Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bath time

yewkwang at Kasol, HP India:
Nature is genius - it create a hot springs for people to carry on their daily as routine in winter 🙏
##travel #travelbug #wanderlust #instapassport #backpacker #travellogue #natgeoindia #India #Himachal #himachalpradesh #beautifulhimachal #Kasol #kullumanali #insta_himachal #nature #winter #mountainworld #lifestyle #hotspring #parvati
Elsewhere in the world a winter swim is hailed as a breaking of the past and a cleansing for the future. 
The same practice takes place in parts of the Himalaya. Hindu's for instance refer to this as Makar Sankranti, which nearly always falls on either the 14th or 15th of January.
In these Himalayan areas having a shower in the winter is a luxury most cannot afford, so all enjoy in taking a winter bath if not for the need for a shower at least for settling the score with the gods.

Few are as fortunate as those posted on instagram above; having access to natural heated waters. 

Winter also heralds the soaking season in the southern parts of the Himalaya, which contrasts with for instance Europe where traditional soaking resorts close for the winter, how strange. Then again taking a sauna or a banya in winter is quite ubiquitous.
Winter swimming is a tradition not solely monopolized by the mountain people, China's Guiyang province has a winter swimming festival (source) and our Russian friends to the north are particularly fond of ice swimming, not my cup of tea. In Tibet the Bathing festival (Karma Dunba) is held mid-summer (even then a wild swim is a challenge in the icy Himalayan waters). 

Below a photo of the Kheerganga hot spring (likewise HP, India), of the inner ladies pools, quite hot. But very degrading that females need to be enclosed to enjoy a hot spring.

After the 6 hours trek, I deserve this... #HimalayasHotspring #jamsadventure2016 #jamstravel2016 #himalayas #kheerganga
Far
 
 

As said, Russia sees it fair bit of winter swimming but mostly in the ice; but naturally hot springs would be preferable. Above Dezlinda hot spring (source), north Baikal, Siberia.
Following are two photo's from Russia's Far East: Kamchatka peninsula which (besides heaps of snow) has also quite a few hot springs. 
 
Kamchatka's Paratunka hot springs by sergokk_life 
Верхнепаратунские термальные источники
#камчатка #санаторийМО #паратунка
vageikaa in the very volcanic Mutnovskaya valley
 Камчатка Мутновская ГеоЭС горячие источники Kamchatka Mutnovskaya-geoes-moshchnee hot springs #путешествуйпороссии #камчатка #мутновкаядолина #горячиеисточники #купаемся #трекинг #клубстранник #russia #fareast_russia #kamchatka #mutnovskayavalley #hotsprings #travel #trekking #clubstrannik
There's a recent (Jan. 25) top 10 of Kamchatka's hot springs (source). In Russian. 
 
Elementary
From Nepal we have a few snippets of news. 

First of all, the Nepali Times (Nov. 11-17) looks at being an amchi, a traditional Tibetan healer. Herbal baths are seen as a good therapy:
'Ani Kunsang, a female amchi from Tsum Valley explained: "The combination of several herbal ingredients with the qualitative value of the elements, water and fire, has the same therapeutic value as a bath in a natural, hot spring'.
Below a hot stone bath from Bhutan (mentioned is Hotel Taktshangview) infused with herbs.
 
Ophelio. #ophelia#shakespeare#hotstonebath#herbs
#hoteltaktshangview#parovalley#paro#bhutan#butão
As if development itself is not detrimental to the existence and enjoyment of hot springs, Osnepalnews (Jan. 10) reports on road building efforts along the Kali Gandaki river which will threat the hot spring of Bhurung:
'The gradual road expansion under the Beni – Jomsom – Kerala project threatens to bury the source of the hot spring prompting the irate locals to demand an alternative route'. 
Protesters demand an alternative route which may seem logical. However space is at a premium in what can be considered the world's deepest valley.

Probably at Jagat hot spring. ayshastravelcosmos:
So happy to have a natural hot spring all to myself 😆 #hotspring #traveltheworld #jagat #nepal #annapurnacircuit #day2 #solofemaletrekker #entertainyourself #radicalselfreliance #radicallove
For a change in what normally pops up as photographic evidence from Nepal, two hot springs en route to Manang, north of the Annapurna's. Above Jagat, below nearer Chame.
 
