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Enjoying yourself in central Vietnam

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Visitors to Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, can enjoy not only the seaside city’s breezy beaches and islands. The city is also renowned for its hot springs and mud baths.


The Thap Ba Hot Springs Center, located behind the Po Nagar Cham Tower, better known as Thap Ba, claims to be the first in Vietnam to offer hot spring and mud bathing.


The inorganic mud comes from rocks and volcanic ash and is claimed to be both effective physical therapy and a cure for complexion problems.


Proponents of hot spring baths also say they help cure inflammations and fix endocrine disorders.


The mud used at the center is pumped up from underground into small pools then mixed with mineral water piped in from the Vinh Phuong Commune some four kilometers away.


Before immersion in the mud, visitors are advised to bathe in hot water. The mineral water can be as hot as 40 degrees Celsius before it is sprayed onto guests.


After bathing, guests enter wooden tubs and soak in the mud before taking a long sun bath that bakes the mud into a crusty shell. The mud-bather then drops back into the some mineral water for a much-needed cleansing.


The center, run by Sao Mai 21st Century Ltd., has some 25 hot springs and a dozen mud baths, each individually named to supposedly lend them a personalized touch.


There are also heart-shaped pools for couples, swimming pools for adults and kids, and special pools for the elderly.


The center’s hot spring, mud baths cost from VND180,000 (US$11) for individuals to VND750,000 ($47) for private groups of six. Public baths cost VND60,000 ($3.75) for adults and VND30,000 ($1.90) for children.


Soaking in a hot spring alone costs VND50,000 for adults, VND25,000 for children.


The center also has a large swimming pool for adults and another for children. Entrance fees are VND30,000 and VND10,000 respectively.


For those who prefer a private bath, try the “V.I.P. Spa,” which consists of 14 rooms covering 2,000 sq.m. Guests are provided with a health examination, sauna or steam bath, mud and hot spring baths, and a full-body massage using essential oils. Prices are $105 for a single room, $145 for a double and $204 for a “luxury” room.


Besides mud bathing, visitors can bathe under hot artificial mineral water falls whose temperatures range around 40 degrees Celsius mark.


Hoang Quang, director of the Thap Ba Hot Springs Center, said his venue is frequented by tens of thou-sands of visitors a year, of whom men generally prefer mud baths while women prefer the hot springs.


Visitors from Ho Chi Minh City often come here after visits to other tourist attractions in the province, says Quang. Many say it is an effective way to refresh and relax.


To get to the Thap Ba Hot Springs, drive north from the center of Nha Trang to the Ha Ra Bridge. Cross that, then continue on to cross the Xom Bong Bridge. After some 300 meters more, turn left and the hot springs center will lie about two kilometers ahead.



Source: vietnamtourism.com.vn


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