In Vietnam, wellness is a way of life. You've come to the right place if you want to reconnect, re-balance, and restore during the holidays. Choose from serene wellness resorts, attend a few yoga or meditation classes, or go on a full detox at a mountain retreat. Even in Vietnam's busiest cities, many day spas offer professional massages and therapies at low prices. Discover new perspectives on wellness programs in Vietnam.
Bamboo roller massage
Bamboo grows throughout Vietnam and is used in many aspects of Vietnamese culture, including health and wellness. To relax tense muscles, young bamboo canes are dried in the sun and warmed just before treatment. If you've never had a bamboo massage before, expect firm, warm pressure to smooth out knots and relieve aches from tired limbs.
Where to try it: The HARNN Spa at Intercontinental Phu Quoc offers a one-of-a-kind menu of bamboo treatments (the floating rooms are also made of bamboo). To finish, book the signature treatment, which includes an aromatic bath, bamboo body brushing, acupressure foot massage, bamboo body massage, and a pearl facial.
Thermal spring bathing
Bathing in thermal springs has long been considered "medicine," relaxing the mind and muscles and reducing stress. Spending time in Vietnam's herbal springs is a good idea if you want to pamper yourself after a long day.
Natural hot spring baths are renowned worldwide for their mineral-stabilizing and balancing properties. Tropical greenery creates a unique setting for thermal bathing in Vietnam. Hot spring bathing is good for the skin and a great way to relax before a massage or to unwind before bed. Take a dip under the stars to reconnect with nature and reap the benefits of the water.
Where to try it: Alba Wellness Valley by Fusion - Hue is nestled among rolling hills outside Hue, the former Imperial City. The resort is the source of a rare hot spring that provides naturally heated water from beneath the Truong Son Mountains. The mineral water is distributed throughout the gardens in small pools, allowing you to choose the ideal temperature for a relaxing soak.
Red Dao herbal baths
The hilly Sapa region of Vietnam has lush valleys and abundant rice terraces, but it also has medicinal plants that have been used for centuries by locals for wellness. Herbal baths are popular among the Red Dao ethnic community. Slipping into a hot, healing bath with a view of nature is good for your body and mind; it's also a chance to learn about Vietnam's wellness culture and ethnic minorities.
Each bath may contain up to ten ingredients, such as Vietnamese balm, elderberry, wild pepper leaves, cinnamon, and others. The herbs are chopped, sun-dried, and boiled for hours over a fire before being poured into a tub with warm water as a sweet-smelling, wine-red mixture. And these aren't just tubs; they're handcrafted from Po mu wood, a type of cypress that adds a grounding fragrance to the water.
Each Red Dao family develops its herbal bath recipe, which is kept by the women and passed down from mothers to daughters. Soaking in a Red Dao herbal bath was initially offered to women after childbirth but is now commonly used to relieve joint and muscle pain and ward off cold and flu during Sapa's chilly winters. In terms of modern wellness, the baths combine hydrotherapy and aromatherapy to increase blood circulation, calm the mind, and relieve body pain. The herbs in the bath gently cleanse and soothe the skin.
Red Dao baths are usually set up in small, enclosed rooms so the bather can inhale and enjoy the fragrant steam from the tub. To enhance the aroma, add lime leaves, star anise, and orange peels just before the bath begins. Finally, all that remains is to sink into the steaming, foamy water and relax. Pour warm water over your back and shoulders with a scooper, scrub your skin with leaves or a washcloth, or lie back and relax while the bath is magic.
Where to try it: One of the rare locations where you can join a Red Dao woman and learn the entire process of bath preparation from start to finish is Topas Riverside Lodge. The spa at the lodge is in a Dao village along the rushing Nam Cang River. Soaking in one of these steaming, fragrant baths on a cold evening in Sapa is a profoundly relaxing experience.
Mineral mud baths
Guests will instruct to clean their bodies with hot water after changing clothes, followed by the main stage with a mud bath. Apply to the face, bouncing up, and body hair while lying in mud pools. After soaking in the mud for about 15 minutes, visitors will direct to sunbathe to absorb minerals through the skin. Then rinse with clean water and soak in the hot mineral water pool, waterfall, pool, or whatever the guest prefers. Showering with cold water, especially showering with soap, will wash away layers of mud minerals remaining on the skin, lowering the mud bath's effectiveness.
A mud bath is soaking in mineral mud, a natural mud formed by geological changes, mineral mud derived from buried plants such as trees, flowers, and grass, or mineral mud created by land. It contains organic, inorganic, carbon-containing substances and easily absorbed water. It is said to be good for health because it can treat various diseases, including chronic arthritis, tuberculosis, insomnia, sciatica, stress, and psoriasis. Mud bath therapy corrects endocrine disorders and produces beautiful skin that is smooth, youthful, and toned. As a result, tourists, particularly women, enjoy this type of bath.
Where to try it: The Amiana Resort in Nha Trang is a popular spot for relaxing mud baths. To complement your visit, the spa has seven private mud-bath rooms with ocean views and steam, sauna, and Jacuzzi facilities. After soaking in a mud bath overlooking the ocean, treat yourself to a massage and a meal of healthy Vietnamese cuisine. After that, relax in the spa or dip in one of three swimming areas—the saltwater pool, the freshwater infinity pool, or the ocean bay—for a truly rejuvenating experience.
Cupping therapies from Traditional Chinese Medicine are widely used to treat swelling, congestion, and muscle pain throughout Vietnam. Cupping is said to drain toxins, move energy, and increase blood flow in specific body parts. Gentle cupping uses silicone cups on the shoulders and back for several minutes to lift and loosen the skin and connective tissue.
The result may appear concerning because dark purple circles are left on the skin. Still, it benefits the body because the cups remove toxins and increase overall energy and circulation in the targeted areas. And the bruises fade in a matter of days to two weeks.
Cupping is very popular in Saigon, especially for those looking to relax after a long week at work. It is essentially a traditional medicine technique acupuncturists use in areas of blocked energy to help rejuvenate internal organs and meridians. Cupping stimulates the lymphatic system, increases blood circulation, and aids deep tissue repair. It may aid in the release of toxins and the stimulation of blood flow.
Unusual cupping treatments are used to clear the colon, reduce stretch marks, and improve the appearance of varicose veins. Following treatment, many people report feeling relaxed and revitalized.
A glass, bamboo, ceramic, or plastic cup is placed on the skin, and the skin and surface muscles are drawn in by the reduced air pressure created inside the cup by flame or manual suction. Depending on the treatment goal, cups can be static, running, wet, or popping. With fire cupping, there is a slight risk of skin burn. You may bruise after a cupping treatment, but it is painless, and the marks should fade in a few days.
Where to try it: The Spa at Amanoi has developed a signature spa journey incorporating cupping, kneading, Meridien, and acupressure work. The Grounding Treatment at Amanoi's hilltop spa addresses the entire body with reassuring rituals and rare ingredients carefully selected to promote a sense of peace and connection.
These wellness programs in Vietnam expertly blend the region's long-standing medicinal and beauty therapies. Several local spas and resorts are picking up local customs. We wish you good health!