An aerial photo shows Beibei District of Southwest China's Chongqing. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
A relaxing trip to a hot springs isn't necessarily restricted to expensive overseas journeys. As the "Global Capital of Hot Springs" in Southwest China, Chongqing might be the perfect choice closer to home.
In October 2012 Chongqing was given this title by the World Federation of Hydrotherapy and Climatotherapy, one of the world's authoritative institutions on hot springs, climate and SPA research.
A senior citizen practices tai chi in Baiyangbei Ancient Town in Beibei district, Chongqing. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
Beibei, a land full of poetic scenery and historical significance, is also rich in hot spring waters. One of the most famous is the North Hot Spring Scenic Area.
The area has usable water reserves of 6,000 to 8,636 tons per day, a year-round water temperature of around 38 C and excellent water quality, with ideal amounts of potassium, zinc, lithium, sodium and other microelements.
Beibei earned its name from the notable sight of a huge rock stretching into Jialing River, which is called "Bei", and its location in the north of Yuzhou, also known as "Bei".
A hot spring resort in the Beibei district. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
The gorgeous mountains and rivers of Beibei are also a gift from nature. The Jinyun Mountain Natural Reserve, Hot Spring Temple, Lion Peak and Jingangbei ancient village are all a feast for the eyes.
Besides these natural features, the district also has a strong cultural presence. Famous Chinese writer Shu Qingchun (Laoshe)'s novel Four Generations Under One Roof was created in Beibei, and the famous artist and historian Guo Moruo's renowned play Quyuan was also written here.
Nestled in the foothills of Jinyun Mountain Natural Reserve, Banyan Tree Chongqing Beibei surrounds visitors with spirituality, tranquillity and cultural charm. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)