Dhanyavaad, Trivandrum!


I just got back from a layover in Trivandrum, India. This flight remarked as the end of my reserve month. For your information, reserve month means that i was being put as additional crew, so if they need crew to fly because one of the rostered crew call sick or no show, they will call me to do the flight. Also means i have no idea where i am gonna fly during reserve month. Now i’d rather call it surprise month than reserve month. Because really, every single day i was curious where i am about to fly, are they gonna give me day off, etc. But anyway, it was still a good month after all.

Back to the topic about Trivandrum. It was 3 hours and 40 minutes flight from Dubai to Trivandrum and quite full flight. It was my first time having layover in Trivandrum so i have no clue where to go. Then one of my supervisors told me to go for Ayurveda massage and the hotel has all the information needed. So once i got to the hotel, i asked the front officer about this thing. He then booked an appointment for me and said that there will be a driver picking me up in the hotel to go to that place (feeling spoiled!).

I went to the gym for a quick treadmill running and few sit ups because i was bored, could not sleep and had to wait until 3 pm to go for massage. Back to the room, i ordered a food from room service and this is what i got

A bowl of mutton curry (lamb). It tasted amazing and suddenly i forgot that i have been homesick for months. This food had similar taste like the one backhome (its called Gulai Kambing in my hometown). I also forgot that i just did exercise (who cares about exercise when it comes to a good food?).

At 3 pm the driver picked me up and drove me to the place called Essence.

It was 5 minutes driving from the hotel to this massage place. Arrived at this place i was a bit worried because all i saw was guys. I was wondering am i gonna be massaged by a guy. Because then i’d rather to pay for the cancellation fee of the appointment than has to be massaged by a guy. The guy that drove me here is also a customer relation here so i was escorted by him to the waiting room and then he started to explain about the treatments this place has.

I did not really get what are the names of each treatment because it was in the local language. But i got what he explained about each of treatment. I will try to explain what i got from his explanation.

  1. Regular one. This treatment has Deep Tissue Massage with medicated steam (Abhyangam). It is a full body massage with medicated herbal oil from head to toe, then you will go to the steam. The treatment will be finished with special bath treatment and the whole treatment takes approximately an hour. If i am not mistaken it costs INR 1750 (IDR 364.000 or AED 100) which is cheap actually compare to Dubai’s price.
  2. Shirodara with full body massage & medicated steam. It is a package which the first treatment is gonna be deep tissue massage then Shirodara. I will explain what does it mean later on. Next is medicated steam and special bath. He said this one is the most favourite treatment among the guesses. It will give a fully relaxation for the body and mind (which was the main reason i chose this treatment. My mind had been so random recently). It costs INR 4250 (IDR 885.000 or AED 245).
  3. The complete package. Its the combination of deep tissue massage, Shirodara, hot pebble massage and beauty treatment (Ayurvedic anti aging facial). This treatment will not only give a relaxation but also a strength and power to body (he said it is the best pain relief treatment) and give a strength to our mind (I was about to choose this treatment but my mind been insane even if i am in normal condition and i dont want to be out of control if it has more power. Lol). It costs INR 6250 (IDR 1.300.000 or AED 360).

After filled up the guest form, a lady came to me with slippers and took my sandals off. She put the slippers to my feet which i felt so weird (not her but i dont like the feeling when a person has to bend down and put something to my feet. Come on, i am not Cinderella! Also this is one of the reasons i never done pedicure). She then showed me the room where i had to pass an aisle with ultraviolet light and asked me to get ready for the treatment.

So, lets get started!

I was being asked to sit and the therapist started the treatment from my head. She poured oil to my hair and shook my hair. I was feeling a bit uncomfortable when she poured the oil to my head. It was not like she dropped a little bit of the oil but it felt like she showered me with oil. But it was just because i never got this kind of treatment. It was totally different! So my body and mind need more time to adjust. Usually when i heard about head massage, i will get a soft and relaxing pressure. But this time, no no, this lady literally shook my hair and head so i was in awkward silence mode and wondering what is she doing (trust me, my awkward face is one of the worst).

