Sitting in a tub of mud feels as odd as it sounds, but it has become a quintessential Nha Trang experience. The mud is purported to have all sorts of healthy, healing properties. There are four places to test out this theory, and the facilities include jacuzzis, mineral water swimming pools and other novelties for a full day hydrotherapy extravaganza. And for a laugh, how about an egg-themed park?
If you believe the marketing, the salty mineral water and mud baths will remove dead skin cells, deposit minerals into your body, strengthen bones, increase “dieresis”, reduce stress and fatigue, relieve aches, pains, rheumatism and trauma, make your skin smooth and fine, reduce blood sugar, “help balance reduction in chloride” and aid with urinary tract issues – keep that one in mind as you sit in a tub with strangers.
Thap Ba Hot Spring, six kilometres from downtown Nha Trang, is cheap and the most popular, which means it is usually crawling with people. A spot in a “collective” mineral mud bath (in other words, a shared tub of cold mud) is 150,000 VND. The reception will always try to upsell you on a private tub, 400,000 VND for one person, 600,000 VND for two. A private tub is a more civilised experience – though if you are in a communal tub, prepare to make civilised conversation with strangers and awkward polite apologies when you accidentally rub against their hairy legs. Baths are emptied after each round and there’s a big show to spray down the tubs, but if and how they clean the actual mud is a mystery.
Paying for a mud bath gives you access to some crowded swimming pools and artificial waterfalls. Lockers and towels are available for rent, and there are change rooms but when we went, they looked like about a thousand people had used them. It’s a good idea to bring flip-flops. To get to Thap Ba, take a xe om, taxi or if you’re on two-wheels, follow the signs and road leading north from Po Nagar Cham Towers.
If you want a more memorable experience, head to 100 Egg (Tram Trung), a park devoted to all things egg. The egg garden and egg-shaped pools make for egg-cellent photos. You really have to see this place to believe it. Not only is sitting in an egg-shaped tub of hot mud rather cute, the pools and facilities are cleaner, tidier and better organised than Thap Ba. Our mud was pleasantly warm too, and felt velvety rather than cold and gritty like in Thap Ba. Who knew there were so many subtleties to mud? 100 Egg claims the mud “softens skin to newborn baby softness” and we can testify, it’s strangely true! Group tubs are available, but we recommend splurging for a private egg.
100 Eggs is six kilometres southwest of the city. There are free lockers, change rooms, showers and towel rental. It also has a restaurant, spa and egg-ccomodation (sorry we couldn’t resist). Paying for the mud bath gives you access to the pools. There’s a shuttle departing from Nha Trang Centre Shopping Mall (20 Tran Phu) at 08:55, 09:55 and 10:55, costs 10,000 VND. Return shuttle is at 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00, costs 15,000 VND.
For a more upscale experience, i-resort is an eight kilometre drive from the city, or four-star Galina Hotel and Spa, which is the only one located downtown.
Mud therapy – 7/10
Galina Hotel and Spa
5 Hung Vuong
T: (058) 383 9999
Open daily 08:00-21:00
Mud bath only, starts at 250,000 VND per adult
By Cindy Fan.
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