Nantian Hot Spring Resort

Admission:

120-150 RMB (varies with peak/off-peak seasons; free if staying at the resort)

Hours:

10:00 a.m.-midnight, full spa services from 2:00 p.m.

How to get there:

Taxis are about 120 RMB one-way from Sanya Bay. Free shuttle buses run on the following schedule: Pearl River Garden Hotel Dadonghai departures at 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm; Resort Intime Dadonghai departures at 1:55pm, 3:55pm, 5:55pm, 7:55pm; return buses to Dadonghai depart at 1pm; 3pm, 5pm, 9pm, 11pm; Resort Horizon Yalong Bay departs at 4pm with an 8pm return shuttle to Yalong Bay.

19 km northeast of Yalong Bay and some 50 km northeast of downtown Sanya, the mineral-laden waters of Nantian Hot Spring's 67 pools bubble up through the bedrock. Acclaimed nationwide for their restorative and health-giving qualities, the springs are very popular with Chinese tourists.

Groups spend hours in the pools, which have been substantially engineered to provide a range of experiences: there are perfumed pools, waterfall pools, medicanal herb soaks, cold-water dips, a variety of warm-to-hot pools suited, and "fish therapy" pools full of exfoliating nibblers that industriously work over any exposed skin.

The pools are complemented by spa and massage services, and the site is set amidst attractive palm trees and tropical foliage, making for a relaxing experience indeed (unless your idea of relaxation involves a high degree of solitude). Tropical fruits and coconuts fresh from the source are abundant, and paths lead to six well-manicured gardens. Plans are afoot to expand development in the area, elevating Nantian to heights of luxury rivaling the best of Bali or Hawaii (with, one expects, matching increases in prices), so don't be terribly surprised if your hot spring experience is accompanied by the sights and sounds of construction.

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