Monday, 31 December 2018

Floating


pariwisata_sumut from northern Sumatra's Berastagi:
Pemandian Air Panas Sidebu-debu, di kejauhan terlihat Gunung Sibayak. Sudah pernah kemari?oto: @iceteaworld | #pariwisatasumutnet
I'm trying to find a common theme for this issue of soaking news from the Southeastern Asia region. I can't.

Even more surprising, is that most info concerns non-regional issues.
ThinkGeoenergy reports (Oct. 21) from China:
'Last week, China’s First International Seminar on Hot Springs and Climate Health Tourism was held in BeiBei, Chongqing. Hot springs and climate experts, scholars and related entrepreneurs came from various countries such as China, Italy, Russia, and Japan (in total approximately 350 attendees) came together to discuss the topic of hot springs and climate health and how to transform Chongqing into a hot springs travel destination.
...
Throughout the seminar, Chongqing signed a number of hot springs and climate health tourism projects. These projects cover areas such as hot springs, leisure reports, and industrial research and utilization'.
Here's the website of the seminar.

On Sunday, people in Yichun, Jiangxi province in China, took part in a chili-eating competition in a hot spa filled with chilis. A woman named Yi Huan won the contest by eating 20 chilis in a minute, earning the title of “Chili Queen.” 🌶👑🔥 (📷: Getty)-#chili #chilis #chilli #pepper #peppers #spicy#spice #hot #food #foodie #instafood#foodlover #foodstagram #eat #eating#hotspa #spa #hotspring #hotsprings#competition #woman #women #yichun#jiangxi #china #chinese #辣椒 #溫泉 #宜春 #江西
Chongqing is also where you can experience the above. South China Morning Post (Oct. 19) comes with more info:
'Chongqing has unveiled a new hot spring bathing area that looks like a bubbling hotpot. The novelty bathing spot in the city’s Shapingba district even has bright red water coloured with Chinese medicinal herbs, floating plastic “vegetables” and giant chopsticks for bathers to snap selfies with.
The pool opened last Friday and is shaped like a traditional metal hotpot container divided into four sections filled with hot “broth”, according to a Pear Video clip posted on the weekend'.
Diving
Vogue (Nov. 26) goes to the spa. And notes some international etiquette: European sauna's, banya's, onsens, hammams and Anglo Saxon massage.
A great find, the US based Soakpodcast:
'The Soak is a podcast about how we [Alana and Aimee] get clean. It is equal parts anthropological investigation, travelogue, and excuse for us to experience other cultures through one of humanity’s most mundane rituals: the bath'.
Five episodes as far, forest bathing, seaweed baths, bathing and arts, Korean spa's and US public pools.

v.gurujiii at Ardent (Camiguin, Philippines)
post-hike chill @ the hot springs 🔥 fired up by the volcano itself 🌋 #feelcamiguin #ringoffire
Looking a bit a wider issues in the wider region.

South China Morning Post (Oct. 21) reports on tourists behaving badly in Kyoto, Japan:
'A recent report in The Sydney Morning Herald added dive-bombing into onsen, ...'
While on Japan, there's also the non-soaking experience (Sunstar Cebu, Nov. 21):
'And our guide, Amy, in between regaling our group with stories on creative bento boxes and Japan’s high-tech toilets, which play music to muffle the sound of one’s labors inside the cubicle, dangled nightly the prospect of respite from the freezing cold with the onsen, the traditional Japanese hot spring bath.
The only catch was: “You have to go in naked—with other people,” she said.
The onsen was out of reach. For as tantalizing as the idea of thawing was, baring our flesh in public went against everything we had learned in Catholic school, though the bigger reason we gave the onsen a wide berth was the fear of running into anyone we might know there'.
Hätte nicht gedacht, dass heiße Quellen so fies stinken 😅 und trotzdem war es unglaublich schön dort 😊
Haben eine Quelle gefunden welche nicht auf den Karten für Touris eingezeichnet ist, so waren wir dann allein dort und hatten den Pool für uns. Bei 31 Grad quasi in eine heiße Badewanne zu steigen ist einfach verrückt 😂
Direkt an der Quelle ist das Wasser sogar verdammt heiß, man kann nur kurz einen Finger rein halten 😅
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#freethenipple #backpackingsoutheastasia #paithailand #hotsprings #heißequellen
Further afield, a guide to Idaho's best clothing optional hot springs, slightly dated (Apr. 22, 2015):
'There are 130 to choose from, and below you’ll find 5 of the best, where au naturel is the soaking style of choice.
Important note: Please remember to keep your footprint light — stay on trails and pack out everything you bring to the hot springs. Working together helps us keep these special places clean and safe for years to come'.
Inspired
More mundane.

