Jan 19 2011

Yes, Hanoi has cheap and decent massages

Published by at 3:22 am under Spas & massage


I love a good — or even a reasonable — massage. So although I was happy to settle down in Hanoi I did feel a bit disappointed that there were no obvious places to get a $5 massage, such as I’d been used to in places like Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. But then to my joy I discovered two things:

Daisy's Foot Massage - not just for feet

Daisy's Foot Massage - not just for feet

Firstly, a “foot massage” is not just a foot massage (and I’m not talking about the “massage with extras” places). This is important because there are a helluva lot of “foot massage” places around and it’s very easy to assume that that’s all they do, and to walk on past wondering where you can get a nice back and shoulder pummelling. 

But head on in: for a start, a lot of these places also offer full body or back and shoulder massages, but even an hour-long foot massage can involve more time spent on the rest of your body than it does on your feet. 

I had a fantastic massage near my home last year: it was a full-on clothed body massage with, I reckon, only about 15 minutes spent on my feet. Check first though (you can use actions!) as this can’t be guaranteed.

I can recommend a couple of places in Old Quarter:

1. Emperor Foot Massage on Dinh Liet doesn’t look much — and don’t expect any airs and graces — but the body massage includes the use of hot stones, which I love, and the 1/2 hour foot massage (just a foot massage) is really firm and 60,000VND.

2. Daisy on Au Trieu, near Hanoi’s cathedral, does a decent foot massage for $4 for half an hour or $6 for an hour. They also do a full body massage and though I’ve yet to try it myself I hear good things. There are a couple of other places along this road too.

Secondly, I was recommended a local massage place. It’s not the most salubrious massage house in Hanoi and, had it not been recommended to me, I would have wondered how kosher it was. But I braved it and for just 160,000VND I got a soak in a hot tub — literally a huge wooden barrel — followed by a jacuzzi and then a steam and a really good 45 minute Vietnamese massage.

Now this place isn’t for the modest — there’s a lot of nudity — and a Vietnamese massage* might not be to everyone’s taste, but if you’re really keen on exploring the massage options in town I can recommend it.

It’s called Houng Sen II and you’ll find the entrance through what looks like a parking garage underneath the Long Bien Hotel at 78 Yen Phu (near Long Bien Bridge).

* A final note on Vietnamese massage. Now, like all massages, they aren’t all the same, but I think the best way to describe it is being like a Swedish massage but with a bit more slapping. As my friend put it: “It’s 50% pleasure and 50% pain” — but oh, the pleasure is good!

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15 responses so far

15 Responses to “Yes, Hanoi has cheap and decent massages”

  1. Kenneth Conwayon 25 Jan 2011 at 5:17 am

    Thank you we are off to Vietnam next month and will look forward to the massage
    places

  2. [...] After all that shopping you might be in need of a massage. Luckily the not-so-exotically-named "Vincharm Spa", at the top of Tower B, offers just that. It's a huge place so I'm guessing you can just turn up, but call in advance if you want to be sure of a spot. It's not cheap: expect to pay around US$50 for a massage. Of course, it's a lot cheaper elsewhere in Hanoi. [...]

  3. Jill Andersonon 26 Aug 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Awesome advice! My hotel is literally on the next street north of Daisy! Heading there now!

  4. Kimo Roon 09 Sep 2011 at 11:44 am

    Sorry, I just had the next to worse massage I have ever had at Daisy’s and not green tea as they promise

  5. Bretton 13 Nov 2011 at 5:36 pm

    My wife and I, in our early 50’s, went to Emperor Foot Massage @ 10c Dinh Liet, Hanoi. We booked 2hrs each for a body/ foot massage for 240,000 Dong.
    The positives were: Good price. Central location. Thorough and good massage. However, English was minimal so they couldn’t ask or understand feedback.
    The negatives were: Both masseurs in early 20’s talked to each other all through it. At the end – they asked for tips. We offered 10,000 Dong each. They refused and asked for 100,000 Dong each. We felt insulted by this behaviour. In the end we didn’t tip.
    I recommend it for it’s good, fair priced massage, but be prepared for tip request.

  6. Sarahon 13 Nov 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Unfortunately , chatty masseurs are quite common here in the cheaper / local places: I guess because massage plays more of a functional role than a relaxation role. I empathise on the tipping point: although it didn’t happen to me at Emperor it has happened elsewhere and I completely agree it is insulting and counterproductive. I’m glad you had a good massage though!

  7. Tonyon 09 Feb 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Tip for goodness sake !
    What is wrong with you ?

    VND 100 000 is USD 5
    These guys maybe earn USD 100 per month !

    This is Vietnam ! relax and enjoy :
    You are getting a cheap holiday anyway …
    be prepared to give something back !

  8. Murielleon 21 Mar 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Thank you for your precious tip, we just had a great time at Huong Sen 2!

  9. Kennyon 11 Mar 2013 at 5:02 am

    I think the better point is they asked for an ~40% tip. 10K was clearly too low, though. A couple 20K bills should have been appropriate. I would have probably just rounded up to 300K to make things easy.

  10. skuimranon 14 Mar 2013 at 10:00 am

    Hi can anybody tellme where can i get a good body massage with low price in LANG HA, HANOI appreciate for your all help for ur updations and also let me know the cost roughly how much will it be.

    regards,
    skuimran

  11. Nadineon 15 May 2013 at 9:38 am

    Just had a disappointing experience with Daisy’s Salon! Unfortunately we didn’t read the reviews below…
    First the price-list on their shop-window was not anymore correct as they will charge you more inside the salon.
    Also they show you the price-list where is written you will get tea or a bottle of water. None of them happened.
    Actually we should have listen to our gut feeling and leaving the salon quick but unfortunately we didn’t.
    The shoulder, back and neck massage itself was ok but as other reviewed they will ask you straight ahead for a tip!!
    I don’t mind to tip (a reasonable one and for sure not 50%!) for a good service in SOA but not when they ask for! It seemed they are already spoiled from the tourist who throwing around with their 10 Dollar notes…
    All in all we cannot recommend this Salon.

  12. Sarah Turneron 29 May 2013 at 9:06 am

    Thanks for your comments. Sounds like I need to do a cheap massage Hanoi update!

  13. imranon 03 Jul 2013 at 8:00 am

    Dear Friends,

    Any update for massage center which i can get for low price in or very near place to Lang ha, Hanoi appreciate you replies please….. :)

    Regards,
    Skuimran

  14. Brynon 05 Nov 2013 at 4:24 am

    Just got back from a 60 minute foot massage at Daisy. Tuan (likely spelling it wrong) was great! Yes, the prices inside are more than on the window. But 170,000VND for 60 minutes was still fine by me. Yes, they made sure I knew that the 170,000VND did not include a tip. I rounded up to 200,000VND and everyone seemed happy. All in all, I can’t complain. I’ve been trying out massages throughout our trip, and this was my fave so far. The foot bath water looks kinda nasty, but I crossed my fingers that it was just some magical foot water. Thanks for the tip!

  15. […] 180,000 VND (~$8) (tipped 20,000 so the total was a little under $10) Details: Thanks to a tip from Travelfish, I tried out Daisy. Not gonna lie.  The place looks medium sketchy from the outside.  Opening […]

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