Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day one in Zhuhai - the Ocean Hot Springs

Yesterday, the 21st, Laura, Nancy and I went to the Ocean Hot Springs for a day of relaxation. After all the time on the plane and waiting around at the airport a little pampering sounded very appealing.

The hot springs is about an hour from Nancy's house so on the way I took some pictures, but more on that later...

We arrived at the hot springs, which is really a destination with an amusement park as well as the springs themselves. After checking in we were issued electronically coded bracelets that lock and unlock our lockers (they're also used to track which additional treatments you receive which you're billed for at the end of your visit). Once we were changed into our bathing suits we luxuriated in the hot waters. But, as you can only take so much, we then departed the pools, temporarily, and lay down in a heated marble pavilion. It wasn't long before we were offered foot massages, which we graciously accepted and enjoyed, after which we ate a little lunch.

Lunch consisted of noodle soup in a very light broth with noodles made literally only moments before. With lunch complete we decided to visit some of the medicinal bath which were interesting (I smelled a bit like celery afterwards and all I could think of was soup.

But the most interesting treatment was in the "lovely fish" pool. It was a relatively shallow pool of warm water filled with tiny little fish that eat dead skin off your body. Now, I expected that it would tickle but these fish have surprisingly strong mouths and it tingles when you have dozens of fish nibbling at you not unlike when your arm or leg falls asleep.

Reasonably, camera are not permitted at the hot springs so I have no pictures to share with you but I did find one on the internet of a woman being nibbled. Laura and I really wanted Dad to be there because he would probably hate it and it would be fun to watch his reaction and he would finally get his comeupance, the fish would be eating him for a change!

After we left the hot springs we had a hot pot dinner which consisted on a spicy broth and many plates of different ingredients. My favorites were the fish balls, tofu, radish, melon, and the tofu skins. Nancy also ordered us each a large bowl of fresh vegetable noodles to go with the hot pot. It proved to be way too much food but it was really lovely.

With dinner finished Nancy took us to the show at the hot springs resort. It was kind of like a Chinese drag show at times, hokey but a lot of fun.

Ocean Hot Spring

This is their "Fisherman Warf" at the hot springs resort.

The bridge coming in over the water into the resort.

A picture I borrowed off of another website showing the little nibbly fish. Some of the ones that nibbled us were quite a bit bigger then the ones pictured.

Ocean Hot Spring illuminated.

The bridge illuminated.

This guy was really into his tap dancing and playing the part of a 50's gangster.

The contortionist duo.

Dancers in white, can you tell what they're holding?

That's right, live doves!

And the finale! Check out the goldfish stage!

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