The NZ Herald reports (Oct. 25) on one of the nation's better known hot spring thermal parks being closed down:
'Landowners have cancelled the lease and changed the locks on the doors at Waiwera Thermal Resort after a history of default payments.
The cancellation notice was issued by landowners Waiwera Properties Limited (WPL).
The land has been used as the site for the Waiwera Thermal Resort and Waiwera Thermal Bottling plant, both of which fall under the Waiwera Group owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Khimich.
Khimich's company purchased the leasehold interest in the property in 2010'.
While in NZ, there's also this hot news. Peninsula Springs of Australia are investing overseas as the Maruia Springs sees new owners (Stuff.co.nz, Oct. 12):
'In the 1990s the business was bought by Japanese owners who turned it into a Japanese-style onsen or hot spring resort.
"They were running it as a hotel with bathing; we want to run it as bathing with a hotel."
The 4ha site was on the market for some time before the new consortium of owners got clearance to buy it from the Overseas Investment Commission in late 2015'.
Jakarta Post (Sep. 20) as yet another article on onsen bathing in Indonesia:
'Visiting an onsen (Japanese hot spring) is a must while in Japan. The traditional bath is believed to have many health benefits as it uses hot spring water.
Those who want to experience the unique tradition can do so at Genki Onsen in Batu, East Java.
...
In regard to hygiene, Adista explained that Genki Onsen changed the water every day.
However, unlike traditional Japanese onsen, where guests are required to bathe naked, Genki Onsen provides disposable undergarments and camisoles or boxers'.
keichabon at Please-keep-this-place-a-secret (Japan). Bit strange to post this then ...
秘湯・野湯巡り♨️ 知る人ぞ知る感MAX、妙高高原の山中某所にある名も無き秘湯♨️白濁の硫黄泉が岩盤から溢れ出てそのまま沢に流れ込んでいくポイントに土嚢や岩で湯船を作ったワイルド野湯💨 普段は放流状態で入る時に栓をして湯を溜め、帰りには栓を抜き放流するという入湯ルール。いつでも無料で浸かり放題だけど、場所は公開出来ないので悪しからず💦
撮影地:新潟県妙高市






#露天風呂 #温泉 #温泉好き #野湯 #温泉巡り#nature #お写ん歩 #日本 #hotsprings #野天風呂 #visitjapanjp #♨️ #おんせんきょ#instagramjapan #入浴 #instagram #japan#onsen #混浴 #温泉巡り #enjoylife #tohoku #新潟 #妙高 #温泉好きな人と繋がりたい 好きな人と繋がりたい #秘湯 #温泉行きたい#openairbath #outdoorbath #wild
Bitter
Over to the region.
  • Malaysia
Laceybunny (Sep. 8) has a list of 15 Malaysian hot springs:

'We’ve compiled a list of 15 hot spring spots in Malaysia, so the next time you’re looking for a relaxing weekend activity, just refer to our list for whichever is nearest to you!'
Freemalaysiatoday (Nov. 30) has a feature on Sungai Serai soaking springs:

'Some of Malaysia’s hot springs have been turned into health spas such as the luxurious Banjaran Hot Springs Retreat in Ipoh.
Sungai Serai on the other hand, has been left more or less in its natural state and looks like a large puddle with a few plastic chairs placed in it.
...
The owners of the land on which the spring is located have started charging admission of RM1 per person and another RM1 for parking.
They are using the proceeds to make various “improvements” such as the breeze-block toilet cubicle which unfortunately has been built rather too close to the pond.
Hopefully they won’t encase the whole hot spring in concrete which has happened in so many others in Malaysia'.
 
bunnyrabbids at Kuala Kubu Bharu:
Malaysian style hotspring. Nice to relax and chill. #hotspring #onsen
Yearofthedurian takes a look (Dec. 22) at Mererap hot spring, over on Sarawak (Malaysia):
'The hot spring has always been there, and has always been called Merarap as far as Alfred [Alfred Padan, the regional manager of the Samling Timber Company] knows. The hot water bubbles naturally out of the ground into a series of small pools on land that traditionally belonged to his family and the Lun Bawang Tribe.
...
In January 2004, 10 years after the durian farm was planted, Alfred decided to build the Merarap Hotspring Lodge. It’s even more remote than the durian farm and is one of the only places to overnight if you decide to drive to Ba’kelalan or the Indonesian highlands.
Visiting the hot spring is also the only way you can get access to the durians, since Alfred and family don’t sell the old-tree, organic, bitter durians to anyone but friends, family, and guests of the Merarap Hot Spring. You can choose to stay overnight in the lodge, but our group chose the day trip package, which may or may not have been the best choice'.
  • Thailand
Hot springs and waterfalls in Chiang Rai province by Adventureswechase (6 Sep.).

Mychiangmaitravel has an overview (Nov. 6) of Pai's (Mae Hong Son) hot springs. Very informative.

lady_lookkaew at Rock Valley Hot Spring and Fish Spa (Khanchanaburi):
#relax 👫 #แต่งรูปวนไป
#picoftheday #saturdayvibes #traveling#thailand #lifeisgood #เที่ยวเมืองไทยไม่ไปไม่รู้#mybetterhalf #husbandandwife #slowlife#เพ้อเก่ง #hotspring
The ever excellent Travelfish (Oct. 16) has updated their Klongthom / Emerald pool (Krabi) chapter:
'We shared the pool with perhaps 200 others, which felt crowded but not to the point that we weren’t able to swim around without colliding into people. Expect the pool to be busier during high season, especially on weekends when locals join the many foreign visitors. Arriving early in the morning or after 15:00 would give you a chance of averting the crowds. While the pool is refreshing and the landscape striking, we wouldn’t say that it ranks among the best mainland attractions in Krabi province, especially when considering the crowds'.
Onsen / spas in Bangkok? Tripcanvas (Nov. 26) has the answers:
'Onsens may cost you a bomb elsewhere, but you’ll be surprised at what you can get in Bangkok!
Stay with us as we journey to find the most value-for-money and affordably luxurious onsens and spas in this bustling city!
...
Kashikiri Soda Onsen
Here, private onsens are provided, so there’s no need to worry about any awkwardness soaking naked in a hot tub with strangers. But if you would like to enjoy a romantic moment with your loved one, you can opt for a couple onsen or a tub for two!

