Wednesday, May 12, 2004

footloose in Beijing

As soon as we landed in Beijing, we were told by fellow Singaporean expats here to die-die must try the foot massage. Apparently the foot reflexology sessions here are cheaper and very professional. well, after going thru foot massage that were like medieval torture in Singapore, I was slightly apprehensive.

Robina and I just came back from a session this evening at a foot massage joint near our hotel. And we were glad that we went thru minimal pain and the session was actually quite enjoyable and relaxing. there are two reputable joints (Tian He Liang Zi & Ya Yun Liang Zi) less than 5min walk from our hotel, both are practically next to each other. The competition forced the price and boost the standards. we tried Ya Yun bcos we were told it's the newer joint.

Once we walked in we were impressed. The place is like a spa! the private room was comfy and brightly lit. The walk-in rate for a 90min session is about S$28, but the price is much cheaper after you sign up for membership ($20 after 6pm and $14 before 6pm). Since it was our first session, it was 2 for the price of one, meaning only $10 a piece! At first we felt strange bcos female therapist worked on me and a guy was assigned to Robina. Apparently it was "traditional".

The session starts with soaking your feet in a wooden tub (u get to choose between "ginger" or "milk bath"). The therapist empties a satchet of powder into the hot water and viola! you get to soak your feet in a warm gooey mass that's like sago pudding. After 20 mins, u are given a "warm up" arms massage to prep u. then the manicure guy comes in to trim your toe nails and remove callous (traditionally manicure is done by guys in China). No nail clippers mind u! he comes with a box of knives of various shapes. The therapist re-enters to work on your feet for 40 mins, then pummel your calfs and ends with a back massage. Both Robina and I went thru drowsiness and later felt very "awake" after the session. Overall, we got king n queen treatment for a relative cheap price while we sipped tea. quite shiok, actually!


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