Saturday, 8 September 2018


anitadonas at Pangururan (Sumatera Utera, Indonesia):
Lo mejor de viajar solo es encontrarte con personas bonitas con las que compartir momentos, vivir experiencias nuevas y llenarte de recuerdos. ¡Maravilloso! Aquí en Sumatra, con Simon y @marieloche, descubrimos estas aguas calientes y nos dimos un buen chapuzón bajo la tormenta, gracias a nuestro querido host @harrysmanik🌫 #couchsurfing
#airpanas #hotspring #pangururan #samosir#sumatra #sumatera #northsumatra#sumaterautara #wonderfulindonesia#indonesia #indtravel #traveltheworld#travelblog #travelgram #travelgirl#itravelalone #wanderlust #passportpassion#backpacker #solotravel #discovering#explore #gopro #goprohero #gopro3#goprooftheday #iamtb
Hot springs in Japan (onsen) get their regular free press due to what's regarded as an outlandish practice. 
Especially it's traditions concerning soaking as well about the soak itself. 
And prominent in these different traditions is the required non-clotheliness. 
An example: (Aug 23):
'Regular visitors to Japan will know all about onsen.
It's not for everyone, that's for sure; especially if you don't like getting your kit off willy-nilly in front of strangers. 
I don't mind at all, which is why I found myself sitting naked in the open-air hot springs of the Kouno-Yu onsen with a bunch of local gentlemen when, on the wooded hillside above us, a lone deer came ambling along. We sat in silence and watched as the animal sauntered across the landscape and eventually disappeared into the trees'.
The author then continues with a description of Spa World (Osaka) and finishes the article off with: 
'Honestly, it's almost the most fun you can have with your clothes off'.
Another Japanese experience (Well+Good, Jul. 18), more personal though. And more interesting:
'I’ll admit that I was a bit hesitant about the onsen because traditionally the bathing is done in the nude. As someone who covers up at least a little bit in the SoulCycle locker room, it felt boundary-pushing to drop my yukata and walk around totally naked. I kept trying to cover myself with my hands, but quickly realized that I… didn’t have enough hands.
Decatrel [Françoise Decatrel, founder of Japanese bathing product brand Amayori] told me it was common for a first-timer from the West to feel this way. “Communal bathing has deep roots in Japanese history and has always been viewed to strengthen community ties and foster bonding. Sometimes Westerners are a bit shocked by this, but the attitude towards nudity at an onsen is very different than what we are used to,” she explains. “It’s fantastic—there is no need to be self-conscious. Other bathers are simply enjoying their baths. No one is comparing bodies. It’s a chance to let go of your perceptions of your body and truly enjoy yourself.”
“Bathing in the Japanese manner is life changing and is a tool to a more mindful, calm, happy life,” says Decatrel, who notes that the practice can be incorporated into your daily routine even if you don’t have access to your own personal hillside hot spring. “These ancient Japanese bathing rituals translate to our modern times just as does yoga and meditation,” she says. “They will bring a sense of ease and calmness into your life that you never thought possible.”
Though the article adds little, the words used to describe how I would envision a soaking experience are spot on. The simpleness of bathing (naked) with fellow soakers, within nature, enables creating a shared experience; breaking barriers of class, income, race, gender even.
The South China Morning Post notes (Aug. 6) a similarity, but then in the so-called forest bathing:
'A walk through trees or sitting under a tree have been shown to be relaxing and therapeutic. Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku as the Japanese call it, lowers blood pressure and boosts the immune system'.
Following through, though slightly off topic, the last few years western US has been losing a number of soaking sites, albeit temporary hopefully. These include  Harbin, Ojai and just recently Terwilliger hot springs. Culprits were forest fires.
Forest fires have taken the surroundings of these hot springs away completely, though mostly leaving the sources themselves intact (hopefully). It means soaking still can take place but very much in a denuded surrounding thereby revealing how important the surroundings are in the complete soaking experience.
What I also noticed is that social media is fast in pointing the finger to social media itself: internet invites too many careless soakers. Even though the cause of these fires is unknown, possibly even an event of nature. 

