Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Soaking society

All together
Northeastern Sichuan's Ngawa is still part of the rugged mountainous section of Sichuan which borders Tibet. It was the epicenter of the 2008 devastating Sichuan earthquake.

Zoigê (Ruo'ergai) district (north Ngawa)
holds the hot spring of Jiangzha (Jiangza):
'Every spring and autumn, thousands of people from Tibetan area in Sichuan, Gansu, and Qinghai province will gather together to have a bath in the hot-spring. It is a custom that men and women bath together in the hot spring'.
That said, this blogger on Myspace once mentioned:
'Dirty hot spring pool under the pavilion'.
From the youduo site: Jiangzha hot spring. The website notes the following translated sentence:
'After hundreds of years of practice has proved Jiangzha spa for skin diseases, arthritis, rheumatism, cancer, stomach problems, such as a significant effect'.
How hot is a hot spring?
Furthermore in Ngawa is another much visited hot spring, the hot spring of Erdaohai (Munigou), north of Wenchuan (county?). It is most probably in Songpan county. 

Though much visited, many wanna be soakers have been put off due to the low temperatures. The hot spring is to be found after a two hour trek along Munigou lake. This visitor was seriously let down (as I am by the now defunct link!):
'... that is if it can be called a hotspring. The water here would have been too cold to drink'.
Others describe them as:
  • 'not very hot (source:error 404!)',
  • 'the coldest one I ever saw (source: link not found!)',
  • Where it gets off being called a hot spring is beyond me since it is actually darn cold at only 21 degrees (source)',
  • 'The water isn't warm at all!! (source)' and
  • 'frigid (source)'.
However there may be more compelling reasons to visit here:
'... hot spring with the legend that fairies from the heaven once bathed there. The temperature of its water is about 25ºC with a strong smell of sulfur. People like to bath here to cure or prevent skin disease'.

Elsewhere in Ngawa (Lixian county), one can find the hot spring of Gurgou (Gu'ergou). Gurgou is famous for it's hot spring, the
best in Tibet (?). This site provides more info:
'The Gurgou Holy Peak Hot Spring, assessed as a famous spring of quality water in Sichuan Province, is 230 km from Chengdu. The water temperature of the hot spring is 60 and its daily flow is 3000 tons.The spring contains 17 trace elements such as lihtium, strontium fluorine, zine, selenium and germanium which are good for human health,being the only one natural hot mineral spring integrating the bathing, curing and drink functions so far found in Sichuan at the present'.

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