We came for the forest aspect and to be in less pollution than at the central Chongqing hot springs resorts. It was breath taking to arrive by taxi to the high foyer where peacocks were displaying, strutting and calling. We had pre-booked for a total of CNY932 for a Friday and Saturday night in a “Deluxe Hotspring Room One Double Bed) 2 Breakfasts” on www.China-Discount-Hotels.com. On arrival we were unexpectedly given two free hot spring tickets. The room was a good size and was at the front top corner to the hotel entrance with a wooden hot spring tub on the large balcony. However, because of the noise of construction on the land in front of the resort and because of the view directly to nearby tall apartment towers we asked to change to a forest view out the back. Staff were keen to assist. We accepted a back room with a peaceful forest and mountain view on the top floor. It was smaller and had a smaller bed (double), but had a large bright skylight operated by remote and a big tiled in-floor hot pool. The toilet was not screened off from the bedroom. This room was far better considering the peace and quiet and forest, mountain and hot springs view (room 6462). Reception again surprised us with a refund of CNY140 as the replacement room was a less expensive, meaning our payment was only CNY396 (AUD$68) per night. This included breakfast for two each morning and the two hot spring tickets. Great value.
All the decorative flowers and plants are REAL here at Tianci Bishan - amazing. The natural hot spring water here has a green tinge. I get the impression it is rare for hot springs in China to be crystal clear. At this spring the wood of benches under the spring water turn black. Wood seems to get preserved and there is a pile of these black logs to the south of the resort. I assume these have been collected out of the prior hot spring lake. Interesting pieces of ancient black wood are on display around the resort. The road to the south of the resort turns to an earth track winding through vegetable garden allotments. I assume these are tended by the apartment dwellers from across the long narrow lake. In a few hundred meters the track comes out at the expressway from University City to the east. Where it exits into Bishan from its six kilometre tunnel through the mountain range there is an “Outlets” shopping building opposite. Our room had a plethora of light switches with various interesting mood lighting options. Massages are in the hot pools complex but staff will escort you in for a massage if you do not have a wrist band for the pools at the time. We got an oil foot massage on the first day - CNY69 for 50min. The next day we had to wait till 2pm for there to be two masseurs on duty for our one hour Chinese massage (CNY160). Western tourists are rare here. We found we might easily attract three or more keen staff if we asked a question. Some kiddies in the breakfast hall had a game of running past giggling and looking back to see us. Toddler twin girls at the next breakfast table almost cried when they noticed me because I had smiled at their happy table conversation.
There are some good underwater jets and bubblers in mid 40s pools undercover. The pump only came on for a few afternoon periods for the day we were there. The water-jet beds had too cool a temperature. The fish pool was popular and well maintained. There were twenty or so scented or herbal pools amongst lush green foliage. The large central pools here are very extensive but obviously can’t hold the higher temperatures with so much surface area. In terms of the variety of pool experiences, Bishan Tianci ranks lower compared to Ronghui Hot Spring or Haitang Xiaoyue Hot Spring Hotel. However it ranks better for air quality, forest and mountain setting and nature.
Within the grounds of the hot pools, four cute thatch-roofed huts for private time or sleep are tucked away to the right of the stage / waterfall - cost CNY150. These have a large double bed, chair, flat screen TV, and there is a shared shower and toilet at the end of the row. The huts looked very clean, tidy, snug and private with heavy curtains for the large view window onto the balcony. There are several more short stay huts fronting the stream to the north, apparently at CNY100 or 120. I guess the on-site huts are an option for 24 hour visitors who didn’t get a hotel room. Our hotel room cost CNY396. It included two breakfasts and two hot pool tickets which all up would probably independently cost CNY200. At the hot pool ventures we visited in China, tickets last 24 hours but as I understood it, only if you stay on-site. As the huts are within the grounds of the hot pools complex, your 24 hour entry wrist band would stay current. The hot pools on-site restaurant and cafe was inexpensive and tasty – even had western style French fries - hot and crisp. There is a bar at the open entrance foyer of the hot springs hotel and a sprawling restaurant on the southern side with a second entrance to a hot pot part down the road to the south. There was a surprising amount of variation in the hotel rooms we saw.
If Bishan Tianci Hot Spring Resort were near my home and at the same prices I would be back in a heartbeat.
Beware of location confusion due to name duplication. The Tianci Hot Spring Resort described here is in Bishan, Chongqing, pronounced Bee-San. It is sometimes described as Tianci Huatang Forest Hotspring Resort Hotel, Bishan, Chongqing, 402760. Or sometimes “Hua Tang” Forest. The address in English is No. 1 Wenquan Road, Bishan, Chongqing. Chinese address is on elong at http://hotel.elong.net/chongqing/50401110/ A hotel direct website is at http://www.cqjingu.com - you will need to use google translate. There are other hotels in the Chongqing region called ‘Tianci Hot Spring Resort’ such as one in Jiulongpo District, Chongqing 401329 or one between Dazu and Xi’an called “Guan Tianci Hot Spring Resort Hotel” near Guangyuan (website = http://www.tiancijmg.com/en/index.asp ) which appears to be largely built to much the same plan as Bishan, You might turn up hotel web sites for Bishan that use some photos from the sister resort at Jianmenguan, south of Guangyuan which adds to the confusion. Apparently Tianci means Godsend or heaven-endowed.