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Mud Bathing in Nha Trang, Vietnam | Ummi Goes Where?

Why would you pay to roll around in mud when you had spent almost your entire childhood doing the exact same thing for free? Well, first of all, I didn’t have that kind of childhood.

If you did, good for you. But maybe now it’s time for you to relive that moment and be a kid again?

And for the rest of us unlucky kids, perhaps we could use the mud-bath experience to teach our adult selves to let go of our inhibitions and just get dirty and have fun!

Besides, Nha Trang, Vietnam is well-known for it. Although there are now mud-bath spas in other regions and countries, they all seem to have been inspired by the ones in Nha Trang.

So, what is it that draws thousands of people to mud-bath spas in Nha Trang everyday? Is it simply to embrace their inner child? Well, apparently mud bath comes with a multitude of health benefits:

  • Pain relief – The deep heat from the mud and geothermal water have excellent anti-inflammatory properties to help relieve muscle and joint pains.
  • Detoxification – The mud used in the bath contains minerals derived from plants such as trees, flowers, and grass. These can draw out toxins and impurities from your body.
  • Relaxation – The warm, velvety mud against your skin allows your body to experience deep relaxation. Its high density also means that you will float in it, leaving no pressure on your body — making you feel like being in a sensory deprivation tank.
  • Balancing pH levels – Complex minerals from the geothermal water will help to balance out your body’s natural pH levels.
  • Skin softening – The volcanic ash in the mud will gently exfoliate your skin, leaving it soft and silky. Ever heard of mud packs that people slather on their faces as a home spa treatment? It works the same way.
  • Improving circulation – The heat from the geothermal water and the Jacuzzi jets will invigorate your blood circulation.
Mud bath is also a great pre-massage treatment. It relaxes your muscles, allowing your therapist to go deeper and release more tension. The exfoliating action it does on your skin also prepares it to absorb the benefits of creams and oils better — which is why you often see mud bath and spa treatments offered together as part of a package.

Where to Go for Mud Baths in Nha Trang

Nha Trang has four popular mud-bath spas, catering to different budget ranges. They are all located close to the city center, so location shouldn’t be an issue. Which one you choose will largely depend on how much you’re willing to spend. Do check their websites to see their current fees.

Thap Ba Hot Springs

The oldest and cheapest mineral/mud-bath spa in Nha Trang. Located near Po Nagar Cham towers. Facilities include communal and private mud-bath tubs, a mineral waterfall, a hydrotherapy wall, two heated pools, two normal pools, two jacuzzis, a sauna room, and a restaurant.

Address: 438 Ngô Đến, Thành Phố Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa, Vietnam

Contact Number: +842583837205

Website: https://tambunthapba.vn/?view=en

100 Eggs Mud Bath

The most unique of all mud baths on this list, with everything inspired by eggs — from the tubs, to the decorations, to the restaurant menu. The spa is a forest of egg-shaped tubs, each of which can fit about three people, and the restaurant serves everything with eggs, including the famous Vietnamese egg coffee.

Apart from the usual facilities, Eggs Mud Bath also offers shopping, kayaking, and rock-climbing. Located around eight kilometers from the city center.

Address: 5 Ngô Tất Tố, Thành phố Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa, 650000, Vietnam

Contact Number: +84944402228
 
**UPDATE (Dec 2020): According to Google, this spa is permanently closed.
 

I-Resort Spa

The fanciest of the four, and unsurprisingly, the most expensive. Choose this place if you wish to be treated like a king/queen/prince/princess/spoiled brat. The VIP package worth VND 3,000,000 (USD 132) comes with a 45-minute soak in a private mud-bath tub, a private mineral pool, complimentary fresh fruit platters, herbal tea/coffee, a full-body massage, a two-course meal and a stay in a private bungalow on the hillside for the day.
 
Contact Number: +842583838838
 
 

Galina Hotel & Spa

The only mud-bath spa in the city center — located on the third and fourth floors of the four-star Galina Hotel. Features the usual facilities, including mud bath, jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms, and a swimming pool. The mud bath area is designed to look like a cave. Get 30% discount if you stay at the hotel. They also have another branch in Da Nang.

