Monday, 31 December 2018


pariwisata_sumut from northern Sumatra's Berastagi:
Pemandian Air Panas Sidebu-debu, di kejauhan terlihat Gunung Sibayak. Sudah pernah kemari?oto: @iceteaworld | #pariwisatasumutnet
I'm trying to find a common theme for this issue of soaking news from the Southeastern Asia region. I can't.

Even more surprising, is that most info concerns non-regional issues.
ThinkGeoenergy reports (Oct. 21) from China:
'Last week, China’s First International Seminar on Hot Springs and Climate Health Tourism was held in BeiBei, Chongqing. Hot springs and climate experts, scholars and related entrepreneurs came from various countries such as China, Italy, Russia, and Japan (in total approximately 350 attendees) came together to discuss the topic of hot springs and climate health and how to transform Chongqing into a hot springs travel destination.
Throughout the seminar, Chongqing signed a number of hot springs and climate health tourism projects. These projects cover areas such as hot springs, leisure reports, and industrial research and utilization'.
Here's the website of the seminar.

On Sunday, people in Yichun, Jiangxi province in China, took part in a chili-eating competition in a hot spa filled with chilis. A woman named Yi Huan won the contest by eating 20 chilis in a minute, earning the title of “Chili Queen.” 🌶👑🔥 (📷: Getty)-#chili #chilis #chilli #pepper #peppers #spicy#spice #hot #food #foodie #instafood#foodlover #foodstagram #eat #eating#hotspa #spa #hotspring #hotsprings#competition #woman #women #yichun#jiangxi #china #chinese #辣椒 #溫泉 #宜春 #江西
Chongqing is also where you can experience the above. South China Morning Post (Oct. 19) comes with more info:
'Chongqing has unveiled a new hot spring bathing area that looks like a bubbling hotpot. The novelty bathing spot in the city’s Shapingba district even has bright red water coloured with Chinese medicinal herbs, floating plastic “vegetables” and giant chopsticks for bathers to snap selfies with.
The pool opened last Friday and is shaped like a traditional metal hotpot container divided into four sections filled with hot “broth”, according to a Pear Video clip posted on the weekend'.
Vogue (Nov. 26) goes to the spa. And notes some international etiquette: European sauna's, banya's, onsens, hammams and Anglo Saxon massage.
A great find, the US based Soakpodcast:
'The Soak is a podcast about how we [Alana and Aimee] get clean. It is equal parts anthropological investigation, travelogue, and excuse for us to experience other cultures through one of humanity’s most mundane rituals: the bath'.
Five episodes as far, forest bathing, seaweed baths, bathing and arts, Korean spa's and US public pools.

v.gurujiii at Ardent (Camiguin, Philippines)
post-hike chill @ the hot springs 🔥 fired up by the volcano itself 🌋 #feelcamiguin #ringoffire
Looking a bit a wider issues in the wider region.

South China Morning Post (Oct. 21) reports on tourists behaving badly in Kyoto, Japan:
'A recent report in The Sydney Morning Herald added dive-bombing into onsen, ...'
While on Japan, there's also the non-soaking experience (Sunstar Cebu, Nov. 21):
'And our guide, Amy, in between regaling our group with stories on creative bento boxes and Japan’s high-tech toilets, which play music to muffle the sound of one’s labors inside the cubicle, dangled nightly the prospect of respite from the freezing cold with the onsen, the traditional Japanese hot spring bath.
The only catch was: “You have to go in naked—with other people,” she said.
The onsen was out of reach. For as tantalizing as the idea of thawing was, baring our flesh in public went against everything we had learned in Catholic school, though the bigger reason we gave the onsen a wide berth was the fear of running into anyone we might know there'.
Hätte nicht gedacht, dass heiße Quellen so fies stinken 😅 und trotzdem war es unglaublich schön dort 😊
Haben eine Quelle gefunden welche nicht auf den Karten für Touris eingezeichnet ist, so waren wir dann allein dort und hatten den Pool für uns. Bei 31 Grad quasi in eine heiße Badewanne zu steigen ist einfach verrückt 😂
Direkt an der Quelle ist das Wasser sogar verdammt heiß, man kann nur kurz einen Finger rein halten 😅
#freethenipple #backpackingsoutheastasia #paithailand #hotsprings #heißequellen
Further afield, a guide to Idaho's best clothing optional hot springs, slightly dated (Apr. 22, 2015):
'There are 130 to choose from, and below you’ll find 5 of the best, where au naturel is the soaking style of choice.
Important note: Please remember to keep your footprint light — stay on trails and pack out everything you bring to the hot springs. Working together helps us keep these special places clean and safe for years to come'.
More mundane.

