The Spa - Under The Banana Tree

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Okay, maybe it’s not exactly a spa, but it was the best reflexology massage I had in China and that is saying something.

The spa services at the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat are not provided by the hotel, they simply pick up the phone and call someone in from Yangshuo town.  Which means that you have to wait a whole 20 minutes for them to arrive (shocking!)

If you’d prefer a body massage you have to have it in your room, but for reflexology you can sit by the river...

As I waited for my masseur to arrive, I enjoyed a tray of freshly made biscuits and fresh tea, closed my eyes and listened to the sound of the river.

When she arrived she didn’t speak English, but that really didn’t matter.  We shuffled around in the chairs a bit until we were both comfortable, she brought out a bottle of Johnson’s baby oil and bravely tackled my feet.

Of all the reflexologists she was the only one to feel the tightness and pain in my knees (from my go-karting injuries) and gently massage them without causing any pain at all.

Although I always think about reflexology as massaging the base of the feet, each time I was impressed with just how much time they spend massaging each individual toe, the ankles, the legs, until mine were almost humming with contentment.

By the time she was finished I was just about to drop off.  Thankfully as I’d paid her at the beginning she just smiled, nodded, picked up her bag and was off, leaving me dozing under the banana tree.

Mandy opted for a one hour body massage in the room - 120 yuan without oil (clothed or unclothed), 130 yuan with oil. 

After our relaxing time we both jumped into the river to cool off - which is clean but with a lot of weeds (next time I’d just keep dozing!)

(It’s also worth noting that under the banana tree is an excellent spot for a bit of early morning yoga on the river.)

RMB90 (£9) for 1 hour reflexology massage: September 2010

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The bamboo rocking chair with foot rest under the banana tree, by the Yulong River, Yangshuo Mountain Retreat

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