Monday, 17 July 2017

Insomnia

inhinyeranglaagan at Kili, Abra, Philippines
Below the hot spring is a small steam cave. #hotsprings #experiencethephilippines #explorephmag #SiAbra
Stepping outside the region, the ever popular Peninsula hot springs of Australia have partnered in the research project named:
''Indulgence or therapy? Exploring the characteristics, motivations and experiences of hot springs bathers.'
One of the very few forward looking and consumer driven hot spring institutions on the globe, the link provides an abstract:
'Analysis revealed that “relaxation,” “peace and tranquility,” “indulgence” and “escape” were the most important motivators for bathing. Most respondents reported general health benefits (98%) and better sleep (82%) from bathing, one third experienced fainting/dizziness. One third of respondents also had medical conditions. Significant benefits were reported for back pain, arthritis, stress/anxiety, depression and insomnia. These results suggest that while relaxation is currently the major driver of hot spring visitation, balneotherapy warrants consideration from Australian health practitioners and insurers as a complementary therapy'.
I don't known how much this is reflected by other significances (natural environment, social interaction, prospects of a day vacation), bathing does seem to drive the above. A common feature (whether it's the onsens of Japan, the sauna's of Scandinavia, the hot spring holidays of the Tibetans, the mineral bathing culture of Germany, the Turkish baths or the hot rock baths of Bhutan) communal bathing and thus leaving behind one's social setting are ever increasingly needed in today's complex world. 
We need more. 
We need more variation (if only, the above examples of global bathing cultural reflect there's more than 1 way to bathe). 
And it's our common interest as a society to be as physically and mentally healthy, so why not have society assist in pursuing soaking?

Nowhere
It's regional stuff that's our next focus, starting off with a photo and an experience from Burma. 
 
Day 5 (100517) - Khaung Daing Nature Hot Spring, Lake Inle Myanmar. Now who would have thought there would be a hot spring in the middle of nowhere! After a 25-minute ride into a more rural part of Lake Inle, we arrived at the destination only to ask ourselves what we were doing going into a hot spring when the sweltering midday sun was already all around us. Nevertheless we got into our swimwear and dipped in.
There were 4 pools with unique temperatures: hot, warm, cool, and dead rat -- we didn't find out what temperature dead rat was -- and I was confused how they had different temperatures when it was supposed to be a natural hot spring. Perhaps only the water was from the hot spring, and the temperature was controlled by a heater. The hottest pool was a challenge getting into, but slowly and steadily we all got used to the heat, just like how we did with the Burmese weather. With the backdrop of lush greenery and hilly contours, it was a portrait of serenity.
Think Geoenergy (Apr. 6) has an article on the creation of a geothermal tourism village near Kamojang, West Java, Indonesia.
'“In addition to the drilling activities, we will build a tourist village area around the drilling site,” said President Director of PT PGE, Irfan Zanuddin in celebration activities on Exploration Wells BDN-B / 1 at the location of the PGE at Bukit Daun this week.
What a geothermal tourism village actually entails, seems unclear.
ruthmichellecody exuding a different kind of energy. I doubt that's a common practice, rather more a risque photo shoot.
#Baliblues #happy #naked #travel #getnaked #bestwaytobe #simple #lovelife #travelphotography #mountbatur #hotsprings #bali #indonesia #beautiful #landscape #nudity #thetoplesstour
Vital
Malaysia's peninsular has quite a few of spruced-up hot springs that are so to say neither fish nor flesh: not natural enough, nor worthy of an extended stay. 
With the odd (high-end) exception of Banjaran. 
And with this mind, the future has been foretold. The edgemarkets.com (Jun. 14) reports:
'Anzo Holdings Bhd secured a RM10.17 million [roughly 2 million $US] contract to revitalise Selayang Hot Spring near Selangor's Batu Caves'.
More Malayan hot springs. KLnow (Jul. 12) has a list of 12 soothing hot springs. All with quite a bit of cement in sight.
Hype.my (Jun. 23) has another list with
'... 8 local hot springs you should visit when you need a little “me time”.
Or as the title of the article says to rejuvenate. It manages to extend the list to Borneo so it's just slightly less concrete based.