yuii_kultha at Kashikiri:
 เวลาเรายืนมองเขาอยู่ในมุมของเรา บางทีก็รู้สึกนะว่า “เออดีแล้ว .. ที่เขาอยู่ตรงนั้น เราก็ดีแล้วที่เราอยู่ตรงนี้” ☀️🌆🎋🎋🎋🛀🏻💦😊 #นั่งโง่ๆอยู่ในอ่าง
Swayed
  • Vietnam
Blisssaigon (Dec. 1) has 6 hot springs to choose from when on a road trip in Vietnam. A good read.

Viet Nam News reports (Nov. 2) on Tram Tau district (Yen Bai) hot springs:
'What could be more pleasing to travellers in the northern province of Yên Bái after conquering Tà Chì Nhù Mountain? Soaking in hot mineral springs with a picturesque landscape laid out in front of them.
Located around 2km from Trạm Tấu District, the springs in Hát Lừu Commune lie under a small valley, surrounded by terraced fields and hills of pine forests that sway with the gentle breeze. Travellers can also choose to stay overnight at a homestay next to the spring to enjoy a night in the mountains'.
Mặt hí hửng, tắm tiên Ngọc Chiến - bản Lướt - Mường La - Sơn La, Hí hí.#famtrip #ngọcchiến #sonla #mocchau#nudebath
  • Indonesia

Tripcanvas (Nov. 21) has 11 soaking choices in and around Bandung, all not very natural. 
It (Nov. 16) also has 5 hot springs on Bali:
'Where better to soak your tired bones and indulge in one of Earth’s natural remedies, after a long day of hiking, or as a holiday reward for months of hard work?
We bring you a selection of Bali’s best hot springs, in both luxury-chic and back-to-basics rural settings that will delight you more than a hotel spa ever could'.
UDAH PERNAH
#karo#berastagi#airpanas#karokaro#surbakti#karonese
Not all good news from Semangat (lead photo above this entry). Jakarta Post reports (Dec. 2) on a landslide at Semangat that killed 7 tourists.:
'... the 16 students were spending the night at the Daun Paris Raja Berneh hot springs resort when part of a cliff in the area collapsed at about 6 a.m. local time following heavy downpour in the region the night before'.
  • Philippines
insights looloo (Nov. 20) has 5 Filipino soaks for the cooler months: Ardent, Asin, Puning Maquinit and Manleluang.

stephen092 at Batasan, Cotabato, Mindanao:
OHANA 💓💓
Then finally, did anyone miss the regional top 10 of Southeasian soaks? 
Sorry, I seem to have insufficient time for this. You'll have to make do with the above.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Toolkit

anitadonas at Pangururan (Sumatera Utera, Indonesia):
Lo mejor de viajar solo es encontrarte con personas bonitas con las que compartir momentos, vivir experiencias nuevas y llenarte de recuerdos. ¡Maravilloso! Aquí en Sumatra, con Simon y @marieloche, descubrimos estas aguas calientes y nos dimos un buen chapuzón bajo la tormenta, gracias a nuestro querido host @harrysmanik🌫 #couchsurfing
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#airpanas #hotspring #pangururan #samosir#sumatra #sumatera #northsumatra#sumaterautara #wonderfulindonesia#indonesia #indtravel #traveltheworld#travelblog #travelgram #travelgirl#itravelalone #wanderlust #passportpassion#backpacker #solotravel #discovering#explore #gopro #goprohero #gopro3#goprooftheday #iamtb
Hot springs in Japan (onsen) get their regular free press due to what's regarded as an outlandish practice. 
Especially it's traditions concerning soaking as well about the soak itself. 
And prominent in these different traditions is the required non-clotheliness. 
An example: traveller.com.au (Aug 23):
'Regular visitors to Japan will know all about onsen.
....
It's not for everyone, that's for sure; especially if you don't like getting your kit off willy-nilly in front of strangers. 
I don't mind at all, which is why I found myself sitting naked in the open-air hot springs of the Kouno-Yu onsen with a bunch of local gentlemen when, on the wooded hillside above us, a lone deer came ambling along. We sat in silence and watched as the animal sauntered across the landscape and eventually disappeared into the trees'.
The author then continues with a description of Spa World (Osaka) and finishes the article off with: 
'Honestly, it's almost the most fun you can have with your clothes off'.
Another Japanese experience (Well+Good, Jul. 18), more personal though. And more interesting:
'I’ll admit that I was a bit hesitant about the onsen because traditionally the bathing is done in the nude. As someone who covers up at least a little bit in the SoulCycle locker room, it felt boundary-pushing to drop my yukata and walk around totally naked. I kept trying to cover myself with my hands, but quickly realized that I… didn’t have enough hands.
Decatrel [Françoise Decatrel, founder of Japanese bathing product brand Amayori] told me it was common for a first-timer from the West to feel this way. “Communal bathing has deep roots in Japanese history and has always been viewed to strengthen community ties and foster bonding. Sometimes Westerners are a bit shocked by this, but the attitude towards nudity at an onsen is very different than what we are used to,” she explains. “It’s fantastic—there is no need to be self-conscious. Other bathers are simply enjoying their baths. No one is comparing bodies. It’s a chance to let go of your perceptions of your body and truly enjoy yourself.”
...
“Bathing in the Japanese manner is life changing and is a tool to a more mindful, calm, happy life,” says Decatrel, who notes that the practice can be incorporated into your daily routine even if you don’t have access to your own personal hillside hot spring. “These ancient Japanese bathing rituals translate to our modern times just as does yoga and meditation,” she says. “They will bring a sense of ease and calmness into your life that you never thought possible.”
Though the article adds little, the words used to describe how I would envision a soaking experience are spot on. The simpleness of bathing (naked) with fellow soakers, within nature, enables creating a shared experience; breaking barriers of class, income, race, gender even.
The South China Morning Post notes (Aug. 6) a similarity, but then in the so-called forest bathing:
'A walk through trees or sitting under a tree have been shown to be relaxing and therapeutic. Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku as the Japanese call it, lowers blood pressure and boosts the immune system'.
Following through, though slightly off topic, the last few years western US has been losing a number of soaking sites, albeit temporary hopefully. These include  Harbin, Ojai and just recently Terwilliger hot springs. Culprits were forest fires.
Forest fires have taken the surroundings of these hot springs away completely, though mostly leaving the sources themselves intact (hopefully). It means soaking still can take place but very much in a denuded surrounding thereby revealing how important the surroundings are in the complete soaking experience.
What I also noticed is that social media is fast in pointing the finger to social media itself: internet invites too many careless soakers. Even though the cause of these fires is unknown, possibly even an event of nature. 