Address: 5 Hung Vuong, Thanh pho Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, 10000, Vietnam

Contact Number: +842583839999

Website: http://galinahotel.com.vn/

Thap Ba Hot Springs

Tam Bun Thap Ba Mud Spa
Thap Ba Mud Spa

Opening Hours: 7.00 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.

Founded in 1999, Thap Ba Mud-Bath Spa was the first of its kind in the city. Now, more than two decades later, it is still a popular choice for locals and travelers alike.

Being the oldest in the field means they must really know what they’re doing. But it might also mean that they don’t have the most cutting-edge, state-of-the-art facilities. And being the cheapest in town tends to attract the rowdiest, lousiest crowd (myself included). They have had some negative reviews due to these reasons. 

But I’m a sucker for cheap stuff, so I decided to go anyway and see it for myself.

How to Get to Thap Ba Hot Springs

On a Grab Bike
On a Grab Bike
I took a Grab Bike to the place. Grab is an e-hailing app that is used widely all over Southeast Asia to replace taxis and Uber. But instead of getting a car, I took the bike option. It’s really the cheapest, easiest, and most fun way to get around in the city — in my opinion.
 
The spa provides a free shuttle to and from the city center, but I wasn’t aware of this, so unfortunately, I’m not able to provide more information on it. Please contact them to find out about the pickup point, schedule, availability, etc.
 
If you’re taking a taxi, don’t just say “Thap Ba” as Thap Ba is a big region — the driver might get confused. Instead, be specific and tell them to take you to the hot springs/mud bath spa, or simply show them the full address.
 

How to Book a Mud Bath Session

You can go to the spa without prior booking. Alternatively, to secure your spot, and for a discounted rate, you can book online on Klook. This app allows you to get cashbacks for each booking and accumulate points for each review you write. For a communal mud bath package, I paid approximately VND175,000 (N/P VND 180,000). There are also private packages available.

If it’s your first time using Klook, register using my referral code to get an extra USD 3 off: FFKSC

Klook.com

What to Expect at a Vietnamese Mud Spa

Thap Ba Mud Spa

Registration

Your driver will drop you off outside the main gate. There is a huge parking space in front of the spa. If you see tour buses parked there, it’s probably best to come back another time.

The place looks like a resort — with a reception counter, a concierge, and a spacious lounge.

First, you need to go to the reception to register and make your payment. Or if you have an online booking, just show them your mobile voucher.

The front-office staff was okay — not friendly, but not rude either. Nobody told me where I had to go. I had to find my own way to the locker area.

Thap Ba Mud Spa

Once there, they gave me a locker key and a bottle of drinking water. Towels were not included in my package, so I had brought my own. There were changing rooms, but I already had my swimsuit under my clothes. I simply changed at the locker.

Mud Bath

When I arrived at the mud bath area, only two tubs were occupied. There were more than 10 of them available, each one big enough to fit 8 – 10 people. If you come in a group, you would all have to share a tub. I was the only solo guest, so I got my own private one. I assume if it had been a busy day, I might have been grouped with other people.

After each bath, the tubs would be drained and cleaned. When there are no people in them, they would stay dry and empty. Only when a new customer arrives will the attendant turn on the tap. It’s fascinating to watch the mud sloshing into the tub, filling it fast.

At the side of each tub, you will find scoops to help you pour mud all over your body.

Mud Bath at Thap Ba

You are only allowed to stay in the mud bath for 15 minutes (there are attendants keeping time), after which you have to leave the tub and proceed to the next step.

Sunbathing

The next step after mud bath is sunbathing. This is an important part of the mud bath experience as sun exposure will assist absorption of minerals into the skin. Wait until the mud dries on your skin, or longer if you prefer. Then, wash off at the open-air shower.

Mineral Bath

After showering, you will go to another tub, but instead of mud, this time they will fill it with hot mineral water. Soak in it for another 15 minutes. Again, someone will let you know when your time is up.

