Thursday, 12 August 2010

Update 2010- II

Followers may have noted that most of my effort has been directed towards the Hot soaks of the Himalaya blog, which has detailed listings of many (if not most) hot springs in or near the Himalaya. I am still to include more, but from regions further away.
It's also good to see that the number of visitors to that site is matching those to this site!
On this blog site coming are more entries from a recent journey to Central and East Java, which I liked a lot. Also to be included is a report from a visit to a wellness center in Germany.

In actuality there's not much to be updated on. One of the premier spa resorts in Asia, the
Banyan Tree gives some additional info concerning it's management culture. Ho Kwan Ping, the founder, reveals that challenging the authorities in the past has helped him shape the Banyan Tree now. He's a ‘Capitalist in his pocket and socialist in his heart’. A brand criterion: 'all swimming pools must be built in such a way that guests can skinny dip without being seen beyond the walls of the villa'. If the Banyan Tree got itself involved with hot springs, now there's a concept ... But despite the socialist talk, Banyan tree is totally focused on the free spending elite ...

Hot hippies?
A hot spring in pill form?
'You can re-create the hot springs in your own bath as I do'.
Suzy Cohen (who can be 'reached' at proposes adding all kinds of minerals to your bath, so as to gain the same benefits from a bath at home as you would from a soak in the 'wild'. Unfortunately it's not clear whether there is such a pill or that she proposes taking a whole bucketful of pills. Nonetheless I can imagine people being enticed by this. Does it already exist?
Elsewhere she has to answer a queries about her Facebook page which includes a photo of her soaking in a Utah, USA hot spring:
'Q: This maybe personal, but are you sick? What is in the water that is so healing? I'm curious because around here, hot springs are for hippies only [!]'.
'A: Hippies? I am an Aquarian, so perhaps I qualify. The mere thought of hot springs brings a rush of peace into my body and a deep breath. I prefer undeveloped hot springs that are nestled deep in the woods or amidst a waterfall.
The waters contain minerals and sulfur compounds which go right through your skin to soothe aching muscles, ease joint pain, improve circulation, relieve skin irritations, boost immunity and ease breathing difficulties. Sulfur-based compounds help unstick dangerous pollutants. The experience can create harmony, because you are soaking up healing nutrients from ancient waters bubbling up from the Earth's core, and you absorb energy from the fresh air, the Earth, the trees and the sun'.
Not sick thus.
This last mentioned aspects fall much in line with a
thread on concerning 'spiritual aspects of soaking'. Unfortunately I have yet to come across any spirituality in soaking here in Southeast Asia other than that awarded to water in general.

A previous link to a Malaysian language blog entry concerning Kunak hot spring has been changed. Apparently according to the new link the springs here are not only hot but salty as well.
Caution must be applied though to this as of yet undeveloped hot spring:
'Fredolin [Sabah state Mineral and Geoscience Department senior geologist] advised visitors not to simply taste the hot water in order to avoid untoward incidents. “We are concerned that the water could contain toxic susbstances such as mercury and arsenic”, he added'.
Elsewhere there is a 'mud volcano' closeby. Can't resist posting this picture from Semuakonak, even though it's not a hot spring:

  • At the beginning of June it was reported that repairs to Bhutan's premier hot spring (required due to a flash flood) would involve the Japanese. Though in this more recent report, the Italians seem to have outbid the Japanese.
  • The Daclan soaking vs. geothermal energy production quandry has once more delayed geothermailty as the local government favours local sentiment (should they do otherwise?) against geothermal energy according to this press clipping.
  • From the same source, more reports of favourite soaking haunts being developed to provide more energy.
  • 'If a man swims naked in a pond and there are no women there to see him is he acting immorally? A group of men in Yuxi who use a local reservoir as a nude swimming social club say the answer is "no".'
    This shocking
    story (though not concerning a hot spring) uncovered by the blogoshere at the end of June. It concerns a small lake near Yuxi, Yunnan, where this tradition has just been found out. Apparently no outcry as of yet.
    'Pundits such as Southern Daily columnist Ao Tianma say that the legality of nude swimming is open to interpretation. The law stipulates that public exposure must be flagrant in order to be a crime, and it is unclear if that label applies to such a secluded area.
    For their part the One Hundred Birds [local swimming club] simply want the recent media attention to go away. A club member surnamed Yang was quoted as saying, "We just want to keep the place and go about our swimming quietly."
    A great story nonetheless which literally reveals that bathing practices even in China are diverse. But also how internetisation (or may we also add, a form of cultural globalisation) is threatening this diversity and conditioning all non-mainstream practices to fit in with just the single line of thought. So much for the internet being a tool of power!

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