anastasia_bachykala at a naked Ojai (California, USA):
Healing earth for my digital wounds.
Situations to be loved through.
#california #hotsprings #nature #child#healing #mud #getaway #naturechild#peace #love #freedom #home
Back concerning onsen culture, an interesting article about an onsen on a cruise ship (Daily Telegraph, Sep. 3). Unfortunately the source seems to focus on the novelty of nakedness (yawn), though it emphasises the positive side of communal naked soaking:
'Move indoors and Japanese bathing traditions come into play. Matsuo [Hiroki Matsuo = Japanese bath attendant on board Princess Cruises' Diamond Princess] is only allowed access to the male baths and he remains fully clothed. “Even though the indoor baths are segregated into men and women’s, foreigners are usually anxious when they learn that nudity is compulsory,” he says'.
evabaerin at northern Thailand:
Went for a swim in the not so secret secret hot springs and even boiled an egg in there! 🥚 Did I mention that I LOVE PAI? 💦🌴 #hotsprings #pai
Art in hot spring settings, not an usual topic. Lonely Planet (Jul. 3) on KAI Sengokuhara:
'A new Japanese ryokan is being billed as the first “art-oriented hot spring ryokan”, where guests can celebrate creativity along with tradition.
...
When the new ryokan opens, twelve artists-in-residence will be brought in from around the world to create works that will be displayed in the rooms. It will combine an art gallery and studio along with the hot springs that Japan is known for. There will also be activities that help guests explore their own creative side, including a variety of materials in the common rooms for artists, guests and staff to use for painting, illustrating and more, as well as the studio for guided art experiences'.
At prices beyond 300$US a night, for a random night next April.

merytimtrasmonte from the Philippines:
Some like it hot. #Maquinit #hotspring #coron #palawan
Steamrolling
Heading for our Southeast Asian regions, starting with a couple of splashes from Malaysia. 
The local Daily Express (Aug. 14) on news regarding Southeast Asia's most internet savvy soak: 
'The popular Poring Hot Spring in Ranau will be upgraded and expanded with new facilities to cater to the rising visitors, including tourists.
... 
Following the working visit of Liew [Deputy Chief Minister cum Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew [of Sabah]] to Poring, Dr Jamili [Sabah Parks Director] said it can be concluded that the place could not cater anymore for the rising number of visitors that has reached its maximum level based on the existing capabilities of the facilities. 
Hence, he said there is a need to upgrade and expand the place by adding more features.
Liew said the proposed private chalets which will look like small bungalows aim to cater for high-end tourists who can afford the facilities and services.
She said at present, there is no accommodation facilities in Poring and building the chalets would meet the needs of visitors who wish to stay to enjoy the nature and scenic view.
"My ministry would prepare the working paper and submit it to the State Government," she said'.
More from Malaysia's Sabah state, once again the Daily Express (Jul. 17):
'[Sabah] State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew said a professional tourism architect will be hired to develop a conceptual plan for Tawau Hills Park (Taman Bukit Tawau) in order to turn it into a first class tourism resort in Tawau.
Christina, who is also Tawau Member of Parliament-cum-Api-Api Assemblywoman, said Taman Bukit Tawau has a wide area with 2,700 hectares with lots of potential such as waterfall, hot spring, the tallest tropical tree and beautiful rivers'.
#VisitSabah #TawauHotsprings spa
The Star of Malaysia (Jul. 5) on the Peninsula: 
'[Johor Bharu] City dwellers can now enjoy a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life with the opening of KSL Hot Spring Resort at Taman Daya, the first resort in Johor with hot spring water.
"One of the key features at this resort is the natural hot spring water or ‘Onsen water’ that is rich in minerals and calcium,” he [KSL Hotel and Resort assistant general manager Simon Cheng] said.
“University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) helped us locate the best source of the natural hot spring water in Jasin.
“After the water is transported here, it is kept in a water tank and undergoes treatment before we allow it to flow into our pools,” he said'.
Spoilt
Singapore's 
Strait Times (Aug. 11) reports on the development activities of it's main island hot spring of Sembawang:
'The Sembawang Hot Spring, Singapore's only natural hot spring on the mainland, was officially closed for development works on Friday (Aug 10).
The area will be developed into Sembawang Hot Spring Park, and is expected to reopen in October next year, according to a notice posted on the National Parks Board's (NParks) website'.
 
