Guide to China’s Natural Thermal Springs
Many people visit China to see the Great Wall or the Forbidden City, but you can also visit to hop from hot spring to hot spring. The mineral bathing culture is alive and well in the nation known as the sleeping giant.
Both natural thermal springs on protected lands and hot springs spas are easily accessible to the interested traveler. We’ll break these down below.
Hot Springs on Protected Lands
Located on China’s eastern coast is Ninghai Forest Hot Spring. Travelers warn that many of the amenities nearby are old, though there is a good reason. This hot spring has been in use since ancient times.
The park itself is composed of four distinct valleys with nine waterfalls and upwards of 72 mountainous peaks, which park guests can climb. The mineral makeup of the water includes elements of fluoride, radon, and lithium.
Next is Chongqing South Hot Springs Park, located in Nanquan town. This is another park that invites hiking, exploration, and the steamy waters of a natural hot spring. There are waterfalls rushing down the mountain landscape and subterranean caves where visitors can both find mineral water and the remnants of ancient underground rivers.
These caves also once served as air raid shelters. There are lined pools within Chongqing Hot Springs Park where lounge chairs allow visitors to recline out of the water as well.
Other Hot Springs on Protected Lands:
- Tianmu Hot Spring
- Wentang Hot Spring
- Chumathang Hot Spring
- Yushui Hot Spring
- Xiaotangshan Hot Spring
- Huangshan Hot Spring
Hot Spring Spas and Hotels
Long Mai Hot Spring Beijing is a hotel that offers suites for rent, an on-site restaurant, and access to thermal water. The location is a prime one, sitting very near the Great Wall as well as the Summer Palace. Previous guests mention a lazy river, which is fed by the spring’s water.
As you should do at every place you visit in China, it’s advised that you bring your own towel and toilet paper. In many places in the country, ‘squatty potties’ are still the norm.
In Xuchang, north of the Ninghai Forest Hot Spring, you’ll discover The Mist Hot Spring Hotel. The hotel is named after the persistent mist that surrounds the hotel due to the nearby hot spring. There’s plenty of space to spread out in the mineral water features at this hotel.
There are a total of five indoor bathing pools and fourteen outdoor basins. There’s also an on-site restaurant that features Cantonese cuisine.
Nestled in the center of the nation is Angsana Spa Tengchong, a three-storied spa dedicated to healing via hot springs. Here the pools are themed, and you can spend days exploring the 43 different bathing areas. If you’re traveling with your family, know that the spa offers services specifically for children aged 7-14 as well as conventional beauty treatments like nail services.
Other Chinese Hot Springs Spas and Hotels:
- Bishuiwan Hot Spring
- Conghua Hot Spring
- Liuxi Hot Spring
- Lipu Hot Spring
- Jiuquwan Hot Spring
- Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort
- Duoling Hot Spring Hotel
- Wanfu Hot Spring International Resort
- Zhuhai Imperial Hot Spring Resort
- Zhongshan Hot Spring Hotel
- Quanyan Hot Spring Hotel
- Gudou Hot Spring Holiday Resort
- Dusit Devarana Hot Springs & Spa
- Jianguo Hotspring Hotel
- LN Dongfang Hot Spring Resort, Shaoguan, China
- Palace International Hot Spring Hotel, Shaoguan, China
China is a beautiful country that welcomes visitors as long as they have the correct documentation (which should be kept on your person at all times since hotels are legally bound to report the presence of foreign travelers to the local police station). No matter where you travel within the nation, a hot spring should be within reach.
Don’t worry too much about a language divide while touring these hot springs destinations. In China, most signs display in both Chinese characters and English.
Learn more about visiting China, on our sister site La Vida Nomad.