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.
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.
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.
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 hot 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 down to the banks. The springs are public access and are free. Women wrap yourself in a sarong or go fully clothed. Men should leave shorts on.
By Cindy Fan
Last updated on 20th April, 2015.