I’ve no idea where & when the massage came to Vietnam but from the feudalistic time. The concubines or servants for the King or sorts of had to do something similar once their owners ordered. Then, there were people earning a living just by being a street masseuse when most of their clients were men. They did their work right on street pavement.
Along with the “open door” policy, where free entrepreneur was allowed and encouraged, facilitated massage establishments were opened and operated as to meet the demand of that new market economy.
At that time, there was quite a negative rumor running around the masseuses who are mostly young girls. Everyone doubt that there could be something hanky-panky happened between the girl and her clients (mostly men) in the massage room. It was ironically a lose-face situation then if your friend/relative saw you stepping into a massage shop in Vietnam. The doubt was correct as the majority of massage parlours then were where men looking for happy-ending service.
Today, there are more and more proper-run establishments opening. Believe or not, massage business has been mushrooming in all the big cities of Vietnam for over 20 years now. Of course, people don’t see it with a curious eye anymore.
During your travel to Vietnam, if you just come back from Ha Giang tours or all the sights in the city of Hanoi or Saigon, it is good to think of a massage parlour. It will help to ease your legs from a lot of walking or long hours drive in the vehicle. For some massage lovers, trying a massage while travelling to a new destination is also a way to enrich their experience.
Some good establishments offer not only a full package but also a detailed menu for you to choose from. A package of 75-90′ should be right for everyone. It is starting from the foot with some herbal medicinal foot dip, the body, the hot stone and ending by the head.
Price of this package is ranging from $12-15, including tip. If you ask for a private room, a surcharge may apply for another $7-10. There are plenty of good Vietnam massages in both Hanoi and Saigon but here is our two specific recommendation as below:
In Hanoi: Massage Dai Cat, 102 Tue Tinh Str, Hai Ba Trung Dist, Hanoi. Tel 024 3943 6303
In Saigon: Massage 118 at 118 Pasteur Str, District 1, HCMC. Tel 08-38215313.
Some further notes
- Make sure your belongings are well watched or safely placed while being during your massage in Vietnam.
- Expect some private talks probably happening between the two masseuses. Feel free to advise them to stop for the good sake of your relaxing hours.
- Even tip included, 90% of the case is nice to try for a further tip. The choice is on you, to give them a little more or to ask for the Manager.
After your Hanoi walking tours, you should ask your tour guide for this massage. It is quite sure to be your great experience during your tour to Vietnam.
Happy travelling and relaxing!