Get a Massage in Shanghai
Around Shanghai, there are hundreds of blind massage parlors, inexpensive no-frills salons and other different spas. But you still need to be careful because you may wander into a brothel. Here are just a few of the massage outlets in Shanghai that can attend to your needs.
The Banyan Tree Spa
The Banyan Tree Spa (Westin Shanghai, 88 Henan Zhong Lu, 3rd fl., Huangpu, 200002. 021/6335-1888.), the first China outpost of this ultraluxurious spa chain, occupies the 3rd floor of the Westin Shanghai. The spa's 13 chambers as well as its treatments are designed to reflect wu sing, the five elemental energies of Chinese philosophy: earth, gold, water, wood, and fire. Relax and enjoy one of five different massages (Y820 plus service charge), facials, body scrubs, or indulgent packages that combine all three.
Double Rainbow Massage House
With instructions clearly spelled out in English, Double Rainbow Massage House (47 Yongjia Lu, Luwan. 021/6473-4000) provides a cheap (Y45-Y80), nonthreatening introduction to traditional Chinese massage. Choose a masseur, state your preference for soft, medium, or hard massage, then keep your clothes on for a 45- to 90-minute massage. There's no ambience, just a clean room with nine massage tables.
Dragonfly will bring you luxury at more affordable prices. Your average massage will set you back around ¥250, and most branches offer mani/pedi treatments. The Xinle Lu branch of Dragonfly is actually one of our favorite massage joints in town, thanks to its low lighting and gentle fuwuyuan. Bizarrely enough, if you have a tattoo of a dragonfly anywhere on your body, you’re entitled to free and discounted treatments.
Branch addresses: 206 Xinle Lu, near Donghu Lu/ Villa 5, Lane 3911 Hong Mei Lu / 29-31 Changyi Road, Pudong, near Ascott Hotel/ B17-20, Green Sports & Leisure Centre, 633 Biyun Lu, Jinqiao, Pudong.
The Three on the Bund complex includes the first Evian Spa (Three on the Bund, Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Huangpu, 200003. 021/6321-6622.) outside of France. Its 14 theme rooms offer treatments from head to toe, and nine different massages and a detox package (Y1,300) will ease the effects of pollution and late-night Shanghai partying.
With its exposed-wood beams, unpolished bricks, and soothing fountains, the Mandara Spa (399 Nanjing Xi Lu, Huangpu 200003. 021/5359-4969.) in the JW Marriott resembles a traditional Chinese water town. Face, beauty, and body treatments include the spa's signature Mandara massage (Y990), a 75-minute treatment in which two therapists administer a blend of five massage styles: Shiatsu, Thai, Lomi Lomi, Swedish, and Balinese.
Ming Massage (298 Wulumuqi Nan Lu, Xuhui. 021/5465-2501) is a Japanese-style salon that caters to women, who receive a 20% discount daily from 11 to 4. Cross over the footbridge to one of five small treatment rooms for a foot, body, or combination "Ming" massage (Y178).