The Spirit of Soaking
A site dedicated to hot springs, soaking and the spirit in which soaking should take place.
In Asia. & Worldwide.
Brought to you by the makers of
Soaking in Southeast Asia,
Hot Soaks of the Himalaya
European Natural Soaking Society.
Seriously, take me back to the wilderness with @sailorjerry #flashback #Friday #hotspring #adventures #savagelife #wildhearts #sailorjerry
Bhutan hot stone bath d.i.y.. From Hot soaks of the Himalaya
Enjoying the fruit of the hardwork
After fasted cardio this morning, a man chased me to the parking lot and said “I’m sorry having to do this in a parking lot, but you actually inspired me in the cardio room. And you’re absolutely beautiful. Are you in the military?” Hahaha!! [Yes, I acknowledge this is long!☝️😏 Stay with me!] As weird as it was, it actually made me smile. Because in all honesty after training is the LEAST time I feel pretty. For one, I’m exhausted, no make up, half gone eye brows (I at least draw my eye brows) lol on top of that drenching sweat. I think I look like shit lol [You’re almost there 🙋keep reading!] Of course I replied “my husband is in the military” his reaction was “Ahh! Well your husband is a lucky man!” Did you hear that baby lol ) [Just kidding! more to go!😂] Anyways, I love it and cherish the most when my husband give me compliments, but I’m not ashamed to admit that, I do enjoy getting compliments from random people whether it’s a man or a woman. Specially it feels good to get compliments when you feel least pretty :) [You’re still reading!?👀💦Wow! I salute you!!🙏] So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, GIVE COMPLIMENTS!! Of course to your love ones, but innocent sincere compliments are good to strangers too!:) (One time a lady in the bathroom was constantly fixing her dress, so I complimented her dress and how great she looked in it. Seeing her face light up and walking out of the bathroom confidently was priceless!) [Whew! I know! What a freaking long status, but yes I’m ALMOST done!🏃💦💦] We don’t know what others are going through, you just might have made their day! Good morning! [If you read all this you must really love me-I love you too, or you’re just really bored-get a life and find something productive to do jk!lol 😁👍 THANK YOU for reading this long status!!😘 ] #tbt #onsen #japan #温泉 #goodmorning
From the Soaking in Southeast Asia Indonesia special: enjoying Rinjani ….
Iva Bell Hot Spring - Day 2 - 8-16-2014
#hotspring #khangairesort chillin in paradise
From Hot soaks of the Himalaya
#hotspring in the middle of nowhere #roadtrip
Took a pitstop at #Valleyview clothing optional hotspring..coolest place EvERereerer !!!! Hike up a mountain naked to a hotspring that over looks beautiful Colorado 💕😍🌻
hotpool hotspring hotsprings hot spring hot springs India onsen Kheerganga hot pool terme termales therme soaking
From the latest entry to Hot soaks of the Himalaya:
In contrast to the infinity pool on the men’s side the ladies have to contend with the walled in soak at Khirganga, HP, India. Posted by catherineask
Holy natural hotspring in Kheer Ganga at 2960 metres! Perfect for karmacleaning.. All my sins washed away #shiva is said to have #meditated in #kheerganga for #3000years
From Poler and Yonder Journal
八百万の神と会議がありました… Today, I had a meeting with the gods…
Hot springs - fastpacking - big smiles
Iva Bell hot springs by sagetosummit
A couple more shots snapped by one of my best, closest, most special friends @aamorelli of my #birthday weekend at #deepcreek! The most perfect place to celebrate & honor this existence. Ooooo so thankful 🌀🍄🌼🌳🌞🍄🌎 #gopro #happiness #alexandrasadventures
温泉を飲みたがるカルと。 #onsen #obon #green #nature #igbaby #onsenbaby #forest #mountain #hotspring #spa #bath #森林浴 #obon
On the way to the burn :) w/ the Aussie n kiwi #umquahotsprings #journeytoburningman #hotsprings
Buckeye hot springs
Pure, unadulterated beauty at Black Rock Hot Springs outside of Taos, NM. Our senses were overwhelmed as we sat in hot, geothermal pools while the cold Rio Grande flowed beside us, with flowers, lush greenery, towering rocks, birds, and butterflies all around… What a perfect afternoon, taking mud baths and splashing around in this magical little piece of paradise with my sweet lil hippie sis :) #newmexicotrue #taos #nm #blackrock #hotspring #naturalbeauty #paradise #heavenonearth
#me & #yuko #ryocan #locanda #tradizionale #giapponese #bagnotermale #onsen #giappone #termale #hotel #hoteru #relax #vicissitudini #biologico #accoglinte #beatenoi
#Repost from @lexi_aloha with @repostapp —- Getting back to my roots✌️ #clothingoptional #hippiedave #nakedslacklining #deepcreek #hotsprings
Onsen experience after 20 min walk in the nature #japan #trip #theteam #bubu #onsen 🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵
Look out to the water baby tell me what you see.
First time at the terwilliger hot springs
We wandered across a hot spring and this happened. #iceland #magic #hotsprings #goddesses #love
Soaking in Southeast Asia: Defining
Горячие источники#вроде река, а вроде и ванна##hot#springs#airpanas#hotwaterfall#river#
Mengeruda Soa, Flores, Indonesia
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’.
