Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort Spa - Bagan, Myanmar


After our highly successful Thai massage in Thailand, the next spa stop on our Abercrombie & Kent luxury tour of Thailand-Myanmar-Cambodia itinerary was at Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma).

After two full days of touring the standouts among the 2,217 temples found in just 16 square miles, and doing so in 100+-degree heat, we were more than ready for a respite.

The Sanctuary Resort's spa delivered just that.

The spa is small and tucked away, so we did have to ask for directions, but one of the many friendly staff graciously led the way, all smiles, through the dining room, where we enjoyed good breakfasts and dinners.

Our spa welcome included more smiling staff ready with hot tea and slippers for each of us. They were so eager to please, we barely had time to look around before we were whisked into a couple's treatment room.

We eyed the waiting bath with floating flower petals. Looked promising. We had selected the Traditional Oriental massage with pure herbal oil and had our choice of four types of oil mixtures: Balancing, Relaxing, Romantic, Calming and Energizing.

As romance novelists (in addition to being travel writers), of course we had to go for the romantic. It's a blend of ylang-ylang, rosemary and lemon. But the fragrance that we will forever associate with Bagan (and truth be told, with much of Southeast Asia) is jasmine. These delicate, tiny white flowers are everywhere: in the restrooms as a natural deodorizer, hanging inside taxis for the same reason, in wrist leis used in formal greetings including some hotel welcomes. We found them for sale at many of the temples, too, for worshippers to leave behind.

When my tiny masseuse put her slender hands and fingers on my back, I knew that she knew just where the knots and kinks would be. She spent the next hour kneading them out. She did hop up on the table, as we'd seen in previous Thai massages, but this time instead of the pulling, twisting and turning, she used more pressure point and longer strokes. Soon, I heard Fletcher’s rhythmic breathing on the table next to me and I knew we were both in the zone.

Details: www.thiripyitsaya-resort.com. To plan an Abercrombie & Kent adventure to Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia, visit www.abercrombiekent.com. A&K is a leading provider of luxury travel services worldwide.

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J.S. Fletcher & Kathy M. Newbern,

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