Sunday, January 20, 2008

Aromatic hotsprings


On this Sunday afternoon, I had almost finished writing my next posting on the Forbidden City, when we left with our Taiwanese partner to the Riyuegu Hotsprings. Well, guess what... It was such a unique experience that you will have to wait a few more days to read about the Forbidden City. The hotsprings are not quite as sophisticated as the website would lead you to believe (nope, I did not see the rose petals shown on the photo) but it is indeed something you probably never experienced! Imagine 60 little swimming pools surrounded by bamboo trees and palm trees. Imagine all these swimming pools made of large stones and filled with water from the natural hot springs, all at different temperatures, from warm to unbearably hot! Imagine people going from one swimming pool to the next and experiencing each one. But the best part of it is that each pool has a special scent, from rosemary and lemongrass, to several kinds of tea, lemon, curry, milk, and yes, beer, red wine and rice wine or coffee! And they have those wonderful names: lemon burst, coffee pot. "Would you join me in the coffee pot?" Funny, no? And I am convinced that in your life, you have ever taken a hot bath with a few glasses of red wine mixed into it... Personally, I can add the following to my list of exotic things I have done in Asia: "I relaxed in a sake-scented jacuzzi!". Pretty crazy... Then, after walking around and experiencing the therapeutic benefits of these aromatic pools, we finished our visit by laying down on a nicely warm granite slate, with a little bamboo box pillow, and relaxed there for a while... We could have had a massage there, or a pedicure (and even, yes, have our eardrums clean... not a Chinese thing I would ever want to do but Chinese people seem to like to have strangers do this for them, as I saw it before at my hairdresser). The funny thing is that our host felt deeply asleep for about one hour, so guess what, we had no other choice than just lay there and enjoy the moment. A nice way to spend Sunday afternoon, and may be a new idea of something to do for some of my friends expats in Xiamen... I am not sure it is an attraction which many Westerners here know about...

5 comments:

mimifrancoise said...

I have just found your blog and read it from the start today. All I can say is "formidable". I also enjoyed seeing the great photography. One of my daughters spent one semester at Xiada last year with her two small daughters. I joined them for the month of May and really enjoyed it. See Xiamenadventure.blogspot.com if you are interested.
My other daughter lives in Bradford, VT which is only about 40 minutes from Barre.
I was born and raise in France (and Madagascar), so we have a lot in common. I now live in Texas.
Thank you for writing such an interesting blog.
Fran

Christine said...

Hello Fran,
I wanted to say "merci" for such a nice comment about my blog, but I don't know how to reach you, so hopefully you will read this here. It is great to see that some people like what I do, because I have put a lot of efforts to do something different. Come to visit us in Barre when you are in Vermont!
Christine

Pengyou said...

Vive l'Asie et ses bains chauds au café. Pour les Francais, il y en a au camembert?

Sébastien said...

That definetly seems like an idea that could be exported to other areas of the world. It really sounds like a lovely experience! Which "flavor" was your favorite? I'm not really convinced about the camembert scent, but Maple could be great for Montreal and Vermont!

Tina said...

Too funny. We were actually going to go there the same weekend for a retreat, but alas, Mark had colleauges from the U.S. visiting, so we will have to wait until we get back from our holidays. It sounds like fun.

We still have to do a night out at a karoke bar...