Laos is a relatively new destination for mass tourism. It has much to offer from a pristine environment to friendly people and some great landmarks. After a busy day, there are few more relaxing things during a Laos tour than a massage. It is a Lao tradition and you should ensure that your Laos travel package includes one or two. While you are in Vientiane, there are plenty of places that you can go.
The traditional Lao massage involves accessing pressure points in the body with the weight of the masseuse body used to create force. The treatment can start at the feet and go all the way up to the head. The whole thing can take an hour so if you want to have extra work on particular parts of the body, choose at least 90 minutes; it will not cost a fortune. There may be some pain but tell yourself it is doing you good.
An oil massage is a second alternative while a third is a herbal steam massage using cloth filled with scented herbs pressed against the skin. The herbs they use are commonly lemongrass, mint and eucalyptus.
It is unlikely that the masseuse in Vientiane will speak English incidentally so some basic Lao words certainly help.
You may find that you can get a massage and spa facilities at your hotel. Hotels that have spa and massage facilities do welcome people who are not staying at the hotel though it is advisable to book in advance.
If you go out and fancy a massage, here are some ideas of where you can go in Vientiane during your Laos holiday.
• Manee Spa on Sokpaluang Road 5 kms out of town past the Burmese Embassy is not cheap but it is commonly thought you get what you pay for.
• Papaya Spa is central, behind Hotel Beau Rivage Mekong is another to consider at the top end. Other in the centre of Vientiane are Champa Spa, Wellness Massage Center and Oasis Spa.
• Grooming on Chou Anou Road offers ordinary massages, foot scrape, manicures and pedicures.
• Adina Spa north of the Patuxay Monument was one of the first to provide a comprehensive range of treatments in the city.
There are plenty of others as long as you remember that if a place doesn’t look especially clean, it may not be the best hygienic decision to use it.