If you’ve never been to southeast Asia, you may not realize just how cheap the cost of living is in the region. They have cheap accommodation, cheap food, and…. cheap massages!! Even though you can get a massage for as little as $5, Lauren and I resisted the temptation for the three months we traveled around SE Asia. Because massages are so inexpensive, we decided to wait until the end of our time there. Sounds a bit ironic, but the truth is, I felt like if I had one, I wouldn’t be able to resist having another and would write it off as, ‘Oh it’s cheap, who cares?!’
My friend living in Bangkok, who I met when she was living in Jordan, raved about a fantastic spa near her house in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok called Lavana on Soi 12. It was much fancier than the $5 massage places we had seen. They were running a special and for a one hour massage and a one hour facial we were going to have to drop almost $23 (gasp!). Okay, okay, jokes aside, how ridiculously cheap is that?! We were so excited. Plus, we were getting an oil massage, not a Thai massage (I’m afraid of getting a Thai massage). I went the previous day to set up appointments for three of us. “Can you please give me your names?” the receptionist asked. “Sure, it’s for Laura, Laura, and Lauren”. She smiled, but luckily didn’t asked the question I normally got in southeast Asia, “Are you sisters?”
The following morning we arrived for our spa day. I was eager f0r a two-hour pampering followed by lunch with the ladies. The masseuses came into the lobby and kneeled at our feet. They removed our shoes and placed our feet in slippers. After washing our feet, we were escorted upstairs to our room. The spa had so many rooms- it was huge! We each took a quick shower and then our masseuses came back into the room.
Although I requested my massage to be on the less rough end of the spectrum, I finally had to tell my masseuse to ease up when she was grinding her elbow into my shoulder. Honestly, my massage was quite uncomfortable… I took a bit of a beating and was looking forward to it being over. When we got to the facial I finally relaxed. This was also my first group massage. In a foreign country, it adds a bit to the uneasiness. Three women are speaking bits of Thai to each other during the massage, and you can’t help but wonder what they’re discussing. When they laugh though, you know it’s probably not good ;)
That said, I would definitely return to this spa. It was a beautiful atmosphere and the masseuses took great care in each step of the process… I would just make sure next time on the 1-10 rough scale to request 1!
Have you had a nice massage or spa treatment in southeast Asia? Where at?