Taking the Long Way travel blog

Heading up to the individual mud baths

First mineral shower

Filling the mud bath

Happy as a pig in mud





Soaking time


Trying not to get scalded by the waterfall

Pool side

Fortunately I had not planned to swim nude

The Thap Ba Hot springs are definitely one of the jewels in the crown of Nha Trang, I loved the place in 2003 and it has certainly lived up to the memory when I went back today.

On arrival you are pointed in the direction of the first mineral shower, where I washed myself of whatever it is mineral spring water cleans oneself of, before moving towards a spa bath filling quickly with the special mud that would be my bath for the next 25 minutes. Sliding into the warm, brown mud is quite disconcerting as it fills up and covers all, and I mean all, places on one's body!

After getting over the fact that I was indeed sitting, or more so, reclining in mud, I relaxed and floated in the natural healing properties of wet dirt. (It really is quite invigorating and great for the skin, especially diseased skin I was told!) Moving on from the mud bath, I hit the showers for the 2nd time, but not before baking myself under the Vietnamese sun for 15 minutes to ensure a nice crusty coating of dirt.

Washing the baked mud from my body and every spot the mud went, I moved onto a different version of the shower I had just had, but this one consisted of 4 different places to stand each with different river pebbles for massaging the feet, while slow jets of water spurted from the walls all around. (Very cool!)

What I've failed to mention was that the showers are all at 34 degrees so, by this time, I was a little overheated and wondering when the cool shower or swimming pool would be coming into the picture. It wouldn't be any time soon. I moved onto the hydro-therapeutic mineral bath next. (Which for mine could have cooked lobsters, crabs or any kind of shellfish, it was so hot!) Gingerly lowering myself into the steaming bath, I was soon slowly boiling myself and really looking forward to jumping into the swimming pool. This was until I remembered once I got to the pool, that it was at a constant temperature of 38 degrees! And the waterfall was no cooler.

So I took a break from all the wallowing and wading and made my way to the treatment room where I had a truly fantastic, if slightly disturbing, hour long massage. It was very good but the fact that the girl was hanging from a pole in the roof and using her feet for part of it was a little unsettling and when she kneeled on me and massaged my shoulders with her hands and my buttocks with her knees at the same time I was well and truly out of my comfort zone! Then finished up with sitting in the steam room (or course) for 15 minutes before a long leisurely meal by the pools.

Definitely one of the most relaxing days I've had and well worth the $20 it cost me. I'm wondering if I could squeeze in another visit before I leave here...I think my spots will disappear entirely then :)

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