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Warm in winter: top 10 trip-worthy hot springs in China

2011-11-29 15:03    Ecns.cn     Web Editor: Xu Aqing
Jinping Mengla Hot Spring, Yunnan.

Jinping Mengla Hot Spring, Yunnan.

Lugu Lake Hot Spring, Yunnan.

Lugu Lake Hot Spring, Yunnan.

(Ecns.cn)-- As temperatures drop, the time is right for an indulgent bath in one of China's many hot springs. Here are 10 of the most trip-worthy locations, where one is sure to find the ideal spot to languish in healing water while sipping a martini or two.

1. Jinping Mengla Hot Spring, Yunnan

Located in the southern part of Yunnan Province, this hot spring is particularly good for spa enthusiasts. Even in freezing December, when most northern regions struggle against howling winds and heavy snow, Yunnan enjoys April-like weather. This is a blessing for the outdoor baths of the famous Jinping Mengla hot spring.

A pebble-covered pool is used by locals for natural massages, and men and women bath together, which might make some tourists uncomfortable. Yet this is just one of the many charms to be enjoyed in this Dai ethnic locality.

The hot spring gushes water from stone holes at a temperature of 50-60 degrees Celsius, and provides plenty of organic minerals with natural cleansing properties.

Tel: 0873-3812036

2. Lugu Lake Hot Spring, Yunnan

Lugu is known to locals as the "hot pool" due to its steady temperature of around 38 degrees Celsius all year round.

Located also in Yunnan's ethnic locality, this is a hot spring where men and women bath together as a way to get to know each other.

Tel: 0871-3107388

3. Dezong Hot Spring Resort, Tibet

Located in a remote valley, this hot spring is 140 kilometers from Lhasa. Though hidden in a paradise not easy to reach, it enjoys a high reputation in Tibet.

The reason is simple – bathing in Dezong hot spring can help heal chronic diseases, mainly because of the abundant minerals in the water. And don't worry, this is a tourist-friendly spring divided into two separate pools, one for males and one for females.

If by any chance you are traveling in Tibet during winter, spare at least one evening for Dezong Hot Spring to add extra fun to your trip.

Tip: There is a lack of conveniences near Dezong, such as hotels, restaurants and taxis, so hire a driver in Lhasa for the day and pack enough food.

4. Hailuogou Hot Spring, Sichuan

Also in southwest China, Hailuogou is more attractive than Dezong hot spring simply because of the climate. Although the average temperature is below 10 degrees Celsius there, the hot spring manages to remain at 92 degrees Celsius annually.

Here, you can bathe in a hot spring on a snowy day, where the water looks crystal-clean but is rich in calcium carbonate. To make the best use of it, many visitors boil their eggs while bathing. Health experts have hailed the experience of eating naturally boiled eggs in the hot spring, claiming that they contain more nutrition than those boiled in ordinary water.

Some may hesitate to take a bath in such hot water, though worries about getting boiled are ungrounded. The resort does provide a solution, however: for those who don't feel like hot water, there is a warm swimming pool nearby.

Hotel hotline: 028-85068823