Saturday, 22 August 2009

Yangpachen Geothermal Area

I never thought I would be swimming in Tibet when temperatures outside are about 20 degrees Celsius. The weather turned out to be fairly nice as it was usually sunny. In the mountains, it was cooler. A sweater over a t-shirt would have suffice. We arrived at the Yangpachen Geothermal Area where the coach was parked by the side of an array of stalls selling souveniers and handicrafts. The resort was huge with several large pools and as many as about eight smaller pools of medicinally-concocted hot spring water. Because of the many hot springs in Yangpachen, the town is powered by thermal electricity.

The resort sells swim wear to visitors who wishes to swim but did not bring their swim suit. They offer foot massage services. Mum, sis and I decided to swim in the pools instead of having the food massage. The water in the big indoor pool was rather lukewarm. So, we headed to the smaller pools instead. The tiny pool with flowers on it looked so pretty and we went into it at first glance. They have a hairdryers at the reception counter. So, it would be best get quickly dressed after the hot shower to avoid getting chilled. Then, head down to the reception counter to use the hairdryer.

Since we are on the subject of swimming, just note that swimming in the holy lakes of Tibet is considered disrespectful to the Tibetans. According to this article,
"..... that Tso Ngonpo is the object of religious veneration for Tibetans, particularly since 2003 was a sacred year dedicated to the deity believed to live in the lake, which occurs only once every 60 years."

"...... Tibetans have respected and worshipped the Namtso as a holy lake for generations, and that in their view, it is "not just the second largest saltwater lake on the roof of the world", but rather it is "serene, peaceful, full of sanctity and compassion, and is an important venue of religious activities". The lake is then declared a "focus of the Tibetan people's long-standing and persistent spiritual pursuit", and as a consequence, "any disrespect towards it is equivalent to disrespect and violation of the Tibetan people's spiritual beliefs". The authors reaffirm: "As Tibetans, we definitely cannot accept the blasphemous act of 'swimming across the Namtso'"." -Source:

We were first ushered to this hot, steaming pool.

The water was burbling

The water is so hot, it can cook an egg. They offered us each and we ate it. It tasted like ordinary egg. So, I wasn't quite sure the point of this.

The yolk boiled into a darken yellow.

An open area pool

Pipes channeling the hot water to the respective pools

An indoor pool

The resort is surrounded by beautiful mountains and greens. There is a channel of hot spring water drawn from the mountains

The snow capped peaks of Mt. Nyainqentanglha

A room for foot massage

Tourists taking pictures of the beautiful scenery around

Another foot massage area

The indoor swimming pool provides floats for swimmers to relax in the pool. They have the loop float and the ball float that comes with a handle.

Primitive-looking washbasin

Tibetan public toilets

Shower cubicles

Medicinal pool to promote metabolism

Medicinal pool to promote weight loss

This is actually a face cream. I took a tiny scope of the cream and plastered it on my hair without reading the label! The lady at the counter must have thought that I was crazy.

And this one is for the hair although there was nothing English here to say that.


Anonymous said...

Well Daphne, I can confirm the last pix is of a hair product. Or to be more specific, to remove dandruff because ZPT is Zinc Pyrithione active ingredient to get rid of unwanted flakes! :P heheheheeheheh....

rabbit said...

maw, smarty pants!! :p