For years, thousands of visitors from all over the world have come to China to experience a spa in one of our many hot springs, all of which are located in picturesque, serene, comfortable, and Idyllic settings. In general, a spa in a hot spring is good for your skin and overall health; it releases your body of toxins, and relieves stress and fatigue. In China, hot springs often exist with ancient cultural legacies or natural attractions.
Following are the seven most stunning places in China to enjoy a spa in a hot spring. Each hot spring has its own unique features and charm, where you can artfully unwind and leave feeling happy, relaxed, healthy, and rejuvenated.
1. Yushui Hot Springs – A Side Trip from Shanghai
Milk and Flower Bath
Yushui (御水) Hot Springs Resort, located in Jiangsu Province, is hidden in a tranquil and beautiful bamboo forest.
The Yushi Hot Springs have a water temperature between 38ºC to 42ºC (100-108ºF); they are rare calcium bicarbonate style hot springs, which affect nervous system diseases, motor system diseases, skin diseases and more. Yushui’s Fifty-Two outdoor hot springs look like 52 pieces of jade dotted across a mountainside and makes Yushui a lovely place for you to enjoy a spa in a hot spring.
During your Shanghai side trips, there are many popular destinations you can explore in and around Jiangsu, including Shanghai (3 hours’ drive); Hangzhou (2.5 hours’ drive); Suzhou (2 hours' drive); and Nanjing (2 hours' drive). It’s very convenient getting to Yushui’s Hot Springs Resort.
- Location: Number 888 Li Village Daibu Town (Tianmu Lake South Hill Bamboo Sea Yushui Hot Spring Scenic Area), Liyang City, Jiangsu Province
- Hours of Operation: 13:00-22:30 from Monday to Friday; and 10:00-22:30 from Saturday to Sunday
- How to get there: 1) From Liyang (溧阳) Railway Station, take the shuttle bus to its Terminus- South Hill Bamboo Sea (南山竹海); 2) From Liyang Coach Station, take bus number 109 to the Yushui Hot Springs Resort (御水温泉) station.
- Nearby tour suggestions: Suzhou and Hangzhou Tour from Shanghai
2. Tangshan Hot Spring Resort – A Perfect Weekend Getaway to Nanjing
Tangshan Hot Spring Resort
Nanjing was once the capital of the Six Dynasties of Ancient China. It’s a charming, less-touristy city that boasts about its profound history and culture. Only a half hour drive from downtown Nanjing, you will find the Tangshan (汤山) hot springs Resort where you will enjoy a history dating back more than 1,500 years.
There are over 30 kinds of mineral substances and microelements in Tangshan (汤山) Hot Springs that are therapeutically effective for some chronic diseases, such as arthritis and skin diseases.
There are a lot of different styles of hot springs for you to choose from in Tangshan; among the best to visit is EaSpring (颐尚) Hot Spring Resort. It has 50 outdoor hot springs and 15 private indoor pools. The water temperature ranges from 40ºC to 65ºC (104-149ºF), all year round.
- Location: Tangshan Hot Spring Resort, Jiangning District, Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province
- Hours of operation: Depends on Local Hotels
- How to get there: Take metro line 2 to Maqun (马群) Station (Exit 1) and then take bus number d19 from the Maqun bus stop and get off at the Tangshan bus stop.
- Nearby tour suggestions: Shanghai and Suzhou Highlights Tour
3. Gubei Water Town – A Spa at the Foot of the Great Wall
A pool at the foot of the Great Wall
Gubei Water Town (古北水镇), or Beijing WTown, is a picturesque ancient town at the foot of Simatai Great Wall, the only section of The Great Wall lit-up and open for night tours. What makes this hot spring so relaxing is that you can soak in an alfresco pool against a stunning backdrop of the Galaxy Great Wall at night.
You might consider staying overnight there to give yourself plenty of time to take some breath-taking photos of the Great Wall from Simatai and Gubei Water Town. The recommended hot spring hotels under the Great Wall include Yushe Boutique Hotel, Gubei Zhiguang Hot Spring Holiday Hotel, Baqi Inn, and Duan’s Yard Gubei Water Town.
- Location: Gubeikou Town, Miyun District, Beijing City
- Opening hours of the town: 9:00-21:00 (Simatai opens from 8:00 to 22:00.)
- How to get there from Beijing: Take the direct tourist bus from north of Beijing Dongzhimen Hinge 东直门交通枢纽站 (at the junction of Dongzhimen Outer Byway and Xiangheyuan South St.) to Gubei Water Town. It leaves daily at 9:00, 12:00 and 15:30.
- Tour suggestions: Night Tour on Unrestored Wild Great Wall
4. Changbaishan Hot Springs – A Real Treat after Skiing
Changbaishan International Resort
Changbai Mountain (AKA Changbaishan, 长白山) is a dormant volcano with an abundance of hot spring resources. Most of the spring water temperature is above 60ºC (140ºF), and the hottest can reach 82ºC (180ºF). A variety of hot springs fall on the mountain near ski resorts and beautiful landscapes, making it a great destination for winter travelers.
Hannashan (汉拿山) Hot Spring Resort Hotel, located in Changbaishan International Resort, has 19 outdoor hot springs and is very close to the ski resort. It is great relaxing experiences to soak in a hot spring while you enjoy looking at beautiful snow views after a vigorous day of skiing!
