Massages in Siem Reap start at $6 for an hour. $6 for an hour! I could say that sentence a million times and every time it’d give me that surprising feeling of instant joy. $6 an hour! When Josh and I saw that price on the advertisement in our hotel we order two and within half an hour two Khmer masseuses were at our room ready for a full rub down.
Admittedly this was my first in-room massage so I was unsure of protocol. Do we undress; is it creepy if I keep my eyes open and watch; when do we pay upfront or after? Eventually the four of us awkwardly worked out the details and soon I was on my back, on my bed, fully clothed getting a Khmer massage. Khmers massages are like Thai massages in they pull and stretch you, but they don’t pop or crack as much and I find them much less painful and therefor much more enjoyable. At one point during that first massage I accidentally rolled over on the remote turning the TV to what I think was a Cambodian soap opera. It gave the moment a weird vibe, but both the masseuses seemed to enjoy it so we went with it. After an hour of relaxation my masseuse said, “ok lady,” then excused herself to go use the restroom; Josh’s masseuse soon followed. When they came back we paid them $12, thanked them and that was it. It was wonderful. We had several more massages during our time in Cambodia. One of my favorites was a foot massage which used white tiger balm instead of lotion or oil. They say travel teaches you as much about yourself as your destination and that wonderful, massage lady taught me that I love tiger balm between my toes and that Cambodia is the go to place for massages in SE Asia.