Sunday, September 04, 2011

Hot spring in a river at Annah Rais longhouse

KUCHING: A hot spring kept secret for 250 years by early settlers in Annah Rais longhouse is open to the public.

The early settlers regarded it as a holy place to seek blessings and cures for sickness.

Annah Rais Hot Spring is a natural feature caused by underground water being heated by geothermal forces and brought to the surface, where it empties its hot water into Sungai Semadang, more commonly known as Sungai Sarawak Kiri.

Both hot spring and cool river can be enjoyed at an entrance fee of RM5 per head.

I turned up at this site one bright Sunday afternoon around 3pm.

While I was descending the steps, a scenic river with lush bamboo groves growing on both banks came into view.

Small fishes swam in the pristine clear water, and tiny bubbles of gas were intermittently released from the pebbly riverbed.

Two pools – one bigger than the other – are located on the other side of the river. The poolside is fashioned from cement made to look like granite slabs.

The pools collecting hot water diffusing from underground were constructed on Jan 12 this year, according to the inscription on one of them.

Visitors were seen sitting around the bigger pool, dangling their legs in Nature’s hot tub.

They were mostly locals though a few foreign tourists from Kampung Annah Rais homestay had found their way here.

The proximity of the hot spring to the river allows visitors to gravitate between soaking in hot and cold water.

Alternate dunking in hot and cold water is believed to dilate and constrict blood vessels in turn, stimulating an otherwise sluggish circulation.

For instance, a swollen injured ankle alternately dipped in bearably hot and icy cold water, as per doctor’s recommendation, has been known to be efficacious in reducing the swelling if all else has failed.

Since ancient times, soaking in a hot mineral spring has been a form of hydrotherapy to treat disease, injuries and improve health.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Hot spring in a river at Annah Rais longhouse

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