Getting my first massage in in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Life list #73: Get a massage.

Getting my first massage in in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

I’d never gotten a massage before. I don’t really like when people touch me unless it’s a guy I want to sleep with. And I get bored easily. Seriously, I have trouble going to movies because by the time the previews are over I’m cursing that I have to sit there for another 2 hours.

So the idea of lying on my stomach for an hour while some stranger kneaded at my body had never really been all that appealing to me.

But it’s something people seem to enjoy. I mean, I guess you never hear someone say “gosh darnit I regret getting that massage yesterday” or “golly jee I just am not looking forward to getting a massage.” So I added it to my life list.

So, on my last day in Siem Reap, after three long days of exploring Angkor Wat, while in a place where I could get an hour long one for under $10, I decided it was as good of any time to go for it.

The whole day was kind of relaxing. I had breakfast, lounged in a beach chair, swam, got a fizzy juice drink, had some lunch, all without leaving the pool.

Breakfast in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Fruit punch in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Orange chicken in Siem Reap, Cambodia

We did a little shopping. I bargained down a new bag from $5 to $3. Which was probably still too much.

We returned for another swim and to watch random movies in the room.

And then we booked our appointment and in an hour I was stripping down in a little curtained room.

I went for a lavender oil massage. The scent was pretty delicate compared to my other choices.

The whole thing was actually very wonderful and relaxing. Except, for maybe when she did something to the back of my legs that almost made me cry or scream and when, at the end, she punched me in the head a bunch of times.

Which, I think, was part of it…

As I sipped my free tea afterwards I did feel a lot less tense than I normally do. And I definitely would do it again. Maybe I can work them into my daily budget…

Afterwards, Corey and I went out and shared $1 plates of food and then a cocktail.

Spring rolls in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Noodles in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Fried shrimp in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Noodles in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Watermelon daiquiri in Siem Reap, Cambodia

And then we retreated to the room where I almost immediately fell asleep…


p.s. not that I would want one, but do they do happy ending massages for girls? Or is that just for guys?


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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Ali
    December 4, 2011at5:43 am

    I don’t like massages. I’d probably be willing to try it once more if I knew the person doing it was good. But the couple of times I’ve tried it I was just uncomfortable and it went back and forth between painful and ticklish, neither of which is fun. Also, my best friend and I drank at our high school reunion after getting massaged, and that was the biggest mistake ever. Apparently massages release toxins which your liver then has to process, which means it can’t handle also trying process large quantities of alcohol. Soooo drunk, soooo hungover the next day, don’t remember most of the reunion, and what I could piece together was not good. Just a warning if you decide to get another massage, might not want to have more than a couple drinks afterwards.

  • Andrew
    December 10, 2011at9:26 am

    The red spring rolls look a little bit like severed fingers. Asia sounds so good, until I look at the food and realize it does not look that appetizing to me.

  • jen
    November 5, 2012at2:42 am

    of course girls get them too, but dont use the masseuses where female business executives stay cos they get too many requests from women who travel for weeks and/or air hostesses, so they try to speed it up. Just say “bald head man in boat massage”. If you’re a screamer, make sure the walls go all the way to the ceiling. Tip generously the first time and they’ll come to your room the next time baldy needs it.

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