Vietnam // The southern coast //

Mud mud, glorious mud

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A side-road heading west just to the north of the Po Nagar Cham towers takes you through suburbian Nha Trang to the Thap Ba Hot Springs (Daily 7am–7.30pm; t 058 383 4939, w thapbahotspring.com.vn). The main attraction here is the opportunity to wallow in mineral-enriched mud – allegedly good for the skin, but great fun too. You’ll be encouraged to buy a “private” bath (around 250,000đ per person), though in practice foreigners going for the “communal” bath option (100,000đ per person) get exactly the same thing. After washing off, you’re free to have a swim in pools filled with water rich in sodium silicate chloride, said to have beneficial effects on stress, arthritis and rheumatism. There are a number of other options available, including spa treatment, massage, and meals – it’s even possible to stay the night. To get here, it’s best to grab a cab from the Po Nagar towers.

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