Sunday, 15 January 2017


Bawean island, off the north coast of East Javan coast, Indonesia. 
Small island with a couple of hot springs.  
Viimeinen kuva Baweanilta, lupaan! Tuun muistamaan tän kauniin paikan aina❤ Nyt alkaa kotimatka😭 #hotsprings #nature #sisters #kumpionkumpi #hoeswithtoes #indonesia #eastjava
Let's start off with trends. Other than the trend to soak in nature is on the up. And the opportunities to do such are on the wane, especially in Southeast Asia. 

The wellness trends for the coming year? Insidersguidetospas has a forecast on the coming wellness trends, equally  scientific as those above:
'No longer a solitary, “meh” experience, the new, spectacular, social saunas are some “outside of the box” thinking . . . literally'.
So sauna's are in. What else? Architecture, silence, wellness with arts, inner beauty, meditation and cancer care. And bashing the rich:
'In a world where rising income and “wellbeing” inequalities are fueling a populist backlash, a wellness industry that’s become narrowly associated with rich elites (those $300 yoga pants and Reiki sessions) will change'.
Big news on the symbol change in Japan. Asia Nikkei (Dec. 13):
'A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it does not necessarily say the same thing to everyone. This was the conundrum Japan's trade ministry pondered as it planned to revamp the symbols used in public spaces such as train stations and tourist spots so as to make the country more visitor friendly.
Japan is preparing for an influx of overseas tourists during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But moves to change the traditional pictogram for hot springs has caused an uproar in the tourism industry.
According to a survey released by the ministry, around 60% of Japanese respondents said the original symbol is easier to understand. The same survey showed that about 70% of respondents from six countries, including the U.S., China and South Korea preferred the international standard.
But many well-known onsen resorts demanded the change be dropped. "The current symbol is used in train stations, on street signs and for souvenir packaging. It would cost the industry billions of yen to replace them," Seiji Hori, executive director of an association of inn owners in Beppu, on the southern island of Kyushu, told the Nikkei Asian Review. 
Yukio Ota, the Japanese designer who developed the ISO symbol for exit signs -- "the green-running-man" -- thinks the Japanese hot spring symbol is superior. "The original symbol is much more visible from far away, even when small. In terms of design, the original one is better," he said.
According to Ota, the key to a pictogram is visibility, which the international symbol does not take fully into account. "If you keep scaling it down, the symbol gets all squashed up, becoming less identifiable. A pictogram must be simplified as much as possible," he said'.

Does seem a bit odd that you need to change your symbols to explain to foreigners, should be the other way round? 
Then again I do like the social aspect of the new (?) symbol, but why three persons, not two? One person would be a bit anti-social (very foreign?). 
What happens with foot soaks? Geysers? No symbol

hot spring waterfall @Xichang, China. Amazing!!
More making foreigners at home in the local hot pot. CCTV (Dec. 8):
'The allure of ancient China can be highlighted by its colorful artworks, music and theater performances. But there’s more to it’s rich history, such as the prevalent hot springs bath culture, which remains popular in current Chinese society'.
It then has a general section of what positive attributes a soak has and ends the article thus:
'Many Chinese love to visit hot springs, but some expats remain reluctant to relax there. The communal atmosphere can intimidate visitors, especially Westerners, who value privacy more.
It can be uncomfortable to delve into steaming hot waters, which may feel like your skin and body are burning. Some pools are too small and with many people sitting in them.
Perhaps, Chinese hot springs baths can develop services that would be more appealing to foreign customers as well. If so, they could generate more substantial income by welcoming both Chinese and expat clientele'.
See, if you have a financial reward in the offering?

