Dai Nam is one of the many hotel massage parlors in Ho Chi Minh City. Like the better known Minh Minh Tam and related hotel massage parlors the place caters to a mix of cashed up locals and visitors looking to unwind in relatively nice surroundings.
While Dai Nam is probably not nearly as well known as Minh Minh Tam the place does receive a steady stream of visitors. There are a large number of massage parlors of this type in Ho Chi Minh City. Nearly all of them seems to do quite good business. Clearly there is a large demand for this kind of service in town.
Location and layout
As might be imagined from the above description Dai Nam massage is located inside of the Dai Nam Hotel at 79 Tran Hung Dao in District 1. Customers looking for a massage head right into the lobby and to the left past the lifts. There they take another left through an opening where they see the lifts to the massage area which is usually manned by one or two locals guys in uniform.
The lifts in question lead to the massage area on the level two and a place called the Rose Club on level four. The massage area lobby is big and decorated with the usual furniture as well as extra touches such as fish aquariums. There is also the obligatory flat screen television though it doesn’t seem to actually work very well.
The desk at the end of the lobby is where sessions are booked. The usually attractive ladies that man the desk speak little to no understandable English but they are handy with their menu that incidentally reads something like “For men and women”. A standard massage session at Dai Nam is 200,000 VND ($9 USD). A VIP session is 690,000 ($30 USD).
Perhaps because of Dai Nam’s central location the massage parlor sometimes gets full in evenings. Because of that customers can often be found waiting around. Perhaps they can’t be bothered to go one of the many other massage parlors around or call ahead for an appointment.
That said the looks of the women on staff may have something to do with the pull of the place too. While many hotel massage parlors staff attractive women the gals at Dai Nam seem to be particularly attractive. In keeping with the theme the WiFi connection for the place is even called “hot girl”!
The many gals who work at Dai Nam all seem to be in their early twenties. They wear a variety of dresses. Some wear super short pink skirts with high heels. Others wear red tops with black skirts. Another set of women wear all white outfits. Still another group wears all black. Finally women in civilian gear can be seen coming and going out of the place all the time too probably as a result of shift change.
Despite my best efforts I have not been able to ascertain exactly why the women wear different clothing. All of the women seem to be on the service staff and any inquiries about the various outfits are met with a look of confusion.
In any case the ladies who work at Dai Nam are all quite beautiful and amazingly fit with perhaps a few exceptions. Even the exceptions would be considered average at the worst by most. Ultimately beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I find it hard to believe that even the most discerning eye would rate the best gal at many Bangkok oily massage parlors above the least attractive lass at Dai Nam in terms of looks.
After customers book a VIP session they are led by one of the male attendants down stairs and through hallways to one of the many VIP rooms. The VIP quarters are large and well decorated. They have big elaborate tables in the middle of the room with towels stacked to the left. Further along there is a large shower stall. To the right there is a toilet and a big bathtub that is elevated off of the ground and surrounded by stones. There are also wall mounted televisions, love seats and private sauna stalls. All the rooms are slightly different but they are relatively high end. In fact they actually look superior to the rooms in a lot of much more expensive soaplands in Japan.
After customers are guided to the rooms they are told to undress and wait. They are also given a large tray of fruits and other snacks and a bottle of water. The male attendants sometimes ask in their best attempt at English what kind of lady a customer wants. Sometimes they even meekly try for a tip though they are quick to disappear if none is forthcoming.
Soon after the male attendants disappear down the hallways one of the many attractive female attendants arrives. Customers can hear their shoes clacking down the hallway and even see as they approach since the doors contain large glass windows that are only partly frosted for privacy.
Once the female attendants arrive things go more or less according to script. Customers are given a few minutes in the sauna then led to another stream room that is even hotter and more humid. After that they are led to the large bath tub where they are delicately washed from head to toe with soaps and shampoos. After that they are dried and led back across the room to the massage table.
The massages performed at Dai Nam are actually quite thorough. Metal bars installed on the ceiling are put to use when the masseuses perform their back walking tricks. Hot stones are even used towards the end of the massage.
Price and conclusion
That is of course followed by the standard set of extras which in a place like Dai Nam means happy ending provided by hand. The women extend their expertise in body massage to that aspect of their work too and there is no needling or requests for higher tips.
After the massage concludes customers are given another bubbly bath before being dried off and escorted back to the love seat area. There they can chat with their service providers and enjoy the provided snacks until they feel it is time to go. Then they write the amount of the tip they would like to give on a piece of paper and get escorted down the hall and back to the front desk to pay. Nothing is set in stone but the standard tip given at Dai Nam seems to be between 400,000 and 600,000 Dong ($18-26 USD).
Dai Nam. 79 Tran Hung Dao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Open every day around the clock.