Review: Orange Massage — Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Orange Massage is a rather spacious and well designed massage shop in the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh. Located in the roundabout that encircles the famous Wat Phnom park/temple, Orange sets its self apart from some of the dozens of other massage shops in the city by its size and level of modernity.
This review of Orange Massage will be a bit unique in that it covers a place that absolutely does not offer any “extra” services whatsoever. While that news may make many of the people who read this site want to immediately navigate away from this review, I assure you that there is some value in reading it through. My experience with Orange Massage gives some useful lessons in identifying a “legitimate” massage shop for those who prefer the more fun variety.
There are plenty of massage shops around the world that offer nothing but massage. I’ve been to more than I can count over the years. I don’t review them all or even most of them. I figure there’s no need. When I head into a massage shop that I know nothing about I am either going on instincts that tell me something extra is available or simply “taking one for the team” and trying to find out exactly what is on the menu. Once in a very great while I’m actually looking for a decent massage.
I had seen Orange Massage once prior before deciding to stop in. It’s located in an area that is a bit secluded, even if tourists in the city do often frequent it. Signage in English let me know that I was welcome, but there was really no doubt anyway. Unlike Japan and South Korea, there is nothing in Cambodia that is “locals only” and off limits to foreigners as far as I know. The only barrier is language.
The fact that Orange Massage is open 24 hours may lead some to believe that it is more than just a massage shop. In my posts on Chinese and Korean massage parlors as well as my book “How to Get a Happy Ending,” I pointed to late or round-the-clock operating hours as a good sign that a place offers more than a back rub. Well that rule pertains to the United States.
I also mentioned in a previous post on the sale of sex in Phnom Penh that a hands on happy ending is available in many massage shops even if it’s prohibited by management because the massage girls make next to nothing and are keen to earn a little extra. The reason I used the word “often” rather than “always” in that report was to cover places like Orange, where that is clearly not the case.
Orange is certainly large, well put together and clean. It has a big lobby filled with lots of massage attendants (all of whom are women ranging in age from 20 to maybe 35, divided between the very attractive and the plainly average) and all sorts of massage rooms off to the side. Entering a massage room filled with mattresses and guarded by a locking door, one might think they were in for some extra fun. Again, they’re not.
The girls don’t seem to be shy about seeing your naughty bits. Mine were moved around several times to gain access to various parts of my body yet to be rubbed. I even got the towel repositioned once or twice when my flag began to fly, but it went no further than that. Purely medical.
Orange is open late, staffed only by women, has locking doors on massage rooms and operates in a country where pay for play action is plentiful and even legit masseuses often offer special services to supplement their low salaries. Despite all of that, it’s as “therapeutic” a place as you can find. This is why I always say there are few hard and fast rules.
I tried Orange twice during a visit to Cambodia just to make sure I didn’t get a prude masseuse the first go round. Both women who worked me over were very warm and friendly but it was obvious that there were no extras to be had at Orange. A shame in one sense but not too much of a disappointment to be quite honest. It should be noted that I never pushed for anything since that would be wrong though I did inquire which additional services were available.
A one hour oil massage runs 8 dollars and with a 2 dollar tip it comes out to a ten spot. There are all sorts of other items on the menu from steams to Thai massages to body scrubs, but I didn’t partake in any of those.
As a legit massage shop that is slightly better than the average Phnom Penh joint in terms of surroundings I give Orange Massage one star. If this was a “regular” massage review site I’d probably give it 2.5 to 3.5 stars; but it’s not. If you want a decent massage there are worse places to visit but this is definitely not a place that offers additional action.
Orange Massage, Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It’s a big bright orange building that’s almost impossible to miss. Open 24 hours.