Activities,  Cambodia

Pain is Good for the Soul, right? Getting a Blind Massage

As Lionel spent the day working from the computer and hotel room, I had a leisurely day reading, googling (North Korea is currently fascinating me) and playing Candy Crush (another thing that fascinates me). In the afternoon, I decided to get a massage and I stumbled across ‘Seeing Hands Massage’ online.

It’s a massage with a twist, with all of the masseuses being blind. After walking around trying to find it, I found the sign down an alleyway and some women washing some clothes. I enquired as to the whereabouts of this mysterious massage palour, and the women told me it was right behind me (literally I was standing in front of it) yelling, ‘massage, massage’ to the two blind masseuses inside who were lounging around.

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Inside there were four massage tables, two sleeping dogs and the masseuses, a woman and man,who then fumbled around switching on the music player and the fan (there’s a fan directed to each massage table). It is a very basic room, no doubt about it, and if you’re expecting the full spa treatment (showering, hot tea, cold towel, clean robes) etc. then you’ve come to the wrong place.

But while basic, the sheets were very clean and the fan pointed to the table was a welcome relief from the heat outside (its been constantly over 35 degrees C).

Five minutes into the massage, three American girls came in, and due to unfortunate timing, my massage got inturrupted as the two masseuses went around trying to organise the three other tables, and calling on the phone for additional masseuses. Another 10 minutes later, and then my massage resumed. Bit of an interruption but it wasn’t too bad.

All in all, it was pretty good. It was painful at times, and no matter how hard I grimaced, of course the blind masseuse could not see it. So I grimmaced and bared it, squirming. It was different to the free 30 min massage we received from our hotel at Golden Butterfly. This massage seemed more to be about pressing my muscles using his body weight, and while he wasn’t a big guy, I’m not a big girl either. He also seemed determined to push out each of my many knots in my back.

Once done, I handed him the money, again forgetting that he couldn’t see, so I just held the money out. Then realised, and then put it in his hands.

He did burp twice while massaging me. But I’ve realised in South East Asia, that it is not really a taboo thing. I’ve noticed people burping out loud, not covering their mouths or excursing themselves, so I wasn’t too fussed.

Also, when the two additional masseuses came in, the three women and occasionally the man, started to gossip, thus, breaking the silence and calm quite a bit. It was nice, however, to hear some dogs barking in the alleyway, and to hear the children playing outside (occasionally coming in to ask the adults questions). It was great to see a bit of Cambodian life, even so brief.

Location – off Sivatha Rd, near Pub St. It’s in the alleyway next to a restaurant called Blue Wave.

Price – $5 USD. I tipped an extra $1. I think they do ok as I’ve read that the place is mentioned in the Lonely Planet guidebook, so I don’t think they have a shortage of backpackers wandering in each day.

Duration – one painful hour. But my back feels good now!

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