Saturday, March 10, 2018

Reality

Almost back to reality, but my mind is still all the way there......#krabi #hotspringswaterfall #thailand#thailand2018 #water #nature #hotsprings#welivetoexplore #welivetotravel #travel#travelblogger #wanderlust #instamoment#instagood #instatravel
A couple of Thai teasers, nothing too serious.
Let's just start somewhere in Central Thailand, Khanchanaburi naturally. A bit cheeky too.

amnicky at Rock Valley hot spring:
What a badass!? #badass #gaytrip#gayboy #gaytravel #hotsprings #fishspa#nature #naturepool #pool #ass
Then heading northwards, but close to the Burmese border, there's the riverside hot spring of Umphang (Mae Sot):

Hot spring time 🙌🏼♨️-#thailand#hotsprings#roaming#greenway#exploremore#friends#chill#floating#natural#pool#jungle
Strawberries 

Sometimes luxury does not mean a lot of money. It may seem like a 5-star hotel, but it is just an hot spring in the rural area of Thailand. Let me tell you the story of this picture:During the lunch break at Samoeng we met a Thai-UK couple, owners of a strawberry farm nearby. We have not only visited their farm, eaten their awesome strawberries, but we were also recommend this hot springs. They were not on our plan or route, but we decided to accept the challenge. We drove like 30 km passing by a lot of villages, real authentic Thai countryside, until reaching a dirty road. We had almost lost all our hopes of finding the hot springs when suddenly we saw the sign ⚠️ 150 baht per person and you get towel and swim clothes. A lot of different hot pools with different temperatures and depths in a lovely setting... the rest you can judge by the picture or pay them a visit 😉
After this description of how to get to the Samoeng hot spring, following is another Chiang Mai hot spring, that of Pong Duet:

Hot spring...#thailande #thailand #water #photooftheday#landscapelovers #moment #instadetente#holidays #honeymoon #hotsprings#sourcechaude #detente #eauchaude #relax#lunedemiel #verygoodday #trekking #trek#pause #barbotage #swim
Staying north there are two articles on the hot springs of Chiang Rai. 

The first article from Chiang Rai News (Sep. 25) concerns hot spring promotion: 
'Chiang Rai province launched a Lanna Wellness tourism campaign over the weekend, promoting local hot springs.
Speaking at the event, Pranpreeya Polyiam of the Provincial Tourism and Sports Office said tourists and local residents travel to the hot springs for relaxation, as well as health and wellness. She revealed that a research team from Chiang Rai Rajabhat University has performed a study, detailing health benefits of the 12 local hot springs.
To set Chiang Rai apart from other northern provinces, waters from the hot springs will be delivered to nearby hotels. Hot spring-based beauty and spa products and services will be developed and sold through the province’s hotels and spas to promote the popularity of local hot springs'. 
Happier
Then from the officialdom to the slightly whacky. 
The Bangkok Post (Nov. 14): 
'Chinese tourists visiting Thailand in the thousands are making a lesser-known attraction far more popular – boiling eggs in a northern hot spring.
Scores more travellers from China were buying eggs from vendors at the steamy site in Chiang Rai’s Wieng Pa Pao district on Tuesday morning.
Chillier temperatures also encourage tourists to dip their feet in the warm water.
The egg suppliers of Tambon Mae Chedi Yai couldn’t be happier. Business has never been so brisk.
One vendor said she’s lately been selling 300 to 500 eggs a day to tourists, most of them Chinese.
The usual price is Bt20 for a woven basket holding three eggs.
Tourists suspend the baskets in the hot spring for a minute or two if they want their eggs soft-boiled and three minutes for hard-boiled'
Boiling eggs in the hot springs. 98 degrees Celsius. Tastes very good, fresh eggs. #chiangrai#thaihotspring#hotspring#thailand
More hot springs from Chiang Mai province:

