Massages, Ho Chi Minh City
I can warmly recommend Indochine Spa. I love traditional Thai massage, and they do a really good one here. It's more expensive than average spas in HCMC, but compared to another spa, which I visited, this was 100 times better. The massage cost about 588,000 dong (under 30 dollars). We went back there another day and I had a deep cleansing facial which was really nice as well.
Open 10:00 am – 10:00 pm daily
Let's face it, we all need to unwind. For some, it is a frosty brew from Coors while others prefer shopping as their therapy. My hubby and I prefer the soothing music of a spa plus the sound of trickling water. The aroma of lemongrass infused with peppermint is relaxing in itself.
So, after days of touring HCMC, we hied off to Aqua Spa in Sheraton Hotel. Welcomed by warm lemongrass handtowels and iced tea (tasted like Lipton mix though). Choosing the coffee scrub for me and oriental scrub for hubby, we started with a warm floral foot soak with lime slices. The lime slices were rubbed to our feet then off to the massage table with aroma pillows. Oil with coffee grits were rubbed unto my body followed by a warm shower. I soaped the oily residue then they applied lotion all over my body. Warm soothing ginger tea was offered after the session.
I would preferred that a body wrap be applied after the body scrub to soak the oil into the skin. This would ensure that a smoother and silkier skin afterwards.
The whole process costs U$40/person not inclusive of service charge and VAT. We paid nearly U$80 for 2 people. Great facility but I've seen better ones in Suzchou and Manila. The service orientation is acceptable but I was waiting for fabulous service considering it is one of the most expensive hotel in HCMC.
For a relaxing massage after a tiring day, you should try Ngoc Anh Spa. Sauna, steam bath and jakuzi is available as well as different types of massage. All the masseurs and masseuses are certified. A body massage for an hour will cost you 120000 Dong or 8 USD.
BS-Body and Soul Spa in Palace Hotel Saigon
The BS Spa offers the perfect setting for visitors to relax and enjoy life's simple pleasures. With the merger between natural environment and modern lifestyle, the BS Spa will be the choice of your premier destination for rejuvenation. (plus they offer a 30% discount for hotel guests of the massages).
Staying at the BS Spa means the best way for you to restore the personal balance. You may create a fully-structured spa and fitness program or you may enjoy selected spa and massage therapy services. The BS Spa staff of expert practitioners is dedicated to making your experience extraordinary. Cheapest massage is the thai massage at $20 ($14 for hotel guest) full body scrub at $ 44, Swedish Massage at $ 24, Aromatherapy at $ 25, etc.
Opening hours: 10am - 02:am
Location: 1st floor of Palace Hotel Saigon
If you're in country long enough, you may need a haircut. I found a place for one on Bui Vien , off De Tham Street, in the backpacker area. It cost 25000 dong or about $1.60 and included a shoulder massage and a straight razor shave. I liked it so much I gave him a 37 cent tip! I was the only foreigner in the place. No one spoke English but it was not a problem. This place is MUCH cheaper than the salon on De Tham Street that many tourists frequent and it's only a few minute walk from there.
The 2nd place I tried was Ngoc Anh at the Majestic Hotel (wooo 5 stars)
I was going to try the L'Apothiquaire but it was a little too womanly for me...which is to say if your a woman go for it! They have some crazy facial and aromas and potions and apparently some stuff to help you with your figure *shrug*
Ngoc Anh was a bit like a medical clinic. In fact I do believe I saw the words medical and therapy somewhere on the way in.
Paid $22 for the hour and specified the zones I needed some TLC on, and selected shiatsu.
Had a nice shower, herbal steam room (well there was a bunch of eucalyptus leaves in the room with me), and went into the private massage room.
The masseuse showed some exceptional skills. I had specified calves and lower back for particular attention (too much time on the bus and walking up stairs), and at one point I believe the soles of my feet where touching my forehead. I'm not sure I heard a crack but my recurring back pain has thanked me for it.
I'd have to say spa tropic was more relaxing than this, but ngoc anh showed more technique.
Well if there's something a big city in SE Asia offers, its cheap(ish) massages.
I visited 2 of the more expensive sort, and was bound for a cheap one too but was too buggered that day and ended up vegging out at the guesthouse and watching Bridgitte Lin and Gong Li duking it out in the epic Tien Long Bat Bo (Sky Dragon 8 Steps?). Maaan Bridgitte so craaazy!
So the Cheapo which I ditched was the Vietnam Traditional Massage which is conducted by the blind, supposedly $7.
The first one I went to was the Spa Tropic. I took the 1.5 hr warm stone treatment for $45 US but in hindsight I should probably have just taken the regular full body massage - 22 bucks for the hour.
It was in a pleasant alley way away from the noise and through some japanese-ish settings.
Walked through the rice paper - ish doors and entered a nice little lounge with incense, some nice tea and the like.
The massage room itself was nice, with a water bucket full of flowers under the face hole giving you a pleasant whiff throughout the service. Very peaceful and secure setting, staff were very professional.
Didn't get the sauna and spa though, you'd have to pay extra for it.
Getting a massage can be tricky sometimes here many a time the services offered go a bit further than what is advertised on the door. Have discovered a full male spa treatment which doen't include "special service". The Regency hotel Gym and spa is a great afternoon relaxing, on three levels you are first shown into the sauna or steam room, then given a chinese body scrub (which is a bit freaky if you have never had one). Then up to the next floor for head massage, hair wash (they will cut it if you want) and ear clean. Next floor is relaxation room then on to the body massage.
All this for $14.95, though you should also tip as you go along.
Nohting is better after a long day of walking around HCMC than a good foot massage. Royal Foot massage in Distric 1 does a great job. A foot/neck & shoulder massage will run you 100,000 VND for 70 minutes. Treat yourself!!
You find these informal barbers on the pavements. What shocked me was the ear cleaning. The ‘cleaner’ has a miners type lamp on his head so he can see into the ear and he uses a long stick with cotton wool on the end to clean inside. No thanks, good old ear buds for me.