Y es que me la suda tanto..!! hoy después de 7 horitas y media y 30 kilómetros descansamos en las hot springs de "Chame", y lo bien que sienta el agua caliente después de tanto frío, ahora a coger fuerzas y seguir descendiendo mañana... #hotspring #chame #himalaya #himalayas #nepal #annapurna #annapurnacircuit #annapurnaregion #namaste #travel #outdoors #mountaineer #life #asia #travelworld #backpacker #explore
Monkey business
Kuenselonline (Nov. 22) on recent improvements on Denmang hot spring (Bhutan):
'A guesthouse, a neykhang (residence of local deity), bathroom, water taps, a new footpath within the Tshachu area covered by a canopy and secured with railing are also being constructed. Six new ponds have also been created besides improving the existing ponds.
...
Dorji Dema, 61, from Trongsa who visited the tshachu in 2014 said it was quite difficult for her to even find a place to pitch a tent. “It is also risky to live in tents in the area since monkeys roll stones down the cliff,” she said'.
Marquandphotoblog:
Gasa Hot Springs, Bhutan
Resource
Tibetravel.org (Oct. 21) has a list of 8 Tibetan hot springs to enjoy. Soakers should heed this advice:
'Please avoid frolicking in the waters, or you’ll be breathless, fatigue, even faint'.
Scientific news from Tibet. The Eurasiareview (Jan. 7) reports on the history of human settlement in Tibet:
'Humans likely established permanent settlements on the high-altitude Tibetan Plateau between 13,000-7,400 years ago, according to new research published this week in the journal Science.
...
The researchers conducted an extensive analysis of human handprints and footprints found in 1998 in fossilized hot spring mud near the village of Chusang on Tibet’s central plateau, at an elevation of 14,000 feet above sea level'.
Bowing out this blog entry, are two hot springs from the northern Himalayan Tajikistan; a quaint hot spring hovel along the Wakhan while the last picture comes from the more developed Garam Chashma hot spring.
Bathing in Tajikistan by Johanna and Linus
🏊🏿

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Stripped

Пусть все будут счастливы, особенно сплетники, завистники и недоброжелатели ) #india #kheerganga #himalayas #православнаяатмосфера #himachalpradesh фильтрами убила небесно-голубую водичку..

There's less and less time in my life for updating previous posts unfortunately, so let's look especially at some photo's popping up recently. 

Alphabetically? 
As there's nothing available from Afghanistan, Bhutan or China (not really, China's contributions fall under Sichuan and Tibet, following), let's start with India
First off, the ever beautiful Kheerganga (above), this time the women's side (bathing is strictly gender divided), somehow they need to be protected from some of the most beautiful views of any soak on this globe. 
Lower down the vales of the Himal (we're looking at the second photo), soaks are more visited and less picturesque. Always like a simple picture with a nice personal story.

  
#Gangnani desperately clings to a mountainside en route Gangotri, as if a gust of wind could carry it away. It's a tiny hamlet, famed for its #hotspring. In the #ladies bath house, the steaming #water gushes down a narrow rock face and into a cement #pool. Wisps of steam curl from its surface into the crisp air. While we stripped and entered the water as if in a spa, for others it was a religious experience. They were here to be blessed by one holy arm of the Ganga. A quick dip in the early morning, a hand placed at the feet of the deity and then the practiced task of draping their #saris.
Miracles

Natural hot spring when looking for the perfect #aoolchic with @samrukmasa #picoftheday #kazakhstan #hotsprings #saltywater #miraclewater
Over to the not-often-featured-here Kazakhstan. Contrasting pictures, from the deserts to the mountains (summer to winter?)

Nearby Kyrgyzstan though has only mountainous hot springs on offer.

Radon hot springs on the outskirts of Almaty, Gorelnik (Kazachstan) by veyizak: 
Гаааааайййс! Мы с @savydova ходили на радоновый источник по пути на турбазу Горельник! Много позитива, заряда энергии и отличного настроения, не смотря на холод в горах, вам обеспечены! Всего то нужно залезть в эту бочку/ванну/корыто с термальной, минеральной водой. 🐳🏞🏔❄️🌊
Altyn Arashan, source

Soaking in the hot springs after our four and a half hour walk
Also from Altyn Arashan, Karakol, source

Wow factoring
 
Natural hot spring water in Chame, by Marsyandi khola, Annapurna circuit, Nepal. Simply wow
#Annapurnacircuit #Nepal #Trekking #Chame #naturalhotspring #Himalayas
Halfway through the alphabet we get to Nepal; again two contrasting pictures. Note how the first picture (above, north of the Annapurna's) is a soak below the adjacent river.
 
