Seeing Hands Massages

by Female Abroad

From the late 1970s to the early 1980s, when the Khmer Rouge began their reign of terror and genocide, Cambodia experienced a dramatic decline. After the Khmer Rouge had killed or starved up to 20% of the people and had been finally driven from power, the country descended into a lawless wasteland with everything it entails. A large number of people become disabled during this time and blindness, which was caused through torture or muggings carried out by hurling battery acid in the faces of victims, was a particularly serious impairment.

An unusual and encouraging phenomenon has occurred with blind Cambodians as the nation makes progress. The Association for the Blind in Cambodia ("The blind can see with their hands," is their motto) has been teaching blind people how to give massages with support from international organizations. Even though rates at each Seeing Hands location vary slightly, they are all affordable (particularly when compared to back home), with the nicest one-hour massage you've ever had costing just three to five dollars.

Now in Cambodia you will just normally see "massage" and do not have an option as to what type, just where on your body you'd like it done. In Siem Reap there were massage places everywhere but I went to Seeing Hands Massage which was amazing. This place, and many places like it, hire blind workers so they can earn a living as there are a lot of fallout after the Genocides and people are still trying to recover anyway they can. While Seeing Hands Massage was a little more open to the public than I was used to, it was good to know that my tip at least (hopefully some of the fee) was going to people who actually need it instead of a big hotel chain based out of the USA or China.

One thing is for sure, the blind masseuses provide a glimpse of the real Cambodian heart and resolve to live despite the country having seen far more tragedy and suffering than is fair.

Tours You May Enjoy