An Hot Springs
My An mineral spa is surrounded by attractive cultivated gardens
extending over 18ha. It offers therapeutic mineral water treatments,
and accommodation in large traditional houses. The complex is owned
and run by the Hue-based Huong Giang Hotel Company with Japanese
A pleasant 7km drive from Hue alongside
the river takes you past several interesting pagodas and commune
houses. The spa complex is set back from the road. The main pool,
therapy area and accommodation are complete. A second phase including
a reception area and a large restaurant is under construction for
completion in 2005. As the area being developed is completely separate
from the completed elements, a visit or stay is perfectly feasible.
The mineral water artesian spring rises from a depth of 150m at
a surface temperature of 52˚C. As you approach the spring, you become
aware of the characteristic ‘bad eggs’ smell of hydrogen sulphide.
The water, cooled to 42˚C, feeds a large attractive swimming pool.
Adjacent is a smaller pool surrounded by fresh water shower cubicles.
The air around the pool is apparently charged with negatively charged
particles (ions). Breathing it is believed to give relief to sufferers
from certain allergies, such as allergic sinusitis and asthma. Bathing
or swimming in the water is reputed to be beneficial for skin ailments,
healing wounds, slowing the effects of aging, reducing the risk
of strokes, helping breathing and relieving indigestion.
The Spa produces a gargle and mouthwash based
on the spring water.
Our intrepid inspection team acted as guinea
pigs to see if the Spa’s assertion that the water is drinkable was
true. The answer is ‘Yes – just about’, but it’s better if you hold
your nose. Drinking the water is said to be good for indigestion,
constipation and flatulence. As none of us admitted to such afflictions,
we can’t confirm its effectiveness or otherwise.
Well away from the pool and the pong, are several traditional wooden
houses in a peaceful setting facing attractive gardens. They are
the genuine article, dismantled and rebuilt. They come in two sizes
– three-bay and five-bay. Although all are built to the same standard
design of a ridged and tiled roof supported by heavy ironwood pillars,
each house has different features. However, they have all been renovated
to a high standard of comfort and modern facilities.
The rooms are very large – the three-bay house
has plenty of room for two modern double beds, one in each side
bay, and a large traditional Vietnamese bed (a hard wooden platform
covered with a rush mat) in the centre bay. The five-bay version
has two large doubles and two singles with the central bay as a
The bathroom has both a standard bath and a
spa bath. Each house has air-conditioning, telephone, television
and other facilities. The furniture is Vietnamese – heavy carved
wood, chairs with straight backs and level wooden seats, and so
There is a small temporary restaurant near the main pool. It has
a good Vietnamese menu arranged in set meals based upon the foods
therapeutic properties, some accompanied with Vietnamese medicinal
wine (if only all medicine was like that!). A wide range of international
dishes can be cooked to order. The wine list is commendable.
There is a block of wooden cubicles for traditional
Vietnamese massage. Future plans include developing and marketing
special skin treatments.
The pool is available from 5am to 8pm. Locals
can take the waters for a modest sum. An average thirty or forty
people take advantage of the Spa’s facilities, but only in the early
morning and evening - the rest of the time is all yours.
Visiting the Spa
This new venture offers comfortable, well-appointed accommodation
in large tropical gardens and a permanently heated swimming pool.
It’s quiet and out of the way. For someone interested in Vietnamese
medicine, or wanting to benefit from the water’s therapeutic properties,
it’s an obvious choice. However, it might also be of interest to
someone seeking peace and quiet in an unusual location. There are
few traditional houses left in Vietnam, and those that still exist
rarely offer the standard of accommodation provided by the My An