Sunday, March 15, 2015

Guan Zi Ling 關子嶺- Mud Spring Resorts near Tainan

So the last part of our trip in January was to go to the Guan Zi Ling hot springs near Tainan. From Tainan we had to take a train and rent a car to get there. I've been wanting to visit this place for a while because they have mud springs here and it sounded like fun.
On the train.
We went to the King's Garden Villa Resort. Before entering the hot spring you could put a facial mask on and you could choose from either apple, mung bean, or mud. Of course I went with the mud!
 
 
Then you could put your feet into a mini spring while your face dried.
Also included in this resort are what I can only assume as fat-reducing machines. In the picture below you had to put your feet on the gray thing and it would shake your whole body from side to side.
 
 
For this one you would wrap the belt behind you and it would shake your midriff. We didn't have enough time to try them out but I think it would've been funny if we had. I don't believe they would help you lose weight- or if they did it would take a LONG time.
 
Then after you washed your face you could go into the actual hot springs. There were various pools of different temperatures and ingredients. I felt like I was being cooked in one it was so hot. The actual mud spring was just mud tinted water- you couldn't actually put mud on yourself and get in. Then there was a Chinese herbal bath. It smelled very different and the sign on it said it had lots of benefits- mostly for the elderly, like relieving joint pain. Lastly, there was a spring that had Chinese juniper oil in it. I guess there were no health benefits- it's just supposed to smell relaxing.
 
And it was- the whole experience was very relaxing and it's a great thing to do in the winter when it's cool.
 
On the way back to the train station we tried one of the special foods in the area. It's chicken that's cooked in a huge clay pot. Maybe the picture doesn't look great but it was VERY delicious. My mouth starts to water thinking about it. The broth was especially good.  
 
In the restaurant was a shrine to an interesting deity: Ji Gong 濟公. He was a Buddhist monk who supposedly had magical powers which he used to help the poor stand up to injustice and he didn't abide by Buddhist rules by drinking alcohol and eating meat. He's usually represented holding a fan like the one on the top shelf.
 
 
This is the device it was cooked in. I would call it an oven but Albert maintains it was a pot.
 
So that was the end of our Tainan adventure. I'll tell you about what we did over Chinese New Year next time!