Massage and spas

Soothe those aching muscles

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

What we say: 4 stars

When it comes to spas and massage in Laos, be cautious. Laos lacks the massage tradition and skilful training that you may be accustomed to finding in Thailand. The quality and hygiene tends not to be great and you have to be lucky to find someone who really knows what they are doing at one of the numerous cheapie places throughout town, most notably on the Mekong riverfront and the main street.

Lao massage focuses on pressure points and is more therapeutic than relaxing. For a chill out massage, opt for the oil. Thankfully, Laos does have good herbal saunas and one of these is a must try.

We've been poked and proded enough to tell you that when it comes to spa and massage in Luang Prabang, generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Splurge on a higher-end hotel's spa, or wait until you're elsewhere in Asia.

The best high quality, best value spa in Luang Prabang is the Angsana Spa, located in Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel. A proper oil massage from a trained therapist starts at $40 and includes all the true spa experience perks. Here you can also get body scrubs and facials with luxurious products. Located on the main road across from the Nam Phou fountain in Ban Thatluang.

If you're on a budget, the best places are Red Cross Herbal Sauna and Massage across from Wat Visoun, and Peninsula Sauna & Massage (1 hour, 50,000 kip) beside Mekong Riverview at the end of the peninsula. We've also had okay results at Spa Garden (from 60,000 kip), on the same lane as L'Elephant Restaurant, and Dhammada Massage Oasis (from 50,000 kip), across from Nisha Indian Restaurant

Last updated: 11th June, 2014

About the author:
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer & photographer living in Laos since 2011. She's the author of So Many Miles, her blog about diving in, discovering and creating a narrative about the world, one story and adventure at a time.
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