anastasia_bachykala at a naked Ojai (California, USA):
Healing earth for my digital wounds.
Situations to be loved through.
#california #hotsprings #nature #child#healing #mud #getaway #naturechild#peace #love #freedom #home
Back concerning onsen culture, an interesting article about an onsen on a cruise ship (Daily Telegraph, Sep. 3). Unfortunately the source seems to focus on the novelty of nakedness (yawn), though it emphasises the positive side of communal naked soaking:
'Move indoors and Japanese bathing traditions come into play. Matsuo [Hiroki Matsuo = Japanese bath attendant on board Princess Cruises' Diamond Princess] is only allowed access to the male baths and he remains fully clothed. “Even though the indoor baths are segregated into men and women’s, foreigners are usually anxious when they learn that nudity is compulsory,” he says'.
evabaerin at northern Thailand:
Went for a swim in the not so secret secret hot springs and even boiled an egg in there! 🥚 Did I mention that I LOVE PAI? 💦🌴 #hotsprings #pai
Art in hot spring settings, not an usual topic. Lonely Planet (Jul. 3) on KAI Sengokuhara:
'A new Japanese ryokan is being billed as the first “art-oriented hot spring ryokan”, where guests can celebrate creativity along with tradition.
When the new ryokan opens, twelve artists-in-residence will be brought in from around the world to create works that will be displayed in the rooms. It will combine an art gallery and studio along with the hot springs that Japan is known for. There will also be activities that help guests explore their own creative side, including a variety of materials in the common rooms for artists, guests and staff to use for painting, illustrating and more, as well as the studio for guided art experiences'.
At prices beyond 300$US a night, for a random night next April.

merytimtrasmonte from the Philippines:
Some like it hot. #Maquinit #hotspring #coron #palawan
Heading for our Southeast Asian regions, starting with a couple of splashes from Malaysia. 
The local Daily Express (Aug. 14) on news regarding Southeast Asia's most internet savvy soak: 
'The popular Poring Hot Spring in Ranau will be upgraded and expanded with new facilities to cater to the rising visitors, including tourists.
Following the working visit of Liew [Deputy Chief Minister cum Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew [of Sabah]] to Poring, Dr Jamili [Sabah Parks Director] said it can be concluded that the place could not cater anymore for the rising number of visitors that has reached its maximum level based on the existing capabilities of the facilities. 
Hence, he said there is a need to upgrade and expand the place by adding more features.
Liew said the proposed private chalets which will look like small bungalows aim to cater for high-end tourists who can afford the facilities and services.
She said at present, there is no accommodation facilities in Poring and building the chalets would meet the needs of visitors who wish to stay to enjoy the nature and scenic view.
"My ministry would prepare the working paper and submit it to the State Government," she said'.
More from Malaysia's Sabah state, once again the Daily Express (Jul. 17):
'[Sabah] State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew said a professional tourism architect will be hired to develop a conceptual plan for Tawau Hills Park (Taman Bukit Tawau) in order to turn it into a first class tourism resort in Tawau.
Christina, who is also Tawau Member of Parliament-cum-Api-Api Assemblywoman, said Taman Bukit Tawau has a wide area with 2,700 hectares with lots of potential such as waterfall, hot spring, the tallest tropical tree and beautiful rivers'.
#VisitSabah #TawauHotsprings spa
The Star of Malaysia (Jul. 5) on the Peninsula: 
'[Johor Bharu] City dwellers can now enjoy a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life with the opening of KSL Hot Spring Resort at Taman Daya, the first resort in Johor with hot spring water.
"One of the key features at this resort is the natural hot spring water or ‘Onsen water’ that is rich in minerals and calcium,” he [KSL Hotel and Resort assistant general manager Simon Cheng] said.
“University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) helped us locate the best source of the natural hot spring water in Jasin.
“After the water is transported here, it is kept in a water tank and undergoes treatment before we allow it to flow into our pools,” he said'.
Strait Times (Aug. 11) reports on the development activities of it's main island hot spring of Sembawang:
'The Sembawang Hot Spring, Singapore's only natural hot spring on the mainland, was officially closed for development works on Friday (Aug 10).
The area will be developed into Sembawang Hot Spring Park, and is expected to reopen in October next year, according to a notice posted on the National Parks Board's (NParks) website'.
mzuuzu at Ardent, Camiguin (Philippines):
Устала от этой поездки. Почему-то выдохлась. 6 перелетов, минивэны, лодки, тук-туки, велорикши, мопед за неполные четыре недели.
Снорклинг, дайвинг, обезьяны, черепахи, водопады, сардины, лагуны, каньонинг, снова дайвинг. Очень много ярких впечатлений и эмоций за очень короткое время.
Три дня на разграбление острова, перелёт, новый остров, три дня, переезд. Индонезия-Гонконг-Филиппины.
Осталось два перелёта, два ночных автобуса и самый большой остров Филиппин.
Не знаю, как можно жить в режиме постоянной дороги. Сколько надо сил?
Еще мне никогда не был понятен тревелливинг. Как можно постоянно путешествовать? И как при этом можно никуда постоянно не ломиться? Сидеть в кафе, ходить на рынок..
Как научиться быть марафонцем, а не спринтером?
#mzuuzu_philippines #путешествие#источник #hotsprings #alwaysontherun#филиппины #camiguin #юва #азия#nationalgeographic
Over to Vietnam. Vietnam news (Aug. 10) has a touristy feature on Vân Hồ District (Son La province):
'Chiềng Yên Hot Spring is very different from others of its kind. It is not planned as a professional service area. The hot spring runs from the mountain with an average temperature of 35°- 40° Celsius. It is embanked to create a 50m2 pool for people to have a hot bath. Both men and women in the village will share the same pool here. And it is also for tourists. It is the hot spring that provides local women with white skin, black hair, and attractive figures.
If the tourists spend a day conquering Mt Pha Luông, they are advised to enjoy the hot spring to ease their pain and complete the journey to the mountain'.
the.wolfbaby.lsk at Xã Trạm Tấu Huyện Trạm Tấu Tỉnh, Yên Bái province (Vietnam).

