Sometimes you have to try something off the beaten track just to remind yourself that you are an adventurous person who isn’t afraid of anything. For instance, stepping into a Chinese foot salon in Cairo to have your feet done by someone who speaks nothing but Chinese.

Xin Dongfang is located inside the Metro Market building in Zamalek facing Flamenco Hotel. Although full-body massages are available (180LE), the centre specializes in foot treatments. You can get a pedicure for 30LE and various kinds of foot treatments like a ginger or crystal foot bath, both of which cost 88LE.

During the foot massages, the reflexology technique is used. It is believed that every part of your foot represents a different body part. By applying pressure and massaging these parts without the use of tools, creams or lotions, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body. It basically means that the more balanced you are as a person, the less painful the therapy will be.

This reviewer sampled the 25-minute pedicure and the 45-minute milk foot bath. Male and female technicians are available so you can specify your preference for the treatment. The treatment room has three comfortable chairs, so you can sit with your friends and gossip while having your treatment. Since the staff members only speak Chinese, we assume that our secrets will stay pretty much safe.

You are first asked to put your feet into a wooden tub filled with warm water and stones at the bottom of it. We suspect that they must have some sort of healing effect, but since the technicians don’t speak English, we couldn’t ask. Don’t expect a regular manicure here; there is no nail polishing here; as a matter of fact they don’t even take off your nail polish. They just scrape off all the dead skin and cut your nails. The scraping is done with a tool that closely resembles a knife. Don’t be too scared, though; the tools are sterilized before usage.

We also tried the milk foot massage for 88LE. The water that was brought in the tub was a surprising bright blue, not milk-white as we’d expected. The foot reflexology was applied and once again, the more in balance you are, the less painful it is.

If you’re up for a thorough and therapeutic foot treatment, then we recommend Xin Dongfang; especially for men; as this isn’t an overly feminine, pink Hello Kitty nail salon. You can just sit back, watch the sports channel and retain your masculinity, whilst having nice feet afterwards; a perfect compromise.