Saturday, January 5, 2013

IJ Case 19: Hatha Khmer Spa

Getting around Phnom Penh could be a challenge.  They don't understand English as much.  And even if they do, the pronunciation is so radically different that you have problems trying to communicate.  So after doing my Utopia research, I settled for getting a massage at Hatha Khmer Spa due to the rave reviews.  After getting what seemed to be a comprehensive address, I got my tuktok and tried to show him the address.  He seemed as lost as I was.  And we ended up driving around a bit, asking around and around till he finally go it right!

The place was in a residential area.  And it seemed like a rundown old house with a front yard full of boys.  Yes, the boys were just there, waiting for the next customer.  And when I arrived, they scurried to get inside the aquarium of a room.  Yes, it's that type of a spa.  And I sat in front of the window, looking like a crowded police line-up.  Beside me was the supervisor, explaining to me how it works.  I found myself pressured to choose from around 20 young guys, mostly twinkies.  So I settled for whom i thought had the nicest face.  And I was quickly led into the room on the second floor.

The good thing about the room was its size.  It was quite big and had it's own toilet and bath area.  On one corner was a raised platform with the mattress.  No. 10 came in with a basin of hot water to soak my feet in.  He stripped to his undies and gently rubbed my feet and wiped them dry.

Then he asked me to move over to the bed and take off my clothes.  Lying on my belly, I didn't take off my underwear.  He took them off for me.  And proceeded to a very oily massage.  It was not earth-shaking.  But it wasn't bad either.  And it touched me in the right places enough to stimulate.

In general, the experience was satisfying enough.   And he did go the extra mile. But it is nowhere near the service excellence of Bangkok.  Well, it is also not as pricey.  So I suppose I got what I was paying for. 

1 comment:

Storm said...

Please allow me to share given that I reside in Phnom Penh:
1) Getting around Phnom Penh - People here get to places by using a familiar landmark as point of reference. This is true whether you talk to a tuktuk or taxi driver or even any resident. In the case of Hatha, a point of reference would have been "near Toul Sleng Museum" (or chet Toul Sleng).
2) Hatha Khmer's service quality has regressed in the past few years. My friends and I notice that their masseurs are more interested to jump into the "extra" or "special" service. The alternative place that I and some of my friends prefer to go to is Hero Spa.

Next time, you're in town, drop me a line so I can give you some tips.