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Jianhe Hot Spring

Jianhe Hot Spring is located in Wenquan Village, Censong Town in Jianhe County. The region is known as the Qiandongnan Miao-Dong Autonomous Prefecture, 267 Kilometers from Guiyang. The Hot Spring is 70 kilometers from kaili, the prefectural capital, and 1.5 kilometers from the National Highway 210. To get 248 train from Guiyang and get off at Kaili, and then change to a long-distance bus to the Hot Spring. The highway is an asphalt road, and the scenery along the way is extremely beautiful.
Getting off the coach, I saw a tall archway bearing four Chinese characters "jian he wen quan" (Jianhe Hot Spring). A crowd of Miao women were lined in front of the archway holding oxhorns containing rice wine. They sang Miao folk songs, waiting for visitors. We went over, and one by one sipped a mouthful of rice wine from their oxhorns. After passing the "examination" we were permitted to enter. One man in our group, not knowing the etiquette of the Miao ethnic minority, touched the oxhorn, and he was forced to drink all the rice wine in it, which was a quarter of a kilo. It's fortunate that the man was able to hold his drink, otherwise he wouldn't have been able to walk properly.

After passing this barrier, in front of the bridge there was another wine barrier. We wanted to avoid it, but this was the only road leading to the village, so we had to toughen ourselves up and pass the second barrier. We dared not touch the oxhorn, but stretched our necks to drink the wine. Those who were not thirsty let the wine flow down their chins. After passing the second barrier, we were allowed to enter the village. In an open area, there was a third wine barrier. I managed to avoid it.

When the Miao drum dance performance ended, it was five o'clock in the afternoon. We took a car to the hot spring, which was 1.5 km away. It took only a short time to get there. Jianhe Hot Spring is located at the foot of a slope, surrounded by mountains on three sides and facing a flatland on one side. In 1998 Jianhe County introduced 6 million yuan of overseas investment to build a swimming pool and some auxiliary facilities at the hot springs. It opened to tourists not long ago. Every day 50-100 people come here to have a hot spring bath.

When we arrived here, local Miao People were bathing in the two pools, one for men, and the other for women. The pool for men was on the upper level. Five Miao young men were having a bath, stark naked. The pool for women was on a lower level with some having a bath and the rest washing clot hes. Seeing me , the women turned their backs and said "Shame," while giggling. A young Miao man who came with me told them in their bating and washing.

According to local tour guides, it is an ancient local custom to have a bath in hot springs, but no one knows when this custom began.For generations the Miao people have been doing just this.

Because the Miaos often have baths in hot springs, they have good skin and are strong and attractive. It seems that frequent hot spring bathing helps maintain a healthy metabolism, keep skin fair and also make you attractive as well.

Materials are provided by "Travel China weekly newspaper"
by Guizhou Correspondent Ouyang Changpei

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