Posts Tagged ‘traveling destinations’

Super soaking spots around the world

From the beginning of time, folks have enjoyed a good soak.

And for travelers, spending days shuffling from site to site — or canned in planes, trains, buses and cars in transit to all the spots on their itineraries – there is perhaps no sweeter relief than relaxing in a therapeutic thermal pool after a long day’s travels.

Lucky for us, our planet is stocked with geothermal energy, and it bubbles up to the surface in hot spots all around the globe. Through the centuries, kings have built palaces around thermal springs, lords have constructed massive bath structures for themselves and their concubines, and more recently man has carved countless pools and parks into volcanic hillsides to tap into the trapped heat just below.

Make these destinations part of your travel plans, and at many of these spots you can still soak your travel stiffness away.

Pamukkale, Turkey – Some off the most ancient natural hot springs in which soaking is still part of the visiting experience can be found in southwestern Turkey, in Pamukkale. An area literally translated as “cotton castle,” the mix of hot springs and thermal pools are interspersed among carbonate terraces that have been naturally formed over thousands of years. New protections have kept recent development at bay, and you can still wade in the waters that date to Greco-Roman and Byzantine eras, when the city was known as Hierapolis.

Take a tour of the ruins and experience for yourself the thermal therapeutic pools by clicking HERE.

Hua Qing Hot Springs, Xi’an, China – This is a popular stop-off for folks checking out the extremely popular Terracotta Warriors, though you won’t get a chance to soak your bones here. The lush gardens at Hua Qing, however, surround one of the most tranquil spots in the province, and date to the Tang Dynasty. Hop a tour by clicking HERE.

Huife Hot Springs, Chile – How’s this for a big day: Wake up early in the spectacular Andean city of Pucon, trek up a live volcano spitting rings of smoke into the skies, have a ski down sugary powder, and finish with a soak in the natural mineral-rich thermal pools at Huife. Book this awesome day HERE.

Bath, England – Roman ruins on the English mainland? Check. See the elaborate Georgian architecture that dates to the 15 century, which surrounds the famous waters of the Bath Abbey west of London. THIS great tour combines the pools at Bath with the mystery of Stonehenge, and has you back in London by dinner time.

Tabacon, Costa Rica – This is Disneyland for hot tub hounds! Carved right into the side of the towering, grumbling Arenal volcano is the Tabacon Spa, an incredible complex of thermal pools naturally heated by the area’s volcanic energy. Dozens and dozens of individual pools are hidden among jungled nooks and pathways, each of varying degrees of heat. Rivers of thermal waters connect them all. After a quick trip down a thermal water slide, you can swim up to a poolside bar for a cold Imperial. The facility is first-class in terms of food, accommodations and service, too. Thus the big, well-worth-it, price tag.

Book a day tour away from busy San Jose by clicking HERE… and enjoy the dreams of your Tabacon soak from this day forward.


11 2011

My Hour as Indiana Jones

I was sitting at home, eating a salami sandwich and minding my own business, when an Indiana Jones rerun possessed my TV and spat out clichéd adventure in droves. In spite of a plot that resembled a tuna fishing net, I watched the entire film until its heart-wrenching climax.

As the credits rolled on, I began to muse on the importance of Indiana Jones to traveling destinations. I quickly decided that every city, island, state and rock in the ocean needed an Indiana to protect it from the psychos, who believe that it is sanitary to tear out organs without surgical gloves. I then perused the web in search of the online equivalent of Indiana Jones. I imagined finding a haggard blogger dedicated to truth and khakis, but my frantic clicking could not find a single person who brought these ingredients together in a day-saving package.

It was then–in a moment of cringe-worthy arrogance–that I took it upon myself to be the travel blogging Indiana Jones. Driven by the belief that the modern man could look good in colonial garb, I grabbed my fedora, snapped a few head shots and registered my WordPress blog–titled Indiana Jones and the Doomed Traveler.

I set out an elaborate plan to expose the insidious trickery of immigration officials, corrupt cops and thieving children. My blog would become the traveler’s survival handbook and it would save scores of people from taxi kidnappings, armed madmen and dodgy chicken from street vendors – it was foolproof.

Later that day, I walked outside to breathe in the fresh air of heroic accomplishment. As I walked onto the street, I felt a quick tug on my earlobe and watched as a child on a bicycle drove off into the sunset with my iPod…

I stood, inanimate, and realized that I was no Indiana Jones. I was simply a traveler, who often saw things go wrong.


10 2011