What is it like ?
Before you get inside, you put in earplugs, so that when you close the door you are cocooned from the outside world. Then you turn off the light and lie back in the darkness.
The salt makes the water dense, so that when you lie down, you float. The water lifts and supports you, like the most comfortable bed in the world. And because it’s at body temperature, after a few minutes you don’t sense it any more. Not only that, gravity has disappeared. It’s like floating in space.
With no external stimuli, you become very aware of your breathing. All the instructions from meditation and yoga classes about “mindfulness of your breath” start to make sense—with no distractions, it becomes super-easy to focus on your breathing and feel it lulling you into a deeply relaxed state.
It takes a little while to settle into the float: to begin, you may notice your mind-chatter, with thought after thought flitting through your awareness. Occasionally your toes or fingers bump gently against the side of the tank. But gradually you find yourself easing deeper into the experience.
You become aware of tension in different parts of your body, then the delightful feeling as the muscles relax. A few minutes later, you are surprised to discover tension in muscles you didn’t realize you had—and new levels of relaxation as these muscles let go in turn.
As you float, you may experience moments of clarity, of insight into a current problem you are facing. Or this may be one of those days when you find yourself switching off completely, letting go of all thoughts.
At some point you drift off, to be nudged awake by soft music playing, as if from very far away. It’s the signal that your float will end in a few minutes, so it’s time to rouse yourself, before you leave the tank, shower, and head for to the “chillout room” that acts as a buffer between the serenity of the tank and the rush of the outside world.
The effects of floating
Everyone has their own experience of the floatation tank. Some people fall asleep, others find themselves experiencing flashes of insight, or thinking through problems in a lucid creative state. Others have profound experiences that have a big impact on their personal development.
Some people fall asleep, others find themselves experiencing flashes of insight, or thinking through problems in a lucid creative state.
Actor and comedian Joe Rogan is an enthusiastic advocate of the tank, describing it as “the most important tool that I’ve ever used for developing my mind, for thinking, for evolving.” In this video (below) he describes his experience of floating, and the creative, emotional and physical benefits it gives him.
Had a nice and friendly staff member help us out! A great first experience and I hope to be back soon! Unfortunately the power went out towards the end but that is beyond their control as blackouts occur quite frequently in Vietnam
Great experience! It was my first time there and the staff member/ owner took his time to explain to us the benefits and walked us through the process. Unfortunately there was a power trip towards the end of my session, but the staff member/ owner were witty calm about it and brought it a huge speaker to wake us up (just in case we hadn’t got up).
This is an absolutley amazing find in Hanoi. I always tell people that floating is the perfect practice if your looking to improve your health, inner peace, and general wellbeing - and that is certainly the case at 'float Hanoi' as well! I have been floating regularly for a few years in the US, and I can say that the tanks and facilities here are truly top of the line. Also Minh, one of the owners, was incredibly welcoming and helpful - he even took me to find an ATM machine after my float so i could pay him! Then followed by showing me a gas station so I could fill up my motorbike (Ive only been here two days). 🙂 Float Hanoi exemplifies what selfless service is all about - I feel at home in Hanoi already just from my first experience here (Of course im also relaxed and rejuvinated from the float itself). I bought a package of 5 "one hour" floats, and when those are up, I will be buying a package of 5 "ninety minute" floats. All that said, just do yourself a big favor and give this place a real shot! You wont be at all dossapointed. ????
The last time I floated was back in Bangkok in 2019. My husband and I were regulars at the facility there. The Hanoi float center feels much more “homemade” than the one in Bangkok. Not saying that neither is better than the other; the setting feels very different, which is something to keep in mind. Otherwise, the tanks work the same - the only difference would be that you have the option to pry the tank’s cover open slightly with the ones in BKK but here, it’s either fully close or open, which can be uncomfortable for first-time floaters. Also, if you haven’t meditated for a long time, it can be pretty challenging during the first few sessions as your mind WILL keep wandering. We did the couple floating session for 60 minutes, and we didn’t regret giving it a try. It was nice, dark, and quiet (something you don’t get much from living in Hanoi). The staff understands and speaks English very well. The online reservation was hassle free, and the team will contact you a day before by phone to reconfirm. Note that they are not really responsive on Facebook messenger, so it’s better to call. It’s a straight forward experience, you go in, pay, rinse a bit, float, get out, rinse again, dress up and leave. Nothing to complain about and would personally return.
Quietest place in HCMC*. I've been floating for over four years and was so happy to find this place in Vietnam. The set up is very professional and sanitary. Owners are knowledgeable and extremely helpful. The prices do seem a bit high and geared towards tourists. I'll will return, but not as frequently as I'd like. *I would not suggest you float if there's going to be rain. During my float it started to pour and the noise was to the point you can not tune it out. I had to cut my float short as a result. No offer of offset cost or float time in the future, disappointing.
Musician Peter Gabriel had a tank installed in his home during the eighties. “It was quite useful,” he said in an interview. “In the sense that you could get into a dream state, and I think that did allow…different thoughts and pictures to come through. And I tend to write a lot of times from, from pictures, and it is an area I’m very interested in.”
If you’re a busy creative, working under pressure, with a mind addled by smartphones and social media, floating is a great way to find the creative downtime that is essential to great work. Over the years it has helped me prepare for big presentations, de-stress after difficult weeks, solve creative problems, reconnect with myself, and generally feel more human.
Is floating a substitute for meditation?
There’s no substitute for daily meditation practice, but floating is a great way to complement it and improve it in everyway.
The float itself is a wonderful experience, but to me the after-effect is much more important. Whenever I emerge from the tank and sink into a chair in the chillout space, I am in a completely different state of mind than when I arrived. The chatter in my mind has died down. I see and hear things around me very clearly. I have no urge to touch my iPhone. I often sit there for half an hour or more, without reading or talking, in no hurry to leave.
I’ve experienced a similar state of mind after the first couple of days of a silent meditation retreat. But the effect is much more dramatic, as I’ve only spent an hour in the tank. Which is why I call it microwave meditation.
And if you’re a beginner to meditation, floating can be a great way to help you learn to focus. To quote Nick Dunin, Founder of the Beyond Rest float center in Perth, “The floatation tank is like training wheels for meditation, it gives you an experience of what it’s like to switch off and be present, which makes it easier for you to do the same when you’re sitting in meditation, or practicing mindfulness in your daily life.”
Where can you float?
These days most large cities have float centers where you can spend an hour in the tank for about 60 to 100 USD. And many have membership programs that give you the cumulative benefits of floating regularly, while reducing the cost per float.
In Vietnam, the first float centre was established in Hanoi by 2 float enthusiasts. As floating is relatively new in Vietnam, the guys charge very little for their services. However you can be confident about the floating quality as a float operator of Cloud Nine Centre in Colorado visited the center and said Float Hanoi has one of the best water quality he has ever seen.
You can visit the website thiennoi.com and book directly on their website for half the common price and double the experiences.
Source info from : 99u, all credit to Mark McGuinness