Rest those aching limbs
What we say:
Rejuvenate your body and soul after stomping the streets (and dodging the potholes) of Vientiane by popping into one of the plentiful massage parlours.
Lao massage is a blend of Swedish oil massage with the acupressure and stretching of Thai massage, and is a relaxing experience.
Massage options range from hole-in-the-wall beauty salons to luxurious spas, and the atmosphere and service varies as greatly as the prices. Cheap, traveller-friendly massage spots line the roads near the riverfront and a 60-minute massage can cost as little as 30,000 kip. On Francois Ngin Rd, Mixay Massage offers good, cheap Lao massage or foot massage in a simple shop space above a cafe. Nearby, the Oasis Spa offers massage plus other beauty services like manicures and skincare.
Two of the most popular spas in Vientiane are The Mandarina and Champa Spa located near Mali Namphu Hotel on Pangkham Rd. Though their prices are a bit higher, they offer more comfortable surroundings and a higher level of professionalism. Massages start from 60,000 kip and their package deals for three hours of spa pampering are a real bargain.
If you're travelling with kids and planning a trip to the Nong Chanh Water Park, you may be relieved to learn there's also a spa there. Spa Heaven is among the newest spas in town and makes a great refuge from the shouting and splashing. Services include facials, manicures, body scrubs and hair styling. Most of Vientiane's spas generally open at 09:00 and take their last appointment by 21:00.
For a unique massage experience, the forested temple of Wat Sok Pa Luang offers traditional herbal sauna and massage. Though the outdoor setting is rustically charming, the mosquitoes have learned people on the massage table make an easy meal. The massage style is a bit peculiar and is a bit more touchy than others, so it's not for everyone. Use of the sauna is 10,000 kip and a massage is 30,000 kip. Both include a cleansing cup of herbal tea once you're finished.
Mixay Massage 011 Francois Ngin Rd, upstairs from Vista Wi-Fi Cafe. T: (021) 215 576.
Oasis T: (021) 243 579. Open daily 09:00–22:00.
The Mandarina Spa 68 Pangkham Rd. T: (021) 223 857.
Champa Spa Corner of Pangkhan and Fa Ngum Rds. T: (021) 251 926.
Spa Heaven Nong Chanh Water Park, T: (020) 760 1111. Closed Monday.
Wat Sok Pa Luang Sok Pa Luang Rd. Open daily 13:00–19:00.
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