Super up-sized Foot Massage Maze!

Updated: 2007-08-14
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Talk about up-sized! I know foot massage is a popular past time in mainland China but can you imagine a foot massage joint with a hundred over massage rooms and three hundred over massage therapists?
I recently visited a foot massage joint in Xiamen, China which can take in hundreds of customers at any one time and it is aptly named as ‘Da Tong Shui’ or literally ‘Big Bucket of Water’…


Da Tong Shui is located in a busy commercial district in Xiamen, China and has a grand entrance flanked by pretty female receptionists. Two flights of automated escalators lead up and down to the second and third floor of the building leading to a further myriad of hundreds of massage rooms. One can get lost easily in the corridors of hundreds of massage room maze…


The entire place is done up very grand, elegant and opulently, very unlike the small and humble foot massage joints one is more likely to encounter in most places in Asia. Prices are clearly stated at RMB50 (US$6.25) an hour of foot massage with a free flow of food, soup, dessert and beverages! These prices are ready to knock the socks off all the small foot massage joints! No wonder there are hundreds of rooms because I am sure at that price, foot massage enthusiasts would be flocking to it!


There were two of us and the ushers lead us to a private room. Everyone gets a private room even if you walk in alone. Each room comes with comfortable seats, piped in music, magazines, LCD TV and a FREE FLOW of drinks and food which you can ask for anytime. There is even a printed catalogue with the the bio-data of each of the foot therapist including his/her specialty or strength level so that a customer can even find a therapist customised to his liking.


Tea was served immediately and soon, two foot massage therapists came in to start our treatment. We started with a hot water soak in a herbs-filled wooden bucket (hence the name Da Tong Shui or Big Water Bucket) and then the actual foot massage started.


Treatment lasted for an hour and included some shoulder and hand massage. You can also add a foot pedicure for RMB20, Gua-Sha for RMB30 or Chinese Tui-Na for RMB50. We chose an additional one hour of Tui-Na and the foot massage seats were miraculously transformed into a sort of massage bed. We could even do our Tui Na or Chinese massage with the same therapists without leaving the room!


Tui Na was equally good and it was so easy to fall asleep in such a conducive environment. All too soon, one hour was up and it was time for some nourishing soup and food! We were presented with a menu with a large selection of soup, food, dessert and drinks. Ordering any of the soup or food alone would have easily exceeded RMB50 in a nice restaurant and it was amazing how the bosses of Da Tong Shui could have made any money with his low prices! What’s more, as a customer, we could have stayed in the room as long as we want with as much food or drinks as we want!


According to the massage therapists, Da Tong Shui is packed to the brim on weekends and in the weekday evenings. Despite the hundreds of massage therapists available, it is difficult to get a vacancy unless one books ahead in the evenings or the weekends! Wow…


We had good soup and food and watched TV for a couple of hours before deciding to leave. On our way out, we saw a row of computers and decided to spend some surfing the Internet and answering emails; again for free.


Of course, we also wanted to quickly update our blog so that you too, can enjoy the same kind of royal treatment the next time you happen to be in Xiamen, China!


Location of Spa: Jiahe Rd, Xiamen, China
Size of Spa: Hundreds of rooms; several hundred massage therapists
Friendliness: Cold friendliness
Facilities: Showers, bathrooms, internet access, free flow of food/beverages
Pricing: RMB50 for Foot Massage; RMB50 for Tuina, RMB20 for pedicure, RMB30 for Gua-Sha
(Note: USD$1 = RMB7.5)

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