purplepraeee at the hotsprings of Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai province:
More marginal soaking news
Starting with recent seismic activity in New Zealand that may well explain other geothermal phenomena such as hydrothermal eruptions in Lake Rotorua (NZ Herald - Nov. 28, NZ Herald - Nov. 30 and an interesting explanation on Nov. 29):
'Rotorua Lakes Council geothermal inspector Peter Brownbridge said it was nothing to worry about, although it was noisy and spectacular because of the geyser effect of the eruption'.
On November 2  Canada's The Star reports:
'One of four Canadian men accused of walking onto a sensitive hot spring at Yellowstone National Park has pleaded guilty to the charges.
The National Park Service says Hamish McNab Campbell Cross pleaded guilty Tuesday to foot travel in a thermal area and disorderly conduct by creating a hazardous condition. He agreed to pay more than $8,000 in fines and fees'.
🍀 Red Rock Hot Spring 🍀
After soaking in the icy cold waters of Casaroro and Pulang Bato waterfalls, we finally got a taste of the soothing water of this natural hot spring.
The spring's water temperature can get as high as 39° Celsius.
#hotspring #naturalspring #nature #Valencia #redrocks #NegrosOriental #Visayas #travelgram #travel #choosephilippines #experiencePH #discoverPH #photooftheday
Hot spring salt? I was drawn to this subject by alternet (Oct. 28):
'Baleni Salt comes from a hot spring on the Klein Letaba River and has been meticulously cultivated with ancient techniques for 2,000 years by the women of the Tsonga community'.
The hot spring claims to be the only undeveloped hot spring in southern Africa (source).

South Korea has it's jimjilbang soaking tradition, not usually using naturally heated waters, but nonetheless a sort of sento.  
Seektheworld has 10 steps of enjoyment for jimjilbang luvers in Seoul.  Conclusion:
'Throughout the experience, I realised that it made sense to spend so much time cleaning your body ’cause cleanliness is sacredness, which leads to happiness and contentment.
I surely had a pleasing experience at the Jjimjilbang and it was kind of an awkward experience for me but it was still fun and relaxing. I totally would recommend it on a must-do thing in Seoul'.
Forest bathing explained. Quartz (Oct. 22):
'The tonic of the wilderness was Henry David Thoreau’s classic prescription for civilization and its discontents, offered in the 1854 essay Walden: Or, Life in the Woods. Now there’s scientific evidence supporting eco-therapy. The Japanese practice of forest bathing is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production, boost the immune system, and improve overall feelings of wellbeing'.
Finally, the wackiest news (Mashable, Nov. 27):
'The mayor of Beppu, a city known for its hot springs, issued a challenge on social media last week: If this YouTube video hits a million views, he'll build a "spamusement park" in the city.
Mayor Yasuhiro Nagano announced on Facebook that the video hit the million-view mark four days after it was released.
According to RocketNews24, the mayor's office released a statement to the press celebrating the project's commencement.
It hasn't said when the park will be completed, but the city is now seeking creative types to submit ideas for its rides and attractions.
We only have one question — how will people keep their towels on on some of these rides?
But what if ...

Moving on, the regional section, starting off in Vietnam with some news ...

thanhpham275 at Tú Lệ - Văn Chấn - Yên Bái:
#throwback #mùcangchải #trip #naturalhottub có 4 người trong hình thì 3 người trên Mộc Châu. 1 người bị ốm ở nhà nằm up ảnh 😖😖
Crossingtravel (Jan. 2) has this on offer:
'Situated in Ba Na Nui Chua nature reserve area, the hot spring park on Than Tai Mount has been popular recently when tourists come to Da Nang. This summer, apart from familiar destinations, don’t forget to try a brand new experience in Japanese hot spring.
Under the direction by experts from Japan – the country of hot spring, you will find it worth to try'.
Классный вид, теплые термальные источники, лазурная вода, что еще нужно для счастья😍
Вьетнам не перестает удивлять:))🇻🇳
#yangbay #waterfall #vietnam #hotsprings
Over in Thailand, the Yunomori line of spa's opens a new spa resort in Pattaya (Pattaya Today, Oct. 19). Their other affiliates claim that their waters are sourced from natural hot springs, no word here though where their waters originate from. 
The Bangkok Post also has a visit to Pattaya (Oct. 28):
'People have been benefiting from the therapeutic effects of thermal springs for thousands of years. The natural relief and invigoration of the mineral-rich water -- which, by the way, Yunomori sources directly from the sacred springs of Kanchanaburi's Wat Wangkanai -- has such a tantalising and relaxing effect on you'.
Surrounded by nature
#HomePhutoey #homephutoeyriverkwai #boutiquehotels #adventure #kanchanaburi #riverkwai #treetopadventure #hotspring #กาญจนบุรีรีสอร์ท #โฮมพุเตย
Heading to Bentong, Malaysia; the New Strait Times, (Nov. 17):
'Welcome to Bentong Hot Springs! Located 16km south of Bentong, it consists of two pools. A portion of one pool has been taken by a resort for commercial use and a mural-covered brick wall separates the public and private sections. Some people pay an arm or a leg to visit exclusive mud spas like Turkey’s Sultaniye Hot Spring, California’s Calistoga Hot Spring and New Zealand’s Hell Gate. Here in Bentong Hot Spring, it’s free! 
That's about all it can mention about the hot springs.

