The Tangshan hot springs near Nanjing might be the region’s best spot for naturally heated spa pools, but in the forested mountains of central Zhejiang, a new area of hot spring resorts is currently expanding rapidly. The beautiful countryside surrounding Wuyi now hosts a large range of hot spring hotels that provide an alternative to Tangshan.
Located on the edge of the city atop a secluded hill, Tang Feng Hot Spring Resort features an outdoor area of 30 different pools with all manner of different ingredients in the water from milk and coffee to rice wine. Less unusual pools include aloe, green tea and ginseng in addition to a large central pool modelled on Hangzhou’s West Lake, and a smaller area containing ‘spa fish’ which nibble away at your feet. In the summer, they also open up a decent-sized swimming pool and a cold waterfall to cool you down.
If you tire of lounging around in the hot springs, the area also features some good day trips, in particular the ‘ancient ecological village’ of Guodong (entrance 30RMB), a 20-minute taxi journey from the centre of Wuyi. Aside from the picturesque Hui Long Bridge, a 400 year-old stone structure with a traditional pavilion set atop it, there are few specific sites in Guodong, but the village’s main attraction lies in aimlessly wandering among the ancient houses or in the surrounding countryside. Dining options are limited, but a must-try are the bamboo tubes (8RMB) stuffed with rice, pork, peas, sweetcorn and ganmacai that are grilled on a barbecue for 30 minutes. They’re a local speciality that you’ll find at the simply named Guodong Restaurant on the main road, just over the bridge from the village proper.
Rooms at Tang Feng Hot Spring Resort range from 680RMB-1,980RMB (half price on weekdays) and guests get reduced entrance rates to the spa area: 80RMB/person per session. Additional charges apply for the spa fish pool (20RMB per person) and for massages given on heated marble slabs, from 48RMB for a 30-minute head massage to 158RMB for an 80-minute oil massage. There’s also a 200RMB/person deposit payable before you enter the spa area.
Although Wuyi is on the railway line from Shanghai
, direct trains are infrequent and slow. Better are services to Jinhua Xi with regular slow trains (four hours, 52RMB) and fast trains (two and a half hours, 111RMB) leaving from Shanghai South station. Once at Jinhua Xi you’ll find taxi drivers willing to drive toWuyi (120RMB, 40 minutes) just next tothe bus stop to the right as you exit the station. The easiest way to get to Guodong is by taxi(30RMB), while the return journey is best done by bus (2RMB roughly on the hour every hourfrom outside Guodong Restaurant), though you can also arrange for a car (30RMB) by speaking to one of the locals.
Tang Feng Hot Spring Resort
77 Huancheng Bei Lu, nearWenquan Lu, Wuyi, Zhejiang
province (05798762 0666). Open 24 hours (spa area midday-11.30pm) daily. 浙江省 武义县 环城北路77号, 近温泉路