Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wandering

Ждём лётной погоды! emoji Waiting for helicopter!
On Kamchatka peninsula, Russia. Source

Common people?
Development related news for parts of the region.

As of yet there are no mentions made of changes in Nepal's hot springs due to the recent devastating seismic activities. 
It can be expected. I did hear that bear the epicenter of the first earthquake, some of the natural springs had discontinued.

#hotsprings #freezingriver #natural #swimmingfullyclothed #nepal #abc #annapurnabasecamp #trekking #travel #latergram #tb #myfootlookslikeronalds
Jhinu hot spring still in working condition, source.

Meanwhile there's no end in sight to China's thirst for upscale soaking. The most recent addition comes from Sheraton who are opening another hot spring related hotel in Yunnan (travelmedia.com, Jan. 3):
'Located close to the borders with Myanmar and Laos, Sheraton Xishuangbanna Hotel offers 326 rooms and suites, all equipped with balconies offering views of the surrounding forest.
Facilities include three restaurants (international, Chinese and Thai), a lobby bar, indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, a business centre, fitness centre, spa and its own on-site hot springs, with six indoor and outdoor sulphur pools.
...
Guests can choose to soak in the hot springs, explore the rainforest, immerse themselves in the local cultures and customs of Dai minority groups residing near the hotel, or take a bike ride to see the millennium-old Pu’er tree,” said the hotel’s general manager, Damian Chua'.
Elsewhere in Yunnan I recently came across this while doing research for this blog. It's another of those some weird and strange pictures. The following comes from the Yongning hot spring, northern Yunnan and what's happening here?

The new one where we went has a collective basin share in two parts one for women one for men, just separated by an enormous wooden beam,. It's open air so it is very pleasant.
When we ask to go to the collective bath the owner is surprised and refuses by saying to us "lao bai xin" what wants to say "common people" what in his eyes we are not!
The caption makes nothing clearer, but it certainly looks like the tourist is the odd one out for a change ... 

Basking
A recent article on research as towards soaking on Sakhlain  and Kuril islands, (far eastern Russia) has concluded that there's a lot of good in soaking, but enthusiasm needs to be tempered, this is still an area nearly dropped off the map ...
But not for the soaking enthusiasts in the accompanying photo:  



That said, below a what older photo from a Kamchatka expedition (source), mental and social health is certainly OK, don't know about the smoking. Caption reads translated as :
Bath of natural origin. In this cup flows over a rock hot water, so you can bask in even severe frost.
 Ванна естественного происхождения. В эту чашу стекает по скале горячая вода, так что нежиться здесь можно даже в лютые морозы.

Strange
An article (Tribune, Apr. 9) on Chitral hot spring, Lotkoh valley in Pakistan:
'Many find the water too hot to even touch, let alone take a dip in. As a solution, locals have built public bathrooms within the vicinity where the spring water can be mixed with cooler water, said another visitor, Mohammad Jamil. “People bathe using this water for five to 10 minutes and then sit for the next 10 to 30 minutes in a warm room as it is advised not to step out in the open immediately.”
People who have indulged say they feel “fresh” afterward; some go as far as saying the water has magical characteristics which has relieved them from fatigue'.
A blog article on Maharashtra's hot springs with this photo:

 The pond for men...
It describes stumbling on this hot spring:
'We were in for a complete surprise when we reached the small village which housed the lake. In fact, there was no lake at all. However, what we discovered was this lovely hot water spring called Rajvade. An old woman from the village saw us as two lost wanderers and decided to take us around to the our destination. She spoke only Marathi and we spoke none, so our conversations were fun; all she could figure out was that we were strange people from Pune :)'
Struggle
Finally, recent unrest in Tibet explained (Tibet Post, May 5) as locals of Awong (Gonjo county) oppose developing a hot spring. Amongst their other complaints that is, as the development of a hot spring is lead to believe to be a pretext for mining a sacred mountain..
"On April 2nd, the local government told all the people of the village that there were plans to convert the natural geyser water near the mountain into hot spring baths," the sources told the TPI.
"Locals agreed to the plan, understanding that the project could attract many tourists and generate income," the sources also said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
...
Many locals were injured in the struggle, many of which refused treatment from the government hospital, instead going to private hospitals'.

Back to India, recent news is that the country is in the grips of a heatwave; not so for these fellas:
Wash your spirit clean in a warm bathing pool at Kheer Ganga. #hotsprings #holy #religion #mountains #snow #winter #himachalpradesh #himachal #india #kullu #parvativalley #kheerganga #water #instatravel #love #nature #beautiful #instaindia #spirit #wanderlust #wanderer #outdoors #explore #travel

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Enough

Time for another photo overview of just how pretty and unique the natural hot springs of the Himalaya are. 