mzuuzu at Ardent, Camiguin (Philippines):
Устала от этой поездки. Почему-то выдохлась. 6 перелетов, минивэны, лодки, тук-туки, велорикши, мопед за неполные четыре недели.
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Снорклинг, дайвинг, обезьяны, черепахи, водопады, сардины, лагуны, каньонинг, снова дайвинг. Очень много ярких впечатлений и эмоций за очень короткое время.
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Три дня на разграбление острова, перелёт, новый остров, три дня, переезд. Индонезия-Гонконг-Филиппины.
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Осталось два перелёта, два ночных автобуса и самый большой остров Филиппин.
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Не знаю, как можно жить в режиме постоянной дороги. Сколько надо сил?
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Еще мне никогда не был понятен тревелливинг. Как можно постоянно путешествовать? И как при этом можно никуда постоянно не ломиться? Сидеть в кафе, ходить на рынок..
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Как научиться быть марафонцем, а не спринтером?
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#mzuuzu_philippines #путешествие#источник #hotsprings #alwaysontherun#филиппины #camiguin #юва #азия#nationalgeographic
Over to Vietnam. Vietnam news (Aug. 10) has a touristy feature on Vân Hồ District (Son La province):
'Chiềng Yên Hot Spring is very different from others of its kind. It is not planned as a professional service area. The hot spring runs from the mountain with an average temperature of 35°- 40° Celsius. It is embanked to create a 50m2 pool for people to have a hot bath. Both men and women in the village will share the same pool here. And it is also for tourists. It is the hot spring that provides local women with white skin, black hair, and attractive figures.
If the tourists spend a day conquering Mt Pha Luông, they are advised to enjoy the hot spring to ease their pain and complete the journey to the mountain'.
the.wolfbaby.lsk at Xã Trạm Tấu Huyện Trạm Tấu Tỉnh, Yên Bái province (Vietnam).

Vietnamnet (Aug. 16) has more serious news.
Much ado about hydropower going wrong. Blame is put on hydropower as a poor choice, though events point towards insufficient public scrutiny (read undemocratic decision taking), leaving locals disenfranchised:

'In 2000, Ban Ho, with its scenery and culture of ethnic minorities, was the ideal destination for travelers who came to Sa Pa [Lào Cai province]. There were nearly 30 homestays in Ban Ho at that time.
However, Muong Hoa Stream and La Ve Waterfall, which were always full of visitors, now have nothing except rocks and gravel.
...Dao Thi Tem felt lucky as her house was near La Ve waterfall, a favorite destination of travelers. She decided to borrow money from relatives to build a house for travelers. However, since the day Nam Toong hydropower plant was put into operation, the waterfall has been dry. “Su Pan 2 hydropower spoiled the hot spring. And now Nam Toong hydropower spoils the waterfall,” Tem said.To many people’s surprise, many of the hydropower plants are illegal'.
andika_anjani at Ciater (Java):
 Swimming time di kolam depan rumah mantan. 🙊
At least setelah janji ngajak temen gw ke sini, akhirnya gw juga bisa renang manis pagi-pagi. Berhubung belum bisa balik ke Aik Kalak Rinjani lagi, mending ke deket rumah aja.

Curug Cipanas Nagrak ini airnya hangat karena bersumber dari Ciater, Subang. Fasilitas warung dan toilet juga udah proper. Kemarin sih lagi dibangun kolam tambahan buat di bagian bawahnya.
Dengan HTM 10.000 rupiah, buat gw okelah ngacir berenang air anget sampe puas. Walau kolamnya memang buatan, tapi suasana alam di sini masih terasa asri. Bentuk kolamnya mirip-mirip Umbul Sidomukti gitu deh.
Saran gw kalo berenang ke sini pakelah kacamata renang, kecuali kuat perih kena air belerang, lalu datanglah pagi-pagi supaya dapet suasana sepinya. Dan jangan baper liat jalur masuk ke area curug soalnya dipenuhi plang sejenis 'Jalan sama aku, jadinya sama dia'. 😂
Jangan lupa jaga kebersihan dan patuhi larangan naik ke tebing atas curugnya, yes!
O iya, banyak yang kepo sama hasil foto-foto di sini sampe pengen buru-buru main ke Curug Nagrak. Nih, salah satunya yang bilang bakal dateng pas libur Lebaran @hafizhshofwan. Awas aja kalo pehape. Tenang, di rumah ada kamar kosong ko. Kamar mandi maksudnya. 🙊
~APL
#andikappuccino #explorewestjava#curugnagrak