Taking a bath with the locals in the hot springs of Chiang Dao#chiangdao #hotsprings #spontaneous #thailand #adventure #southeastasia #lovelypeople #hotwater #goodtimes #explore #scooter #norththailand #earth #jungle #bathtub #river #travel #twogether #happy
ออนเซนเมืองไทยไม่แพ้ชาติใดในโลก #onsen #onsenthailand #sippahotspring #sippa #chiangmaitrip
Day

#thailandhotspring #ratchaburiเช้าๆๆคนน้อยดี
Now back south, first central Thailand's Khlong Pha Ong (?), Rathchaburi. Further south, near Ranong is the Porn Rang (Rung) hot spring, while finishing off in Krabi, back where this blog entry started: 

😝
Iphruaia at Wareerak:
Day 4 #hotsprings #spa#footmassage

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Explore

Hot springs 💦🌀💙@dacentor#relax #peace #sankamphaeng #hotsprings#chiangmai #thailand
As the end of the year rolls by, a quickfire look at whether or not the list of most popular hot springs in the kingdom of Thailand has  changed much. 
Yet again I tweaked the odd input here and there, however the outcome remains familiar.



1. (2016: 1) San Kamphaeng - Chiang Mai province
2. (6) Thapai - Mae Hong Son
3. (4) Hin Dad - Khanchanaburi
(5) Klong Thom - Krabi
5. (6) Sai Ngam - Mae Hong Son
6. (9) Wiangpapao (Thaweesin) - Chiang Rai
(-) Chaeson - Lampang
8. (2) Fang - Chiang Mai
9. (-) Nattawaree - Krabi
10. (10) Wareerak - Krabi
Just outside this Top 10 we can find Rock Valley (Khanchanaburi), Saline (Krabi), Chiang Dao (Chiang Mai), Raksawarin (Ranong) and Phu Klon (Mae Hong Son).
Soakingswise I'd prefer to rearrange this list, but such is what rolls out of the lists.

It's odd that through the years hardly any new names emerge despite competition catching up and methods of compilation evolving. For instance half of the above can be found in the original Top 10 8 years ago.

Points were awarded to relative standings on Instagram concerning tags (i.e. #fanghotspring(s)), Instagram location (using roman writing), instagram location (using Thai), Google search (of the last 12 months), Google search (based on % of the first 100 results), Google image search (based on % of the first 100 results), Twitter (number of hashtags/last 12 months), Flickr, Youtube finds (of the past 2 years), Tripadvisor (number of comments) and Facebook (likes).



Taking a bath with the locals in the hot springs of Chiang Dao#chiangdao #hotsprings #spontaneous #thailand #adventure #southeastasia
#lovelypeople #hotwater #goodtimes #explore #scooter #norththailand #earth
#jungle #bathtub #river #travel #twogether #happy

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Gap

I'd like a piece of that Pai! #thetowniscalledpai #ithashotsprings
They don't come much better than the hot springs of Pai (above), Chiang Mai province. 
A decidedly laid back area, it's lush valley is surrounded by nature's bounty and a pluralistic culture. Firmly established on the backpack trail, there's little negative to mention. Recent headlines focus on the town's river being a backdrop to a mid-day skinny dip, so go figure.