Missing Nepal 💋#vacation #beauty #trip #traveling #travelingram #travelgram #vsco #love #beautiful #wanderlust #instatravel #tourist #photooftheday #happy #nature #travel #trek #amazing #annapurnacircuit #hotspring 💦💦
Wait
Winter is coming here in Shanghai and I am missing this natural outdoor #hotspring at Brilliant Resort and Spa in #Chongqing... Cannot wait to try the one in Yunnan next time ♨️♨️♨️ #luxurytravel
Somewhat of anomaly between the gorgeous natural soaks, just a picture to show the new breed of Chinese soaking for the elite sites: tasteful, but little character (?).  

Then below), back to nature: they hardly get better than these few from Siberia"s Kamchatka peninsula. Natural, beautifully located and remote enough to drop the suit, if that's how you like to soak.

 
Тимоновские Горячие источники) и пускай весь мир подождет) #kamchatka #outdoors #neverstopexploring #tour #travel #hotsprings #тимона #Камчатка #турыпокамчатке #приезжайтевгости
На Чукотке, между посёлками Лаврентия и Лорино, прямо у дороги с твёрдым покрытием, есть горячий источник. В образовавшемся озерке температура в среднем +45-50 ºС, ближе к самому источнику повышается до +80. Окунуться в горячую воду особенно приятно, когда вокруг мороз около -30 ºС. В советские времена здесь был маленький санаторий с гостиницей, рядом в парниках круглый год выращивали овощи. Сейчас власти Чукотского района мечтают восстановить былое.
Hot springs! Hot springs! 🙈🛀#picoftheday #instagood #kamchatka #kamchatkalife #hotsprings #volcano #warmingup #instadaily #mothernature #nakedplanet #adventure #travel #traveling #travelphotography #travelpics #friends #кусилося
Ritual
Hot spring near Bulunkul. From siconquesoporfavor:
The first destination a remote hill side shack that housed a warmish spring with, strangely enough, a bathtub built in for the water to run through. The water wasn’t that warm but blocked from the wind we took a dip anyway amongst the discarded razor blades the local sheppherds use to shave with and the shabby shack effect is great for a half hour soak after not having a shower last night.
To finish off this entry a couple of rambling affairs which have remoteness and naturalness as common factors as well.  
Above a hot spring near Bulunkul (Tajikistan), following a soak from near Tidrum (I think, located not too far away from Tibet's Lhasa) and rounding off with some (hot) pot affairs.
 
 #tibet#hotspring
   
After a long climb spending some quality time at the hotspring with the monks. #danamonastery #nangqen #tibet #Qinghai #hotsprings #travelchina

Friday, August 19, 2016

Tapping


Shigatse (Tibet) by mayaruonan 
Local way to enjoy bath. #hotsprings #waytorelax #shigatsesummer #summerfun☀️
I'm always tempted to provide as much info as possible from whatever I can find on internet. But concerning hot springs in the more mountainous regions of north-east Asia, there's very little to report about. It seems that (with exception of China) overall development and reporting on visits is poor and remains so. 
But it's also development itself that seeks to end many of the blissfull soaks. Take the following as an example.

The Nepali Times (13-19 May 2016) has an extensive article on the hot springs of it's mountains and what they could do for tourism.
'Nepalis have been using Himalayan hot springs for health reasons, but their full tourism potential has never been tapped.
...
Geothermal expert Mahendra Ranjit says although research on geothermal energy started in Nepal more than 30 years ago, the emphasis was misplaced. “We looked mainly at generating electricity, which is difficult and costly due to the relatively low temperature of the hot springs in Nepal. What we need and should focus on is the direct use of these springs, like in tourism development and farming,” Ranjit told us.  
...
All the towns next to hot springs in Nepal are called Tatopani, and there are dozens of them from Humla to Taplejung.
...
In Nepal, the huge potential of hot springs remains untapped.  Tourism experts say the scope of hot spring tourism is vast and if properly developed can be a lucrative addition to the tourism market. “With the current infrastructure tourists may visit hot springs for the quaintness of it, but to attract international tourists we need to scale it up or leave everything natural,” says tourism entrepreneur Raj Gyawali. Combining thermal springs with yoga, ayurveda and even shamanism can make it a viable product, Gyawali adds.  
...
...
In Myagdi, the Singa Tatopani on the way to Dhaulagiri Base Camp is often overlooked by foreigners but Nepali patients have been coming here for centuries believing in the healing property of the spring. Income from the spring is used to operate the local Sarvodaya Secondary School with over 300 students. Income from the Bhurung Tatopani is also ploughed into the Saraswati Higher Secondary School. Earnings from the springs are used in the development of not only the springs but the community as well'.
So development and tourism can go hand in hand. However whenever we see talk about developing hot springs, it usually spells the end of another great soak.