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Magic

merel3ssen in Indonesia:
Taking a #shower with the locals of #flores #hotspring
This entries lead concerns Japan - hot springs - naked. Oh no!
Yes. Articles on how to behave while enjoying a Japanese hot spring have been circulating around the globe the last few months. A selection:
Star Tribune (Jun. 4):
'Japan is proud of its bathing traditions. For many Westerners, though, the fact that these traditions involve being naked with strangers is awkward at best, even though men and women bathe separately.
On my first trip I tried to wriggle out of a friend's offer to take me to an onsen, or hot springs resort. I suggested a different town that had an attraction I wanted to see, and thought I was off the hook.
...
It turned out for the best, though, because I've become a fan. Nothing is more relaxing after a tiring day of sightseeing than a long soak, and you can reassure yourself that you're experiencing authentic culture at the same time'.
A more personal experience from yahoo7.com.au (Apr. 5):
'I’m standing in a small room wrapped in a towel. I know I have to go in to a further room to shower, but I’m finding it hard to will myself to go in there because… well, when I get in there I will have to shower naked.. with other people.
...
I get in and under before I’m spotted by anyone ('anyone' being the other three women - two of whom are already in the water, and one who is focusing on her own bits for the time being).
And then something magical happens.
It’s so relaxing... I allow the steaming hot water to envelop me. I do what I’ve read is customary and place the facecloth on my head, then lie back against a wall and relax.
...
My visit has made me realise that no one is really looking at me, that everyone has a body with bits that wobble or bits that we don't like, and yet, we’re all just wasting valuable time worrying about showing it'.
Shape.com (Apr. 20):
'I knew it was something I needed to do—a cultural experience to cross off my travel bucket list. But I was nervous about other people seeing me naked. I don't have any particular reason for my fear, other than years of American culture conditioning me (and all women) to shower solo, change your clothes as quickly as possible, and use robes and towels whenever possible. (You know, you've wrapped a towel around your waist while sliding underwear on and off in the locker room.) I worried that if I stripped down in front of other women and stayed that way for more than five seconds, then they would find something to silently judge. The cellulite on the back of my thighs. The slight pudge in my stomach. Hell, maybe I had too much—or too little—pubic hair for their liking. I didn't know, but certainly, they would find something.
....
We weren't forced to use public onsens the entire trip. In fact, only four of the 11 days had them as our only option. The other, larger accommodations had private onsens or personal en suite bathing facilities available. But by the end of the trip, we were all forgoing those private tubs and opting for the public onsens instead. There wasn't much talk, if any, of who would go when. A simple, "I'm hitting the onsen!" sufficed as we checked into our rooms, ditched our dirty hiking clothes, and slipped into our yukatas. Sure, my heart still skipped a beat each time I derobed, but the cry for a rejuvenating soak was louder than my body image fears. And as the warm water soothed my achy muscles and the quiet conversation between other women buzzed around me, my fears were, little by little, washed away.
I may not be down to dip in my birthday suit on the regular, but if this trip taught me anything, it's that body confidence—just like everything else—is always a work in progress'.
Japan Today (Apr. 8) notes how some national bathing traditions are on the fade:
'If you find yourself on Japan’s southwestern island of Kyushu, you will come upon delicacies that are not offered abundantly in other parts of the country. However, what the island is the most well known for are its onsen, or hot springs. Dipping into the thermal waters of Kyushu is a must, especially if you can do it with all of your friends or significant other.
These days, the konyoku onsen, or mixed gendered bath, is a rare and dying breed. Every year, more facilities are closing their doors or changing their policies so that men and women bathe separately. Traditionally, onsen were meant for men and women to bathe together, so many advocates are pushing to preserve the old ways'.
It then refers to gaijinpot blog which lists 9 Kyushu konyoku's.

yakushima.kamesennin.iwaki with friends, bathing in one of the referred to konyoku's:
平内海中♨️温泉♨️#屋久島 #yakushima #温泉 #屋久島ガイド亀仙人岩城輝龍 #屋久島ガイド亀仙人 #屋久島写真 #平内海中温泉
Channel News Asia (Apr. 13) tries to broaden the cultural thing.
'Travelling the world is about exploring new cultures and traditions. And sometimes you do that completely naked, surrounded by equally naked locals, wearing nothing but your warmest smile.
...
But contrary to what you might think, going au naturel won’t embarrass you in front of the locals as much as your lack of etiquette might. For instance, what is customary in a Japanese onsen may be downright rude in a Turkish bath house'.
What follows is just some pointers for sauna's, onsens, Turkish baths and jjimjilbangs.

Soakings stamped
Then the stranger side of soaking, more or less related. 

Spoon and Tamago (Feb. 12) on the peculiar art of soaking-themed stamps:
'Each of Hirose’s stamp designs depicts an individual bath house in Japan with a particular focus on the bath house’s unique features: a stunning mural of Mount Fuji, a stately front entrance, a water spout in the shape of a lion’s head. By highlighting these specific quirks, Hirose hopes to inspire others to visit local public bath houses more frequently. In fact, traditional bath houses are disappearing in Japan, where one public bath house goes out of business about once a week.
Last month, Hirose held two exhibitions in Tokyo of his stamp designs intended to generate interest in local public bath houses. The first, a partnership with the Tokyo Sento Association, included stamps Hirose created for the 22 public bath houses in Tokyo’s Arakawa Ward, which has the second-highest ratio of bath houses to residents in Tokyo.
The second exhibition showcased roughly 100 stamps of individual bath houses all across Tokyo, representing what Hirose describes as a “sento pilgrimage.” Visitors can even embark on their own sento pilgrimages by collecting stamps from each bath house featured in Hirose’s designs'.

