I Tried... a Fish Foot Spa!

In Malaysia recently, I tried a pedicure with a difference...

I think I first saw doctor fish on The Amazing Race on TV. If you haven't heard of them before, they're two species of small fish used in special foot spas around the world to slough dead skin off your feet. Charming! Apparently the practice originated in Turkey. Check out a news story about the craze spreading through the US here.

In Malaysia earlier this month, my friend Karen and I spotted a spa offering this fish pedicure and couldn't resist giving it a shot.

When we walked in, our feet were firstly bathed over smooth stones in a basin. While that was happening, a customer getting a foot massage nearby said he'd tried the fish foot spa moments before and recommended we try the leftmost pool first, as that's the "easier" beginner pool. So, we steeled ourselves and plunged our feet in.

It's a really strange feeling. Once we got over the initial tickle torture, it was actually a relaxing sensation, made even more pleasant by the refreshing ginger tea the staff served (we ended up asking for the recipe, see below), probably to calm our shrieks and screams!

The helpful stranger had left, but we decided to now try the more difficult pool with the hungrier fish. We dipped our feet in and... nothing. The fish took the occasional nibble, but seemed pretty lazy and disinterested. He'd apparently lied to us for a laugh. Gah!!

Well, while the fish foot spa wasn't officially on my bucket list, I'm certainly glad I tried this new experience. Er, at least until I arrived back in Australia and googled "fish foot spa". I wish I hadn't. Hey, try it at your own risk and check the place is reputable before, well, taking the plunge!

Ginger Tea Recipe

To calm your nerves the next time you're being eaten alive by fish!

Fresh slices of ginger and lemongrass
Teabag of green tea
Pinch of sugar

Boil water and brew tea in a cup. Add a pinch of sugar and the slices of ginger and lemongrass (you can use a tea infuser if you wish) and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes. Remove slices and tea bag and serve.

Have you ever tried any of the wackier beauty treatments? Would you try the fish foot spa?


  1. Hello my friend! WOW ... that was most adventurous ... cheeky man, fooling you guys. Well, I think I would try it. So , tell us was it worth it? How did your feet feel afterwards ..?

    Wishing you a great week..xo HHL

  2. Hey High Heeled,

    How are you?

    Yes, it was definitely worth it to try at least once, but better to go with a friend, I think, for moral support! My feet were softer afterwards and the experience itself was relaxing after the first few minutes.

    Have a great week. Mine's gonna be another busy one!




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