Sunday, August 27, 2017

Big dreams

There's no better place for yoga 🖤#WHPdreambig #yoga #snow #hotsprings #northsikkim #incredibleindia
While the northern hemisphere of Asia (basically everything) currently is experiencing it's summer, lets look at even hotter places to enjoy: hot springs of Himal (and more).

Spiced up with some photo's. 

Ah, the above from the former independent Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim, now incorporated in India, probably at the end of Yumthang valley.

Just a short hop westwards, across the border, you'll end up in Bhutan:

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it~ Sydney J Harris.
#gasabhutan #gasatsachu #gasatrip #myfirsttriptogasa #hotsprings #hotspringbath
But let's start with some news.

China Daily (May 5) mentions how soaking tourism is assisting Tibetan efforts at income generation:
'Born into a poverty-stricken household in Dagdong village, the Tibet autonomous region, Kelsang Jampa never imagined that one day he would own a new house with a neat courtyard. 
Tourists camp in front of the ruins of Tsangyang Gyatso's manor, visit the 900-year-old peach tree there and look around the ancient temples in the village'.
Ok, so what has hot springs to do with this? The article adds:
'The regional government hopes that by the end of 2020, all farmers and herdsmen engaged in tourism will be able to earn an average annual income of 16,000 yuan.
"This year, we will spend 90 million yuan to build a hotel and a hot spring resort," said Tobgye, head of the township.
It is estimated that Dagdong will receive 150,000 tourists this year, bringing 40,000 to 60,000 yuan in revenue for each family'. 
So not natural? Or natural but currently non-existent? I couldn't find any other references, so I'm a bit unsure. 
What the above does spell out, is how China (and with it many other Asian governments) hopes hot springs bring in money. Little conservation.

Below elsewhere (?) in Tibet:

This is how #everest2017 expedition day 35 looks like
#hotsprings #calmbeforethestorm
@marmot_mountain_europe @lyofood
The Economic Times reports (Jul. 27) on the political struggle:
'China and India have jockeyed for centuries over the Himalayas. The Chinese military invaded Tibet in 1950. India granted asylum to the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, in 1959. Three years later, the two countries fought a border war. Now they are in a standoff over an area disputed by China and Bhutan, the Himalayan kingdom whose claim is supported by India. The two countries’ latest struggle is over which one will be able to formally tie the ancient practice of Tibetan medicine to its national patrimony. The prize: international cachet and the possibility of significant commercial rewards. 
China’s recent UNESCO application said that Tibetan hot-spring and herbal-bath therapies — known as lum medicinal bathing — were “developed by the Tibetan people” and are popular across much of western China, including the Tibet Autonomous Region'.
Unfortunately neither seems intent on the following, even though it seems a very Himal practice. Of the yesteryears? 

ueen_maedbh at Kheerganga:
Nudey Hot springs in India 💦💦🔮🚿🌏🙏🏽🙏🏽🌜🌞 with meh pal luceh. #india #travelphotography #hotsprings #himachalpredesh #jaimatadi🙏
The district of Myagdi central Nepal counts itself lucky. The Himalayan Times (March 19):
'Fourteen new sources of hot springs have been identified at various places in Myagdi district.
“Five new sources of hot springs were found along the Maygdi River bank at Beni
Municipality-13 in the district and nine others along the river bank of Kali Gandaki,” said Birendraman Shakya, Chair of Singa Tatopani Kunda  Management Committee.
The water from the hot springs is said to contain several minerals as calcium, magnesium and potassium. Because of the presence of these minerals, the hot springs, which measure to over 50 degree Celsius,  are believed to relieve ailments linked with joints, gastritis and  skin.
“Most of the newly identified thermal springs fall in the Annapurna trekking circuit and may serve as tourist destinations as trekkers can enjoy taking a dip in the hot spring,” said Shakya.
On an average, over 20,000 people take a bath in the old hot springs in the district annually, shared Shakya, adding that the newly-found thermal springs will have an upgrade.
There are over 32 identified hot springs across the country'.
दिर्घ राेगिहरूका लागि उचित गन्तव्य The natural medicament hot spring center Tatopani Kunda, Myagdi
source (half 'n hour of hot soaks of the Himal)
A short dip inside a small #hotspring in the outskirts of #lomanthang by the #kaligandakiriver. #colors #colorsofnepal #colorsoftheearth #colorsofnature #travel #trekking #nepalphotoproject #nofilter
An avid fan of Khamchatka, it seems like there's an never-ending source, source of hot water. A couple of examples:

A bear ate our gear [What? Read more here], but at least the hot springs were nice. 🗻🌿🌛#kamchatka #travel #russia #goexplore #friluftsliv #hotsprings #keepitwild #travelblog #adventure #optoutside
Дикие Озерки ) #озерки #источники #горячиеисточники #отдых #природа
Heading eastwards, what about Mongolia? And Kyrgyzstan?

