Hoang Thanh is one of the many goi dau style hot toc hair salons in Ho Chi Minh City where customers are treated to hot blows without the aid of any blow dryers.
Hoang Thanh is the first of many shops of its kind that one encounters when traveling against traffic on Nguyen Phi Khanh street in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City. Coming from the end of the street that is home to a busy and buzzing Highlands Coffee shop it is the first shop on the left.
The place is marked with a sign but as it tends to blend with all the others on the strip the defining feature is the nearly round the clock presence of a male tout who shouts at any and all guys who walk around the area in an attempt to bring in customers.
The interior of Hoang Thanh looks quite unassuming. The lobby area is quite small and one could easily walk right in and back out of the place in a matter of seconds thanks to the presence of a door leading out into an alley in back of the shop.
There are a handful of women working at Hoang Thanh most days. They vary in looks from average to attractive and in age from the twenties to the thirties. Most are quite fit and they all look rather nice in their fitted and matching dresses decorated with things like floral patterns.
Once customers walk in they either take whichever service provider is next in line or select one themselves. Then they head up a natural wooden set of steps and into one of the private rooms. Unlike the lobby at Hoang Thanh the individual rooms are much larger than those found at most other similar shops in the vicinity.
Each room contains the standard sturdy massage table and sink. They also have locking doors which provide more privacy than the curtains and booths used at a lot of other places with a similar mode of operations. Some of the rooms even have televisions though they are definitely not up to the level of the VIP and Super VIP quarters in places like Minh Minh Tam.
Services follow the general pattern practiced at most shops of this kind in the city. Customers are stripped and cleaned by attendants more or less in the buff then provided with ongoing oral until completion. After that they are cleaned up again and resuited.
As reported here in the past a sort of standard price of 400,000 Dong ($18 USD) has emerged in the area for foreigners. This is not exactly a set rate however even if a lot of people continue to pay it. Each shop charges a house or ticket fee of around 200,000 VND ($9 USD). Tips are usually expected for the individual service providers too but there is not necessarily any standard or set price.
At Hoang Thanh and places like it local guys tip whatever they want. Many tip between 50 and 100 thousand. Some tip more or less. Some foreigners who either speak the local language or know the system follow in the fashion of the local customers but others just hand over 400 or even 500 thousand on their way out of the shop.
Hoang Thanh. 126 Nguyen Phi Khanh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Open seven days a week from 11:00 AM until 11:00 PM.