Friday, October 10, 2008


On our way back to Hanoi we had three hours to kill in Lao Cai before our train departed. We decided it would be a good idea to get massages and started to walk around the neighborhood looking for a place. After a few minutes we found a nice looking spot. We asked how much the massages were and were told they were 120,000 Dong for an hour. That was 30,000 Dong more than massages in Hanoi for fifteen minutes less time. We decided to pass and kept on walking.

After about fifteen minutes I saw a sign that said, "Karaoke and Massages." Ryan, PJ, Huyen and I walked to the front entrance and were greeted by two women. Huyen asked how much the massages were and was told 60,000 Dong for 45 minutes. Huyen negotiated for about thirty seconds and then turned to us and said, "They will charge 60,000 for an hour. But the massages are in the bedroom." This should have been our first sign that this place wasn't exactly legit.

We were escorted up four flights of stairs and taken to a room -- a hotel room. Huyen and I sat on the beds while two girls looked at us oddly. We were sort of confused on what we should be doing. But we weren't the only ones. The "masseuses" looked even more clueless than us.

Long story short, all of us ended up getting massages by girls who had never given a massage in their life. The girl who massaged me literally just rubbed my shoulder-blades for 45 minutes, only taking a break to crack my knuckles. It took me, oh about thirty seconds to realize we were in a whore house and clearly these girls first clients who didn't have sex with them. I was pretty horrified at the situation but kept giggling to myself since Huyen had no idea what was going on. She was actually enjoying her terrible massage.

The highlight for me came when a third girl walked into the room and said something in Vietnamese. Huyen turned to me and asked, "They want to know if you want two girls."