Before arriving in Nha Trang we had caught wind of a mud spa experience. We visited a travel expo located near the backpacker street in Ho Chi Minh and picked up a brochure and were happy with the prices of the packages. Upon arriving in Nha Trang we talked with our guesthouse owners about what activities we wanted to do while here and they kindly gave us an extra 5% discount card to use.
The Thap Ba Spa is the oldest mud and hot spring facility in Nha Trang. It is famous for it’s therapeutic healing powers of the mud and hot springs and we were excited to partake. We decided we would leave early in the morning and arrive at opening time hoping that it would be quieter at this time in the morning.
The taxi ride was about 15 minutes from our guesthouse out the back of town and through some local villages. We arrived just after opening time and decided we would take the communal mud spa and mineral bath option. It cost around $35 USD for all 6 of us which included a communal mud spa experience, mineral hot pools and entrance to the four other pools in the complex.
Mud Bath in Nha Trang
We entered the Mud Bath area of the complex and there is a changing room area and lockers at the bottom. We paid a refundable deposit of 20,000 Dong (~$1) for a locker and we put all our clothes and valuables in it.
I was quite intrigued that the staff behind the counter suggested we not lock our valuables in our lockers but hand them in to them and they will lock them up behind the desk. I didn’t understand why people would do this as you get to keep the key to the locker? Maybe there have been incidents in the past but I was quite happy to take the keys and lock up our stuff there.
We made our way up the stairs to the mud baths and were directed to wash off under the showers before getting in the mud. Luckily it was a warm day because the water was quite cold. We were then directed to get into a bath that was filling up with mud.
It was a medium sized mud bath and my hopes to pay communal prices for a private mud bath were dashed when a lovely Russian man who could not speak a word of English joined us in our bath.
Despite the extra person we had a great time. Mo was apprehensive to join the fun but after a little coaxing and seeing us having fun pouring mud on each other joined the party.
The mud was warm and quite a thin texture. It was actually very soothing and if you lie on your back you float.
After 20 minutes we were directed by staff to wash the mud off at the showers. We tried to linger in the mud bath however the staffs were quite insistent that we move to the cleaning area. The mud bath felt so wonderful on the skin. There is a sunbathing area next to the showers where you can let the mud dry and soak into the skin more before showering and apparently it has healing properties when you let the mud harden in the sun.
The kids however were not that patient, so into the showers we went. Washing the mud off was interesting. Mud was stuck everywhere including several cracks and crevices. Luckily the showers shoot water from many different angles and you can wash most the mud off.
Hot Mineral Pool
Before we entered the Mineral Pool we were lead to a special spray shower. It was very similar to a car wash with the water pressure quite intense. I guess this was the second wash to make sure all of the mud was off.
The Mineral Hot Pool was a nice temperature and the bath was also a medium size. We once again shared with our Russian friend and enjoyed the soothing heat of the water. After 20 minutes we were shown the way to the other pools, which was perfect timing as I had quite had enough by then.
All morning we had most of the area to ourselves (and a handful of other people) and just as we were getting out of the Mineral Bath the organized tour buses started to roll in.
Adults and Children’s Pool
We spent the majority of the day relaxing by the children’s pool. The kid’s pool had a few slides and it was the perfect size for our little one. This pool was a cold-water pool. The other children’s pool was a hot pool and as the day was heating up (got to 95 degrees) it was much too uncomfortable to swim in it.
The adult’s pool’s had a similar set up with one cold and one hot. We enjoyed lounging next to the kid’s pool with slides and spent most the day dipping in the pools and relaxing on the sun chairs.
Food and Drinks
There are several restaurants within the complex and we were surprised at the prices as they were all reasonable. (There are other mud spas in the area but this one also caters for Vietnamese domestic tourists thus the reasonable prices on everything.)
We indulged in a few smoothies, some noodle soups, a couple of rice dishes and ice creams and only spent around $10 USD for lunch.
It is easy enough to catch a taxi from Nha Trang to Thap Ba as all taxi drivers know where it is. When we exited at the end of the day there were also many metered taxis waiting to take visitors home. Our round trip to Thap Ba Spa was $8.
This was one of the most relaxing day’s I have had in our 4 months of travel so far and I felt so rejuvenated after visiting. If you find yourself in need of a relaxing outing while in Nha Trang, definitely consider a trip to Thap Ba Spa.