Wednesday, 6 August 2014


Горячие источники#вроде река, а вроде и ванна#emoji#hot#springs#airpanas#hotwaterfall#river#
Mengeruda Soa, Flores, Indonesia
Source instagram katyaspencer

The geo downside
When is news newsworthy? We rely too often on commercial broadcasts to set our priorities. But how important is an earthquake in Yunnan, China? Not so, says our telly.

But for the internet we would be none the wiser about the Yunnan's tragedy. Just imagine. The Telegraph (August 4) :
'Another man described a huge landslide that smashed cars and buried tourists at a local hot spring.
"We were in the hot spring when the quake happened and we saw boulders rolling down the mountain towards us," said Wang Xiong, from Ludian county, to the same newspaper.
"I grabbed the kids and ran out of the pool, but my right ankle was hit by a rock. Our three cards [cars] were destroyed by the rocks falling on them. A huge rock killed my great aunt, it hit her in the stomach.
"There must have been 300 or 400 people in the hot spring at the time. Some were hit by the rocks before they could escape. I saw blood everywhere in the water."
Away from these tragic events is an interesting article from Japan (Japan Property Central, June 23) which continues on the future of onsen resorts as reported in the interview with Miho Tabuchi. Apparently hot spring resorts are in fear of new regulations requiring them to meet  new standards for earthquake safety:
'The regulations target kyu-taishin buildings used by an unspecified large number of people, such as ryokans, hotels or hospitals, over 3-storeys tall and with a total floor area over 5,000 sqm. -
The regulations require that building owners make their best efforts to ensure a building is up to code, but the regulations are not legally enforceable. However, the end result is the same. If the hotel is not up to code, the information is made public on government websites. Tourists and tour companies may choose to avoid making reservations at ‘risky’ hotels.
Beppu City in Oita Prefecture is one of the most well-known hot spring areas in Japan. It has 8 facilities that fall under the inspection regulations'.
Going global
The Sydney Morning Herald has an article on South Korean bath houses (June 8): 
'This is the world of the jimjilbang, the traditional South Korean bathhouse. In previous centuries they were a practical neighbourhood facility but with the advent of modern home plumbing they reinvented themselves as 24-hour leisure centres'. 
All in all, the writer seems quite satisfied with the experience.

Another experience, a bit further away, Moroccan hammams. Perthnow (july 25) shares with us and how the writer concludes her enjoyable experience:
'The women in the hammam spend their outside hours covered from head to toe in a djellaba, yet it was me, with my decadent Western exposure to incidental nudity, who was bashful'.
Onsenaddict (July) compiles a small list of Japan's most muddiest hot springs. A good albeit brief read.

Wacky spa treatments. The (June 2) lists nine. 
Asia's contribution: Ayurvedic massage (that's not weird), hot cupping, Vietnam's mud bath, Jordan's Dead Sea, Penang's reflexology and ion foot bath's in Nepal. 
Basically the experiences were wacky, not the treatment themselves ...

Phasoet Hot Spring, Chiang Rai #Thailand. Temperature is 87 Celsius. 30B for adults & 10B for kids
Source Richard Barrow on twitter

Thinkgeoenergy (July 25) reports that China will be seeking to upgrade it's use of geothermal energy as a solution to end the devastating impacts that coal fired power generation is creating. By both using geothermal energy for heating purposes and expanding geothermal energy generation, it hopes to lower this dependency:
'... a nationwide geothermal heating program will cover an area of 500 million square meters while installed geothermal capacity will be expanded to 100 MW. As of the end of 2013, China’s aggregate installed capacity of geothermal power generation projects was a mere 27 MW with all projects located in Tibet, including the 25-MW Yangbajin geothermal power station'.
Meanwhile Taiwan is thinking likewise. Taipei Times (June 12): 
'Several academics and specialists yesterday said Taiwan has the natural resources to develop geothermal energy, but there are still many obstacles that need to be overcome, including strict regulations and a lack of government funding'.
Indonesia seeks to up the ante on geothermal power by announcing 9 areas open for geothermal power research (Thinkgeoenergy, June 4).
Furthermore Thinkgeoenergy (July 16) is upbeat that Indonesia legislation will free geothermal power from being labelled a mining activity thus making environmental concerns less important.
Thinkgeoenergy (July 17) then reports on a Bahasa report of continuing opposition towards geothermal power on Bali. This comes a day after the same source had it's hopes up for opposition to disappear, as new legislation might pave the way. Part of the hope was because this new legislation would see forests areas become geothermal power plants! So much for green energy!

Basking in sweet sweet nature. #ahlife #tabanan #hotspring #balidays 
Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia. Source crystallivingthelife

Not much reports from Asia alas. 
  • Malaysia
Blogger Sarah Low reports on Banjaran hot springs, Ipoh, Malaysia, one of Asia's most upmarket natural hot spring places. Two hundred photo's on, there's no word on what she thinks of the resort, nor any evidence that she visited here for a soak!

The Borneo Post (Aug. 3) has a massive article on the hot springs of Annah Rais and Panchor, both near Kuching, Sarawak. Do we learn anything new:
- Despite all the investment and priority given, it seems that no one has done any simple research as towards the mineral content of the waters. 
- Using mud at Panchor is becoming more popular. 
- Annah Rais springs were used for spiritual meditation:
'The spirit would then ask the person what he wanted.
“According to my grandfather, in the old days, men liked asking for charms so they could marry the women of their fancy.
“However, more often than not, the spirit would tell them he could not fulfil their wish because he has no power and could do nothing.”'
  • Philippines
The Benguet local council hopes to be able to build a swimming pool next to it's hot spring, so reports Banguio Midland Courier (June 22). The idea is to save on heating costs.


Define relaxation??? #hiddenvalleylaguna #Waterbaby #weekend #awesome #wanderlust #hotspring
Laguna, Luzon, the Philippines. Instagram user hello_anne28

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