Next, she poured the oil to my body. I was ready to get a relaxation massage but then again, it was not massage i usually get. She was scrubbing my body with the oil and asked if the pressure is okay. I was just nodding my head and thinking “okay do whatever you want, madam 😂.”

She then asked me to lay down on the bed (oh finally!), poured (no, showered) my back with oil and scrub the body. I think my body got adjusted pretty quick so i was falling asleep in the next minute. She woke me up and asked me to turn my body. I asked her what oil is it because it has no smell (or maybe my nose was not that sensitive) but it made me relax. She said this oil is a combination of all the herbal stuff to make the skin smooth and glow. I was happy with the word “glow” because that’s my dream skin. Tan and glow. So i said to her, pour the oil as many as you can (got excited!). But yeah, the oil was all over my body and the bed was so sticky 😂.

Next, is Shirodhara treatment using this tool

For me it was the quickest way to relax. This treatment involves the consistent flow of aromatic oil on the forehead. This is an effective therapy for mental relaxation. Other than that, she said it heals insomnia, stress, depression and increase mental agility (why it sounds like she was describing my condition😂). I am not joking but this treatment is the best one. I slept for the whole 30 minutes. She woke me up and asked me to go to steam. This steam (Pizhichil steam) involves pouring up to 5 litres of medicated warm or hot oil all over the body. She said it will improve immunity and enhances the skin and complexion.

Not only having a different style of body treatment but all of the stuff they have here is also unique. From the bed, the Shirodhara stuff and now the steam.

It is made from wood. Never seen a steam bath with this kind of woody stuff. But i was too sleepy to ask about this stuff so i just went inside and sleep (again) 😂.

I did not know how long i was being steamed but finally i went to the last treatment, special bath. I was thinking that my body will be soaked into the water and flower or milk. But no. What i got here was totally different. The special bath actually means that the therapist bathing me. So she came with me to the bathroom and start bathing me with warm water and soap (i told you this place surprised me in many ways!). When she started bathing me, i felt like i am in the Javanese wedding preparation. In my hometown (Java) there is a tradition that we have to follow H-1 of the wedding day called “Siraman”. It is basically a symbol to clean the spirit and the body of the bride and the groom before they are officially married.

Courtesy :

So this is basically what i felt when she was bathing me. It was the most awkward feeling ever! But she said she has to do it because the oil is hard to be removed from the body so it needs someone else to scrub it with soap and water.

All done! I went back to the waiting room and ready to pay. You dont need to worry if you dont have enough cash because they receive a payment with debit and credit card so it makes everything easier. The guy who picked me up drove me back to the hotel. I slept straight away once i arrived to the room and woke up so fresh in the next day.

Got an early morning wake up call, i did not get a chance to catch the breakfast downstairs so i ordered the food from in room dining service.

I forgot what’s the name of the food in the local language. But its spicy fish curry with parotta. I know i was crazy ordered a spicy food as breakfast. Ended up with burning stomach for the whole flight back to Dubai 😂.

Now lets make it clear :

What i like about this layover :

  • Food. Because i love spicy food and the food has almost similar taste with my hometown’s food.
  • Massage. Wonderful experience that i might not get it anywhere else.
  • Hospitality
  • Say no to overbudget. Affordable price (at least for the food and massage).

What i dont like about this layover :

The social gap i saw straight away after leaving the hotel. Leaving the 4 star hotel to go to the (they called) fancy massage and look what i saw along the way.

On my way back to the hotel, capturing an old man cycling with all the stuff behind.

What i learnt :

Being thankful for what i’ve got and enjoy the life is the best things i got from this layover. I did not say that it is wrong to set the goals and do the best. Because..

But there is something that i need to control in myself. The habit of being selfish and lack of awareness of others.

Its good to look down sometimes and see what i’ve got now, then look straight to the life and the future. Nothing is wrong of being ambitious but everything will go wrong once its out of control (you see, i got a bit positivity after the massage).

It was a fully different layover experience after all. Flying back to Dubai with another unforgettable story.

Until next time, Trivandrum!


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