Monday, 3 August 2009

Updates for July 2009

I'll not bore too many of you, out there. As you can see there are a couple of original postings added / being added to the blog from a recent sojourn near Kanchanaburi, to the west of Thailand's capital of Bangkok.
Again I'm astounded that there are more hot springs than thought but despite the Thailand promoting it's 'unseen' side, there's too often difficulties in accessing these unseen places, while simultaneously there are places with loads of signboards which turn out to be decrepit sites, long beyond use.

From the press there is not too much going on. China, not being in Southeast Asia, does though provide some original news:

First of all there's the case of a fish spa, with ferocious fish. Though still to catch on elsewhere (and not always deemed safe, see blog entry 'Updates for May 09'), fish which tend to eat dead skin off soakers and as such, add an extra spa treatment. These fish succeeded in biting where you would not believe them to be:
'The man, .... sat in the water for half an hour without realizing the special fish were nibbling on his special parts instead of the dead skin. The manager of the club saw the man bleeding as he stepped out of the water and rushed him to a nearby hospital'.
The China Daily article (9 July 2009) does not mention what exactly was the damage. He was refused financial compensation as the manager mentioned that
'it was mandatory to keep pants on during treatments in the club'.
Some questions remain. If the fish are supposed to devour dead skin, what on earth were they doing there? If it was mandatory to have bathers on, why was the soaker naked?

The naked issue brings me to the next piece of press. Singapore's Strait Times (23 July 2009) mentions how soaking naked is a hot topic in China:
'Hangzhou - A naturist swimming resort to be open Saturday has ignited heated discussion in China where public nudity is still taboo'.
It appears that a hot sporing site was wanting to create two different pools, one for the ladies, one for gents and that bathing au naturel would be de-rigeur.
'Naturism has its root in western culture as Europeans were eager for self-expression after the Renaissance, which has little to do with the Chinese culture, said a column in Qilu Evening News in the eastern Shandong Province.'A naked pool is totally unacceptable in Chinese tradition and social customs. China need not to be in line with international practice in this regard,' the column concluded'.
Well, the Strait Times simply agrees by the looks. But is it the case? Surely in times bygone bathing naked in China was common (see link, scroll to Huaquing hot spring). In last months updates, there was precise the issue of soaking half-naked in China, which outside the developed eastern part seems still to take place. Even in the east, China does not seem so closed as it's rulers would like: '
'The naturist pools also have supporters. A survey by Zhejiang Online, a major portal Web site of Zhejiang province, showed that more than 40 per cent of the netizens said 'yes' to the naturist resort while 30 per cent regarded it unseemly and immoral'.
So 40% yes, 30% unsure, 30% against. Well, those against would need not to visit, so marketing wise it's should be ok, socially it seems ok, but ... those in say have other ideas, sadly.

And then there's giving the west the fault, surely Japan's bathing culture can't be categorized as western?

According to the
Shanghai Daily (27 July 2009):
'A naturist swimming resort in Zhejiang Province was told its patrons must wear swimsuits the night before it opened as the authority described its business as "indecent."'
Bummer. It shows just how much Asian rulers are behind in times, a point which I have raised on other occasions when it comes to skinny dipping in Southeast Asia.
A 23 July 2009
article from the same Strait Times, but describing an author's onsen experience:
'In contrast, I and two other girls from Singapore tittered nervously before eventually dropping our robes. Thankfully, no one stared and we quickly grew comfortable walking around in a crowd of women. After a while, we even ventured outdoors to try the outdoor hot spring or rotemburo. Here, water gurgled down a tiny waterfall and into smoking pools under the sky and trees. Lying lazily in the hot water with the cold night air buffeting my upturned face and the sounds of rustling leaves and soft laughter, I could not remember why I had ever felt awkward. We emerged rosy, glowing and wonderfully relaxed'.
Back home in Singapore, this would be an obscenity even if done in one's own house! In the coming updates I'll illustrate that simple nakedness and soaking need not be immoral.
More on this article from China from Asianaturist and Cat's Chat.

More though, there actually already is a bathing area in China which allows nudity:
'A nudist bathhouse at a resort in Hongya, Sichuan Province, reopened Saturday, six years after closing due to pressure from local campaigners, the Sichuan Daily reported Sunday. The facility is at the Yuping Mountain Scenic Area and provides separate bathing for men and women. Security guards patrol the area and the taking of photographs is forbidden, Li Jun, manager of the resort, said.
“In foreign countries nudist bathhouses are usually opened by groups of like-minded people, but in China they always have a commercial purpose and attract a lot of pubic attention,” he said.
Apparently it was shut down after a year ... Actually it's unclear either way ... Anyway it concerns waterfalls, not a hot spring! In the Yuping Mountains ...

Blogging then:
I've weeded through all the searches and hardly found anything, but some photo's.

Lisa Felipe from the Philippines enjoying a naked ('really') hot tub on Bohol(?).
  • Some beautiful pictures from Mainit hot spring made by hradcranska.
  • Coron, a picture of non-naked immorality?


From Dylulena's flickr account the photo was taken last month:
'Indonesia, North Sulawesi, not too far from Tondano lake. I arrived there with the afternoon light .. Couldn't start shooting before my soul were fulfilled. There's a natural hot springs pond as green as the rice fields around it, naturally divided for men and women... Villagers keep coming there regularly just for the afternoon bath.. The view was unforgettable and will be always on my mind'.
  • More info available on Suban hot spring (South Sumatra) here, looks good.
  • Suan Mokkh, Chaiya: not for men, not for women, but for monks. Photo by witpim.

Sorry, nothing from Malaysia ...


  1. Actually naturism is taking off in Thailand. You might want to go to: this is a large group of over 500 members and holds meetup at least twice a year. Membership is free.

  2. Membership is now over 1100 members all dedicated to naturism. Check it out
    There are 4 naturist resort around the country as member resorts.


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