Holy
Let's start off with a hot spring not highlighted in the Himachal Pradesh, India posting. Kangra district  has hidden a number of hot springs. Kevinhaas has a blog entry on the village of Ladwara with this picture on what are essentially lesser known hot springs:

The town has several warm springs along the river with small temples and sites of morning bathing and washing...

Furthermore from this part of India are the following:

#oldshots #manikaran #manali #holybath #hotwaterspring 
source

Skipping Nepal briefly one ends up in the former kingdom of Sikkim, another part of the world hooked on soaking. And by the looks of it, recording it on yer mobile!

#Buddhist #pilgrims #bath @ #Khadosangphuk #hotspring in the #west of #Sikkim #state #northeast of #India #asia #people #faith #love #peace #kindness #buddhism #prayer #flag #travel #igasia #everydayasia 
Throw back emoji️ #hotspring #borong #southsikkim emoji️ 

Difference
A couple of too many photo's from Nepal need to be shared!
 
Tatopani Hot Springs   
These natural hot springs are said to contain ancient healing powers. The feeling of immersing ourselves in these hot waters after a long day's hiking was the best remedy!  
Chilime hot spring, or Tatopani, high up in the Himals close to the Tibetan border. From the photoblog on the Tamang trail by man vs map

Not so far away, on yer way to and from Langtang there's a hot spring to be discovered near Lama hotel as napo b live discover:

We spent the afternoon camping by the hot spring, reading,  talking and blessing this place. We cooked some noodles at the camp then went down to the sulphur hot spring, where in the afternoon I diverged some water to a large stone and mud hole. We set up candles and ate chocolate and watched the moon appear over the mountainside. 
Unlike hot springs near volcanos, our 'TATOPANIS' r user-friendly but not properly developed. See the difference 
And who says soaking is not socializing? 
Well not always, on yer way to Annapurna base camp top off yer trek at Jhinu's riverside hot spring:

Day 4. Yesterday we passed by natural #HotSprings, the temperature inside +30, outside 15. It's an amazing place, which made us relax a little. Now we are at 3200 m. snow everywhere and its f*cking freezing... emoji it's a kind of hard track started for us emoji#Nepal
source

Roaming
Further eastwards, locals in Bhutan prefer the ultra social soaking solution!

A 7 hour road trip on windy, dusty, bumpy roads, freezing overnight wild camping with a small Himalayan black bear roaming around the campsite and a short hike to join half of Bhutan at Gasa Hotsprings! #gasa #hotsprings #bhutan #everydayasia #EverydayEverywhere 

Can't fully locate the next one, it's probably on the upper reaches of the Mekong (Chinese refer to this as Lancangjiang), well into Tibet. Looks neat ...!

A Han tourist enjoys himself in a hot-spring pool beside the Lancangjiang river at a resort in#Tibet #China #曲孜卡 #温泉 #盐井 #芒康 #TheChangingTibet

Perfect end
Then hopping over the mountains back west, we end up in Tajikistan's Wakhan valley.

Goats on the road
'It was the perfect end to the perfect day in the Pamirs'.

Enough of gina, time for some guy time for me. At the Bibi Fatima hot springs in Tajikistan! #sexypose #hotspring #travel #tajikistan #centralasia #footprintsacrossasia #travelmadedifferent #ssbd #wakhan

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Expanding

Siberia is definitely a wide expanse of openness, and what with the many hot springs situated in the area around the Baikal lake, one would expect a couple of hundred hot springs to be located in Siberia. At least.
Wrong. After much research there only seem to be a few. Or at least there is so little info available on internet. Or there may be hot springs still waiting to be discovered.

Cold Fame
Superlatives assume Siberia to be very cold. And apparently no place on earth gets colder than Oymyakon. Located 3 days drive from Yakutsk,
'Oymyakon boasts an average winter temperature of -45C, with a one-time world record low of -71.2C
...
Ironically, Oymyakon means “non-freezing water”, situated as it is to a nearby hot spring'. source
Even though this is ironic and might lead one to think that there can be no better way of illustrating the contrast by looking into more 'depth', alas the cold wins from the heat, at least in reporting on internet. Even such absurd news such as
'Nippy cows wear bras in Russia'
get a blog entry.

Possibly dinets.travel.ru refers to Oymyakon (Oimyakon) when focusing on orchids but mentions:
'Some rare and beautiful flowers, normally found only in Southern and Western Siberia, can be seen around hot springs in the uninhabited area between Suntar-Hayata and Verhoyansky Range. In this mountain chain, 3 times as long as Sierra Nevada, there are only two small villages and three mines. Hot springs do not freeze in winter, and I discovered a wintering population of brown dippers (Cinclus pallasi), diving in the water despite the frost'.
Possibly referring to the same, is the mention of Tjoply Kljuch (Tyoply Kljuch), which this Italian blogger refers to as having a 'fonte tiepida' (warm source). LP Thorn Tree also mentions:
'There's a small village called Tjoply Kljuch where there's a hot spring'.
By the way, Tyoply Kljuch is yet again mentioned by Wikipedia as a 'warm spring' on the Sea of Japan coast, north of Vladivostok, south of the Amur, somewhere totally different.

