Hot Springs, Hot Beds

Let me tell you about this amazing place is Suzhou.

Things were really hectic for the first two months in China. Between getting settled in, organizing a new classroom (I still haven’t posted that video), and learning a new curriculum, my brain and body had had enough.  When I first arrived, my friend told me about this hot spring she loves to go to not too far away.  I figured Golden Week was the best time to go.  Everyone travels during Golden Week so the flights are expensive and the train stations are overloaded.  I didn’t want any more stress in my life.  I just wanted to escape.  So a friend and I packed our bags and went off to Huanziu Resort and Spa.

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The hotel was beautiful and the rooms were great. Breakfast is included. I repeat.  Breakfast is included.  For me, free breakfast is a deciding factor when it comes to hotels.  Not only is breakfast included, but you can book your room and the spa in the same package!  In addition to the spa, the resort has a golf course and… wait for it… A TEA HOUSE!  I was in heaven.

I did NOTHING during this trip. I started my days late and I  sat in the hot spring for a while (my preferred temp is 42 c).  I am not a huge fan of being wet and wrinkly, so I usually didn’t last long here.  I also learned something new!  See that mallot looking thing below?  Well, it’s hollow on the inside.  We had no idea what it was for, but I just had a feeling it was to make noise with.  So I knocked it against the ledge a couple of times to see if the worker would come running with more tea.  After a couple minutes nothing happened, so I gave up.  The next day we shared a pool with a family that spoke English.  It is not a Chinese butler bell at all, its a ladle to use to pour water on your body.

Facepalm.

Although I’m not one for baths, there was a place I never wanted to leave.  I named this the “nap spot.”  Because of course, I don’t know what it’s actually called.  This beautiful creation is a building specifically designed with me in mind.  I laid out for hours on the heated floor reading books and sleeping.  They even had herb filled bags that you can place under your head while you sleep.  Of course, I chose the tea bag. I want one of these in my house.

I was even brave enough to let the little fishies eat on my feet. They were so soft after.

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I also spent two days at the tea house.  Finding a tea house had been on my list of musts before I moved to China and I had yet to find one.  This was a surprise for me when I arrived and I couldn’t wait to get there.  Thankfully a couple of the young ladies working there spoke a little English so one explained and demonstrated the correct way to pour tea.  The atmosphere was so peaceful.  I spent hours here writing in my journal.  I could even see the occasional monkeys stop by for a rest on the bamboo stalks outside.

In the evening, a woman would play the guzheng after which someone performed a tea ceremony.  I never wanted to leave this place.

Published by brianalennet

Visual anthropologist and digital storyteller

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