bazze_ezzab at Tsenheriin Haluun Rashaan, Arhangai
Oasis during #roadtrip
#hotspring #Mongolia
А потом мы сидели в скальных ваннах и наслаждались видом гор и шумом реки 💕 🏞 #amazing #vacation #altynarashan #hotsprings #kyrgyzstan
Another favourite of mine is Tajikistan:

Four damaged guys relaxing their tortured bones in the hot springs of Bibi Fatima. To go there you have to survive 8km of extreme natural road. #bibifatima #hotspring
teisphotography (above and below, outside / inside):
Go inside the blue door and enter the amazing #hot #spring Isbulak. Finding it can be a challenge as there is no actual road taking you there. Driving through open field as far as the eye can see and ending up at this gem at an altitude of 4000m was another priceless experience on our trip. #hotsprings #travelphotography #travels #Tajikistan #centralasia #spa #desolate #remote

And now we're back where we started: India 

pooja14virgo at Munsyari Uttarakhand:
Photo edit by @basanti.t.rawat #goririver #hotspring

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Best bath

With the winter washing away, let's look at some imagery of soaking pleasure.

Of which. 
Above India's Kheerganga. Below, east India's Meghalaya provides the backdrop to a more nurtured hot spring.

Back in 2013: Jakrem (Hot Spring), West Khasi Hills. The hot spring water is believed that it can cure several diseases by taking a bath at hot spring waters.
#swimmingpool #pool #hotspring #
Often highlighted in this blog are hot springs from Kyrgyzstan. 
Below a hot spring bordering the Yssyk Kul lake, while the more photogenic (and thus heavily featured here) hot spring near Altyn Arashan, up in the mountains.

Amazing #natural #hotspring pool on the northern shore of Yssyk kul #lake
Soo clear water and hot! Lucky for us there was no one!
#kyrgyzstan #nature #naturephotography #adventure #culture
 Chilling in a natural hot spring with @nature.kyrgyzstan is always a good idea 💦🇰🇬
Pour ceux qui me suivaient quand j'étais au Kirghizistan, vous savez que je m'étais foulé le genou à 4000m d'altitude et que j'avais dû tout redescendre en étant blessée 🙄 Ce hot spring d'Altyn Arashan, le village d'arrivée, m'a vraiment fait du bien, même si j'ai continué à boiter avec mon attelle pendant plus d'un mois 😅
Sur ce throwback, bonne soirée 😘
[👻: soofarsogood]
#Kyrgyzstan #asia #montresettendance #forest #instaview #hotsprings #letsgosomewhere #naturephotography #hotwater #frenchgirl #heaven #wonderful_places #travel #travelgram #travelblogger #agameoftones #lifeofadventure #traveler #welivetoexplore #instatag #luxurytravel #igtravel #instagood #instatravel #fitfrenchies #jacuzzi #passionpassport #travelblog #naturelovers
Wild east
Someone by the name of jnburian has managed to find some great soaks while trekking on the eastern Siberian peninsula of Kamchatka. 
A couple of examples:


Enjoying natural hot water at natural hot spring, Tatopani Jumla-Nepal. It is believed that this water is good for your skin and cures skin related diseases too because of some chemicals that heat this water naturally underground. It was a good experience though.
#tatopani_jumla #jumlanepal #karnali #trekking #momentstoremember #loves_nepal #memories
Away from the main trekking tracks of Nepal, there's still lots of good soaking to be had. 
Above from the remote district of Jumla, below Chilime Tatopani, Rasuwa district.
Bramphotography on Chilime Tatopani, Nepal:
'Morning hot springs (serie)'
Furtheron he writes:
'Close to the border of Nepal and Tibet (China) you find in a little place Tatopani with some stone made hot springs. In the early morning I could experience how this ritual is done by everybody and it was a beautiful scenery. Although it is not as sophisticated as hot springs in other countries, it is popular among the people of Nepal who seek solace from pain and go for a refreshing bath in the scalding waters said to have medicinal and healing powers. The showers are shaped as colorful lion head spouting the spring water between their fanged teeth. There is swimming pool, populated by little children taking turns to do back flips into the murky water. Woman take showers with elegance and the atmosphere among al the local people there is peaceful, fun and calm'. 
Rounding off this blog entry with a more naturally soaking fun photo from Yunnan, China:
Jungle hot spring 〰
#junglefever #jungleboys #hiking #reward #gaoligongshan #jungle #hotspring #yunnan #china #travelchina #adventure #travelinspiration #storyofmyworld #getoutstayout #fun #travelgram #goyunnan #loves_china #travelphotography #chinatrip #forest #chinagram #amazing #trail #naturelovers #intothewild

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

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. 
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
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'.
Gasa Hot Springs, Bhutan
Resource (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