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Japanese-style hot springs in Anning

By in Travel on

Reading the signs around the hot springs district of Anning, a town one hour southwest of Kunming, there is a consistent theme: stone-bottomed hot springs, mud-bottomed hot springs, hot springs hotel, hot springs hospital. There's even a hot springs Party office - an enormous, ivy-covered mansion.

Though these springs have existed for thousands of years, Jinfang Forest Hot Springs, opened in 2002, distinguishes itself by being the only Japanese-style hot springs here. Whereas other locales around town generally charge by the hour and offer private indoor springs, these Japanese-style hot springs are outside, with a stronger emphasis on the atmosphere around the springs, not just the water itself.

In the lobby of Jinfang, we are greeted by a friendly legion of xiaojies and pore over the various hot spring packages: 88 RMB for a day of hot springs, 118 RMB to add foot massages, and 188 RMB (notice the price jump) to add something else called 'flirtatious expressions' weight-loss treatment. This is, ostensibly, an oil massage method, by which the masseuse - presumably with flirtatious expressions - will massage the fat out of your stomach or legs. Hmmm.

Successfully resisting such frills, we plunk down a 300 kuai deposit for two and are given locker keys. The facilities at Jinfang are very nice - and not just by Chinese resort standards: clean locker rooms, crisp towels and robes, a sauna, powerful showers and name-brand toiletries.

The first thing you see walking out onto the grounds are soaring pine trees, straight as telephone poles. Stone foot paths weave around the swimming pool and into the forest downhill toward the springs. Jinfang is on the side of a hill, and the varying terrain adds a feeling of exploration to the place.

Though the hot springs at Jinfang are shared, there are enough of them - around 20 - to find some relaxing privacy away from others. The other visitors tended to find their own pools.

Each hot spring can hold a dozen people comfortably. The temperatures range between 36˚C and 46˚C, so finding a suitable temperature is not difficult. The water is constantly being cleaned by the staff. One spring is dyed fuchsia with rose petals floating on the top, another is filled with milk.

There is no shortage of Chinese kitsch: one spring is flavored like sour apple candy, music is piped in from fake rocks, etc. Some of the more curious workers watch a little too closely as you hang your robe on a bamboo pole. But on the whole, the place feels very far from Kunming, very far removed from other Chinese tourist locales.

Despite being far from Kunming, business is good. "Many people come from Kunming, also Shanghai - mostly rich people," said one woman working at the hot springs. "More and more foreigners are visiting every year. The majority of them are Korean."

Back in the water, we're letting our fingers prune. Head leaning back, eyes closed, hours slip by, a few more people arrive, a few people leave and nothing really happens - which is exactly what we were looking for.

Jinfang Forest Hot Springs
金方森林温泉
Wenquan Zhenlong Xi Lu
温泉镇龙溪路
Phone: 0871-8631588
Hours: 10am-2am daily

Getting there:
Buses and small vans leave regularly for Anning from Kunming at the station on Renmin Xilu at Xiao Ximen. Both are six yuan and will drop you off on Baihua Lanlu on the eastside of small lake in Anning City. From here, there are taxis (20-30 yuan) or small vans (three yuan/person) to the hot springs 15-20 minutes north of Anning proper.

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Comments

Has anyone been here lately? This post is six years old. Thanks!

it still exists!

Friends went there last year. Still up and running.

We were there just two weeks ago, had a great time!

How much does it cost now?

Is it crowded ?

i was there a while back. i think i paid 88, but don't quote me on that. and yes, it was quite crowded, so you might want to try to find out the best times of year / times of day / days of the week to go when there are fewer people.

Cool, thanks! Hopefully they still have the pool with the little fish that eat your dead skin too?

I've been several times over the last four years. The first couple times (in 2009 and 2010) students could get half-off. But then they stopped that deal and the last several times it was about 120 RMB.

@abcdabcd
How did you manage to pay just 88?

We actually stayed the night there and treated ourselves to a suite because it was a special occasion, it was worth it though because we had our own private pool which meant we could avoid the big complex when it was busy. I think it's around 150 for a day pass but watch out for the onsite restaurant, it's pricey and they'lll definitely try to make you order the 168kuai mushrooms!

P.S yes they still have the fish filled pool!

sorry, like i said i wasn't sure. if you paid 120, so did i.

Hi everyone, are there any other better options value for money hot springs?

@timetowrite
How much is the overnight suite with private pool?

Can you where a swimsuit in the hotsprings?

The fish are still there.

@jessicabaker, you would really stand out if you went in the buff.

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