The NZ Herald reports (Oct. 25) on one of the nation's better known hot spring thermal parks being closed down:
'Landowners have cancelled the lease and changed the locks on the doors at Waiwera Thermal Resort after a history of default payments.
The cancellation notice was issued by landowners Waiwera Properties Limited (WPL).
The land has been used as the site for the Waiwera Thermal Resort and Waiwera Thermal Bottling plant, both of which fall under the Waiwera Group owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Khimich.
Khimich's company purchased the leasehold interest in the property in 2010'.
While in NZ, there's also this hot news. Peninsula Springs of Australia are investing overseas as the Maruia Springs sees new owners (, Oct. 12):
'In the 1990s the business was bought by Japanese owners who turned it into a Japanese-style onsen or hot spring resort.
"They were running it as a hotel with bathing; we want to run it as bathing with a hotel."
The 4ha site was on the market for some time before the new consortium of owners got clearance to buy it from the Overseas Investment Commission in late 2015'.
Jakarta Post (Sep. 20) as yet another article on onsen bathing in Indonesia:
'Visiting an onsen (Japanese hot spring) is a must while in Japan. The traditional bath is believed to have many health benefits as it uses hot spring water.
Those who want to experience the unique tradition can do so at Genki Onsen in Batu, East Java.
In regard to hygiene, Adista explained that Genki Onsen changed the water every day.
However, unlike traditional Japanese onsen, where guests are required to bathe naked, Genki Onsen provides disposable undergarments and camisoles or boxers'.
keichabon at Please-keep-this-place-a-secret (Japan). Bit strange to post this then ...
秘湯・野湯巡り♨️ 知る人ぞ知る感MAX、妙高高原の山中某所にある名も無き秘湯♨️白濁の硫黄泉が岩盤から溢れ出てそのまま沢に流れ込んでいくポイントに土嚢や岩で湯船を作ったワイルド野湯💨 普段は放流状態で入る時に栓をして湯を溜め、帰りには栓を抜き放流するという入湯ルール。いつでも無料で浸かり放題だけど、場所は公開出来ないので悪しからず💦

#露天風呂 #温泉 #温泉好き #野湯 #温泉巡り#nature #お写ん歩 #日本 #hotsprings #野天風呂 #visitjapanjp #♨️ #おんせんきょ#instagramjapan #入浴 #instagram #japan#onsen #混浴 #温泉巡り #enjoylife #tohoku #新潟 #妙高 #温泉好きな人と繋がりたい 好きな人と繋がりたい #秘湯 #温泉行きたい#openairbath #outdoorbath #wild
Over to the region.
  • Malaysia
Laceybunny (Sep. 8) has a list of 15 Malaysian hot springs:

'We’ve compiled a list of 15 hot spring spots in Malaysia, so the next time you’re looking for a relaxing weekend activity, just refer to our list for whichever is nearest to you!'
Freemalaysiatoday (Nov. 30) has a feature on Sungai Serai soaking springs:

'Some of Malaysia’s hot springs have been turned into health spas such as the luxurious Banjaran Hot Springs Retreat in Ipoh.
Sungai Serai on the other hand, has been left more or less in its natural state and looks like a large puddle with a few plastic chairs placed in it.
The owners of the land on which the spring is located have started charging admission of RM1 per person and another RM1 for parking.
They are using the proceeds to make various “improvements” such as the breeze-block toilet cubicle which unfortunately has been built rather too close to the pond.
Hopefully they won’t encase the whole hot spring in concrete which has happened in so many others in Malaysia'.
bunnyrabbids at Kuala Kubu Bharu:
Malaysian style hotspring. Nice to relax and chill. #hotspring #onsen
Yearofthedurian takes a look (Dec. 22) at Mererap hot spring, over on Sarawak (Malaysia):
'The hot spring has always been there, and has always been called Merarap as far as Alfred [Alfred Padan, the regional manager of the Samling Timber Company] knows. The hot water bubbles naturally out of the ground into a series of small pools on land that traditionally belonged to his family and the Lun Bawang Tribe.
In January 2004, 10 years after the durian farm was planted, Alfred decided to build the Merarap Hotspring Lodge. It’s even more remote than the durian farm and is one of the only places to overnight if you decide to drive to Ba’kelalan or the Indonesian highlands.
Visiting the hot spring is also the only way you can get access to the durians, since Alfred and family don’t sell the old-tree, organic, bitter durians to anyone but friends, family, and guests of the Merarap Hot Spring. You can choose to stay overnight in the lodge, but our group chose the day trip package, which may or may not have been the best choice'.
  • Thailand
Hot springs and waterfalls in Chiang Rai province by Adventureswechase (6 Sep.).

