I have been to a number of massage places in different cities since I have relocated to Vietnam and until now, have thought them overrated. The first person that tried to convince3 me that they were good was my friend Ken from the US. He used massage services on a regular basis and was a big fan. After a bit of his coaxing, I decided to give it a try.
My first experience was very unsatisfactory. It was mostly about a good looking woman rubbing a person for an hour to relax and sexually arouse you before swooping in and trying to get big dollars for an extra service. Dammit!!!, Of course I knew about these places as everybody else does, but back then I did not know how to tell a legit massage place from what some people refer to as a “Rub and Tug” place. I was still not a fan of massage. Where was the relaxing soothed muscle?
For a while I did not bother, but eventually decided to try the blind massage center based on reports from others of it being a great way to relax corded muscles. Since I suffer from leg cramping during sleep, I thought to give it a try. Sure enough, Bao my masseuse discovered the tight calf muscles and went to work on them. It was quite painful and the only after effect seemed to be aching calfs and no relief. I was still unsatisfied and I gave up until some3body suggested the spa experience.
I was guided by a young man to a private room where there was a Jacuzzi bathtub, a steam room, sauna, and a massage bed. A very attractive young woman came in and to my surprise, began to remove my clothing. I started to resist, but she assured me that there was no problem….. Uhhhhhh OK. After a steam bath with lung clearing eucalyptus oil, I was toweled down and put in the tub to be bathed by this young beauty. “No problem” she cooed to me as I was being bathed in entirety. I was then led to a sauna where she poured flower scented oil on the hot rocks. Again I was bathed and after she brought a small plate of fruit to refresh the pallet after the dry sauna Then came the 1 hour massage which included……. Yes……… a small Asian girl walking on my back. She used her feet, knees, and elbows for the massage. After finished, I was served a bowl of chicken soup and then led to a room where I could have a nap. I have to admit it was a very pleasurable two hour experience and I will go again, but still…….. No big deal about the massage.
Michael goes for almost daily massages in Saigon and offered to buy one for me. I reluctantly agree and a slight woman named Phuong is to be my masseuse. I know it is a legit place as the rooms are public and to my surprise, this small women starts kneading muscles in a way that was pleasant and relaxing. For the first time I walked away from a massage feeling much better than I walked in. I have gone back and had another, and think tomorrow I will do again. Perhaps in the end, I will become a fan of a good massage, but I guess the trick will be to find the right person.