You’ve gotten a massage, right? They all share basically the same tenets. Soft music. A dark room. Your face in a hole that is a little bit too tight. Constantly wondering if the masseuse is going to bend down and take a bite out of your butt. Massages are pretty much the same in most areas of the world. But when you’re traveling to many countries throughout the world, there is an interesting addition that comes before the massage experience. You can even have it singularly, although most tourists will have it combined with a massage, and while it has many names and different traditions throughout the world, we’re going to focus on the Moroccan form: Hammam.
Just like massage parlors, there are varying levels of hammams, from the public versions with locals washing each other and chatting over who just moved into the neighborhood to high end chateaus with rose petals, heated towels and nary a Moroccan in sight. These can run you anywhere from 20 to 2000 dirham ($2-$200) for a hammam and massage. Hammam is technically the word for the steam room where your shower and scrub will take place, but most places it was simply the word used for the entire experience, because it’s like going to the movies, no one would ever say to you “Excuse me, hypothetical person, I am going to the movies to while there I will be seeing Santa’s Slay starring Bill Goldberg,” they’re just going to the movies to see an awesome movie. You’re just going to the hammam. It’s understood what’s happening there. Well it’s going to be, once I explain it to you.Read More