Mychiangmaitravel has an overview (Nov. 6) of Pai's (Mae Hong Son) hot springs. Very informative.

lady_lookkaew at Rock Valley Hot Spring and Fish Spa (Khanchanaburi):
#relax 👫 #แต่งรูปวนไป
#picoftheday #saturdayvibes #traveling#thailand #lifeisgood #เที่ยวเมืองไทยไม่ไปไม่รู้#mybetterhalf #husbandandwife #slowlife#เพ้อเก่ง #hotspring
The ever excellent Travelfish (Oct. 16) has updated their Klongthom / Emerald pool (Krabi) chapter:
'We shared the pool with perhaps 200 others, which felt crowded but not to the point that we weren’t able to swim around without colliding into people. Expect the pool to be busier during high season, especially on weekends when locals join the many foreign visitors. Arriving early in the morning or after 15:00 would give you a chance of averting the crowds. While the pool is refreshing and the landscape striking, we wouldn’t say that it ranks among the best mainland attractions in Krabi province, especially when considering the crowds'.
Onsen / spas in Bangkok? Tripcanvas (Nov. 26) has the answers:
'Onsens may cost you a bomb elsewhere, but you’ll be surprised at what you can get in Bangkok!
Stay with us as we journey to find the most value-for-money and affordably luxurious onsens and spas in this bustling city!
Kashikiri Soda Onsen
Here, private onsens are provided, so there’s no need to worry about any awkwardness soaking naked in a hot tub with strangers. But if you would like to enjoy a romantic moment with your loved one, you can opt for a couple onsen or a tub for two!

yuii_kultha at Kashikiri:
 เวลาเรายืนมองเขาอยู่ในมุมของเรา บางทีก็รู้สึกนะว่า “เออดีแล้ว .. ที่เขาอยู่ตรงนั้น เราก็ดีแล้วที่เราอยู่ตรงนี้” ☀️🌆🎋🎋🎋🛀🏻💦😊 #นั่งโง่ๆอยู่ในอ่าง
  • Vietnam
Blisssaigon (Dec. 1) has 6 hot springs to choose from when on a road trip in Vietnam. A good read.

Viet Nam News reports (Nov. 2) on Tram Tau district (Yen Bai) hot springs:
'What could be more pleasing to travellers in the northern province of Yên Bái after conquering Tà Chì Nhù Mountain? Soaking in hot mineral springs with a picturesque landscape laid out in front of them.
Located around 2km from Trạm Tấu District, the springs in Hát Lừu Commune lie under a small valley, surrounded by terraced fields and hills of pine forests that sway with the gentle breeze. Travellers can also choose to stay overnight at a homestay next to the spring to enjoy a night in the mountains'.
Mặt hí hửng, tắm tiên Ngọc Chiến - bản Lướt - Mường La - Sơn La, Hí hí.#famtrip #ngọcchiến #sonla #mocchau#nudebath
  • Indonesia

Tripcanvas (Nov. 21) has 11 soaking choices in and around Bandung, all not very natural. 
It (Nov. 16) also has 5 hot springs on Bali:
'Where better to soak your tired bones and indulge in one of Earth’s natural remedies, after a long day of hiking, or as a holiday reward for months of hard work?
We bring you a selection of Bali’s best hot springs, in both luxury-chic and back-to-basics rural settings that will delight you more than a hotel spa ever could'.
Not all good news from Semangat (lead photo above this entry). Jakarta Post reports (Dec. 2) on a landslide at Semangat that killed 7 tourists.:
'... the 16 students were spending the night at the Daun Paris Raja Berneh hot springs resort when part of a cliff in the area collapsed at about 6 a.m. local time following heavy downpour in the region the night before'.
  • Philippines
insights looloo (Nov. 20) has 5 Filipino soaks for the cooler months: Ardent, Asin, Puning Maquinit and Manleluang.

stephen092 at Batasan, Cotabato, Mindanao:
Then finally, did anyone miss the regional top 10 of Southeasian soaks? 
Sorry, I seem to have insufficient time for this. You'll have to make do with the above.

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