Shenzhen is a popular place for Hong Kong people to go to get a massage. Prices are low compared with Hong Kong, though generally higher than elsewhere in China. A foot massage, pronounced “xi jiao”, (which actually often consists of massaging your shoulders, back, arms, legs, and feet!) costs ¥25-50 for 60-80 minutes depending on the location, time of day, and quality of the establishment. A full-body massage (pronounced “an mo” or “song gu”) costs ¥50-150 for 90-120 minutes.
In recent years many large spa and massage complexes have appeared in Shenzhen. For an entrance fee of around ¥100 (waived if you purchase around ¥160 of spa and massage services) you get 24 hours of access to a spa pool, saunas, showers, baths, and other amenities depending on the facility such as a gym or pool. Paid services often include Internet access, billiards, and rentable “multi-purpose rooms” with KTV/karaoke and games. Complimentary items include drinks (sometimes restricted to juice) and fruit; food can be bought for ¥20–¥50 a plate. For around ¥50 for 45 minutes (not including a ¥10–¥30 tip and often a 10% service charge) you can have head, foot, leg, shoulder, back, or hand massage while lying in one of the many reclining chair-couches — two types at once if you wish — and watch personal TV, read a book, or relax. For around ¥150 you can have 90 minutes of full-body Chinese, Thai, or Hong Kong-style massage in a private room or with your friends. Chinese Medical Massage and aromatherapy oil massages are usually available at a premium. Masseuses and masseurs hail from various regions around China and are listed with pictures and statistics in catalogues and can be selected by number. Very few of them speak any English.
Spa complexes can be found around the border crossings with Hong Kong, so as to cater to the relatively rich Hong Kong population looking to unwind. In the basement of the Luohu customs and immigration building (not the LCC mall) free shuttles are available to various spas, some of which also have themed waiting areas with price lists and pictures of the facilities. Some spas have representatives standing around to give out discount tickets (often ¥20) as an enticement.
Massages tend to be rather painful, especially on the feet! If you can endure it, you’ll notice the lasting benefits. But if it’s too much, you can say “Teng! Teng!” (Pronounced like “tongue”) to express your pain and make them ease up. It’s best to not reveal you know any spoken Chinese because you’ll immediately face uncomfortable questions about your salary, weight, etc.
Near Lok Ma Chau border crossing:
- SLF International Spa Club branded as Water Cube is brand new, hence in excellent condition, and tastefully designed with an interior resembling a luxury hotel. Although English is barely spoken by anybody, the staff are clearly trained to be first class and they try their best to be helpful — and sell massages, which cost ¥48 for 45 minutes of lounge-chair massage through ¥128–238 for 90 minutes of full-body massage in the usual styles, 10% service charge and tip separate. The spa is visible from the main street outside Lok Ma Chau border crossing and metro stop, and shuttles are available to Luo Wu and Huanggang border crossings. Gym, fruit, full drink menu including iced lemon tea and coffee, gym, and videogames complimentary; internet, karaoke and VIP room rental, billiards, table tennis, and of course food all charged separately.
Near Luohu border crossing:
- Queen Spa. This spa is showing its age like an old resort hotel in Las Vegas, although it remains a popular tourist destination in part because it has the notable advantage of having English-speaking staff on duty and identified with clearly visible tags year-round. The entry fee of ¥98 is waived after ¥168 of spa services paid, not including the 10% service charge and tips of ¥10-30 per 45 minutes. Foot/head/leg massage is ¥56/45 min and Chinese massage ¥168/90min. Perks include a swimming pool, a gym, videogames, and free ice-cream and juice and fruit. Free WiFi and five-minute Internet terminals are available in the shared area. The spa has a range of VIP services available such as private Royal Club rooms with a semi-private second swimming pool and Rolls Royce transfers from Luohu (¥30) or the airport.
- Gold Coast Club at Building 1-4, Kaili Hotel, 2027 Jiabin Road East, Luohu. Beautiful interior, entry fee of ¥138 with 10% service charge. Party room rental for ¥60/hour to ¥120/hour depending on size with karaoke and chess and games included.
- Sentosa International SPA Club, shuttle available, offering in March ’09 four hours of Chinese massage for ¥108 and ¥88 for any three types of foot/head/leg/etc massage.
Caution: In most hotels, prostitution is widespread. In some seedier areas, “massage” may actually mean sex. Use your best judgment.
Q:What is the best spa establishment in Shenzhen China?
Best spa in Shenzhen is Queens Spa. Its a huge building, multi levels and spacious in every detail. I understand they can handle 1000 patrons at a time and have 500 staff. I went with 2 other Chinese speaking men and we had no trouble working our way through the services. Firstly , a wrist band is provided and a private locker assigned. Attendants assist with folding your clothes and placing in the locker.
Take a shower in same sex surroundings, enjoy the jaccuzzi, steam or dry sauna. Head off to the massage level picking up some disposable light undies and a set of pyjama like shirt and shorts. This level is mixed.
Don’t expect too may staff to speak English.
The reflexology section is a personal sumptuous lounge chair, of which there are about 100, each with its own TV and headrest sound, so one can sip a drink, juice is complimentary, alcoholic is charged for whilst having your feet attended to.
The pedicure is well worth the price.
All types of massage are offered and the staff are qualified and polite.
Langauge difficulties arise if one doesn’t speak Mandarin.
Individual rooms are used for massage.
Screams of pain are sometimes met with delight as the masseuse considers she is achieving good results.
Tips are encouraged as each service provider, at the conclusion of their work, offers a docket to sign which also has a 4 tip option from 20 to 100 Yuen.
Food and drinks are available at many locations throughout the levels. Pay as you leave and sign up for a transferrable membership discount card.
Long stays are not discouraged and one can easily do an overnighter there.