What happened to the Onsen Magazine? Pity, it seems there are no more updates.

Too much

lincy_rangsinee in Umphang, Tak, Thailand:
หนาวจัง แช่นำ้อุ่นหน่อย 🎋🎋 #privateonsen🏔♨️
And the trend in soaking Southeastasian-wise seems to replicate the Japanese experience, but then back home. And without the public viewing.
The Indonesiaexpat describes (Apr. 11) an onsen experience (The Onsen Resort) to be had in Batu, Eastern Java. 
'Batu’s most recent attraction has truly made this town unique in all of Java. The Onsen Hot Spring Resort opened its doors at Jalan Arumaldu, Songgoriti in December 2017. Though small, this resort is regarded as one of the most unique resorts in Southeast Asia as it is the very first resort with a Japanese bathhouse theme.
...
Though the water may seem dirty, it actually isn’t. The brown colouring comes from the sulphur powder used to prevent itching and cleanse the skin. It’s simply divine to soak in the hot water after a long day discovering the beautiful Japanese-inspired grounds of the resort'. 
A recent booking.com reviewer (average score 7.3) however notes: 
'The food!
The staffs were very friendly, the rooms were clean, there is a nice view, but the food was so bad [and] not tasty. The breakfast was also bad. A lot of empty food trays and the staffs were so slow too'. 
Tripadvisor, handing a visit with a review feedback of 3.0 stars, continues: 
'Japanese culture is popular around the world. In this place,I can experience it completely,no matter Japanese traditional clothes or onsen or food. Honestly, I like onsen most , because the water is yellow and not hot. It is really relaxed my body and mind. Of course, the lady clothes is fascinating and food price is suitable . I wanna get here again'. 
Quotes for a family villa for 2 nights, €508 no less.

_marnelli_ at Marawar hot springs, Kapatagan, Mindanao, Philippines:
💦 #nature #hotspring
More onsen, this time from Vietnam (Viet Nam News, Apr. 13): 
'Located 30km north of Huế City, the newly opened Alba Wellness Resort is nestled in a tranquil land cradled by tropical forest, hot and cold streams and a local lifestyle rich in Huế traditions.
...
Boasting a natural hot spring, a precious gift of nature scattering around the property, Alba Wellness Resort offers Việt Nam’s first authentic onsen and spa centre, where I enjoyed a seven-step contemporary Japanese bath.
Although I had experience with traditional onsen in Japan, where nudity is required, I was as a bit hesitant to strip off and bathe in front of other ladies. (There are separate spaces for men and women.) My embarrassment vanished quickly after I got into the ‘silk bath’ pool, which had thousands of small bubbles that I used to cover my skin'. 
Tripadvisor (the max of 5.0 stars no less): 
'The only minor thing was the water temperature of Onsen Spa. They were somehow lukewarm, and I was a bit unsatisfied with being an expert in hot springs. I left feedback so it will be fixed soon... I hope'.
This was the first review. Management responded that they would solve the problem and I see no repetitions of this comment.
Booking.com (8.9) on the same: 
'I like the beautiful atmosphere here. The staffs are very nice and helpful also. The hot spring here is a really great present of God'. 
Quotes are from US$180 and above.


Da Nang Corner on a visit to Nui Than. Google translates from Vietnamese: 

'Onsen bathing area is surrounded by two mountains of Thanh Long and Bach Ho, behind is Ba Na mountain, the two sides are the stream of water in front. This is a prime location with gas. Onsen Towers are built on the Japanese architecture and are standardized according to strict procedures of Beppu province, the home of hot springs in the world' 

It's not the only onsen experience to be had in Vietnam. Nui Than Tai Hot Springs Park (near Danang) boasts of an Onsen Tower
'Is a place for mineral bath in the tub with large size according the Japanese style and characteristic. At Onsen in Nui Than Tai hot spring park has qualified with standards of Beppu city - the famous city of Onsen in Japan'.
Tripadvisor (4.0 stars):
'We came during summer holidays on the weekends, so it was quite noisy and crowded in swimming pools. The Osen bathing facility was not too crowded so it was quite pleasant and relaxing. We tried out the 2 bathtubs, first with lemongrass then with milk, which we found very refreshing. There are more choices that we didn't try: with vietnamese wine, tea, coffee, and mud'. 
And: 
'Expensive, poorly run, slides closed, restaurants closed, 120k for Pho?? They made me share a mud tub with two other people?? Slippery tiles and screaming kids everywhere. Turned away from slides because of size (we are not overweight at all)'. 
Quotes from $60US. 
Booking.com gives it an 8.6.

hexezy in an onsen-like setting in Petchabun (Thailand). Read more here
『Hot spring ♨️』 バンコクから車で3時間かかる所です。 1時間で300バーツです。1人当たりで300バーツではなく、一部屋当たりで300バーツです。複数の人数でも入れます。肌がツルツルになるよ〜❤ 

ちなみに私は変態やな(笑)#温泉 #hotsprings #transgender #tanskin #まったり
Then in Thailand, Bangkok Post (May 8) posts the following:
'The popularity of onsens has been bubbling up in Thailand, even though it is a tropical country, says one wellness brand.

