This is a story about the time I got a massage in China:
I was in a world of hurt when we arrived in Hong Kong, having just finished a 15 hour plane ride in itty-bitty seats (not too mention the several months of stress leading up to our crazy move), and I've always heard that massages in Asia are wonderful and cheap. After spending a few days sick in bed with a stomach ache and alot of back pain, I mustered up the strength to go out and get a massage. It fixed me right up. However, it was simultaneously one of the most relaxing and bizarre experiences I've ever had. I looked up some massage places in an ex-pat newspaper and found one that looked reasonable (I paid approx US$20 for an hour session). I opted for the "Traditional Thai" massage--I had no idea what this meant, but it sounded nice. When I called the place to make a reservation I asked what the difference was between a regular massage and a "thai" massage. In very broken English, the reception said "it's cracking.." and then she hung up. Umm, I seriously wondered what I had gotten myself into, but I didn't care at that point. When I actually got to the place, they led me to a small, dark curtained-off area and handed me a large t-shirt and some used mens shorts. They had a weird bleach stain, but smelled freshly washed, so I put them on. Then I stuck my face in the little massage table hole and the magic began. A "traditional Thai" massage involves a little Thai woman who massages every part of your body and relaxes you completely, and then performs a sort of yoga on you. She bent me around in every which way, stretching me, making all sorts of "cracking" noises (just like they promised!) and over all fixed me up quite nicely. No more back pain! The weird part about the whole thing was that she massaged me using her entire body. She hopped on my back, crawled all over me, used her hands, feet, thights, elbows, whatever she had available. It was nuts! It felt like there were actually 3-4 small Thai woman frolicking around on my back. It was a very weird feeling, but also very relaxing. Any lucky souls who make it over here to visit are definitely going to have to try it. I highly recommend it!