Hot Rocks and Oil. Massage in Saigon – Part 2
Upfront, I haven’t been a big fan of massages in the past. Even at in my most compulsive obsessive days of triathlons I was never one to line up for a rub down. Unfortunately however, my body is getting older, I’m spending a lot of time on my feet and in front of the computer these days, so I felt the need to get some of the knots worked out with a massage in Saigon.
The biggest decision you have in Vietnam is choosing an establishment that won’t try to up-sell you into a “Happy ending” as they say in the trade. Some of you might be interested, but that’s not what floats my boat. Anyway, to cut a long story short, Massage Han Cung was recommended to me by a colleague, Leonard. He wrote the first part of this series and he assured me it wasn’t “that” kind of place.
In previous posts, I’ve recommended that you leave all valuables somewhere secure before you go for a massage. It’s all too easy for your pockets or bag to be relieved of its contents while you’re in a deep state of relaxation. I’m happy to report that Massage Han Cung has all that under control. They have change rooms where you can slip into fresh pyjamas (big enough for fatties like me) and lockers where you can secure all your belongings while you are being attended to. You keep the key. Yes, I know this isn’t fool proof but it was some level of comfort.
Safely in my jimmy jams, I was ushered upstairs to plush surrounds and into a big comfy recliner. The lights were dim, the air delicately scented and the music was soothing in the background. The eyelids started to droop almost immediately.
Han, my masseuse, arranged me comfortably and gently placed my aching feet into a bucket of warm scented water. She then started to work on my head, neck and shoulders. I didn’t realize just how tense I was until she started working out the knots. Word of warning…don’t bother putting on makeup on before you go. It will be one of the first things to go!
Next she covered my face with cool, refreshing cucumber that reinvigorated my pores sorely clogged with HCMC. Arms, hands and fingers then got a good once over before moving onto my feet. Yowsers!! I hadn’t realized how sore they were, nor how many sensitive areas exist on that part of the body. There were definitely a few ouch moments but afterwards they felt….Great!
I have always had problem calves. It’s what stopped me running years ago, and I still get twinges now and then. By the time Han finished with me though I felt like I could get back on the track. Deep tissue massage teamed with hot rocks, and massage oil had all those tights bit suitably relaxed.
The last bit of me to get a good working over was my back..OMG!! For a little girl, she certainly had plenty of strength. After a rather vigorous pounding, the hot rocks and oil were applied. Utterly divine! Tensions eased away, and I do believe I was in the first stages of slumber when she informed me the session was finished. Wow, 90 minutes had flown. I now felt like a new woman. Relaxed, revitalised and knot free.
As I said, I haven’t been a big fan of massage in the past but I’m definitely coming back here. The shop was clean, secure, and “modest”. There are no “Happy Endings” as they say in many of the less reputable massage parlours around town, but they certainly had a happy customer. And more than one, if the rave reviews I was hearing from some elderly female tourists in the next room are anything to go by…”Bliss” was one of the words thrown about quite freely. Last, but not least, it was excellent value for 300 000 VND. Just in case you haven’t worked it out yet, that’s less than $15 USD!
You can find Massage Han Cung at 271 lý tự trọng street, in District 1. It’s just up and across the road from Mariamman Hindu Temple and Ben Tanh Market. Take a look at the map below. Maybe slot it into my day two walking tour to ease those weary limbs. It might be just what you need to get you to the night market after a full day walking around.
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Sounds like a necessity for travellers……….everyday!
I think the novelty might wear off if I did it everyday BUT it’s certainly worth spoiling yourself on a regular basis.