Asian Massage Parlors: an Etiquette Guide
Me and some pals have been checking out a bunch of places around town. Why? These places are DIRT CHEAP.
Literally. A sack of dirt back in the US would cost more than what they charge here.
There are no hard and fast rules about visiting an Asian massage parlor except for keeping an open mind.
You never know what you’re going to get.
These places typically look like small holes-in-the-wall, usually towards the seedier parts of town.
Don’t be fooled. I went into one that had a 10’x10’ hole in the wall that served as the opening. Inside I went up seven flights of stairs into this MASSIVE COMPLEX.
The massage rooms don’t have tables, they have small beds. And it doesn’t matter where you are or what time it is, there will always, always be an Asian soap opera playing on the TV in your room and your massager will secretly be watching it while she’s pretending to pay attention to you.
The first time I went I had a foot bath/massage, ¥35 for 70 minutes ($5.50 USD). My room was outfitted in its orginal 1970’s decor (orange walls, faux-velvet chairs). Nothing fancy but the foot massage was amazing. My massager looked like she was twelve.
The next time I went was for a body massage. I was led to a room with two double beds and a tinny tv playing Chinese soap operas. There was a sheet on the bed and a towel so I took my clothes off and put the towel on top of me.
I waited for someone to come in and she did .. in a sailor-ish costume and mini-skirt. She looked kind of surprised to see me.
I looked kind of surprised to see her.
I feel confident that about 95% of these places double as brothels but you know, who’s counting.
In most places around Asia you dont need to tip - its not customary.
Most parlors have specials but you can still negotiate.
And Asian chicks have “awesome massage skills” in their DNA or something - Ive never had a bad experience.
Definitely worth a look.