Saturday, 4 August 2012

De-stressing At The Hot Springs

        I am ashamed to admit that, despite staying literally at the doorstep of the Lost World of Tambun, I'd only been in the theme park once. And that was way back in 2005! It's sad to acknowledge that we often venture far away for scenic sights and thrilling times, only to miss equally exciting experiences right in our own backyards.

        All that changed last Wednesday when my colleagues and I proceeded to the Lost World Hot Springs & Spa after school. We'd been talking about trying it out ever since Elaine, newly transferred to my school from Johor, waxed lyrical about the place. Yes, you read that correctly. It took a non-Ipohan to entice four Ipohans to try out something in our own city. Even more embarrassing was, out of the five of us who went there that evening after taking advantage of the fasting month early school dismissal, Elaine was the one who stays the furthest away while the other four of us stay just five minutes' away.

The ancient-looking facade of the Lost World of Tambun bathed in evening lights

       There were slight initial complaints when we had to pay RM15 for the entrance ticket as well as a refundable RM10 for a magnetic wristband to scan ourselves in. 

        But any morsel of dissatisfaction dissipated upon setting eyes on the beautifully-landscaped hot springs. Covering an area of 80,000 square feet, a whopping RM2 million was required for this latest addition to the theme park. Opened daily from 6 to 10 p.m., the hot springs and spa boasts of several attractions.

Luminous lights at the Saphira's Lair
            After changing into our swimsuits, we excitedly made our way to the first pool, the Saphira's Lair. It was an ideal introduction to the world of hot springs as the temperature of the waters here range from a comfortable 37 degrees to 40 degrees Celsius. Saphira, by the way, is a loyal and wise female dragon from mythology. Soaking legs first, followed by bodies, in the warm waters was most enjoyable. Our aching shoulders and back muscles also benefited a lot from being pounded by the water jets of the numerous gargoyles. 

The Geyser of Tambun erupts every hour over the Infinity Pool with subtle lighting effects and sprouts thermal hot springs water 40 feet up

          Next up on our exploration list was the Infinity Pool, with water temperatures at 40 degrees Celsius. At one end of the Infinity Pool was a pizza, sandwiches and hot dogs kiosk run by Italia Mia (the aromatic smells wafting in made our stomachs rumble a little) and at the other end was a volcanic waterfall. Submerging in the healing waters of the Infinity Pool was truly terrific as we were accompanied by the calming sounds of the cascading waterfall. And at every hour, the Geyser of Tambun erupts (reminded me of the Pohutu Geyser at Rotorua, New Zealand) and treats visitors to a spectacular display of lights. 

Reflexology pebbles fitted to the floor of the Foot Spa
        We adventurous souls then went on to brave pain at the Foot Spa. Walking one round on the reflexology pebbles was not an easy feat and there were sounds of "ouch", "aww" and "aiyah" from time to time. The knowledge that the tormenting pebbles help to reduce stress, cleanse the body of toxins, trigger the release of endorphins and stimulate the lymphatic system steered us to complete the walk. Clap! Clap! Clap!

One of the three massage huts at the Crystal Spa
         The soothing smell of lemongrass beckoned us to check out the Crystal Spa. A range of massages was on the menu. I was quick to note that a 45-minute aromatherapy massage would set one back at RM80! This is a little steep compared to what I would normally pay for a massage. But there may come an occasion (say a birthday self-pampering) when I decide to indulge a little.

The Crystal Pool --- specially designed with crystal tiles that glimmer
         We then stumbled upon the highlight of the evening (and in my opinion, the Jewel of the hot springs) --- the Crystal Pool. Nestled amidst luxuriant greens, the Crystal Pool offered a sense of privacy. Although the waters are supposedly at 40 degrees Celsius, we thought it was a bit hotter than that. But it was incredibly relaxing to lower our bodies into the thermal waters. The gorgeous lights on the trees gave an illusion of shooting stars, adding to the magical atmosphere. We stayed there for quite some time, alternating between enjoying the therapeutic waters and lying on the cool tiles.

         Sadly, soon it was time for us to leave, but not before plans were made to return for another round of relaxation before the fasting month (which equals early school dismissal) ends. For me, the return to the hot springs came even earlier as dearest hubby was jealous that he had been left out so on the following evening, we had a date there.

          It was undeniably romantic to relax under the stars with your loved one. Needless to say, we spent a long time at the Crystal Spa, where we were away from prying eyes and had the "world" to ourselves. Hubby fell in love with the place  :)

The Steam Cave, which acts as a sauna
        With my knight in shining armour holding my hand protectively, we walked below the cascading waterfall at the Infinity Pool to enter the 45 degrees Celsius Steam Cave. The sauna-like steam cave was touted to eliminate toxins from one's body. Being enclosed in the quiet and softly-lit cave was thrilling and romantic at the same time. There was nothing to be feared yet I was most glad for the presence of my hubby. He led me on to the opposite end of the cave which yielded an exit for one to be cooled down by fresh air. Again, there was absolute privacy at that small pool so we were ensconced there for a while, before venturing through the steam cave again and back out to the Infinity Pool. 

           After sweating it out at the Steam Cave, we summoned up our courage to test out the last attraction of the Hot Springs --- the 43 degrees hot Top Of The World Jacuzzi. It was completely deserted as not many can brave the super hot waters. Toes were dipped in, slowly followed by the feet...the waters were really far too hot for my liking...but hubby prodded me to be braver. I inched myself in, and promptly skipped out after a minute. However, the sight of my valiant hero submerging his entire body into the hot hot waters, lured me in again. And this time I made it!!! Once my body had overcome the initial shock of the heat, it relaxed and soon I found the experience quite invigorating. I could literally feel the knots in my muscles melting away. But we were mindful of the advice not to soak in there for more than 5 minutes.

        I really give the Lost World Hot Springs & Spa a big thumbs up and it will definitely be a regular respite for my weary soul. The fact that the thermal waters at the hot springs come from a natural source (minus the pungent smell of sulphur) and that it is not recycled (the waters flow out into the Kopisan River) lays to rest any doubt of the lack of hygiene. It truly is the ultimate relaxing, de-stressing and therapeutic experience!

No comments:

Post a Comment