Elsewhere in the province, an experience (by theBlond Travels) at the Pongkwao hot springs:
'On our way we saw very old and worn out signs to the Samoeng Hot Springs. A few times the name changed to Pong Kwao Hot Springs as if someone couldn’t decide how to call it. We decided to check it out. At one point the asphalt road turned into a dirt road with no buildings in sight. Finally, we got to the end of the route where we found some fancy looking bungalows and the entrance to the Pong Kwao Hot Springs.
...
As it turned out, for 150 Baht you could have your own private hut, where you could spend as much time as you wished.
We picked one with a sign ’empty’ on its door and went it. We were tempted to just go into the water naked, but there was a big gap between the ground and the wall through which people from the nearby bungalows could see us, so we changed into the clothes we had been given.
...
it was a great experience and one that I can recommend to anyone'.
Doi Saket hot spring (also located in Chiang Mai province) has a peculiar tradition, though very Thai: bamboo shoots are boiled here in the springs. manager.co: 
'There are also people in the area. "Ban Pong Samakkee hot springs" boiled bamboo shoots for a substantial income throughout the season, by Mr. Anon Tainin, 51, Banpong Samakkee, Pa Mian, Doi Saket, Chiang Mai, said that each day he would collect bamboo shoots from the nearby forest. Villages and forests in Mae On District, Chiang Mai, were purchased from local villagers at 12 baht per kilogram. This hot water was boiled for about 12 hours before being sold. the And the city Including selling to tourists 25 baht per kilogram. 
Mr. Anon said Boiled bamboo shoots from the hot springs are fragrant. The taste is much better than the boiled bamboo with hot water. It is not enough to make good sales. Some days sold out at 100 kilos in less than 20 minutes. 
Mr. Anon said: The bamboo shoots are boiled in the hot spring of Ban Pong Samakkee. The cost to the community is 20 baht per bag to maintain the management of the community. Each sack of about 40 kilograms can generate income after deducting expenses over a period of 3 months is not less than one hundred thousand baht, this year bamboo shoots are still expensive. From the original sales of 20 baht per kilogram of this year sold 25 baht per kilogram'.
Tranquilo
✈ Helder examinava e reexaminava o mapa em suas mãos, um tanto apreensivo. Tornou a indagar à recepcionista do hotel a mesma pergunta que havia feito à locadora da scooter, à garçonete do restaurante e a qualquer tailandês que encontrava na rua: "to Hotsprings, scooter OK?". Apontava o dedo para onde queria ir e esperava, mais na feição que produziria em seu interlocutor do que na frase que escutaria, uma resposta se sua façanha seria absurda ou não. Até aquele momento, ninguém havia enrugado o rosto ou esbugalhado os olhos em excesso, reprovando a idéia.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Depois de coletar toda a informação que precisava quanto à segurança do trajeto, me garantiu: "vumbora que dá pra ir!". Na manhã do dia seguinte, na praia de Ao Nang, subi na garupa da motoneta 🛵, botei o capacete rosa e abracei seu corpo: começávamos nosso trajeto de 80km para as Piscinas Termais de Khlong Thom, em Krabi, na Tailândia.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Na estrada, o meu medo se dissipou por completo quando vi que todo o acostamento era exclusivo para motociclistas e ciclistas. Afastados dos carros, dei um grito de alegria e falei "ACELERA POHA", mas sempre que alcançava os 50km/h, eu perguntava se ele queria nos matar e ordenava que reduzisse a velocidade.⠀⠀⠀⠀
Demoramos tanto para chegar em nosso destino que encontramos a selva vazia; os turistas que abarrotavam as excursões matinais já regressavam para a cidade. Helder avançou com cuidado nas banheiras naturais da cachoeira Namtok Ron e sentiu o fervor das águas a 40°C. Debruçou-se na mais linda sacada e dali apreciou a tranquilidade de uma floresta silenciosa.⠀⠀⠀⠀
Less uplifting news, there's a hint of a need to upgrade everything including the above, the already very popular hot spring of Klong Thom, Krabi province (photo above). Thaivisa (Apr. 11):
'The Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports have recently held a discussion on approaches to promote two of the Kingdom's hot springs as new international tourist destinations. 
The discussion was part of a meeting between committee members on developing Thailand as a hub for health and wellness. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn Wattanawarangkul and other relevant government officials.
According to the minister, the Ministry of Public Health has verified that a hot spring in Chae Sorn National Park in Lampang and Khlong Thom hot spring in Krabi province are safe for bathing. She is hoping that the two hot springs would eventually gain international recognition the same way as Japanese hot springs, which are known as "onsens."
The minister will instruct the Department of Tourism to conduct feasibility studies on development directions, adding that specific details of the project will be discussed with local government agencies directly responsible for the hot springs.
She is of the opinion that the tourist sites must at least have shopping venues, enough parking spaces, and enough public toilets, in order to add values to the tourist experience and ensure a fair income distribution among members of the communities'.
Banmuang has a Thai language article (Jun. 3) on the near Klong Thom located Saline hot springs of Krabi province. Once translated by google, there's not much to add:
'With more than 10 wells completed, more tourists are arriving. Especially during the holidays. There are over 1000 tourists per day'.
 Hot Spring paradise in Thailand - still hidden away from mass tourism #hiddengem #thailand🇹🇭 #tropicalvibes #khaolak #hotspring #thaistyle #onsen
Staying in the neighbourhood, Aladynamedfern (Nov. 2016) seeks out rural hot springs in the southern  province of Phang Nga. 
An expansive blog entry for 2 hot springs, the natural one as pictured above (and note: manager.co mentions that this place is seen by authorities as a great place to develop ...) and the more organised (though still a bit rustic) one by the name of Rommanee hot spring:


Wrapping up this posting is a photo of the little known hot springs of Krungshing (or Krungching) also located in the southern Thailand, notably the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Hot spring bathing #hotspring #hotspringbath #nakhonsithammarat #krungching #noppitam #nature #backtonature

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Time

anitagoldenbeauty at Chaeson
Relax time Lampang way 💕 #onsentime #lampang #thailand #dvicioexclusiveth #love #friends
As the Thai soaking season is well and truly behind us, what are the pictures popping up on instagram concerning Siam's soaking haunts?  And no, not those of the most popular soaks. well, maybe ...

Setting the tone, above a delightful typical Thai setting, soaking with the extended family (and friends?), a great way to start this photographical tour.

Going south, Ranong has one of Thailand's best hot springs: Porn Rong, a number of larger tubs located in a forest with a babling brook along side. 
The photo following this is probably the lesser appealing of this blog entry, but beggars are no choosers ...

 PornRung #hotspring 🔥🌫🌋💦🌫🔥อยากแช่มั้งเนาะแต่ต้องไปทำงานแล่ว😢
Shortly after our luxurious bathe in the hot springs, this field trip full of school children arrived. They were so excited to jump right in, much to the amusement of the remaining adult bathers who came for a relaxing soak. #school #fieldtrip #children #allsmiles #purejoy #hotsprings #soak #mineralwater #thailand #krabi #seetheworld #natgeotravel
Stylish
#หมูบุรินอินไทยแลนด์แปร๊นแปร๊น #kanjanaburi #working #บันทึกไทย #ThailandRecords #thailand #socool #feedgood #travelingram #traveling #travel #traveladdict #ilovetravel #hotspring #onsen #thaistyal #outdoor #canon #canon60d #canonthailand
Further up the isthmus brings to Khanchanabri (above) and of course Bangkok where fake Japanese style bathing places seem all the rage.
Onsen Onsen สบายจาย
#ถ่ายรายการ #RogerWu
#TVB #HongKong
#Onsen #LetsRelax
#Spa #Thonglor
Lovers
nacklouis at Maejok, Phrae province
ออนเซ็น @แพร่ คือดีนะ
ไม่ต้องไปไกล.สบายตัวมาก
#onsen #phrae #phraeonsen #onsentime #แช่น้ำพุร้อน
Unfortunately many of Thailand's hot springs are locked up in unappealing cells. Above it says Maejok, but could be anywhere in the country. 
Following this, are more appealing hot springs of north Thailand, including another (spruced up) cell. 
Rounding this blog entry off is another from Pai's Sai Ngam hot / hot spring. 
 