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 planetd.com (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 pic.twitter.com/zvYbJofxBH
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
Not much reports from Asia alas.
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.”’
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
Japanese ‘onsen’ hot spring bath with an open view of the Fuji mountains ♨😍 the ultimate relaxation
Healing hot water in the wild and this babe.✨#monohotsprings #eden #hotsprings #mermaids #summervibes #campvibes #ladieswithlocks #vsconature #vsco
#onsen #japan #publicbath #imgoingtomissthissomuch #getwithitamerica
Dunno why me & @marino_s_t thought this was a good idea but oh well #art #roadtrip #MahiHard #taupo #hotsprings
Hiroshi Hamaya, Sukayu Hot Spring, Aomori Prefecture, 1957
เพราะข้า คือ ผู้บริสุทธิ์ 🛀🚿 #onsen #private 🇯🇵🇯🇵💕
“Deep Creek hot tub.”
Kangennnnn habis berendam..makan…minum sake or beer #Onsen
Take me back ! The hardest thing I’ve done backpacking 21miles ! Nothing more rewarding than finding beautiful hot springs at the end of a hike ! #backpacking #bigsur #hotsprings #sykes #skinnydipping
Us #mermaids having morning playtime in our giant ancient earth-made bathtub. Our bodies are so in #love with this #healing mineral #water, and our spirits are so in love with this #divine unity of all beings. #MamaEarth, we love & respect & honor & thank you 🙌🐚✨🌿 We know what we are for, and how we became so informed. Bodies of info, performing such #miracles. I am a miracle, made up of particles. And in this existence, I’ll stay persistent, and I’ll make a difference, and I will have lived it. (Ps @nahkobear join us next time) 🐢⚡️ @wildflower427 #deepcreek #hotsprings #leos #peace #harmony #goddesses #alexandrasadventures
Lake ashinoko & hot springs ! #lake #ashinoko #hot #springs #traditional #onsen #tea #bakery #beautiful #scenery #hakone #japan
Terwilliger hot springs was quite the experience. A few naked hippies and lots of spectacular views. #hotsprings #exploregon #campvibes #neverstopexploring #homeiswhereyoupitchit #adventurelife
Idaho Hot Springs. From Prospecting Idaho
泡汤日♨️ #kenting #taiwan #hotspring
The latest from European Natural Soaking Society:
This website has the distinction of focusing on what remains of the natural state concerning hot springs of Europe. Most news is bad news, i.e. another source falling victim to development. Thus the re-existence of a lost hot spring is some good news.
On the Canary island of La Palma lies the town of Fuencaliente. Despite this being a direct translation of hot springs there were none.
'Fuencaliente means “Hot Spring”. The southernmost municipality takes its name from the hot spring which seeped out into pools on Echentive beach. It was famous for curing all kinds of sickness, including leprosy and syphilis, so Fuencaliente used to attract sick people from all over Europe and even South America. That’s the setting for “A Star in the Water”, one of the stories in “The Seer’s Stone“.And then Volcan San Antonio erupted in 1677 and buried it under 40 metres of lava’.
Apparently it was rediscovered in 2005 deep down in the earth and a tunnel was built to assist in finding the water. But only just recently have the public been allowed to access the tunnel (source) which gives access to a few small, what best could be described as, puddles. Wonder what the future plans are ….
I’ll be heading to south Spain later this year. It’s always fun to seek out what lies ahead. Who has heard of Cuevas Hammam Abuelo Jose near Guadix, Andalucia? Well, it might not be totally what I’m looking for, but north of the Sierra Nevada are a number of wildish hot springs to visit. Coming to you soon?
I’ll have to look this place up!
Coming up as a regular feature in future postings here, we will have the honour of reviews from around Europe by Sacha: let’s term them Sacha’s soaks:
On Ischia, there seem to be three natural hot springs. All the other are commercial ones, whereas some of them are very beautiful and definitively recommended. Two of the three natural hot springs are only usable at low tide.
When I was there, I could see the hot water coming out of the sea, but there was not enough hot water to soak. The one which remains, is on the sea near Sant Angelo (Sorgeto). The water comes out of the rocks at 90°C and flows into the sea. In some areas cold water needs to be mixed up, on other places the water keeps the same warm temperature. Unfortunately, this spot was too touristic for me, as you can see on the picture.
My evaluation: 3 stars (I prefer pools with a constant temperature in a less touristic spot).
Around the continent
Further afield: Abkhazia. Apparently named Kyndygsky (or Kyndyg) hot spring, the water is boiling hot. Used to be a lot more primitive, seems that new Russian money has arrived. But where are the soakers?
Кындыгский горячий источник вот так выглядит днем Скважина считается высокотермальной, температура на выходе около 100 градусов. Настоящий кипяток. Вода течет по системе желобов и постепенно охлаждается до температуры приемлемой для человеческого тела. Здесь можно принять мощный напористый горячий душ и искупаться в нескольких бассейнах. Также есть лечебные грязи. Вода хлоридная, кальциево-натриевая pH 7,5.
