Saturday, 4 February 2012

Updating TOPics

Trending topics
Despite first hand reports now to be halted, traffic on this site has tripled in the last 2 months. No indication why though. Thoughts? publishes their pitiful attempts to recognize trends for the upcoming year:
  • Focus on feet
  • Icy therapies
  • Coaches (I'm now a soaking coach ...)
  • Online wellness gaming ...
  • Spa food
  • Vibration, sound, music, light and color therapies
  • Glamour
  • The website
  • Spa's becoming family friendly ...
  • Wow spa's, dressed to impress ...
  • Corporate programs
If it weren't for the need to come up with trends every January, what would the real trends be?

A real trend?
While on the subject of new therapies, the
New Zealand Herald gives an in-sight on hot rock therapies.
Ganbanyoku is a hot stone spa popular in Japan, where people spend all day in one - especially during the cold winter months'.
It's origins, states the article, lie in the imitation of the famous soaking Japanese monkeys, who after soaking their time then lie on hot rocks. Saunascape adds that this treatment is becoming very popular with especially young women in Japan.
I myself remember taking a sauna in a small holiday park while on a congress in Germany, nearly 20 years back. After the sauna, we swam in the adjacent pool. Very normal there were the thick stone benches alongside. Under these benches was the central heating system. So, despite the freezing temperatures of the dark night outside we could lie down covered by a towel and regain heat after a long swim, a great experience.

Ganbanyokou doesn't describe whether or not natural stones are needed; in Ranong, Thailand, it was just ordinary cement. The article continues:
'Ganbanyoku is believed to have a detoxification effect similar to low-temperature saunas, and helps to improve the circulatory system and conditions the skin'.
It then describes a 60 minute session at Aucklands Bliss Stone Spa which knocks the visitor back at a rate of 1 $NZ / minute (or 0.8 $US) that while in Ranong where I visited last year the treatment was free!

Growing native Japanese plants in water from hot springs is superior than other water! A research project.

Aah, a title tilted to tell?
'10 Cool hot springs areas in Asia'
posted by Three areas are in Japan, two in Taiwan, surprisingly 2 in India (Sikkim and Bakreshwar) and making the list Vietnam (and one of Southeast Asia's premier commercial soaks), Nha Trang.

Vietnam has it's own list,
'Discover the most popular hot springs of Vietnam',
by Surprisingly it doesn't list Nha Trang! It does add some interesting info, f.i.
'According to some scientific tests, Kim Boi water resources can reach the required standard for quality; therefore, it proves to be suitable for drinking and bathing'.
More top somethings. Top 12 geysers and hot springs. Asia springs involved are Beppu & Jigokudani (Japan), Valley of Geysers (Kamchatka, Eastern Siberia) and Huanglong (China).Twelve hot springs worth traveling for seems a bit ambiguous. Caption:

'With so many steamy spots to choose from in the world, we’ve narrowed our list down to natural hot, mineral, and geothermal springs in historic, picturesque locations, including two right here in the U.S. Here are some of the prettiest places to jump in and say “ahhh.”'
Including Kusatsu (Japan) and Yambajan (Tibet).

Deep Energy
Well, despite all the hoopla, on Bali geothermal energy seems to be terminated:
'Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika recommended last week that a geothermal power plant proejct in Bedugul is to be stopped and its province to look for an alternative power source, as first exploration didn´t prove to be as successful
He said results from exploration at three sites in Bedugul were not fruitful and had led to the destruction of four hectares of protected forests. “It’s difficult to green-light the continued destruction of what little forests we have left in Bali,” he said.
Pastika said another reason for his recommendation was that the areas in question were regarded as holy sites by Balinese Hindus and contained 30 temples.l ... '.
Elsewhere in Indonesia (Baturaden), permit troubles. Think Geoenergy highlights how the potential of geothermal energy in Indones1a is being hampered by politics. Despite this Pertamina's geothermal arm might go public.


  • A complete photo set by Noporomises23 on San Kamphaeng hot springs, about an hour out of Chiang Mai.

'Hot springs near Phrao [Thailand]'.
Andrew Smith.
  • Than Tha (Than Tan) hot spring near Hue, Vietnam, is visited by Hayden:
    'The whole place was dead though except for the workers ... The mineral bath wasnt very warm but the hot springs was actually pretty nice...'.
  • Dak To hot spring, Kontum, Vietnam.
  • Travelfish have a very good entry on Thap ba hot spring:
    'All in all, I would say this was my most relaxing day in the country to date.'.
  • A salt mud volcano? Bledung Kuwu on Java island, Indonesia, according to javaisbeautiful.

News from Burma. Sagar news reports on mud volcanoes erupting and rising temperatures of hot springs after an earthquake.

Laurent Beullac: Toya Bungkah.
A more upscale hot spring resort in Kintamani, Bali, Indonesia? It's not
Toya Devasya

Who would think that skinny dipping is allowed in South Korea? Malaysian SK Ong reports:
'I had not experienced a hot spring bath but enjoyed it tremendously even though I was not used to wearing my birthday suit in front of strangers'.
Well he then continues:
'I spotted the swimming pool and without further thought, immediately jumped in. Oops, too late. I heard children, men and women splashing and screaming at the other side of the pool. This was a public pool! And I was still in my birthday suit!'
Difficult (and often contradictory), these local customs ....

A link to a video of winter swimming in Khingan Range in China. Icy waters are never a good prospect. Whenever I visit a local sauna, I tend to skip the cold bath, not nice. However the prospect of a hot soak afterwards entices 'swimmers on Thursday [to defy] the severe cold to jump into a pool at a local scenic spot.

'Tourists will get discounts on prohibited open spas, house and camp services in Lujiang county, Anhui province. A prohibited open festival is reported to open after this month and will attract many tourists. Local tourism authorities pronounced yesterday that a use discounts will be offering to pull tourists to Lujiang during a festival, People going to a 4th “Hot Springs Benefiting Health” festival jubilee will design to see a indication show, a poem contest, a low-pitched luncheon and a county tour'.
How to get more visitors? By adding a hidden element of secrecy? A hot spring near Guangzhou, China adds pr material with video's of girls with tattoo's smoking while enjoying a soak with lots of bubbles ....

GoCNN has a write up on Tokyo's hot springs. How do we sell the article?
'Hot-spring superstar Beniko Yamada takes the towel off the (extended) city's greatest soaks'.
How can we resist the towel disappearing act? Her superstar status is due to the fact that she has soaked at nearly 4000 hot springs! She even has her own

Britian admires it's Bath hot springs. Not faraway from these are the Taffs Wells , near Cardiff, which are neglected and ruined. Why, no body seems to have clue. So, according to
BBC now is the time to rejuvenate the site.

It's not often that hot springs from the African continent catch our eye. has it's own article on their nation's soaks, which by the looks of it number slightly more than 10 ...

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