In the central market in Siem Reap, Cambodia an unusual and weird spa treatment has gained a foothold (pun intended).
As the gateway city to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap is chock-full of tourists on the prowl for new experiences, and the shops along the main street are serving novelty up on a platter (I couldn’t help myself.) – tanks of skin-eating fish.
Huge fish tanks, topped by wooden seats, line the main street with signs promising “Dr. Fish Massage.” Take a seat, remove your shoes, swivel, dip your legs into the water, and the fish go to work munching the dead skin off your feet and legs. Lunch has arrived and the fish aren’t bashful.
Competition is stiff, and business is brisk. For $3.00 you get an Angkor Beer or Coke, and 20 minutes of fish nibbling the dead skin off your legs. I’m not sure about other body parts that go in the tank, but let’s not go there. As a side benefit, the process will make you “funny and happy.”
Apparently, some clients are a bit concerned about fish helping themselves to skin that isn’t necessarily dead, so a few owners advertise the fact that they do NOT use piranha! Whew … that’s a relief. This may be why they give you a free beer (one wouldn’t be NEARLY enough for me).
I talked to this happy customer, and he invited me to join in. A cold beer was tempting, but the fish clustered around his leg seemed happy with his brand of dead flesh, so I graciously declined. Weird and another kettle of fish entirely.