Traditional Cambodian Foot Massage

A Cambodian foot massage is great for tired feet.

While strolling around the Old Market area, my mother gave in to the pressure of having a foot massage. She had just spent 2 hours on a cramped AirAsia flight and therefore needed some rejuvenating.

Her decision to have a foot massage was somewhat sudden, but I should have known since she's a big fan of massages of any kind. She has tried numerous massages, so I believed her when she said that the Cambodian foot massage was good!

We went to the BE VIP Khmer Massage in town, the one right next to the Blue Pumpkin cafe. The place is a small and straightforward, with 7 or 8 massage chairs on one side and a few waiting chairs on the opposite side.

The massage chair is an oversized wooden (rattan?) chair lined with fluffy and comfortable cushions. It also leans back a bit so you can really relax when you put your feet up.
Cambodian foot massage - the chairs

How It Begins

Like many other foot massages, it all starts with a foot bath. They don't do it with warm water though, and I'm not sure why.

After that little bit of oddity with the cold water foot soak, the girl started to slowly massage one of my feet. She used unscented massage oil, though massage powder is also available if you want (according to the brochure). My mom soon got into her element and just relaxed.

At this point I decided to leave her so I could wander around the area and check out the bookshop next door. But alas, since we had come straight from the Blue Pumpkin she sent me on an errand to get an almond croissant that she had her eyes on.

Apparently her idea of a perfect world is to have a foot massage and eat a croissant at the same time. She got her wish and was very happy when I left.
Cambodian foot massage -

When I got back 40 minutes later, she was even happier. It looked like the Cambodian magic had worked its way to her, and from the foot massage not the temples.

As the girl continued to massage her feet, my mother kept on saying how wonderful it felt and how the Cambodian massage technique produced delicious results, even if it was different than what she was used to.

I was actually a bit surprised hearing all of the praise, because I had previously tried a Cambodian body massage at another place and was not impressed. Granted, body massages and foot massages aren't the same, but I thought the technique would be similar. So it looks like I might have missed something good.

How It Ends

Although the massage is technically called a Cambodian foot massage, the arms and back also get some attention during the last 15 minutes of the ritual. And this part, I agree, does look delicious. My mother's arms were twisted and pulled in different directions, and I could see how that might feel wonderful. This part looks something like a Thai massage.

Cambodian foot massage - the back

So In Short...

At $6 an hour, the foot massage at BE VIP seems to be a good value. The decor isn't much, but it isn't a spa and it's not trying to be one (I suspect other establishments offering foot massages have similar decor). It is, however, clean and comfortable, and does a good job giving a foot massage. Mom left saying that she would do it every week if possible.

So when you're all tired after visiting the temples during the day, you might want to try one of the foot massages in town. Mom raved about it without seeing a single temple. Imagine how she would rave after visiting some. 

Return from Cambodian Foot Massage to Siem Reap Town overview, or find out what other activities you can do while in Siem Reap.

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