The Hot Springs

The Hot Springs

Nature’s soothing treat

More on Muang La

The hot springs of Muang La are a treat, and make the perfect remedy for the aches and pains that can result from weeks of bumpy bus rides.

Travelfish says:

The spring is at the riverbank and stone “tubs” have been built so people can soak in the almost unbearably hot water while admiring the gorgeous scenery. Quite simply, it feels amazing.

Not quite as scenic as you may expect. : Cindy Fan.
Not quite as scenic as you may expect. Photo: Cindy Fan

The real draw is the social aspect of the experience. The spring is busy in the evening when everyone arrives armed with their splash bucket for an end of day bath. Women sit on the floating bamboo rafts, vigorously bucket water over themselves, rub herbs on their skin while catching up on gossip. Some bring a stone to use like a pumice.

Take a final soak in the hot water before jumping into the refreshingly cold river. Locals usually follow their bath with laundry and hair washing in the river.

Plenty of cooler water available. : Cindy Fan.
Plenty of cooler water available. Photo: Cindy Fan

We admit, at first we were slightly put off by the murky blue green waters and were hesitant to even dip our foot in until an old woman arrived, set herself right down and began her daily regimen. So just imagine that the water contains magical enzymes and minerals with curative properties.

The springs are located directly at the base of Muang La Resort, on the river beside the hotel’s wooden suspension bridge. Take the stairway beside the resort wall and follow the narrow path to the banks. When bathing, women should wrap themselves in a sarong or go fully clothed. Men should leave their shorts on. Note that during rainy season, river levels can rise and submerge the pathway and the hot springs become inaccessible.

The hot springs are public and are free.

Reviewed by

Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.

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These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.

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