On my recent whirlwind tour of southern Vietnam I found my (rapidly) ageing body in need of a bit of TLC. And whilst our trip was a bit too rushed to fit in as many treatments as I would have liked – I did manage to squeeze in two massages (one of which was a Vietnamese massage… never to be repeated!), one facial and a mud bath, not to mention a morning’s worth of hydrotherapy!
Vietnam is the ideal location for body treatments – they’re affordable and the people doing the treatments are highly skilled. My first massage was in the backpackers’ district in Ho Chi Minh. They lured us in with a discounted price, stood on our backs for the best part of an hour (again what is a Vietnamese massage all about?!?), then overcharged us! Still my body – and in particular my back – was most grateful for the experience having just returned from a two-day tour of the Mekong Delta.
Next I found myself in Nha Trang – a lovely beach area renowned for its mineral spas, mud baths and treatment centres. Fresh off the 8-hour night bus we headed straight to the i-Resort (how they got that name passed Apple I’ll never know) and booked the 300,000 Vietnamese Dong (about a tenner) mud bath experience. This consisted of an amazing mud bath (meant to be for 20 minutes – we stayed for well over 40 minutes). Followed by as much time as you wanted in various hydrotherapy zones, waterfalls, swimming pools, etc. Four hours later we only left the i-Resort because it was time to check into the hotel. My skin has never felt so silky smooth!
A couple of days later and it was back in Ho Chi Minh and time for another massage, this time in a more salubrious neighbourhood. And whilst the massage was about 25% more expensive than the first one – it was at least 50% better! This time I had a Swedish massage (ie no standing on my back please!) and it felt amazing.
Finally, on the last day, just back from the Cu Chi Tunnels and with less than an hour to go till we had to go to the airport there was just about time to squeeze in a facial. This was 45 minutes of pure joy. Goodness knows what scrubs and potions were applied to my face – but they all smelt and felt terrific. And yes, more importantly they did make my skin glow too. As with most good experiences, my trip to Vietnam was over all too quickly. With more time I’d have had a massage every day, not to mention a manicure and pedicure, but I definitely came home feeling rejuvenated in both mind and body.