Friday, April 29, 2011


Is it a spring?

Spelling Thai hot springs gives it's own problems. Phu Toei is just one of the many problems encountered with finding a hot spring. Alternatively I've seen this as
Puteuay, Pu Toei, Puteu and Phu Thoei. Luckily it's a larger village and as such not so difficult to find (I wish).

Having had the opportunity to visit
Phetchabun (or Phetchaboon or either without the h) over the past week, I decided to visit this hot spring, if only because it's along the main highway to the provincial capital. I actually was expecting some directions on how to find this place, but instead drove straight through the village and when asking around was eventually lead to a different village altogether (see upcoming blog entry). So I stopped on my way back to Bangkok.

The springs are apparently smack bang in the center of the large village, just behind a Chinese temple.

About half a hectare in size, a public park has been created and only recently renovated as it included many new-looking play and fitness apparatus. Well-maintained, there are a couple of ponds, none of which looked very hot.

At the back of the park is a modern looking spa and early morning I inquired if it was possible to bath. It was, but only if I would like to wait for 20 minutes. Probably so they could fill the tub? Flow must be a trickle. Anyway, no worries and 20 minutes later the tub was ready.
I was taken inside, received towels and disposable underwear (?) was directed to changing cubicle. Before changing though, showers were pointed out as well as a big modern jacuzzi, all inside and very clean and modern.

Well after donning the disposable underwear I had the jacuzzi for myself. Low and behold, it was cool water! Weird, maybe should have waited longer? Anyway nothing to be done about it, but to enjoy the bath.

Behind the veil

Phu Toei certainly is
noted for it's hot spring. That said, the Thailand Energy and Environment Network mention that the temperature of this spring as 32 C, which it wasn't. Elsewhere on their site they also imply the temperature as being 30 C, who knows maybe after more research they would have found out it was closer to 20 C which was what it felt like.

According to Erfurt-Cooper & Cooper (2009) this would mean it to be a cold spring, at best tepid (25-34 C).

Spring with pipes

There is not much real info on internet most seem to use the following text:
'It is a natural hot spring, emerging to the surface. The area has been developed into a health tourism attraction and a relaxing venue. There are daily services of mineral water bathing, spa, body massage, and foot massage provided from 9.00 a.m. – 8.00 p.m'.
This site includes at least a picture of the baths.

Getting there: From Bangkok take highway 21 towards Phetchabun from Saraburi. Phu Toei is located 44 km from the Chai Badan turnoff. The hot springs park is in the middle of town on the eastern side of the highway, partly hidden by a Chinese temple.

Soaking experience: This is the first place in Thailand where I have seen that facilities have been created expressly for bathing (and wellness) and run by a private company. The facilities were excellent as was the surrounding park. Pity that the water was not warmer ....

Overall impression: Excellent, if only the water had been hotter ...


Erfurt-Cooper, P. & M. Cooper (2009) Health and Wellness Tourism. Spa and Hot Springs. Aspects of Tourism: 40. Channel View Publications, Bristol, United Kingdom.

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