We all know that traveling can be fun and exciting, but sometimes it can be a very tiring experience. This can be especially true when traversing over some of the more rugged terrain that can be found on the Roof the World – Tibet. Thankfully, to help you relax, refresh, and recuperate from an exhausting trek or hike there is the option of getting a massage. In the town of Songpan, one can find the Snow Land Tibetan Massage Center.
Songpan is one of the popular tourist destinations in the Amdo Tibetan region. Songpan is also very close to the UNESCEO park – Jiuzhaigou Valley. The town itself is full of Tibetan culture and history, making it a beautiful place to explore and experience a piece of Tibet.
The Snow Land Massage Center is a tiny and simple place in the center of Songpan, but a wonderful place to stumble into if you are looking to relax. It was founded by a local Tibetan man named Tenzin Wang Gyal, and it is the first massage center in the town. His father was a Tibetan doctor, so he was able to study some Tibetan medicine and massage from his father. He also learned some about the operating a massage center in Mainland China.
In Songpan tourists like to hike and take horse treks in his hometown, and Tenzin Wang Gyal realized that some horse treks take 3 to 4 days, which can make it a very tiring journey. He thought it would be wonderful if he could offer these visitors a massage center. So he put his idea in practice in 2002 and founded Snow Land Tibetan Massage Center.
In the past years, he has received costumers from all over the world. When scanning his guestbook, his costumers provide him with positive and encouraging feedback. A lot of the commenters agree that they find Tibetan massage to be a wonderful way to relax after siting on bus, trekking, or hiking for hours.
If you are missing a little western food, you can enjoy some comfort food after your Tibetan massage as the neighboring building is a western restaurant, which is run by a friendly Chinese lady. Going by the name of Emma, she speaks fluent English. This restaurant is also pretty well known, making getting to Snow Land that much easier.
The biggest difference between Chinese and Tibetan massage is the technique. There are several different services at the massage center: Tibetan massage (full or partial), Tibetan treatment for kidneys, Tibetan medical footbath, flower and milk footbath, pedicure, cupping, and electrotherapy. We chose to go with a half hour of massage, because we had never had a Tibetan one before. Obviously we weren’t disappointed, and we ended up wishing we had gone for longer!
Tenzin Wang Gyal has trained more than 20 local massage therapists since 2002. He hopes he can continue to train more Tibetans, and wants to open a branch center in a different Tibetan area.
If you find yourself in Songpan, we encourage you to try Tibetan massage if you have the chance to travel to here.
Address: Next to Emma’s Kitchen in Songpan, Sichuan, China.