Let’s keep it real about the sexes for a second: there are certain things that women enjoy more than men do, and vice versa. A rejuvenating afternoon of beauty treatments with one’s sister or best friend, for example, followed by a stroll through a favorite mall is what most would consider a girls’ day out.
And it’s a day, or days, that needn’t necessarily be spent in one’s home city, state, or even country. Because, with the emergence of international “beauty tourism,” combining aesthetic procedures and shopping has become a popular health & wellness holiday for women the world over.
Particularly in Asian health-travel hotspots where advanced beautifying treatments like dermal fillers, Botox injections, or gold-thread facelifts are trendy and opportunities to dispense of some of your hard-earned cash are diverse.
Here’s a look at 5 of the top spots for ladies to have a fabulous medical holiday mixing beauty treatments and retail therapy together.
From architecturally-glorious urban malls to opulent harbor-front “lifestyle destinations,” there are endless ways to shop-‘til-you-drop in Singapore. Which perfectly complement the world-class skincare clinics’ cutting-edge aesthetic procedures like laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, and dermabrasion, many of which are located in the city’s main shopping and entertainment hub, Orchard Road.
2. Seoul, South Korea
Several of South Korea’s 27 JCI-accredited healthcare facilities are plastic surgery clinics, and Seoul’s famous Gangnam district is ground zero for Asian plastic surgery tourism. It’s also home to an endless array of up-market shopping opportunities, so combining a nose job or double eyelid surgery with a lavish shopping itinerary is a breeze.
3. Bangkok, Thailand
Anti-aging stem cell beauty treatments are prevalent in Thailand’s bustling capital, Bangkok. Top-flight clinics offer facial rejuvenation procedures using stem cells which are extracted from one’s own body fat and injected into the face for a regenerative effect. Afterwards, you’ll be on your way to a more youthful countenance, and on your way to a journey through Asia’s Mecca of shopping venues where any style and any budget can be satisfied.
4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai’s upscale malls and exhilarating bazaars make it one of the world’s best shopping destinations. Less appreciated, however, is that Dubai medical tourism has jumped to the forefront of health travel with its acclaimed wellness spas. If one were so inclined, a week in Dubai could mean aromatherapy, hot stone massage, and detoxifying skin treatments… plus swanky shopping to the max.
5. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Beautifying treatments aren’t always about pampering. Case in point is Kuala Lumpur which plays host to scores of international health & wellness tourists every month in search of self-esteem boosting cosmetic dentistry procedures like porcelain veneers and teeth whitening. Afterwards they’re flashing their new smiles in KL’s numerous extravagant fashion malls or buzzing, bargain-laden street markets.
In recent years, women have helped make “beauty tourism” a thriving industry. Lately, it’s becoming hip to make that trip overseas for aesthetic refinements and combine it with new shopping experiences in trendy Asian destinations.