lachgar_web at Suungai Klah?
Having a hot tub with some of the greatest minds .
#HotTub #HotSpring #Malaysia #Business
An article (Borneo Post, Nov. 20) on Sarawak's Long Semadoh valley with a stop at Merarap hot spring.

Meanwhile in Laos:

"Women from the village enjoying a bath" - Muang La Lodge is home to natural hot springs. The mineral & salty water has been used for centuries to heal and relax #muanglalodge #muangla #northernlaos #discoverlaos #hotsprings #relaxation #artdevivre #nature #healthybody @muanglalodge @secretretreats
Hot spring tourism in Indonesia. (Jan. 3):
'Moreover, Yuki [PT Sari Ater Public Relations manager] said that Ciater has seen increased number of visitors from Middle Eastern countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, surpassing that of Asian countries, namely Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea.
“It’s a surprising trend, but is welcomed nonetheless,” Yuki said. Saudi Arabian tourists see Ciater as heaven on earth due to its natural landscape, exotic mountains and cold temperature, unlike the Middle East'.
Lagi pada mau ambil selendang bidadari 🌈👸
Lokasi : Pemandian air panas , Kawah Rengganis - Ciwidey Bandung
#lingkarindonesia #explorebandung #vacation #trip #travellife #travelling #travelgram #traveller #mountaineer #mountaineering #hiking #tracking #jelajahnusantara #thisisindonesia #hotspring #kawahrengganis #rengganis #jawabarat #fog #sagalabandung #mlakuyuk #ciwidey #bandungbanget #bandunginframe #discoverbandung #infobandung #KerenGan #livefolkindonesia
The end is near? One of the globe's unique and laid back places to be is central Sumatra's Lake Toba. This particular backdrop is the setting for a new gold rush? Mongabay (Oct. 19):
'Starting this year, the government plans to whip the sleepy lake region into the “Monaco of Asia.” It’s an ambitious tourism initiative, and one that promises to boost the economy. The tourism minister has said he aims for the country to earn $1 billion annually from the lake’s foreign visitors'.
With hot springs located at the north of Toba lake, these would probably the first to be developed. The article notes how the little tourism the lake already sees is upsetting the ecosystem and foresees an end to the lake as we know it with the destruction of forests, water and the building of toll roads and an airport.

Somethings just can't be explained. 🎍#hotspring
But hot spring resorts have also been blamed for other natural disasters Jakarta Post (Sep. 26):
'In its immediate response to the flash floods in Garut, the West Java Environmental Management Board says the disaster was a result of large-scale construction activities in a number of conservation forest areas, which is surely a blatant violation of the regency’s detailed spatial planning. For years the sanctuaries have been converted, for the sake of financial gain, into resorts, restaurants and hot spring facilities'.
Not always positive news, Jakarta Globe reports (Nov. 9) on a death at the hot springs atop Mt. Rinjani, Lombok's signature volcano. And though the area was closed due to volcanic activity, the death seems to be a drowning (Freemalaysiatoday, Nov. 9).

Finishing off the regional section, a photo from Burma:

Men are enjoying the hot spring, after a long day of working. This photograph was taken in Kuang Daing, Shan State, Burma/Myanmar
#shower #qualitytime #men #swimmshorts #clean #workworkwork #hotspring #busy #hot #water #spring #nottheonlyone #travelburma #myanmar #burma #travel #photograph #natgeo #natgeotravel

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