villagers cultivate rice and sugar cane, riding water buffalo in her spare time.

Fon Self Portrait

She was originally taught massage by her father whose informal role in the community was to treat the workers at the end of their day in the fields.

Later, Fon gained formal qualifications as a massage therapist from the Wat Pho Thai Massage School in Bangkok.

Fon at Ruen Thai Massage

Always keen to explore the world, Fon came to England in 2004, acquiring British citizenship in 2014 – the same year she started her salon. She lives in Jesmond while retaining close links with her family in Thailand.

Fon Thai Massage

It’s been quite a journey though, as Fon says, ‘people are people, wherever you go.’