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Though outside of the scope of Southeast Asia, I thought I would share my experiences here. I had occasion to visit the country for 2 weeks in early 2015 and, of course, checked out the massage situation. Generally, there are far fewer massage shops than neighbouring countries and what few there were, often had masseurs (male) rather than masseuses (female). The few that had masseuses said they were for female customers only.

If you don’t like males massaging you, this is not the country for you. Furthermore, the massages in the tourist areas at least, are relatively expensive, four or fives times the price of one in Thailand for instance. I saw massages regularly going for $25-30 an hour in tourist areas like Mirissa. Granted, I didn’t visit many areas but was disappointed in the few I did find.

I did manage to have one massage from a lady in an airport hotel spa near Colombo. It was labelled as an ‘Ayurvedic’ massage but was sequenced much like a Thai massage with lots of oil and efflorage. Unexceptional and pricey. A 10% service tax was added on, as well, and 4% more for using a credit card. FAIL!

Apparently, Sri Lanka is a very conservative country and there is some cultural resistance to having females massage strange males.

Obviously, more research is necessary! I welcome any information anyone can add because I’m sure there are good massages to be had!



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Advice on getting a great massage at the best price!