Sunday, 17 January 2010

Khuan Kaeng Hot springs in Trang

On this sunday I decided to explore the hot water spring of Trang in Khuan Keang. To get there you drive to the Pak Meng beach and continue along the beach southwards towards Kantang. The road is narrow but beautifully lined by tropical pines. A few resorts line the road and after 10k's or so you will reach the Chao Mai beach nature reserve. After another 24km you will reach the hot water spring. The area is like any other Thai tourist attraction and first you come to a large parking lot.

The entry is free and voluntary guides will show you around. The developed premise is quite small, 3 big open air ponds with different degrees of hot water and the surrounding forests are also designated as nature reserve. The hottest is 70deg and I suppose it is hot enough to boil eggs although the guide told me it is not allowed to try out (I did not have any eggs with me either). The bottom of the 70deg pond looked like a moon scape with sharp and soft lime pillars formed in it with color ranging from white to dark green. The water was so hot that one could only dip the fingers and hand in there. I suppose if you'd be crazy enough one could manage a quick dip.

The 70deg C pond

Further on the water ran the cooler it got and after the 70 deg pond there was a 40 deg pond and there one could sit and dip arthritic legs in te hot water. It took some getting used tot the temperature before I got myself into the water up to my knees. The cooler end of the pond had kids aged 6-7 yrs bathing fully while the edges were lined by people dipping their feet and calves.

Nong Fon dipping her feet

Further there was an elevated walkway that went into the jungle, mostly one could see the volcanic soil with hot water and gnarled trees and plants. At some places the walkway rails had deteriorated badly and it was not such a big rush walking through it.

The elevated jungle walkway

As the last attraction was that there were bathhouses which could be rented by a voluntary sum of money, I rented one for 100THB. Some of the houses had the roof caved in and daylight came so there was no need for extra lighting. The bath was a small round concrete thing lined with mosaic tiles where one could sit on a ledge on the side and put the legs in the middle, it could be filled by 30 or 40 deg water. On the side there was a shower. It was nice to sit and enjoy the water and just sweat out the impurities, just like in a sauna.

After softening up in the hot water I went and took a foot massage and the old ladies there really knew how to knead ones feet.

Foot massage

All in all a nice visit but the place is in dire need of a facelift before somebody has an injury with a falling roof tile or collapsing railing.

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