dianne_ditona at Hapao Rice Terraces and Hot Spring
Eat some makeup and maybe you will look better from the inside. Add more bb cream to cover your bratty attitude. My value will not decrease base on your inability to see my worth. My ponytail is higher than your standards. Climb b*tch 😂 #relaxing #serenity #ignore #longhairdontcare #hotspring #skinnydeeping #jonsnow #knowsnothing
More concrete. Redeveloping Singapore's Sembawang hot spring is not only seen as a positive thing. Channelnewsasia (Apr. 23):
'Come end-2018, trips to this northern part of Singapore might be a tad different The National Parks Board (NParks) announced that the Sembawang Hot Spring area will soon be turned into a one-hectare park. Development of the park will start at the end of this year and is expected to be completed a year later.
...
 
Mr Teo Lye Hock, 67, another member of the brisk walking group, hopes the place remains free of charge after the revamp, calling it a “poor man’s spa”.
Another visitor, 59-year-old Mdm Pan Hiew Lian said in Mandarin: “I’ve already been coming here for more than 20 years. I don’t want it to be redeveloped because I think it brings a sense of nostalgia. Redevelopment might make it better, but it’ll lose its charm.”
...  
However, one historian said modifying the hot spring’s present form could also mean losing a part of Singapore’s heritage. Mr Alex Tan Tiong Hee, the honorary secretary of the Singapore Heritage Society, said the hot spring is one of the few remaining places of interest outside of the city region that serves to highlight Singapore's heritage.
"It’s something that doesn't just cater to the folks living around Yishun or Sembawang, (but it's also a place to show) tourists, our friends, that outside the urban areas we still have landmarks," he said.
Mr Tan added that landmarks such as the hot spring help create, among residents, a sense of belonging to their neighbourhood. Without it, that sense of attachment is reduced'.
denisa.e at Phapao, Takua Pa, Phang Nga province, Thailand:
Ripples towards the right. That's because the water was boiling... #naturalhotspring
What a common hot spring experience in Vietnam is meant to be (vietnamnet,  Mar. 13):
'In the early 21st century, Saigon-Binh Chau Tourist JSC invested in the 33-hectare Binh Chau Hot Springs area. It is ranked four stars and listed as one of 64 locations in 47 countries across the globe which foster sustainable ecotourism by the World Tourism Organization.
Binh Chau Hot Springs has 117 guest rooms and four-star villas. It is an ideal place for guests to enjoy special services such as mud bathing, hot spring water bathing, eggs boiled in hot spring water and crocodile fishing.
Rooms with two or more beds are wise choices for groups of tourists. Meanwhile, classical style villas are suitable for high-end holidaymakers who want to enjoy their trip with their loved ones.
The tourist site also features Suoi Mo (Dreaming Spring) hot pool with temperatures ranging from 50-60 degrees Celsius and hot herbal mud tubs. Hot spring water and mud combined with herbs can help people recover their health and cure skin diseases, fatigue and digestion problems.
Furthermore, Hoa Rung Restaurant capable of receiving 500 guests at a time serves both a-la-carte and set menus replete with Vietnamese, Chinese, Asian and Western dishes. There are VIP rooms for those who want privacy.
Tourists can also take an electric car tour around the site, play tennis or badminton and shop at stores'.
Bearing
Having had the region's precious little web-bits behind us, let's see if there's more to note on the wider area more or less on-topic. 
It's interesting to follow where the (soaking) market is going. Leader New Zealand has seen quite a few new developments of hot spring pools with high degrees of privacy (and exclusivity) at area's not known for natural waters but these have been bored. On the flip side it seems that the busier leisure parks are facing tough times. NZ Herald (Jun. 18):
'One of New Zealand's most popular tourist attractions is cutting back its opening hours for a refurbishment as it battles "high losses", sparking fears from staff about imminent job cuts.
The Waiwera Thermal Resort - which is owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Khimic - will operate for just three days a week from this week, with the "closed" sign to be outside from Mondays to Thursdays'.
China's answer: more opulence, less riff-raff. heluxuryasia:
Did we talk about take a dip in a such amazing design spa and private hot spring? | Who wants to join 🙌 #DusitDevarana #HotSpring #Canton #Conghua #Guangzhou #China 🍃🌞🍃
.
.
📷 @dusitinternational #DusitHotel #PoolGoals
Secret hot springs, not so secret anymore. Otherwise known as hitou (In Japan), on tofugu (Jun. 15) the secrets of the umm ..., secret onsen are revealed. More or less.
'Hitou are tough to get to and they can be dangerous depending on the location.
...
If you do go, I implore you to do extra research as well. And make sure you're prepared. Transportation can be less than ideal, and cell signal will likely be nonexistent. If you're hiking, bring the right gear (i.e. towels, headlamps, bug spray, snacks, etc). Do your research on surviving bear attacks (seriously, depending on where you go). And, because these onsen are mostly "wild," there may not be a temperature control system. You can get scalded, or even boiled, if you're not careful. Use common sense and be careful! We're not responsible if you die or get injured!
Still want to dip your toe in after all that? Let's put on our hiking boots (then take them off again when we get there) and look at Japan's ten best hitou'.
When I skim through the list, somehow I think some secrets are pretty main-stream others though look like dream, bears an' all.

