Sunday, November 14, 2010

day 58_Tien Lai hot springs resort

Friday night our company retreat continued on to part 2 - we rode buses to Tien Lai hot springs resort to spend the evening. Tien Lai is also located in the mountains just outside the city, and arriving after dark, I couldn't tell much about the place except that the resort grounds are quite large and include multiple buildings/facilities. We checked into our rooms - typically 4 women or 4 men to each room - we had 3 in my room. Just another chance to get to know a few of my new coworkers a little bit better (for example, I now know that neither of my two roommates snore - yay!) It was a nice place to relax after a long day at camp.

Cookies and Candy welcome token, on hotel beds
The resort takes advantage of the natural hot springs that are common in the mountains near here and specializes in hot spring leisure, including hot springs tubs in the hotel rooms, hot springs pools and spas of various kinds around the resort. My crew was tired. We took turns showering the campfire smell out of our hair, enjoying some pure solitude in the hot springs tub in our hotel room [The hot springs tub was like a custom hot tub fed by a combination of modern plumbed hot/cold waters and naturally supplied hot springs water - used for leisure only (no shampooing & soaping in this tub). The tub was located adjacent to the shower... so you could bathe solo in the hot springs tub and then wash off in the shower after.] The hot springs tub had a window at shoulder level in a seated position so that you could look out on the mountains while you lounged.

My favorite part of the resort was definitely the view the next morning upon waking. Coming from my entire life of living in very flat terrains, I LOVED waking up and creeping out onto the balcony to see the views. Soft, low, green mountains with swirling clouds dancing in between. It was gorgeous! My first trip this far out of the city reminded me of how much I want to get out and explore more outside of Taipei City... must work on that!

Tien Lai Hot Springs Resort, Taipei County
After a bountiful breakfast, I decided that a massage sounded great [-Wrong-]. After all, I was on vacation, why not indulge myself? But... let's just say it wasn't exactly indulgent. : / Unfortunately, I am convinced that the masseuse was trying fervently to rub the bones clear out of my body... and thankfully she failed! As I laid face down on a table at the hands of a young Taiwanese girl, I tried to ask her to please be softer. She would try again and say "ok?" to which I would reply even softer... and this continued about 6 times until I decided that there was no softer setting in her hands! So I laid there and tried to tell myself that it was 'not that bad'... but let's just say, my sore body even now begs to differ! Oh well! [Ha, I actually talked to another foreigner who had a similar experience... and we are wondering if that is the expectation of massages here? Less relaxation, more pressure???]

Regardless, my weekend in the mountains was fabulous and I was not eager to ride back down the hill to the city. Must get back and enjoy some more time in the great outdoors soon!

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