Chinese Massage Parlor

Shenzhen Adventure Evening 23

In the evening of the 23rd, we took a trip over to a local massage parlor. Before you crack any jokes about what goes on in the massage parlor (yes, that does still exist if you want to find it), that’s not why we went to the massage parlor. We went to kick back Shenzhen Style! No photos of this trip, for better or for worse.

The massage parlor is kind of like a rest and relaxation hotel. You can stay there all night if you want to. When we showed up, we had to give the receptionist passports in accordance with Chinese law for overnight stays.

When you get to the parlor, you split off by gender, and then you take a shower.

Next, there’s a large public bath (naked!) where you can go to enjoy some cool refreshing water, ice cold water, and steamy hot water.

Following your dip in the public bath, you get a robe and slippers and head on over to the main massage area. Here, you get a huge comfy recliner chair, the kind you could easily sleep in.

Then, a host comes over and offers you the menu, where you can order various beverages (such as watermelon juice or beer) and massages. Bunnie was trying to order a green tea for a very long time, because he kept on accidentally saying road fork (they both sound like “lu cha”).

Typically you start off with some light treatments, such as a foot massage or, if you’re feeling like it, an ear scrape (I wasn’t bold enough so I stuck to the foot massage). Then, you can get a larger treatment if you like, your choice of different varieties of back massage, such as a Traditional Chinese Medicine or Thai Oil.

As I was told it was the most traditional was indeed the Traditional Chinese Medicine Massage, I opted for that. A few minutes later, some doctors (of the tcm variety) came to us and led us to the massage tables.

Now, I want to reserve my language somewhat, especially when it comes to experiencing another culture, but FUCK EVERYTHING ABOUT THE TCM MASSAGE. It was horrible, horrible pain for like an hour. The doctor systematically found every pain and pressure point in my back and body and dug and jabbed them mercilessly. As I squealed in pain, the doctor only laughed and prodded more. If I had any secrets I’m sure he could have gotten me to reveal them.

For the rest of the week, my back was in pretty awful pain. I don’t think I’ll be back for a TCM massage again, but I’d go back for a Thai Oil Massage (that’s what you normally think of when you hear “massage”).

After the massage, there are some other facilities (such as ping pong) to hang out and relax with, but I think I was too much in pain to want to take advantage of that.

Overall, the massage parlor is a pretty good deal. For about 300RMB (around ~$50 USD) you get an overnight place to stay as well as massages and entertainment. Would definitely recommend it for your trip out to Shenzhen, but avoid the TCM massage.

© 2017 Jeremy Rubin. All rights reserved.