Complicating things even more is this blog entry mentioning that the near by Oymyakon, Tomtor, has a hot spring by wideview.it:
'A stream that never freezes, because of hot springs. The vapour, coming out continuously, freezes instantly over the trees all around, creating very bizzarre shapes'.
Funny
The most western hot springs of Siberia are located near the city of Tyumen. they are also more published and probably seeing a lot more visitors. 

There is a hot spring located just 5 km's from the city, named Verkhniy Bor and it
'... is well developed to accept tourists. Accommodation, meals are readily available. The water is highly mineralized having temperature of 45 degrees Celsius and cures many unhealthy conditions'. source
There are a few soak experiences on internet such as the blogs by englishrussia.com, nashural and this from Sergey Gershtein:
'There are hot natural springs that are said to be funny to visit in winter. It was funny indeed'.
He unfortunately fails to expand why they are funny. 

More photo's can be found on panaramio. 
The hot spring also has it's own website, aptly named vbor.ru.

Tripadvisor refers to this hot spring as Avan (I think) and the Russian reviewers give this hot spring four stars.

Verkhniy Bor, source

Gassy
Further away from Tyumen (27 km) is the hot spring of Sosnoviy Bor (website). Tripadvisor also hands out 4 stars here. 
It can also be referred to as Yalutorovsk.  Virtualtourist once had an extensive entry on the hot spring of what they referred to as Yalutorovsk:
'In some dozen kilometers from Yalutorovsk there is a hot spring. It is just in the forest, so the correct destination I can't say. In any way if you ask residents, they will tell you I suppose. It was funny to sit in the hot water when the snow was everywhere around. If you're in the center of the spring you may light it up because there is gas. It is not dangerous :-)'.
Now why has this link now disappeared?

Finally  some translated information on Tyumen hot springs, making the two hot springs clearer:
'A comfortable hot spring is located 11 kilometers from Tyumen - in the Upper Forest. There is a marble pool in the open air is filled year-round warm water. Pool length of 20 meters, a width of 6 meters and a depth of 1.5 meters is divided into two tracks, the temperature of water in them is different. It is surrounded by pines and ornamental palms, near the falls beautiful artificial waterfall.Near the hot spring are changing rooms and showers. This source is considered to be landscaped, as located near hotels, lodges and cabins for tourists, as well as all the amenities - gazebos, barbecues, and equipped with slides, ski and skate, skating rink, as well as a cafe, billiards, sauna, solarium, Karaoke and much more.Wild hot spring is located 30 kilometers from Tyumen. There are no facilities - it is possible to live in tents or go to the city'.
There is no infrastructure though, so pull up to the pool as close as possible. You’ll have to change clothes in a car and what’s more to run good 30 meters to the water in your bathing suit! That was a challenge with outside temperature -25. What’s more, one of my friends left slippers home and had to run barefoot. Needless to say, he sobered up immediately!
Sosnoviy Bor, source

Watercolours
So I hope I am not confusing everybody. As further west are hot springs near Turinsk by the name of Akvarel. Tripadvisor has also been here and the three reviewers have afforded it just three and a half stars.
Yet again there's a Russian language website through which I learn that the temperature is 35°C, it's 20 km from Turinsk town and renovations took place in 2013. Also this gem of info:
'A little history: In Soviet times, this place was Chekunova Hydropathic-worked doctors took patients. But something went wrong and this looked like a old abandoned building that was restored, rebuilt and opened a new set of watercolors'.
 More info can be had from this English website as well as the following picture:


Photo's from the past show a much more rustic and pleasant looking place. If I am not confused this from nashural concerns the same place?

Southeastwards from Tyumen (100 km) at most probably a town named Zavodoukovsk lies another hot spring, quite rustic. Named Beryozovka, this Russian website has some photo's:


Doesn't look too hot. But apparently hot enough, this hot spring came a a failure of the oil exploration industry. 

Two hundred km's northeast of Tyumen is another possible hot spring, named  Dubrovnaya (?) near the town of Tobolsk (source). It could also be named just Tobolsk ... (source). This is a website with more info.

Elsewhere this Russian website has a list of possible hot springs near Tyumen, unfortunately not all too clear. Probably this is the holy grail for this section. Can someone assist? Because this website mentions 7 hot springs near Tyumen, above are only 5 ...