- Location: Number 735 Baiyun Road, Changbaishan International Resort, Baishan City, Jilin Province
- Opening hours of hot springs: Depends on the Hotel
- How to get there: Take the free shuttle bus from Changbaishan Airport to the hotel.
- Tour suggestions: Contact us to create your interesting Changbaishan journey.
5. Huangshan Hot Springs – A Great Way to Relax after Trekking
Soak in a Hangshan hot spring in winter
Yellow Mountain, (Huangshan in Chinese) is an absolutely gorgeous place to visit! The Hot Springs Scenic Area of Huangshan Mountain is famed for its hot springs and its “four wonders” namely ancient pines, unusual rock formations, and the sea of clouds.
At the foot of the Purple Rock Peak (a perfect spot for viewing the sunset), you can see hot spring bathtubs dotted in and around villas and hotels, which are quiet and secluded. The hot springs are infused with different things such as rice soup, red wine (which can improve the cardio vascular system), ginger, or Chinese herbs.
During the winter, after a hard hike on the Yellow Mountain, lounging in a hot tub can be a fantastic relief as you soak your chills and tiredness away in a 42ºC (107ºF) hot spring while gazing at Huangshan’s magnificent snow-covered landscapes.
- Location: Hot Spring Scenic Resort in Huangshan Scenic Area, Tangkou Town, Huangshan City
- Opening hours of the hot springs: 10:00-23:00
- Getting to Yellow Mountain from Shanghai: Take a high-speed train from Shanghai/Shanghai Hongqiao (虹桥) Railway Station to Huangshan North (黄山北) Railway Station. Tourist buses for Yellow Mountain are found in front of Huangshan North Railway Station.
- Tour suggestions: Huangshan Relaxing Tour from Shanghai
6. Tengchong Hot Springs – Natural Geothermal Geysers
The “Big Boiling Pot”
Tengchong, a county located in the southwest of Yunnan Province, is the only volcanic geothermal area in mainland China. It is blessed with abundant hot springs and geysers which are surrounded by nature and beauty.
Tengchong Geothermal Scenic Area (腾冲热海风景区) is the best vantage point to see the real volcanic geothermal hot springs. The area has a luscious forest and the air is filled with steam, which is relaxing and makes it a quite a pleasurable place to walk. One of its highlights is the “Big Boiling Pot,” a pool of natural boiling spring where you can buy the unique hot spring eggs (Onsen Tamago).
It has been said that hot spring eggs (gently poached eggs) are the perfect example of egg simplicity. After you have eaten one of these incredibly delicious hot spring eggs, just the thought of eating another one will make your mouth water. Hot spring eggs can be eaten with bowls of rice or noodles for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just about any time you fancy eating one!
- Location: Geothermal Scenic Area, Tengchong County, Yunnan Province
- Opening hours: 8:00-19:30
- How to get there: Take the direct bus from the Tengchong Tourist Passenger Station.
- Tour suggestions: Add Tengchong to your authentic Yunnan discovery journey.
7. Hailuogou Hot Springs – To See a Glacier and Virgin Forest
Wild monkeys bathing in a hot spring
Hailuogou (海螺沟) Hot Springs, coexisting with glaciers, are in the Number 2 Camp Resort of Hailuogou Glacier Park in Sichuan Province. Their water temperatures vary between 35ºC to 90ºC (95-194ºF). How romantic it would be to wash away winter chills and blues at the natural hot springs that offer a spectacular backdrop of snowflakes, mountain peaks, virgin forests and glaciers! Maybe you will even see some wild animals sneaking beside the hot springs to keep warm.!
- Location: Number 2 Camp Resort, Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park, Luding County, Sichuan Province
- Opening hours: 9:00-17:00
- How to get to Hailuogou from Chengdu: Take the direct bus from Chengdu Xinnanmen (新南门) Bus Station. There are tourist buses within the park.
- Tour suggestions: Tailor-make a private in-depth Chengdu tour
Some Things to Know Before Soaking in a Hot Spring
- Don’t soak within an hour before or after meals, when you are hungry or when you are using alcohol or drugs.
- Take off all your metal jewelry or accessories before a spa otherwise they might get corroded by certain minerals that some springs contain.
- Don’t go to the spa alone and leave the spring if you feel uncomfortable.
- Try the spring at lower temperatures first; then the warmer ones step by step.
- It is advisable to only soak for 15-20 minutes at one time.
- Do not stay in a hot spring for more than 10 minutes if water level in the pool is higher than your chest.
- Usually you don’t have to take a shower after a hot spring bath, but you need to wash your body if the spring has strong acid or hydrogen sulfide.
- Don’t go to the spa if you have open wounds or sores.
- Don't allow young children to use the spa or leave them alone near a spring.
- No horseplay: don't jump or dive into a spa; climb in carefully; do not allow anyone to run or play while in or near the spa.
Experience a Chinese Hot Springs Tour with Us and Beyond
In addition to the above Hot Spring Resorts, there are many other delightful and romantic springs you might want to consider visiting. You are welcome to share all your tour needs and desires with us. Our expert travel advisors will customize a Good-Fit Tour Itinerary that will address all your expectations, lower your stress level, and immerse yourself in the complete culture of China, including its art, music, history, literature, and food.
Perhaps one of our Golden Itineraries will interest you:
- Elegant Water Town and Yellow Mountain Tour- Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Huangshan
- Golden Silk Road- Xi’an, Dunhuang, Turpan, Urumqi
- Giant Panda with Holy Tibet- Shanghai, Chengdu, Lhasa, Xi’an, Beijing