Introducing Binh Chau Hot Springs
About 150km from HCMC, and 60km northeast of Long Hai, is Binh Chau Hot Springs, home to the Binh Chau Hot Springs Resort. While prices look pretty high, they offer some multi-activity specials on their website that work out much cheaper than the official rates.
Chief among the attractions on this 35-hectare site is an outdoor hot-spring-fed swimming pool (admission 150,000d), although visitors wanting the full experience might opt for a soak in a mudbath (400,000d). The pool temperature is around 37°C, and the minerals in the water are said to be beneficial to bones, muscles and skin, and are able to improve blood circulation and mental disorders. There’s also a spa, with massages available. On-site are a golf practice range, tennis court, restaurant and playground.
The rooms at the resort are airy and clean, with trim furnishings, but the cheaper options are on the small side. Bungalows provide roomier quarters for families. Rates include free entry, plus fancier rooms include bonuses such as a free mudbath or free eggs. Whoopee!
Until about just over a decade ago there was wildlife in the area, but it seems humans have driven the animals out. In 1994 six elephants were captured near the springs, but after a few months of keeping them as pets their captors turned them over to the zoo in HCMC. Nowadays the only wildlife you are likely to spot are ceramic lions, cheetahs and panthers, which decorate the marshes around the springs.
The hottest spring reaches 82°C, which is hot enough to boil an egg in 10 to 15 minutes. Vietnamese visitors boil eggs in the bamboo baskets set aside for this purpose. There are a couple of giant chicken statues decorating the springs where you too can boil up a snack for yourself, with raw eggs on sale. Kitsch indeed, but a nice jungle setting all the same.