Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Southeast Asia's Top 10 2011

More than one and a half years have past since a collated data on the internet savviness of Southeast Asian hot springs and present to you in a top 10. Back then Soaking in Southeast Asia wrote:
'Though arrived at through repeatable measurement, it has to be acknowledged that there is considerable bias in the results.
  • English is the main language in some countries and counts especially for Malaysia and Philippines.
  • Income and thus internet use once again counts in favour of Malaysia.
  • Names for hot springs are sometimes fluid, especially in Thai, where one can have many different versions for the same hot spring. In Vietnam and the Philippines this is less the case.
  • Due to changes in ownership, hot springs change name which does not favour a large number of hits. See for instance Toya Bungkah, which was previously known as Kintamani, a much more often used name. And would have made the top 10.
  • Internet is disproportionally skewed towards English. Vietnam sees relatively more non-English speaking tourists.
  • Some hot springs carry easy names referring to larger places, such as Fang or regions. Banjar for instance, would have been third instead of fifth if Lovina (the name for the region) would have been used'.
Much of the above is still very much true.

Used were searches on google, bing (new), flickr, tripadvisor's Asian forum and google blog (new).

So again caution when interpreting the following top 10 as of April 5 2011:

1. (1) Poring, Malaysia

2. (4) Fang, Thailand

3. (3) Ardent, Philippines

4. (5) Banjar, Indonesia

5. (-) Asin, Philippines
6. (2) Sungai Klah, Malaysia
(7) Thap Ba, Vietnam

8. (-) Kham, Lao

9. (10) Tambun, Malaysia

10. (-) Pedas, Malaysia
(-) Binh Chau, Vietnam

Sungai Klah drops, possibly an anonomy. Purely on Flickr, the number of Sungai Klah photo's has doubled, though ranking stayed the same. With tripadvisor many of the other hot springs scored better.

Muang Kham in Lao is a newcomer as is Asin (Philippines), no idea why they have become so much more popular. Maquinit (Philippines) dropped away altogether, would now be twelfth.

Country wise, Indonesia seems less popular.

It's surprising how in just one and a half years much more info has come online. Fang for instance has received more than 150 times more links. Sankampaeng (Thailand) has seen the number of links on Flickr increase 5 fold.

Do note that this says nothing of the quality of the soaks nor over the degree of greatness of each soak. It might just be the opposite ....

By the looks of it, Fang hot spring is getting hotter! Photo by Hannah Says Hi:
'Fang Hot Springs This water is SO HOT. A geyser shoots every 20 minutes. Family fun!'


  1. Thank you for your site! I am a fan of hotsprings. I travel a lot in southeast asia. Right now I am at Riverview Resort in Adin, Banguet, Philippines. ButvI am passing on dipping, let alone soaking. Why? The hot pool is lukewarm! Visitors and staff tell me this is too far up the mou tain to have any hotness from thecspring, and to go explorebelow. So, Riverview is indeed a waterpatk, on a Sunday very busy with families from Baguio. Not what I am after

  2. Favourite hotsprings in SEA...

    1. Thailand: The series of free civic pools in Ranong in Thailand at the Andaman Seaside. Popular with locals. One right downtown in the city park.

    2. Burma: Somewhere on the route from Tachilek to Mengla in Shan state, Myanmar. Almost free. Hot. Nobody else there

    3. Cambodia: Unknown undeveloped hotspring in Kampong Trach province. Free.

    But my absolute favourites so far are in Oregon, USA and outside of Taipei in Taiwan.


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