“Fun” at Tanjung Karang

Okay… okay… part 2…

After our breakfast, we proceeded to our next destination to (according to my parents) do something fun. According to Waze, that place is 12 kilometers away from Pasir Penampang, and located on the outskirts of Tanjung Karang, one of the bigger townships in the northwest of Selangor.

If you must know what this place is, there is a name which you can use to search for it in Waze/Google Maps. The place is called Tanjung Karang Mandi Wap.

For those of you who don’t know Malay, mandi = bath and wap = steam. So… Tanjung Karang Steam Bath.

Yes, my friends. Sauna…

Now before you start imagining what you see in those Korean dramas where all the hot hunks wrapped in towels sitting in a room flashing their abs, let me stop you right there. Nothing like that at all…

This is a shabby place by all means. No tiled floors, no showers, no beautiful receptionists… not even tiled flooring…

They have basic facilities in a village shack. They have 2 sauna rooms and a waiting area with benches. They have a couple shelves for you to put your things. They have toilet and 2 little changing rooms. Okay, they have a Coway water machine too. But they don’t provide you towels, you’d have to bring your own.

Basically you come here, you pay RM 15 per person to the receptionist (more like the only person who takes care of this place), and you get to use their sauna rooms. You can stay here all day long, going in and coming out and going in and coming out and going in, again and again and again. Nobody will kick you away.

Now at this point of time, you might be wondering how many more photos I will share of this place. I’m sorry to say but I have no more.

Are you crazy? I’m going into a room of hot steam and you expect me to bring my phone/camera inside? There weren’t even lockers in the place, so to be safe, we left all our valuable belongings in my car. The two pictures you see above, they were taken after we were all done.

So I’ll describe more to you…

This is a truly 1Malaysia place. People of all races come here. Malays, Chinese, Indians… and because there are many people and limited space, everyone is civilized and take turns. And you can hear a constant chatter going on in the waiting area, a chatter than probably only Malaysians can follow due to the many languages involved in the conversations. While I was there I witnessed an Indian lady fell prone (dizzy) and immediately some big Malay and Chinese guys helped carry her outside.

By the way, if you’re new to sauna, the most important rules to take note are: do not go with empty stomach, and do not push it. If you’re feeling too uncomfortable, get out and take a rest first. Nothing macho or cool about fainting due to pushing too hard.

What’s so special about this dodgy looking sauna place, I hear you ask. Fret not, I asked the same question too. Well, the steam they make here is from herbed water. What type of herbs, I have no idea, but some herbs. This herbal steam is apparently very good for your body as it stimulates the release of a lot more and a lot more types of toxins in your body.

I only did it once so I have no idea how good this thing is, but apparently most of the folks here are regulars and has been for years. Since folks keep coming back, I guess there must be some truth to it… 🙄

In fact, there has allegedly been a stage four cancer patient who got better after coming here for sauna regularly. Who knows if the herbal steam was one of the contributors of the healing. Also do take note that the emphasis here is allegedly. I heard from my dad who heard it from one of his friends who heard it from who knows who…

So, yeah… anyway… was it fun?

Nope… I went into the sauna room 3 times that day, each time for about 15 minutes before throwing in the towel. It felt like… Dubai in day time. Scorching. Except here you also get to sweat like a pig and smell “wonderful” due to the herbal steam. In fact, the smell will stick to you for a day or two because you can’t shower here. You’ll have to go home to have a proper shower.

Will I want to come back? No… Will I be made to come back? That’s another story. I don’t know… 🙄

Let me end this post with a picture of something I like in this place…

A motivational poster

Doing what people say you cannot do? I guess “mom” is one of the “people” too huh… I guess all of us have great achievements and pleasures when we were kids then. No wonder they say being a kid is the best time in life ever…


  1. I can’t believe you guys went all that way for a sauna haha (granted, it’s a special herbal one). Sometimes, I like those saunas because I feel like I can sweat out stuff and loose weight lol. But this one does look shabby. But I like how adventurous your parents are!

  2. I tried sauna before, but I cannot stand it.. I feel faint after ten minutes, got to rush out.. hahaha… not enough air to breathe or maybe not enough fats to burn.. ouch!! But spa is different, go inside the hot water, ok la… But nicest is massage!

  3. This steam saunas are very popular and common in Thailand at the many temples across the country. Someone told me this trend in Malaysia started from the Thai monks who introduced this herbal steam remedy that could cure 1001 stuffs including losing weight too. I am not sure of all this theories and only tried once at a Thai temple in Bukit Mertajam some 15 years ago.

    Recently I accidentally stumbled into one at the Wat Chetawan Thai Temple along Jalan Gasing. It is located at a rather isolated spot beneath their road level next to the columbarium complex. They looked slightly better than your photo with separate saunas for males and females including VIP room! That means some guests could book entire VIP room just for himself or just his gang of friends. Their price is very cheap but I cannot remember now…. Want me to check??

  4. I’ve never try sauna. I don’t know if I’ll enjoy it. You know what? Now you said you’ll never go back there but I got a feeling it will grow on you and one of these days you’ll find yourself back there willingly 😛

  5. Hmmm, I see your mom’s idea of fun….is actually “torture”!! O_o First it was the detox therapy…and now this! >.< You should wise up (like your brother) and not go along with her idea of "fun" the next time….haha! 😀

    • I dislike terrible heat too, but then people treat this herbed spa probably the same way as medicine: hate it but gotta do it for health…

  6. You are such a good son. For me, die die also my parents won’t be able to make me go to anywhere that I don’t want to go now that I am an adult lah. When kid time, different lah.

    Hahaha, the last photo is so funny. The person who wrote that must be taking the p*ss at people. Sure, when we are children, we sure achieved a lot and had the greatest pleasure, hahahahaha. Now, go to lokap.

    • Hahaha what lokap? Depends on the “person” that you disobey lah… if not police then should be okay gua wahahahaha! 😀

  7. This is an interesting sauna, interesting in a good way ie the use of herbs. Is it a steam room rather than a sauna with dry heat? I have tried both and I like it a lot whilst I was in Turkey. I had extra steam and dry heat. I then have a shower, swim and shower. Afterwards, I had a piece of fruit while waiting for my bus and dinner straight after. I didn’t wait for two hours to have dinner. I was fine but it may not suit everyone.

    • It is a steam room, herbal steam is constantly infused into the room through pipes. You get super wet in the room after awhile, in a mixture of steam and sweat.

  8. Mandi Wap. It sounds like a very peculiar name for a spa, but in a way it makes sense, translating it loosely into English. It sounds like a very communal place but I must say it also looks dinghy… From the simple set up of this place, I won’t be surprised if anybody else can also set up a sauna like this 🙄

    Maybe it is this sauna that caused your ulcer, getting rid of the toxins. Or maybe you pushed yourself too hard with three goes. You can always go back to give it another go and see how you feel the second time round 🙄

    • I guess anyone can setup such a place if they want to. But the type of herbs to use is another story. Especially if they really do the good that they are claimed to be doing. 🙄

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