Just What Is Khmer Massage?

I would like to start with the obvious question, “What does Khmer mean?”. Khmer, quite simply, is the Cambodian word for… Cambodian! Yup, simple as that. If you speak ‘Khmer’, you speak Cambodian. If you are ‘Khmer’, you are Cambodian. So, if you are having a ‘Khmer’ massage… you guessed it, you are having a traditional, Cambodian style massage. So what does this involve?


 I can answer this question in the simplest fashion, by first asking another question.

“Is Khmer massage like Thai massage?”

As the most commonly asked question I receive by clients, I have developed 2 answers. The simplest and most correct answer is;

1. No, it is not like Thai massage.

2. It depends on both the masseuse and experience in Thailand. After having had several massages in Thailand, I really don’t know what to expect any more, none of the masseuses are alike, at all! Below is a comparison of traditional Thai and traditional Khmer massage;


4 Hands Khmer massage

Thai Massage

Traditionally, a good Thai massage involves a lot of stretching, pulling, twisting and generally placing your body into various positions you never would have dreamed of getting yourself into! Thai massage also focuses a lot on ‘pressure points’ and this can become quite painful. Thai massage is quite rough and vigorous, and leaves you feeling a little beaten and worn down. It is not a relaxing massage. (This comes from my experiences only. Others experiences will differ.) –


Khmer Massage

Khmer massage involves very little stretching at all. The massage is 40% laying on your stomach and having a soothing back, shoulder and legs massage, and 60% laying on your back getting arms, legs, head and feet massaged. Some minor stretches at the end take no more than a minute to complete and are no way near as vigorous as Thai. 

The main style of Khmer massage is a type of ‘kneading’, working deep into the muscles and leaving you feeling relaxed, sleepy and ‘floaty’ afterwards. (After 5+ years meeting the thousands of customers after their massage at Lemongrass, this is a very accurate description, I promise you!) 


To sum up, Khmer massage has been practiced for hundreds of years, is a firm and strong kneading style and leaves you feeling relaxed and fresh. After a hard days trekking through the incredible ancient ruins of Angkor, is it any wonder why massage is such a popular Asian past-time? We think not 🙂

A Bit About Our Style

 At Lemongrass Garden, our Khmer massages have been strategically developed by massage trainer and owner Borey. Borey has 10+ years of massage experience, and has worked in many top-range spas and resorts. The style she has adapted and evolved comes from all of the best massage techniques from those spas and resorts, and worked into one or more hours of massage bliss. 

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