Sunday, June 19, 2011


Baoshan lies in the south-east of Yunnan. A majority of Yunnan's hot springs are to found in this city prefecture.

Hot Spring Culture

Most of these hot springs are to be found in the volcanic region of Tengchong county.
'Over 80 vapor springs and hot springs are scattered around the volcanoes, making this the second largest vapor field in China. The famous Yihong Hot Lake is one of the biggest hot spring lakes in China, covering a total area of 10 square kilometers. The most magnificent Dagunguo (boiling pan) Hot Spring, 6.12 meters in diameter and 1.5 meters deep, has a water temperature of 96.6 degrees centigrade, and resembles a pan of boiling water, sending steam high into the sky. The Hamazui Fountain, with a water temperature of 95.5 degrees centigrade, looks like two frogs spraying out hot spring water. Pearl Spring is a pool of water with hundreds of spray holes in the bottom sending out pearl-like strings of hot bubbling water.
Other spectacular sights include Huaitaijing, Gumingquan, Xiaogunguo and Yanjingquan springs and waterfalls. Hot springs in the adjacent Longling County are also popular with visitors because of their medicinal effects on the human body'. (Source).
Others mention that there are 24 springs of over 45.

Tengchong however is swiftly becoming part of China tourism trail
thanks in part to the new airport. To confirm this, there is even a celebration called the Volcano Hot Spring Cultural Tourism Festival of Tengchong. However it seems to be another spectacular show with little or nothing to do with hot springs nor with soaking culture.

And though viewing the waters from a distance seems to be the number 1 activity, soaking in Tengchong is mentioned to be reasonably priced. See this photo of hot spring bathing in Tengchong.

With over 80 hot springs, naming the hot springs can be fun.
Brian Powers has photographic documentation on the Cherry Blossoms hot spring. Canyonlovers adds
'This is one of the best trips from TengChong for the nature lover and hiker has rustic accommodations and good food available. This canyon is located in the Gaolingshan Mountain nature reserve "and has many pink wild cherry blossoms everywhere in the valley…falls gushing from the steeps of the mountainside swiftly drop down like flying dragons …the drips splash in all directions like pearls…". What beautiful local language. The reader can go and judge for themselves if it is all true. Cherry Blossom Valley is about 20km east of TengChong 20km along a cobble stone road'.
Tengchong town possesses a number of hot spring hotels, among them Beauty Pool Hot Spring Hotel, Tengchong (tripadvisor) as well as the Atami Wellness House.

Last year it was announced that Banyan Tree Holdings would help Tengchong move upmarket and it is foreseen that it will open three luxury hotels as well as a spa center (
source). Date of opening 2014 according to company website.

Bathing River
Zaotang He
(Zao Tang or Bath river) is a lesser known hot spring but therefore not to be overlooked. Located north-west of Baoshan (county?), it is to be found in Baihualing Nature Reserve
in the Gaoligong mountains. Chen Liang, along time fan writes in the China Daily:
'When I first visited Zaotang He in the summer of 1996, it involved trekking a steep trail for three hours down into the valley before I could enjoy my dip - and a near four-hour climb back up the mountain afterward.
It's better now. The trail has been widened and paved with stone, while the hot spring itself is a chain of three circular pools built on the riverbed. Hot spring water bubbles out of the riverbed while cold water is channeled in to adjust the temperature for bathing'.
Another website explained that as many people bath in this stream, it was thus named Zaotang.

A beauty of a picture, surely it should rate as one of China's most beautiful and undisturbed hot springs

Jewel in the crown
Bang Na Zhang
(or Banglazhang) is located 10 km from the Longling county headquarters. What makes it stand out is that this hot spring has as many as 100 separate springs with some great variation, often with varying colours and temperatures. Take for instance Yinyuanquan:
'The two springs of Yinyangquan, only 30 cm away from each other, exhibit sharp difference of water temperature, with one being 90°C and the other one 10°C'.
This link goes to a Chinese language website announcing the opening of new (drab looking) public pools of Banglazhang (free for county registered inhabitants), where locals can possibly maintain their age old habit of bathing naked (source). Commercially there is a better looking place (see below).

Longling Banglazhang Spa, the "most shining crown jewel" (source).

Shidian county boasts Shipiao (stone dipper) hot spring (source (Chinese)). It is a "hot spring hotel", included on tripadvisor. A description:
'Shipiao Hotspring is on the far opposite of Songshan, the main battlefield in West Yunnan during the War against Japanese invaders (World War Two). It's situated in sub-tropical ravine and is endowed with picturesque landscapes, verdant vegetation and pleasing environment. Being carbonated, Shipiao hot spring exhibits satisfactory efficacy for health care and effective therapy for some diseases, for which tens of thousands of visitors travel here for vacation each year'.

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