I feel pretty, oh so pretty: Phnom Penh pampering

Pampering treatments are a perfect indulgence to break up a hectic Phnom Penh sightseeing schedule

Jemma Galvin
June 30, 2015
I feel pretty, oh so pretty: Phnom Penh pampering

Pampering treatments are a perfect indulgence to break up a hectic Phnom Penh sightseeing schedule

From Discover magazine

Bumping along Phnom Penh’s Mao Tse Toung Boulevard in the back of a tuk tuk after a sweaty morning spent haggling over souvenirs at Russian Market, it dawns on many a weary traveller that they must – simply must – be pampered. Right. This. Instant.

Grazing past rickety market tables stacked with warm bunches of bananas and even warmer cuts of unidentified meat can leave one’s skin feeling slightly icky. Combined with the pulsing heat of the city, this situation can only be remedied with the crème de la crème of body scrubs. Slide out of your tuk tuk at the heavenly Bodia Spa, located just off the riverside, ascend a flight of wooden stairs and be immersed in a lemongrass- and sandalwood-scented oasis where your every relaxation whim will be catered to with ease.

To cool down, de-grime and leave with skin that is soft, smooth and smells sublime, opt for the Natural Jasmine Rice Scrub. Jasmine rice, turmeric, tamarind seed and jasmine oil are combined in a delicious concoction to exfoliate, before ylang ylang oil hits all the right spots to improve circulation, ease aches and pains and relax you from head to toe.

No doubt a flawless tan is on every visitor’s list of things to take back home. But beautiful bronzing is nothing without doing the prep work on what’s underneath. Bodia’s Fruity Vitamin Facial utilises fresh white bananas, eggs and honey to reduce inflammation caused by dust and sun exposure, plus it incorporates a lovely face and chest massage for an added dose of bliss.

Don’t rush to return to the land of the living too quickly now. Breeze back into your tuk tuk and pop over to Cha’Nails to spend an hour or so having your tips and toes tenderly tended to. Depending on how busy the salon is, you might be lucky enough to have a technician seeing to each limb, hot stones and massage lotion on hand. Choose one of their fun, neon shades of polish to complement that new swimsuit you picked up at the market this morning, then pop into the waxing room to prepare for that richly deserved pool day. Cha’s therapists are the best in the city and will tend to all your fuzzy bits with gentle speed and calming accuracy.

Of course, the crowning glory for any pampering day worth its weight in bath salts is having the old barnet spruced up. The cost of hairdressing in the Kingdom is drastically lower than one would pay in the West, so it is well worth booking yourself up for as many services as you can squeeze in.

Bearhanded Hair Studio is a wonderfully relaxed salon run by South African stylist Vaughan Joseph, who takes care of everything from the shampoo (he’s widely regarded as giving the best head massage in town) to the cut, colour and blow-dry.

Sit back in his vintage barber’s chair as atmospheric tunes waft in the background and his cute pup snoozes in the corner. Order a freshly squeezed fruit juice to complete a day of perfect pampering. Just be sure to keep your new ’do intact during the breezy tuk tuk ride back to your hotel.

Read more articles