Massage and spas

Massage and spas

Soothe those aching muscles

More on Luang Prabang

When it comes to massages in Luang Prabang, be cautious. We’ve been poked and prodded enough to tell you that it’s important to know where to go or risk a comically bad experience.

Travelfish says:
Yes please. Photo by: Cindy Fan.
Yes please. Photo: Cindy Fan

Laos doesn’t have a longstanding tradition of massage or skilful training like in Thailand or Indonesia. Southeast Asia backpackers accustomed to being spoiled by good, inexpensive massages will get a rude awakening if they get suckered into one of the town’s cheap massage joints, notably on the Mekong riverfront and some on the main street. Skip them. Hygiene and quality are dubious.

A Lao massage is done while wearing loose clothes or a sarong. The masseuse will focus on pressure points and the experience is more therapeutic (in other words: intense, deep tissue, somewhat painful) than relaxing. Looking for a soothing experience? Opt for an oil massage instead.

Budget The following budget places have little to no ambience, less privacy and can be hit or miss, but more often than not you’ll have a pretty good massage. If skittish about hygiene, feel free to bring your own towel and sarong.

You’ve earned it. Photo by: Cindy Fan.
You’ve earned it. Photo: Cindy Fan

One of the more reliable places is Frangipani Spa. While it’s on the high side of all the budget picks, we think the few extra dollars are worth it since the rooms are private, restful and are equipped with air-con and an ensuite bathroom with shower. Treatments are done on a professional massage bed with face hole (so no twisted necks). A traditional Lao massage is 85,000 kip, a full body massage with oil is 120,000 kip. Find the two-storey building on a quiet side street running between 3 Nagas on the main road and the Mekong river. Open daily ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 700 words.)

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Reviewed by

Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.

Tours in Laos


These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.


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