It’s unclear how many hot springs there are in Ranong, but I know of two. One is near the school we volunteer at and apparently consists of a muddy wading pool. The other, Rakswarin, has a better reputation and one of the teachers at school suggested we pay it a visit.
We had a 3 day weekend so after rest day on Friday, productive day on Saturday (answered emails, blogged, scrubbed our moldy, smelly bathroom, washed the floors, studied Thai, prepared projects for school), I was looking forward to finally getting out to explore our surroundings. At last, Sunday came around and we hopped on our bikes.
After about a 40 minute ride, we found this:
There was a distinct lack of bike racks and/or fences so we did like the locals and tied our bikes together. Seemed to be effective since they were still waiting for us when we got back.
We checked out the local food and opted for a sit down seafood place. The restaurant itself was nice and prices were comparable to other actual restaurants (as opposed to Mom’n’Pop stalls which are a lot cheaper). We, unfortunately, encountered some (likely language barrier induced) confusion where our waitress didn’t note Ed’s order. It took a 75 minute wait and well after I’d eaten my octopus salad for us to realize it. We were pretty annoyed (Ed probably moreso than me since he was still hungry!), but I guess these things happen when you’re in a place where no one speaks your language. I have a feeling we might want to get used it…
Most of the pools were free (or rather, by donation), which was a pleasant surprise. Interestingly, people don’t wear bathing suits, opting to just soak in their clothing. More interestingly, no one cared that the outside temperature was above 30C (that’s 86F for you Americans, I think), they just submerged themselves in the scalding water.
And if soaking in 65C (149F) water under the hot Thai sun isn’t enough for you, you can take a nap on the naturally-heated floor in this building:
There were quite a few people when we were there, and I imagine it can get pretty busy since there were human-sized parking lots traced into the floor to encourage nappers to sort themselves nicely. When we walked by on our way out, there were some people doing Thai massage as well. I guess the heat for would be fantastic for extra muscle relaxation and flexibility.
A fancy looking spa offering Thai, oil and foot massages was also on site, but, having explored massages in Phuket, we weren’t particularly curious.
Maybe another time, when we’re more stressed.
(As if it were possible to be stressed in this gentle, laid back, tropical community!)