Vietnamnet (Aug. 16) has more serious news.
Much ado about hydropower going wrong. Blame is put on hydropower as a poor choice, though events point towards insufficient public scrutiny (read undemocratic decision taking), leaving locals disenfranchised:

'In 2000, Ban Ho, with its scenery and culture of ethnic minorities, was the ideal destination for travelers who came to Sa Pa [Lào Cai province]. There were nearly 30 homestays in Ban Ho at that time.
However, Muong Hoa Stream and La Ve Waterfall, which were always full of visitors, now have nothing except rocks and gravel.
...Dao Thi Tem felt lucky as her house was near La Ve waterfall, a favorite destination of travelers. She decided to borrow money from relatives to build a house for travelers. However, since the day Nam Toong hydropower plant was put into operation, the waterfall has been dry. “Su Pan 2 hydropower spoiled the hot spring. And now Nam Toong hydropower spoils the waterfall,” Tem said.To many people’s surprise, many of the hydropower plants are illegal'.
andika_anjani at Ciater (Java):
 Swimming time di kolam depan rumah mantan. 🙊
At least setelah janji ngajak temen gw ke sini, akhirnya gw juga bisa renang manis pagi-pagi. Berhubung belum bisa balik ke Aik Kalak Rinjani lagi, mending ke deket rumah aja.

Curug Cipanas Nagrak ini airnya hangat karena bersumber dari Ciater, Subang. Fasilitas warung dan toilet juga udah proper. Kemarin sih lagi dibangun kolam tambahan buat di bagian bawahnya.
Dengan HTM 10.000 rupiah, buat gw okelah ngacir berenang air anget sampe puas. Walau kolamnya memang buatan, tapi suasana alam di sini masih terasa asri. Bentuk kolamnya mirip-mirip Umbul Sidomukti gitu deh.
Saran gw kalo berenang ke sini pakelah kacamata renang, kecuali kuat perih kena air belerang, lalu datanglah pagi-pagi supaya dapet suasana sepinya. Dan jangan baper liat jalur masuk ke area curug soalnya dipenuhi plang sejenis 'Jalan sama aku, jadinya sama dia'. 😂
Jangan lupa jaga kebersihan dan patuhi larangan naik ke tebing atas curugnya, yes!
O iya, banyak yang kepo sama hasil foto-foto di sini sampe pengen buru-buru main ke Curug Nagrak. Nih, salah satunya yang bilang bakal dateng pas libur Lebaran @hafizhshofwan. Awas aja kalo pehape. Tenang, di rumah ada kamar kosong ko. Kamar mandi maksudnya. 🙊
#andikappuccino #explorewestjava#curugnagrak

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