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17/08/2020 - 09:24

Pure dawn at Thanh Tan

Over 20 years ago, when Thanh Tan was still deserted, I had chances to come there several times. It was partly because of the beauty of mountains and forests; and more importantly, because of the hot spring named Alba Thanh Tan, discovered by a French doctor, Dr. A. Sallet, in 1928.

20 years later, in 1957, Dr. Fontaine brought a sample of mineral water to France for testing. The results showed that the mineral water there had a total dissolved solids (TDS) of 860, which was considered the highest in Vietnam, and equivalent to those of top mineral water mines in Europe.

Also over 20 years ago, I took many hot baths in that spring. On a business trip to Phong Dien, we rode to Alba Thanh Tan by motorbike to bathe in the spring comfortably. Our whole bodies turned red, because of the hot water, with a wonderful sense of relaxation.

At that time, my friends and I dreamed one day Alba Thanh Tan would be… like it is today. And then, decades ago, since Alba Thanh Tan was invested to become a tourist site, I have become one of its regular visitors.

I go to the resort sometimes with my friends and our families, sometimes with my colleagues; but for me, the most light and relaxing feeling is the trip with my old teacher, like the annual soulmate appointment. We rode to Thanh Tan by motorbike and spent one night staying there. The trip lasted until the next noon, together we spent time admiring and experiencing.

Compared to more than 20 years ago, Alba Thanh Tan Hot Springs Resort today is modern and deserves to be an ideal tourist destination of Hue. As I have chances to visit many tourist sites, I feel that they rarely have services, which are as rich and varied as Thanh Tan’s.

Visitors can relax by soaking in natural mineral springs, walking in the resort's premises, relaxing with high-class spa services, or participating in mountain climbing and fishing services, etc. Especially, they can join two biggest adventure (dangerous) games in Vietnam, which are Zipline and Highwire.

I recently had the opportunity to stay over night in Thanh Tan, I got up at dawn and decided to walk to explore the land. The Alba Thanh Tan Hot Springs Resort is about 50 hectares wide, with three sub-areas, of which sub-area number one is the area close to the foot of Mount Ma Yen. After ten minutes walking around under the trees, I caught a suspension bridge lying across the hot spring that I used to bathe in before.

I chose a steep path to the high mountain and kept going and going; there, I saw with my own eyes the whole resort quietly nestled at the foot of the majestic Truong Son Mountain range, immersed in the endless green of leaves.

And then, I chose the path to a small farm, and was stunned when catching the image of the house garden hidden in the mountains and forests like in the imaginative swordplay movies. Believe it or not, on those promenade paths at dawn, I saw in with my own eyes the squirrels rustling in the tall branches. They seemed to have gotten used to human beings, so they were extremely fearless.

And there, the hot spring was underneath the quivering suspension bridge where I stopped for quite a while. The old story said that Dr. A. Sallet had searched all over the western area of Phong Dien to discover the Alba spring at the foot of Mount Ma Yen.

In Latin, Alba is "Rising the sun, day break", which means the pure dawn. I admired the spring, it seemed to be obscured by man-made works, but there were still many mysteries.

I seemed to meet Dr. A. Sallet, who was walking towards me from a distance in the spring with a bright smile, and my own image from decades ago, also. Oh, now I see, Dr. A. Sallet, why it is Alba Thanh Tan. Coming here to stay over night and in the pure dawn, walking towards the forests, leaving behind all troubles and annoyances, we will gain more romantic and full feelings about Thanh Tan.

By DUY DAN

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