Another guide on how to enjoy an onsen. News.com.au (Apr. 18):
'After my humiliating nudie run, I finally began to relax. I leant back against a rock and looked up at the night sky. Snow was falling out of the dark onto my frozen hair. My body was deliciously warm.
They say the best way to forget a fear of public speaking is to picture everyone in the audience nude. Possibly the best way to overcome a fear of nude bathing is to remember that everyone else in the onsen IS nude — not just you.
Natural hot water at vulcano galunggung in tasikmalaya (cipanas)! 🌋💥🙌🏻🌊🌠First Tourist at this Place! After hiking to the top of the vulcano and to the crater this hot Bath was wow so good for me! Beautiful landscape! Beautiful People!
#tasikmalaya #Galunggung #nature #hotspring #backpacker #backpackers #travel #traveler #traveling #travelingram #instatravel #instatraveling #summer #happy #travelawesome #feeling #experience #germany #0711 #stuttgart #beautiful #love #travelgram #life #enjoy #instamoment #goodlife #backpacker_pics #iwasplacesiknow IFD @mige.c
Cats
In the past, I have reported on the Idaho (USA) hot spring bicycle route. Little did I know that the US also contains a even
'The Hot Springs Trail From Santa Barbara to Canada'.
I'm not sure why the trail (it's for hiking) heads to Canada (rather than head to the Pacific), but that seems the way. The Whole Food Hiker (otherwise known as Aria Zoner) has some background on this hike (Dec. 2016) which resulted in a publication.
Postholer has more:
'The Hot Springs Trail (HST) is a brand new long trail pioneered by veteran thruhiker Aria Zoner. It stretches 2,390 miles from Santa Barbara, CA to Priest Falls near the Idaho-Canada border. On the way it hits an amazing 80+ hot spring complexes'.
One should note that there are not that many hikers who have made the whole trip ... Or soaked in all springs. The official guidebook can be obtained here.

On the subject of guidebooks, does one know that Sally Jackson has just finished penning her new issue of the Aotearoa encyclopedia of soaks otherwise known as Hot Springs of New Zealand.

arrinko0o at Muang La:
旅の疲れは温泉でほっこり♪
地元の人が通う温泉。のぼせたら隣の川でクールダウン。
いいお湯できてます。

#温泉 #なんとタダ #ちんちんに熱い #泥水… #トゥクトゥクで45分 #ラー郡 #ウドムサイ#hotsprings #ladistrict #oudomxay #laos
Finally, a  bathhouse in Tokyo started organizing lessons on topics such as comedy and gaming in an attempt to appeal to young bathers and bring back the disappearing tradition of public baths in Japan.
For example, one such session in the “Naked School” at the Hinodeyu bath house included nine men sitting around the bath, listening to an expert on the ancient board game Go.
Odd. Well, it's innovative and has got the media's attention (in this case vanguarddaily, May 29).
'At its peak, more than 500 people per day visited Hinodeyu, which is located near Tokyo’s Asakusa district. Today this number is only about 100, he [Manager of the Hinodeyu bathhouse] said. In the late 1960s, Tokyo alone had more than 2,600 traditional bathhouses or “sento” in Japanese, but since then there has been a steady drop...'.
June's topic was stray cats.

morgthecaptain at Pai hot spring, Thailand 
What will I even do when I don't wake up to your face every morning #9days 😭

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