kwang_litter, just out of Mae Hong Son town enjoying a soak at Pha Bong hot spring.
 #naturelovers #meahongson #hotspring
khunmamui at Sippa hot spring resort (near Sankamphaeng) with the transcript 'as hot as the water!'
ร้อนๆเยี่ยงนี้ แช่น้ำร้อนสิครับบบ 😂😂😂 #Hotspring #Chiangmai
too_badz86 at Pha soet (?) hot spring
Life is so much easier when you just relax.
#holiday #chiangraitrip #Thailand #hotspring
#Thailand #Pai #hotspring #a7s2

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Welcome to the jungle

ได้ตื่นตอนเช้าเช้ามานั่งแช่น้ำพุร้อนแบบนี้ทุกทุกวันก็คงจะดี.. #สิปปาฮอทสปริง #ที่พักดี #มีบ่อน้ำพุร้อน #บอกต่อ #เที่ยวเมืองไทยไม่ไปไม่รู้ววว!!
Against expectations of little change, I've set out to compile the last 12 months most popular hot springs of Thailand. 
Were there little changes? No doubt.

As always I tampered with the points system; after all the way we use internet changes constantly as well. 
The major changes were adding Instagram counts for locations, while Tumblr was discarded. 

The former proved to be difficult to achieve a significant difference between the most popular soaks. Problem is, Instagram has no count function for locations (as opposed to tags). Let's just say after counting 300 photo's each I gave the three most popular soaks the same number of points .... Mentionable is that this change allowed for more influence of Thai speaking posters, something which has been difficult to overcome in the past.
The latter was discarded as the Tumblr search function does not work as previously; there's precious little number of searches coming up with a result.

These changes resulted in more prominence for Instagram which attributed to f.i. the hot springs of Betong and Wiang Pa Pao moving up the charts.
I also afforded more prominence to Facebook which helped the no. 1 hot spring to stay where it was, but also boosted Rock Valley hot springs; Facebook in general seems to assist the business owned soaks.

So where does this leave us? 
Points were awarded to relative standings on Instagram concerning tags (i.e. #fanghotsprings), Instagram location, Google search (of the last 12 months), Google search (based on % of the first 100 results), Twitter (number of hashtags/last 12 months), Flickr/Youtube finds, Tripadvisor (number of comments) and Facebook (likes). 

I also looked at the locations themselves and concluded that we need to differ the votes for Pai, as they are now distinctly different; without splitting the votes between Sai Ngam and Pai, what was previously known as Pai would have been top of the batch. As such both are now ex-aequo no. 6. It also signifies how the rambling Sai Ngam soak is heading upwards ...:

Welcome to the jungle 🌴💦 #hotspring #pai #thailand #travel #gopro #goprohero4
Consummation
Out side the top 10, it's worth mentioning the significance of Krabi's Saline hot springs, definitely a contender for top 10 next year. 
Biggest loser was Lampang's Chaeson hot spring which would dropped from ninth position last year to 17 this year.

The top 10 for 2016
1. (2015: 1) Sankampaeng (Chiang Mai; see also lead photo)
2. (4) Fang (Chiang Mai)
3. (6) Rock Valley (Kanchanaburi; photo below)
4. (3) Hin Dad (Kanchanaburi)
5. (5) Klong Thom (Krabi)
6. (-) Sai Ngam (Mae Hong Son)
    (2)Tha pai (Mae Hong Son)
8. (-) Betong (Yala)
9. (-)Wiang Pa Pao (Chiang Rai)
10. (7) Wareerak (Krabi)

โบกมือลาส่งยิ้มให้ สุขกับความอ้างว้างต่อไป.
What I do find surprising is that less and less of what's considered top soaking  sites of Siam are actually non-consumed: there's more thrill in the notion of naturally occurring hot spring waters than in actually taking the chance to bathe. 
I illustrate this by using only Instagram tags: the top 3 above only have a total of 8 photo's of persons enjoying the waters by immersing themselves. This contrasts with Hin Dad (28 photo's) and Sai Ngam (35 photo's), where the only emphasis is on soaking ...
Possibly it's due to the privateness, but maybe soaking is not so popular with the mainstream ...
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