I have been receiving various enquires about traditional Malay massage both from Singapore and overseas (as far away as from the UK). I decided to seek out and find out what the fuss is all about. I am sure I will be able to find one in Singapore, the city acclaimed to have the largest number of Spa per capital in the world with more than 2,500 spas spread over the island.

After enquiry with my reliable sniffer mole, was told that there is this Malay lady doing traditional Malay massage around the Singapore Orchard Road area - Norhaidah Traditional Malay Massage Services.

This spa is located in Far East Plaza, the heart of one of the most competitive spa location with over 80 spas and beauty saloons located in this building alone. This is the Spa central for Singapore.

The entrance to the spa, perhaps more accurately it should be called a shop is narrow and the decoration sparse and simply. The initial feeling is of a visit to a kampong hut and not a luxury spa…..

The proprietor is Madam Malaya, a very pleasant Malay lady. Although she is already 65, she does not look her age.

The treatment area consists of an area demarked via a drawn hanging curtain. Inside is a simple massage table. The setup feels more like an acupuncture treatment room rather than a massage spa. There is no separate changing room either. On the massage bed, was placed a clean but a bit worn tower which I think should have been replaced.

Her massage method is very interesting and well tuned; it felt as if she was performing ironing on an ironing board with me as the clothing. Her fingers are a bit coarse but when pressed against pressure points and muscles, they do not exert pain but sensations of relief are experienced.

I don’t know what oil was used but they smell herbal and interestingly, she sad on a stool while performing the massage. The aroma from the oil makes me relax and sleepy.

Unlike regular massage parlous that play smoothing music while performing the massage, Madam Malaya will chat with you just like a lady that would chat with you at the market. We talk about everything, occasionally comments about my skin condition. She even gave me a quick palm reading while doing my hands.

After 45 minutes, my whole body felt rejuvenated; my muscle felt firmer and stronger. She then commands me to drink a glass of herbal drink.

I then realized that this place does not accept credit card payment and I don’t have sufficient cash with me and have to go to the ATM to drawn. Madam Malaya then said that it is OK, I can pay the next time I pass-by here.

This is completely unexpected and refreshing, especially in today spa being so commercialized with all the power selling encouraging you to sign up for treatment packages. You will be hard press to fine a more down to earth place then this in the Orchard area.

Norhaidah Traditional Malay Massage Services

#04-42 Far East Plaza



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