I’ve been missing the neck and shoulder massages that were a regular occurence in the UK, so have been seeking out options here in Sydney. The first try for me and MDF was the place at the Manly ferry terminal. We were there at Ocean World, so we thought we’d give it a go.

In Sydney, there are ‘chinese’, ‘thai’, and ‘remedial’ massage places. There are actually loads of them all over the place, hence there being one at a ferry terminal. The Manly ferry terminal one is a ‘chinese’ one. What this actually means is the following:

a) everyone doing the massages is Chinese
b) only some of the masseuses (is that the right word?!) speak English
c) it’s cheaper than the ‘remedial’ or ‘sports’ massage places
d) they have a price list that consists of a vast array of options (neck only: head, neck and shoulders: back and shoulders: shoulders and arms and head etc etc)
e) regardless of what you ask for from the list, you get the same massage – whichever masseuse you get, they follow their routine, and you pay for the time – usually $25 for 20 minutes.

At Manly the first time round we got quite decent chair massages, so we went back about 5 days later for an evening ferry ride – as we had a weekly ticket. Alas, this time round it was less satisfactory – but we did have some nice fish and chips in a pub. Going out to Manly practically feels like going on holiday 🙂 – such is the local mindset of Sydneysiders – even us Pommie ones.

Following this we had a variety of unsatisfactory ‘chinese’ type massages, including one where I asked for ‘neck, shoulders, and arms’, and got mostly ‘head and back’ – this massage was very painful, and at one point the lady actually climbed onto my back and kneeled on it forcefully. MDF had a similar unsatisfactory experience, and so the days of ‘chinese’ massages were OVER.

I’m pleased to report now, that having tried some ‘remedial’ massage places in Balmain, we have both had excellent results, and the resulting increased cost ($80 for one hour) is certainly worth it.

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