Where does Europe stop / start? The picture below is from a muddy hot spring in Armenia (source). On the edge of Europe? The hot spring of Hankavan is not really muddy, more sulpheric.
Via my tumblr soakingspirit site, Noel sent me a dozen or more photo’s from a visit to Rennes les Bains:
CNN (June 27) has a presentation on Hungary’s best spa’s, all based on thermal waters. The article also seeks to warn it’s readers:
'There's an emphasis on health and well being, so many of the facilities are more functional than plush'.
What’s wrong with functional?
Did we know that Iceland is hiding hot springs from us unsuspecting folks? My1stimpressions:
'Hidden in a canyon of lava stones difficult and dangerous to reach for those who are not used to, there is a hot spring of clear blue water waiting for you. The place is like a hidden forgotten paradise on Earth. At times it gets really full of locals who use to go there to bath and drink in company. Sometimes they enlight candles in it, making the atmosphere even more magic. They say young Icelanders are allowed to get down there only when they are teenagers, and imagining the adventure that means at that age makes you feel jealous of them.
Tourists are not allowed. The place is in a private property whose landlord has allowed locals to bath in it. Only locals. No tourists please. That’s what makes this place special. It is still a place where you can find the pure Iceland’.
But the you used, is not you!
‘RÚV reports that construction workers for the tunnel found themselves in the position of having to act as lifeguards as well. About half a dozen tourists were spotted – and photographed – bathing in a steaming creek of water near the construction area.
While the heat of the water is a comfortable 40°C, it is not one of Iceland’s many natural geothermally-heated creeks and pools. Rather, it is run-off from the drilling of the Vaðlaheiði tunnel, near Akureyri’.
The Iceland Review (July 18) keeps us abreast of the legalities of admission fees in Iceland for the use of what are essentially nature’s gifts:
'The magistrate in Húsavík has placed an injunction on the collection of admission fees at the hot springs by Námaskarð and the Leirhnúkur-Krafla caldera, by the Association of Landowners at Reykjahlíð'.
'Travel agencies have been warned not to take tourists to certain areas near Lake Mývatn after an injunction was placed on fee collection in the area, in particular to the hot springs near Námaskarð and the caldera of Leirhnjúkur-Krafla where the landowners at Reykjahlíð have been charging for admission over the past month'.
The gloves are off?
A bit off-topic (well not really): the Guardian (25 April) gives us a Top 10 Wild swimming locations in Italy. Great natural places to be. It includes Terme del Bullicame in Lazio near the Tuscan border.
Talking of Tuscany, if you’re interested in other uses of geothermality you need not to look any further than there. The novel part, as reports thinkgeoenergy (July 23), is that geothermal steam is now an integral part of the process of brewing beer with names as double malt Magma, Sulfurea pale ale and the Weiss Geyser!
'A huge range of products have been created thanks to EGP’s geothermal energy in the small towns of the Tuscan hills. A number of agricultural enterprises in Monterotondo Marittimo use steam from EGP’s plants in the production of their pit-aged cheeses, just like pork meat factories do for the aging of their Cinta Senese sausages. The geothermal menu also includes vegetables: each year Parvus Flos, a cooperative in Radicondoli near Siena, produces more than 12 tonnes of organic basil that is cultivated in 20,000 square metres of greenhouses heated with steam from EGP facilities'.
[photo above post]
Day Four: I spent the whole day swimming in the hot springs just outside Valencia! It was amazing!! #valencia #spain #hotsprings #eurotrip
Not really hot, the Fuente de Los Baños springs delivers waters at about 25 C. Weekends see big crowds.
Earlier this year, Nomadikat visits Bursa, Turkey and does the hamam at Karamustafa Kaplicalan. Her account:
‘“Turkish baths are a traditional thing,” Mehpare explained, “Not many young people go anymore. Turkish Baths are not at all hip – they are considered to be somewhere our grandparents go.” She went on to explain how some doctors prescribed visits to the Turkish Baths for various medical conditions, from arthritis to herniated discs. That explained why a lot of women were not in the best shape, and watching a bunch of half-naked women scrub one another was not exactly the scene from a stag film that one might imagine.
At first, I wore my bikini, as I initially did not want to go topless. I was slightly uncomfortable, and a bit plagued by my American nudiphobia. This would be cured, though, by the time I went for my massage. All of the women at the bathhouse were totally topless. It was normal practice to be almost nude’.
Eventually though she loves the experience though hates the lack of hygiene.
Naked and afraid in real life. #exploregon #hotsprings
Teaching those foreign dolphwhales how it’s done in the rivers. #shitfaced#nakedandnotafraid#foreigners#hotriver#iceland
Dad, thanks for all your hard work always! #matsukawaya #nasu #japan #japankuru #cooljapan #hotel #hotspring #onsen
Noel lauffenburgernoel shares with us: photo’s from his visit to Rennes les Bains. This one is from European Natural Soaking Society
Prospecting Idaho by alexdeckard on Flickr.
#tbt #japan #onsen #takemeback
Idaho Hot Springs, from Prospecting Idaho.