Jhinu hot springs, probably one of the most sort after hot soaks of Nepal. Note that development is long way away ... a conundrum? Source: achut12
 #those #days #nature #river #hotspring #friends #nepal
There Must Be Quite A Few Things That A Hot Bath Won't Cure But I Dont Know Many Of Them
Capping
Let's look at more hot springs along the south side of the Himal. 


#hotsprings #khirgangatrek #snowcappedmountains #himachaldiaries #incredibleindia #beautifuldestinations
Locals bathe in a natural hot spring along the Nu River near Liuku, in China’s Yunnan province, March 29, 2016. 
 From the Malaymailonline
A notre arrivée, le moine qui nous accueille nous explique comme il peut qu'il n'y pas de douche au monastère mais pas de soucis il y a une source chaude à quelques minutes de là... Le lendemain matin on découvre la fameuse source, c’est la plus belle salle de bain qu'on ait vu du voyage 😄 #hotsprings #bathroom #mountains #freedom #nature #naturelovers #beautifuldestinations #experience #voyage #tourdumonde #travel #travelling #travelgram #passionpassport #travellovers #tourdumonde #adventure #lifeofadventure #backpacking #backpacker #traveladdict #wanderlust #landscape #landscapes #neverstopexploring #discover #1jour1lieu #china #sichuan #experienceroutard #lemondeaporteedemains
Tracking
The stan republics:

Garam Chashma, Tajikistan. danielsanwit:
Met blote Tadjieken in een warm bad #adventure #hotsprings #bloterts
Warm baths in the middle of the nature, no one around and a view on the river!AltynArashan. Kyrgyzstan.
Photo credit @vrouwopreis 🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲 ➡➡ Follow @kyrgyz.nature
➡➡ Tag #kyrgyznature 🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲 #kyrgyzstan #kyrgyzmountains
#centralasia #naturekyrgyzstan #kyrgyznomad #mountains #beautiful #summer #sky #wonderfulplaces #tracking #horseriding #wonderfulplaces #aboveseelevel #nature #naturelovers #asia #backpacker #природа #природакыргызстана #горы #лучшегормогутбытьтолькогоры #кыргызстан #горыкыргызстана #issykkul #lake #altynarashan #hotsprings
Главный шеф-пилот велобуса и начальник авто подразделения Клуба вело приключений принимает водные процедуры на минеральном источнике во время Altyn-Emel Bike Tour
#veloalmaty #showedup #hotspring #altynemel #veloclubkz #biketrip #leaser #travel #alabike #alatau
Kyrgystan, Karakol, naport_soaps:
#горячиеисточники, сероводородные, попахивает тухлыми яйцами, вода горячая - градусов 40-45, долго не посидишь, рядом горная холодная речка, в нее можно прыгать :) #иссыккуль #караколь #кыргызстан #naportsoaps #hotsprings
everything centralasia, back in Tajikistan: 
Trip to Iskandarkul & Saritag with some friends.
Whaling
Finally Kamchatka and around ...
 Бассейн с голубой глиной на Дачных источниках. Отдых после похода на Мутновку.
#камчаточкалюбимая #камчатка #мутновка #горелый #горячиеисточники #туры #турыпокамчатке
Looking at the last photo, don't really know where this. Chukota refers to Chukotka Autonomous Okrug a large administrative tundra steppe area on the eastern most point of Asia / Russia. It could refer to Gil’mimyl Hot Spring, to Senyarinskiya Hot Spring (which does look similar, though more rustic) or to (Kukunyskie) hot springs near Lorino village. Read other possibilities here. 

Tundra hot springs and whale bones #chukotka #чукотка #arctic #tundra #hotsprings