Thai onsen lovers no longer need to fly to Japan to enjoy a hot soak as onsen services are available across the country, particularly at major tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri and Bangkok -- specifically on Sukhumvit Road and at the K Village retail complex on Rama 4 Road.

Panpuri, a leading wellness brand, is set to open its first onsen on the 12th floor of the Gaysorn complex on Ratchaprasong Road next month, aiming to tap fans of the bathing ritual.

"It is the first onsen downtown. Apart from shopping in the area, onsen will be an alternative activity for visitors," said Vorravit Siripark, chief executive at Puri Co, the operator of Panpuri Wellness and Spa. Onsen will be one feature at the 100-million-baht Panpuri Wellness and Spa, which entails a variety of services, including organic spa, wellness bar, studio, body massage and meditation.

There are 10 onsen pools separated by gender and two small individual pools.The company has hired a consultant from Japan to design the onsen system, with hot springs imported in the form of powder from several Japanese cities. This wellness centre was soft launched last December.

"We've had better than expected responses, and about 60% of our customers are foreigners from China, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong," said Mr Vorravit, a self-described spa and massage lover.
Mr Vorravit first opened a Panpuri store in a 120 square metre space at Gaysorn Complex to sell organic spa products for body care. He opened the space shortly after returning to Thailand from Italy in 2003, where he was studying for a master's degree and was inspired to realise his entrepreneurial ambitions.
"I had a chance to try spa treatments at famous hotel chains. Their services are excellent. But there are no Thai products available there. This inspired me to create my own health and services, without imaging they would one day become part of a global trend," said Mr Vorravit.
He said there is huge potential for spa and wellness centres in Thailand, with foreign tourist arrivals reaching 35.4 million in 2017. Thailand is ranked No.1 globally as a spa-holiday destination, generating revenue of 32 billion baht from foreign customers in 2015'.  
Dis-spelled


Mountains Waterfalls and hot spring.. what more could you ask for 😀#vietnsm #nahtrang #waterfalls #hotsprings#beautifuldestinations #natureboy#naturelover #greatday #gopro
Let's look at the more natural springs, starting with Vietnam. 
Above a more touristic destination near Yangbay, I believe.
Condé Nast (Jun. 25) announces it's 
'105 of the most stunning swimming pools in the world'.
Including Nha Trang's (Vietnam) hot spring I-resort.

Possibly more to do with the lead and the local spin-offs but nonetheless interesting:


Baomoi.com describes (Jan. 23) the hot springs of Ngoc Chien hot springs in Loi village (Ngoc Chien commune, Muong La district, Son La province). Afforded with google translate:
'And Pham Ngoc Son, a traveling tourist from Hanoi, shared, working week with computer, head tense, Mr. Son gathered group to go to relax. His group runs a distance of more than 300km from Hanoi along Highway 32, to the Kim junction (Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai province) to Ngoc Tuan to experience, relax, soak in the hot mineral water. Mr. Son and his friends all feel the same, when the bath is full of stress, tired all dispel them in a moment'.
_donsweet_ at Ngọc Chiến: 
------- Tắm tiên 👌Lần đầu thấy suối nước trong vắt sôi nổi bọt, ước chi mang được về để khỏi sợ tắm vào mùa đông 😆#NgọcChiến#MườngLa
Does Bali have some beautiful hot springs? Kura Kura Guide (Apr. 10) thinks affirmative. They
'... have summarized briefly 5 Natural Hot Springs in Bali with stunning scenery that will feast your eyes'.
In the Philippines, Nognoginthecity (Jun. 23) experiences Puning hot spring(s):
'It was a worth while experience that is combination of both fun and relaxation'.
 mr.cuthbert at Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines:
Hottest bath I've ever had 🛀🌡️
A visit to Laos Muang La hot spring (Daily Beast, Jun. 11) draws the author to see the future passing: 
'But the days of undisturbed authenticity are numbered in Muang La, and Laos in general. The Chinese are investing heavily across the country, building infrastructure that threatens the undeveloped tranquility of much of the country, including Muang La.
One of the biggest changes coming is a high-speed train line being built to China, which will cut through Oudomxay, a small city about an hour from Muang La. Today, Muang La villagers enjoy welcoming small groups of visitors, but they fear the train will bring development and crowds of tourists.
...
The villages were rustic, but a visit to Muang La can be luxurious. We stayed at Muang La Lodge, about a 45-minute drive from the mountains where the tribes live. The resort is set over a river with natural hot springs, with food from local markets, fisheries, and chefs, and only 10 rooms. It was an unpretentious indulgence. The only nuisance was a stray goat we had to shoo away from the pool'.
guterres05 Waicana Hot spring!•••#goprophoto#gopro#goprolife#gopronation#gopro_captures#goprouniverse#goprotravel#beahero#hero5#goprohero5#goprophotography#gopro_epic#lightroom#goprouniverse#gopro_moment#moodygrams#ig_masterpiece#goprooftheday#aov#hot_shotz#master_shots#exploretocreate#exploreeverything#fartoodope#earthpics#beautifulseasia#photooftheday#timorlesteparadise#timorleste🇹🇱#hotspring#turismotimorleste🇹🇱

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