UBUD, Indonesia — Not unlike the plethora of storefront quickie massage spots scattered throughout Manhattan’s downtown, Bali boasts more than its share of walk-in spa services.
The premiere spa in town is Bodyworks. Founded in 1987, it offers a dizzying array of treatments to slough off the, um, stress of, uh, living in Bali? Deep-tissue massage, floral baths and hair treatments are just a few offerings. Its prices, though cheaper than comparable Western options, were significantly higher than my budget range, so I opted for a second-story studio down the street.
Though I’m not a big fan of therapeutic massage, I figured, why not? The experience can range from decent to quite good and at 50,000 rupiyah ($5.49) for a half-hour, it’s not that decadent a splurge.
Light and airy, the massage studio was tucked in an alley off Hanoman Street, past an Internet warung. After my experience with salacious types in Kuta, I was a bit wary when it came to these types of venues, but it was all above-board. Especially nice was the masseuse’s focus on my calf muscles, presumably tight from walking around Ubud nonstop for the previous few days.
Perhaps I had been tense from my unexpected monkey enounter.
Thankfully, for the next hour or so after hopping off the padded, batik-swathed massage table, I could hardly recall a single source of stress.