My An Hot Springs

The 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 investment.

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 with the main pool, therapy area, accommodation and a large restaurant.

The Spring
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 Water
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.

The Accommodation
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 sitting area.

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 on.

Other Facilities
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 Springs.

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