Pamper yourself with mud
MAE HONG SON PROVINCE. After a grueling ride from Pai,
with thousands of curves along Highway 1095, what could be
a better way to relax than to treat yourself to a spa experience before
arriving in Mae Hong Son.
Phuklon is not an ordinary spa. It offers up to visitors subterranean wealth
of a very special kind—a variety of mineral mud with only three known
sources worldwide. The boiling mud, with a temperature ranging from
60º -140º C, emerges from the underground mineral water well visible
upon entering the spa area. Signs will inform the visitor that the mud
here is rich in calcium, bromine, magnesium, and many more elements.
The dark oozing liquid is purified and then mixed with Thai herbs such
as lemon grass and curcumin. Once cooled, it is ready to be applied.
Treatments vary from a facial mud mask to full-body scrub, at surprisingly
affordable prices. Those considering the full-body scrub and treatment
should be warned they may feel a little over-indulgent, since staff will
assist in every step, even with rinsing off the mud and bathing.
The greenery surrounding the spa is also quite soothing. The field, dotted with farmers’ sheds, stretches from the wooden platform next to the body treatment rooms and makes a great waiting spot while the mud paste applied to the skin dries (the process takes about 20 မိနစ်များ). The open-air mineral swimming pool and jacuzzi is shaded with abundant trees and coloured with flowers. The buildings are camouflaged well in the garden, with their thatched roofs and partial wooden structures. Phuklon is the place where nature pampers both body and spirit.
Fun with Benefits
No health and beauty refuge is complete without a traditional Thai massage. Professional, therapeutic touch on a back stiff after four hours in a bus seat is nothing short of bliss. Foot massage is also popular among clients who want to pass the time while waiting for their facial mud mask to dry. After this reinvigoration of skin and muscle, mud-based cosmetic products, such as mud cleansing bars and mud mask powder, can be purchased for further pampering at home. Phuklon Country Club also provides a golf driving range nearby.
There is no accommodation in Phuklon, but fortunately it is less than half an hour from Mae Hong Son. On the way back to town, one may want to stop for a cup of freshly
brewed coffee and shop for OTOP products at the newly-opened Mae Hong Son Rajabhat University OTOP Centre (N19º 20.132′, E97º 57.965, look for the sign on the left if coming from Phuklon). Here will be found goods produced by villages of the region; such as, snacks made from sesame and local herbs and nuts, wine distilled from local fruits, and intricate and colourful accessories made from hand-woven tribal fabric.