Enjoy Nanjing’s soak-worthy healing waters
In the hills east of Nanjing lies Tangshan, a pretty little town famed for the extraordinary quality of its ancient thermal waters.
Emperors and high officials dipped in the “holy soup” of Tangshan as early as 1,500 years ago, when the hot springs were already renowned for their medical properties, especially in curing skin diseases and chronic joint pain.
Many new hotels have sprung up recently, all targeted at the fast-growing mineral baths market.
A top favourite among locals is the EA Springs Resort, a vast outdoor complex with some 50 pools of 38 degrees Celsius thermal water, each with a distinct fragrant theme, ranging from traditional mint, lemon, and coconut milk to more unconventional scents such as dark coffee and red wine.
Ron Bennett from Miami – a connoisseur of hot springs resorts in both Asia and Europe – is particularly impressed by the standard of service at the EA Springs Resort.
“Attendants serve you the right kind of tea in sync with the theme of the pool. This is a place to come for indulgence,” he says.
Perhaps the most atmospheric section is the Hot Spring Culture area. Resembling a traditional Chinese garden, the 20 small ponds are surrounded by an abundance of flowers and even a small Confucian shrine.
Though the hot springs are often regarded as a summer getaway, most of them are open year-round. Tangshan is a popular winter destination as the chill air makes the steaming hot waters seem even more enticing.
Text and photos Anders Pihl