Hydrotherapy

In this step, you will walk through a narrow walkway between two walls that spray strong jets of water at you. Warning: It can be ticklish and slightly painful.

After that, you are free to use the jacuzzi and swimming pools. There is no time limit. But take care when bathing in the hot pools. Do not stay for too long at a time. The high temperature can cause dizziness, nausea and fatigue in some people, especially those with hypertension and heart disease.

Outdoor pool
The hot pool.

 

Additional Tips for Mud Bathing at Thap Ba

  • If you have an online booking, arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled time. Your booking is subject to cancellation if you are late for more than 20 minutes.
  • Minimum age to participate is 2.
  • Persons with disabilities are allowed to join. However, the facility is not wheelchair-friendly.
  • Not recommended for people with hypertension or heart disease.
  • Wear swimwear or lightweight fabric. The skimpier, the better. No jeans or any thick, absorbent fabrics, unless you really hate your launderer.
  • Those with long hair, make sure you tie it up neatly.
Having a mud bath
Ok, I didn’t tie up my hair neatly.
  • Put all your valuables in the locker. Or better yet, leave your valuables at home. Only bring your essentials.
  • Remove all jewelry before getting into the pool. God forbid you drop a diamond earring during the bath. Good luck searching for it in the mud.
  • Do not bring your phone or any gadget into the mud pit. If you really must, make sure you have a reliable water-proof cover.
  • Do not take a mud bath if you have any open wound or contagious skin ailment. It is a shared pool.
  • Do not over-eat or exercise before having a mud bath or a geothermal bath.
  • Do not over-exert yourself in the geothermal pools. They are meant for soaking, not for doing laps.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Mud bath is more effective if you don’t wash it off with soap as this will wash away all the good minerals.
  • Unless you have your own transport, do not leave too late in the evening. It’s almost impossible to get a Grab/taxi in the area after dark.

Final Thoughts on Mud Bathing in Vietnam

I had never intentionally played with mud, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I guess I was expecting the mud to be smelly and clumpy, with chunks of dirt and debris sticking to my skin. But what came out of the tap was actually very clean, smooth and creamy in texture. And it only had a very faint earthy smell. If not for the color, I wouldn’t have thought of it as mud.

Being (partially) submerged in the velvety substance was a strange, relaxing feeling because of its density. It made me feel light. As for how my skin felt afterwards, there wasn’t any noticeable change.

Mud bath Vietnam
Feeling fresh after the bath.

I like the fact that there were not too many people, so I could have the tub to myself — for the most part of it, at least (halfway through my mud bath, a group of loud Chinese tourists came out of nowhere and invaded my tub without so much as a hello).

I started my session at 4 p.m., lost track of time in the jacuzzis, and finished at almost 7.

After being told that the last shuttle for the day had left, I tried ordering a Grab, but it was hopeless. Thirty minutes passed and still there was no available driver. In the end, I had to walk 5 kilometers in the dark to get back to the city center.

Have you ever had an unusual spa treatment? Where did you do it, and what was your experience like? Comment below.

Posted in Vietnam

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28 Comments

    • ummi

      Yes, it is, Tekkaus. And also a great place to get in touch with your inner child. We always condition ourselves to stay clean. This is the time to let go of that inhibition and get down and dirty!

    • ummi

      Yup, Kylie. It’s the specialty of this place. I think the only other time I’ve heard about mud bathing was in Sabah, but I didn’t get to try it there. Try it if you get the chance 🙂

  1. Sis Lin

    Sis pernah sekali pergi Sabah tahun lepas dan ke mud. Try jugaa laa letak di muka hahahaha mula takut gak, kot laa sensitif nanti kulit, nasib baik okay..
    Tapi Sis nengok kolam air panas tu, bestnyaa.. belum pernah lagi mandi kolam air panas..

