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Getting into hot water in Lhasa, Tibet

Besides the numerous myths that surround them, hot springs in Tibet play an important role in traditional Tibetan medicine, both as therapy and as part of the wellness routine.

The Qiusang Hot Spring, located along the Yangbajing section of the Qinghai-Tibet Highway, is one of Tibet’s best spas.

In the past, both commoners and nobility frequented the hot spring, and it is still relatively in its original state, with only two small stone houses serving as bathrooms.

But the Dezhong Hot Spring, about 120 km away from Lhasa, is the most convenient. Buses depart every other day at 7 am from the East Lhasa Guest Station. The return bus leaves at the same time.

This hot spring sits at the bottom of a valley and boasts a three-story wooden hotel next door. A double room costs only 30 yuan, and guests do not have to pay the additional 5 yuan charged for the use of the hot spring.

If you are planning to stay overnight, it may be best to pack a picnic as the only restaurant here serves only simple Tibetan noodles and other instant foods.

At Medro Gongkar County, there are two other hot springs. Riduo has a history of several centuries, and is on the altitude as the Dezhong Hot Spring. Both have the same water quality.

The water temperature at the spring source of Riduo can reach as high as 81C, but in spite of that, there is a harmless little worm living in the water which the locals call “holy worms”.

source: CNTV, 08 OCT 2012

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