Experience bathing with Dao Do herbal bath in Sapa

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Whether you are a wellness enthusiast or just a passing traveler, herbal bathing in Sapa is one of the activities that you should not miss. Soaking in a hot, healing bath with a view of nature is not only beneficial for your body and mind, but it is also an opportunity to experience the wellness culture of Vietnam and its ethnic minorities. number. Here is complete information about this traditional therapy and where you can try it.

Sourced from nature

The Red Dao people are one of 54 ethnic groups living in Vietnam. The Red Dao community settled in the high mountains of Sapa in the 18th century, bringing with it its own social structure, language, costumes and rituals, including health rituals. The Red Dao people are famous for their healing baths made from medicinal plants found in the forest. Each family has its own herbal bath recipe that is kept by the women in the family and passed on from mother to daughter.

Bathing benefits

In the Red Dao communities, herbal baths are prepared for women one week after giving birth to help them regain their strength. Bathing is also used to relieve muscle and bone aches, avoid colds and flu in the cold winter of Sapa. In modern healthcare terminology, the baths combine hydrotherapy and aromatherapy to increase blood circulation, calm the mind, and relieve pain on the body. The herbs in the bath gently detoxify pores and soothe the skin.

The right ingredients

The bath medicine of the Red Dao people can have 10 or more ingredients, including rare plants. Commonly used ingredients are elderberry, alfalfa, fig leaves, wild pepper leaves, reed, tropical dogwood and cinnamon. The stems and leaves are chopped, dried in the sun, and boiled for hours over a fire to create a sweet, wine-smelling mixture. It's not just what goes into the tub that matters: the tub also plays a role. The bathtub is handcrafted from Pomu wood - a type of cypress wood - which has the effect of adding aroma to the hot water.

Bath time 

Bathrooms of the Red Dao people are usually arranged in small, closed rooms so that bathers can inhale and enjoy the fragrant steam. Lemon leaves, star anise and orange peel can be added just before starting the bath to enhance the fragrance. In the end, there's nothing left to do but soak in the bubbly bubbling water and relax. You can use a scoop of warm water to pour warm water over your back and shoulders, rub your skin with leaves or a towel, or simply lie on your back and feel the magic effects of the bath.

Where to try it

Cold winter evenings in the north of Vietnam are the perfect time to try a Red Dao bath; however, the baths are excellent at any time of year. Topas Riverside Lodge in Sapa offers a herbal bath experience in tubs overlooking the Nam Cang River. In Hanoi, Dao’s Care partners with Red Dao women in Sapa to offer traditional herbal baths and Dao massages at a day spa in the capital. You can also find tubs with views of the mountains at Sapa Napro in Ta Phin Village outside Sapa. Wherever you have your Red Dao bath, you’re sure to emerge feeling calm and blissful. 

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