Homestays and a Massage

An afternoon nap

I tried to wake up early to say hello to Liem, a tour guide I met a couple of years back, and to say goodbye to Eugene and Michelle, a very nice couple that came for a visit. I was honored that came to Nha Trang to meet us. With my memory the way it is, I had forgotten that I had given Michelle some travel advice and she had hired my friends company to guide them through Vietnam. Unknown to me, She has been following this blog for some time, and I was shocked over and over again with recounts of my past experiences that I had totally forgotten about. It is a shame they were only here for the one day. I would have enjoyed including them on one of my adventures (or misadventures). We spent an enjoyable day talking and had a great seafood meal with one of the most unusual fishes I have ever seen. As is so common with me, I did not remember to use the camera in my pocket to document the day. Thank you for the meal Michelle and Eugene, and we look forward to continuing our conversation and friendship in the future.

In my last post I referred to “Homestay”

Homesays have been around for a while, but have become a very popular way for students and young people to find affordable

Soup and beer... mmmmm

 housing. In most cases, a series of small rooms with no furnishings, perhaps a squat toilet, and a shared kitchen area. They are very much like hostels but people live there on a permanent basis while going to work or school until they can afford their own place. These rooms can be about the size of an average bedroom, but in many cases they are shared by 4 people.

A homestay can also be for tourists. There are many places in Vietnam where you can overnight on an Island in the Mekong, or with a hill tribe in the mountains. The concept is the same except they are usually a bit more comfortable.

Some of you may have heard of the “Blind massage service” that is available in Asia. I have now been for four massages to give them a chance and see what the fuss is all about. The first I went for was at a blind massage centre and was somewhat unsatisfactory (60000dong). The second was at a health spa and was terrible. Even though the massage was almost an hour… it seemed to be all about a happy ending. I will never go back to that place for sure (180000dong). The third was at a high end health spa. I had a personal attendant for 2 hours. I was bathed, massaged, spent time in a steam bath and sauna, and even fed a bowl of congee and fruit at the end. (250000dong plus I tipped the attendant)

Boats on the river

The expensive one was good, but it was a total relaxation 2 hour experience with a nap room provided.

Today is was to a different blind centre and wow!! Now I know what a massage can be. A fellow named Bao got his hands on me and when he got to areas that he could tell were tense, he worked the muscles hard. After an hour under his hands, I felt what a good massage can really do. I might become a regular of this place. The cost?? (40000dong)

Some random pics…

Lobster traps

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Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

4 thoughts on “Homestays and a Massage

  1. Hi Owen,
    It was very nice meeting you and Mai and we enjoyed that good seafood meal and cold beers. It would have been nice if we could stay longer; perhaps next time. We went to Da Lat after leaving Nha Trang and made our way to SaiGon and we’re still in SaiGon for a few more days before flying back to Germany. We’re staying at Xuan Mai Hotel at 140 Cong Quynh, phone (84 8)6291-2860, 3838-6418, just off of Pham Ngu Lao, so you should be farmiliar with the area. It’s a budget hotel but the room just as nice and spacious as those three, four stars hotels that we’ve been staying at throughout North to South Vietnam. I provided the contact number just in case you might be interested when you come to SaiGon. We don’t know what tomorrow will hold but we’re seriously considered Nha Trang as a place to retire or at least to stay on extended vacation; and we hope we can count on you for advise and friendship when we’re in Nha Trang. Jim and I wish you and Mai all the best and we hope you’ll send us an email every now and then, whenever you find time in your busy schedules.

  2. Well….everyday is an adventure in Viet Nam…right Owee? As to massages I’ve had a few in Viet Nam and my best experience has been in Sai Gon next to my Hotel…Duyen Duyen Styling Center. The place has lots of eye candy in the window but let me assure you NOTHING goes on in this place. The old adage holds true..if it looks like something is going on it isn’t. The girls are cute as hell but the massages are wonderful 80k for an hour and worth twice that…I don’t want to say that too loud. The only bad thing I’ve experienced has been while in the room with multiple guests some of them smoke incessantly and yap on their cell phones. Great massages!

  3. Hi Oween

    We Are on a Cruise (Diamond Princess)from Dec. 5 to Jan. 4 and will be in Nha Trang, Vietnam on December 8, 2010. 0800 – 1700. I would like to visit with you at this time. What is your email?


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