    • ummi

      Saya pun mula-mula takut juga, sis. Maklumlah, kulit sensitif, senang naik jerawat. Tapi nasib baik takde apa2. Lagipun mud di spa ni dah dirawat dan ditapis, jadi takde la rasa kotor. Kolam air panas tu memang best. Selalu kan kalau masuk kolam renang mesti airnya sejuk. Kalau cuaca tak panas, menggigil. Yang ni best je, suam2. Tapi sesuai untuk berendam je la. Saya cuba swim, terus mengah, rasa macam lari marathon di tengah panas.

    • ummi

      Ya, Tiara. Banyak kebaikan mud bathing ni untuk kulit dan kesihatan fizikal. Kalau ada kesempatan berkunjung ke Nha Trang, Vietnam nanti, cuba la. Kat Sabah pun ada, yang lagi natural.

    • ummi

      You’re welcome, Bae. Memang enjoy la sebab takde orang kacau. Tapi tak lama lepas tu ada pulak sekumpulan pelancong dari China ni tiba2 je terjah masuk dalam tub i, lepas tu buat bising. Padahal duduk sebelah2 je, tapi borak macam nak satu kampung dengar. Haishh..

    • ummi

      Betul tu Ayu, lumpur ni memang terbukti kebaikannya pada kulit. Tapi lumpur yang terawat la kot, jangan main sebarang lumpur je. 🙂 Mud spa di Vietnam ni memang best. Rasa smooth dan bersih je lumpur tu. Takde sebarang bau atau rasa yang tak menyenangkan.

  2. Saidila

    perkongsian yang sangat menarik , mud bathing memang bagus kan untuk kulit. Ada terbaca dekat mana tah yang ada di sebuah negara diorang juga guna lumpur dari gunung berapi untuk masalah kesihatan kulit. Tapi nampak bestlah tengok ummi mandi lumpur dalam bath tub biasa bath tub isi buih ini isi lumpur …memang rare …

    • ummi

      Haah, lumpur dari gunung berapi memang dikatakan bagus untuk kulit. Betul ke tak tu, saya tak pasti la, sebab biasanya produk yang berasaskan clay ni adalah untuk kulit berminyak. Kulit saya kering, jadi tak berapa sesuai.
      Tapi yang mud spa ni ok, takde sebarang reaksi negatif pada kulit. Memang rasa sangat rare, bila masuk bath tub berisi lumpur.

    • ummi

      Hahaha la yeke? Tak pernah tengok running man. Tapi ye la, Koreans memang kulit cantik, I think one of the reasons is because they use volcanic clay from Jeju tu kot. Kalau Airah ke Nha Trang, Vietnam nanti, boleh la cuba mud bath ni.

  3. Sunah Sakura

    Tried mud-bathing before in Sabah but takde la masuk dalam tub khas gini..yang ni macam lagi syokkk..bagus untuk kulit kann..

    Pernah try hot spring dekat Medan, uniknya diorang jual sulfur dari gunung berapi untuk sapu kat kulit sambil berhotspring..tu je la yg weird 😂

    • ummi

      Saya pun pernah dengar juga yang kat Sabah tu. Kalau ada kesempatan, nanti saya nak cuba hang tu pulak sebab dia lagi natural kan, takde tub macam yang ni.

      Oh, kat Medan ada hot spring? Bunyi menarik juga tu. Saya baru pertama kali dengar. Terima kasih berkongsi info.

    • ummi

      Ya, Marshaliza. Dan yang paling bestnya kat mud spa ni, mud tu rasa bersih dan smooth je. Macam dah ditapis. Baju yang kena lumpur tu pun senang je nak basuh.

    • ummi

      Ya, Marina. Memang selesa dan bersih. Tapi mungkin sebab masa saya pergi tu tak berapa ramai orang. So xpayah share tub dgn orang lain. Kalau ada banyak tour bus, agaknya tak best juga kot.

    • ummi

      Wah menarik juga tu volcano clay massage. Bukan senang nak dapat. Nanti kalau ke Bandung, saya pun nak cuba yang tu. Thank you for sharing your experience too!

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