For Chinese National day, we were invited on a trip with our local friends to a place called Coastal Hot Spring, I had no idea where we were going before we left. We drove off in a convoy of 6 cars, I was number 4 in the queue and we drove for around a couple of hours stopping nearby to the springs for dinner.
We then arrived at the springs. Which I have to say was more impressive than some of the previous springs I have been to. It is relatively new, there is still building work progressing on the site, but that doesn’t interfere with the normal running of the place.
We booked into the spacious hotel and were booked into room 3304, which slightly confusingly is on the er… 4th floor. The thing lacking in the hotel is a lift, it’s a slight pain to drag baggage up 4 flights of stairs. Still, china does love steps everywhere, I am glad I can walk properly still.
Entry to the Hot springs is free if you are in the Hotel. Everyone gets issued with this greenish patterned dressing gown, so walking round we all look like were in some sort of big club!
When you enter the springs, you go to the reception and hand in the hotel room tag and get an armband for a locker in return, you also get a bit of paper as a receipt, the Chinese love filling in bits of paper.
The locker rooms are at the rear of the reception area and have magnetic contact locks on the lockers, and a shower area with free towels.
Out into the spring area itself, there are several springs nearly all of them are extremely hot around 40 to 42 deg C. stay in for more than a few minutes and it gets a bit hard to breath.
All the pools have some sort of theme, like tea, coffee, wood, wine, and in them they all smell of those fragrances, the coffee one is very odd, with what looks like coffee grounds floating in it. Some also have sculptures enclosing them, like a turtle, a teapot, a gourd and other stuff.
Right in the centre they have a wave pool and this is surrounded by a ‘lazy river’ that you go round in a rubber dinghy.
The Spring area has free food in a small cafe type area, but its not very good, very basic and I am not surprised that its free!, we opted for a meal in the proper restaurant outside. The food was ok but the service is oh so slow, we cancelled the second half of the meal as we got fed up waiting for it.
When we rose the next day, it had been raining during the night, we hadn’t realised it and had left our gowns and stuff outside on the balcony to dry, which it obviously didn’t, it didn’t really matter too much as we were going back into the pools again anyway so a little more wet wasn’t a problem.
We left around midday and followed our leaders in the car convoy back home, going out of the complex we turned right, and I knew that we came in the other way, they said we were going to look at somewhere else, but on the way, we were on this narrow road with lots of traffic and the lead car decided to turn round, we were obviously a little lost, but it was a really bad place to turn round. We held up the traffic for around a km back while we all turned round! Not something I would normally do if it were up to me.
We went back through a town we just came through and this time stopped at this really old little temple, it was rather run down and dusty. We then went on our way again and eventually found our way back out of the town and onto the road home. No matter how often I travel on Chinese roads, it never ceases to amaze me that they overtake in the most dangerous of places, bends blind hills etc, and busses are really bad bullies of the road trying to force their way past everyone without a thought for any sort of safety. At least we made it home in one piece.