Waxing and nails in Hanoi

What we say: 3.5 stars

Here’s one for the ladies — or the hairy, callous-footed gentlemen. When you’ve had enough of attempting to shave your legs while balancing on the toilet seat in your wet-room shower, it’s time for a wax. Fortunately, reasonably priced, good quality waxing is available in Hanoi.

Look out for the smallest shop on the street

Look out for the smallest shop on the street.

My venue of choice is Top Spot on Au Trieu, the narrow street that runs alongside St Joseph’s Cathedral. It’s in the narrowest building I have ever been into, which makes for some interesting navigation through the women having their nails done on your way to the waxing room and a less than private waxing space, but don’t be put off: the waxing is effective and efficient.

The pedicure & manicure area: it gets cosy when it's full

The pedicure and manicure area: cosy when full.

It can get busy at weekends, meaning you may need to endure a short wait, but usually you’ll get straight in, so there’s no need to book. To give you an idea of prices, a half-leg wax is 180,000 VND, bikini is 180,000-200,000 VND and an eyebrow tidy is 80,000 VND. The workers often give treatments in pairs and will have you hair-free before you’ve even had time to work out that it hurts. They even give you a nice massage as they’re rubbing in the aftercare cream (legs only!)

It’s also a reasonable place to go for pedicures and manicures, although can be a bit cramped and the shaping can be a bit off, requiring lots of guidance to get it right — but I’ve found that to be a problem elsewhere too, even at the pricey places. A standard manicure or pedicure costs 80,000 VND with extras like callous removal and paraffin wax treatment charged on top.

A Top Spot also does massages and facials, though I’ve yet to try them out.

If you can’t make it to A Top Spot, an alternative is Fancy Spa. Anything but fancy, it’s the most functional, tatty looking spa I’ve even been to, but if you can look past that the waxing is good. Prices are similar to A Top Spot.

There are also plenty of other nail bars around town, and even mobile ones, so you’ll never be too far away from a shape and touch up. And why not go the Vietnamese way and add a bit of sparkle with some jewels and glitter?

A Top Spot
52 Au Trieu, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
T: (04) 3828 8344

Fancy Spa
26 Dinh Ngang, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
T: (04) 3824 4183

Last updated: 24th January, 2015

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