Emily Spa is one of the many massage parlors in Ho Chi Minh City that could very easily be lost in the crowd. That’s especially true since the place is tucked away down a corridor that the average person would never venture into. It’s probably for that reason that a team of middle aged Vietnamese ladies sits out in the street near the place trying to recruit foreign customers.
Those ladies look like just some of the many Vietnamese people who hang around on sidewalks around the country drinking coffee or tea and having a chat. In fact they are basically touts who are quick to approach any likely looking subject to ask if they want a massage in relatively clear English for the area.
Guys who relent and ask for more information are then asked what kind of massage they want. First they are asked about “everything”. If that doesn’t work they are asked if they want “happy ending massage”. If they agree to either they are quickly whisked down a yellow hallway lined with various types of handbags that are ostensibly on sale.
Any customer that follows a tout without negotiating or at least asking for a price in Ho Chi Minh City sets themselves up for being vastly overcharged at the very least. There are stories of worse but generally speaking Ho Chi Minh City is a pretty safe place that is for the most part free of the kind of scams made by ping pong show promoters in Bangkok’s Patpong section.
Guys who do negotiate will find that the general asking price for a massage with happy ending is around 1 million Dong ($44 USD). The asking price for the full package is double that or more. Various other options can be offered too depending on any number of circumstances. As with most things in Vietnam prices are negotiable and different customers may pay more or less than what is mentioned here.
The touts tend to ask guys who agree to a massage for money up front though they will also accept money after from experienced clients who are firm in their stance and understanding of the way things typically work.
After customers agree on payment and the type of session they want they are led by the touts down the aforementioned hallway and up a flight of steps. There sits an entrance to a massage parlor completely with name sign and more details that no one passing on the street would ever see.
Customers take off their shoes in front of the shop before entering. Then the touts explain to one of the available staff members what has been agreed upon in Vietnamese. The touts then leave and the customers are led to one of several small cubicles. Those cubicles contain massage tables and not much else. They are surrounded by a combination of long dark curtains and decaying block walls.
The handful of women who work at Emily Spa are surprisingly warm and cheerful despite their day to day drudgery. They seem to all be in their mid twenties and mostly working to support families or children. They are not the most beautiful women in the world but they are hardly unattractive either. Unlike some who work similar beats in the touristy districts of the city they do not ask for tips or otherwise go out of their way to milk money from customers. Some even go out of their way to learn and practice English.
As is to be expected the actual massages performed at Emily Spa are more or less nonexistent. The special services beyond that are not rushed or mechanical but they could hardly be described as sensual either. Emily Spa is definitely not Minh Minh Tam. Then again, it doesn’t try or purport to be. One star.
|Address:||78 Dong Khoi, First Floor, Ben Nghe, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Map)|