COLDFOOT Expat In Shanghai - The best massage in the world!

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The Best massage in the world

Shanghai is one of the biggest and best cities for shopping and sightseeing in the world.  One of the best ways to get around is public transport and walking so you are going to rack up lots of steps.  Just yesterday I clocked in at 15,682 steps.  

Luckily for you, Shanghai is also one of the best places in the world to get a massage.  Here is everything you need to know about getting your first massage in Shanghai. 


1. It's Cheap
I paid about $18 for a 1 hour foot massage at the nearest random parlor.  You won't need to worry too much about cost.  (Exception: International brand hotels in the center of town can get a bit pricey. You will get amazing service but you will pay closer to US prices so this is a good time to leave your hotel. Don't worry, you won't have to go too far.)

Here is the price list for the parlor I visited. 

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2. You can get one almost anywhere
Massage parlors are everywhere in China.  Massages are viewed as something done for health more than as a luxury as it is in the US and they are everywhere! Most people will plan to go once a week. 

3. It's good for your health
Acupressure used in foot massages in China is great to help improve sleep,  improve blood circulation, fight depression, and relieve aches and pains. If you are interested, you can learn more about the benefits of acupressure here

4. Private/Semi-Private Rooms
It can be difficult to get a little privacy once you leave your hotel room in China.  Most massage parlors, however, have either private rooms or semi-private areas sectioned off. This is a great opportunity to get a welcome moment of peace and quiet after long days spent in crowded metros and city streets.  If you are not in a room alone, you may be in a room with usually no more than 3 people during peak hours. Hot tea and small snack usually a fruit or cake is another added bonus during your massage.

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5. Foot massages come with a quick shoulder and neck massage!
Particularly if you are ticklish like me, the 10-15 minute neck, shoulder, and back massages are enough to work the kinks out and get your relaxed enough to enjoy your foot massage.

Massages in China are meant to improve your health, if you are particularly tense or knotty it may hurt but don't worry, it is well worth it as you will feel the benefits all week. It gets better once they have a chance to work on you once or twice. 

Now, I am sure you have heard that some messages come with an um let's say extra special ending.  This can be embarrassing if you not expecting it, or if are hosting guests (especially foreign coworkers as I unfortunately discovered).  Look for parlors where the hostesses wear professional attire, typically a black/brown suit and white shirt and reasonable skirt lengths.  Look at the environment. If you see a heart-shaped bed instead of a professional traditional chair setup, that's a clue. If you do happen to wander somewhere you don't feel comfortable staying its ok to leave, I have heard through the grapevine that you should not expect a great massage at these places.

When I am not in China, boy do I miss those massages. One of the first things well traveled friends mention as we reminisce over their trips is the fabric market, and the massages. For this reason and so much more I am convinced that China is one of the best places in the world to get a massage (Thailand is a close second but thats another story!). 

Don't forget, if you need any assistance with your trip or new life in Shanghai, Im here to help! Please click on contact and let me know how I can make your life easier. 

Happy Travels!