different degrees of deluxe

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I was going to walk to Xi’an today, but in the end I didn’t make it.

By far.

Instead my mind got corrupted by the lifestyles of the rich and infamous:


This is Huaqingchi 华清池, the legendary hot springs resort of the emperors.

This place has apparently been in use for more than five thousand years now, but what can be seen today is all very recent:

park of Huaqingchi

While the surroundings might have changed, the thermal springs are still the same, forever generously pumping hot water to the surface for us humans to enjoy.

Of all the emperors and concubines that have skinny-dipped here, there was one that I thought I knew only too well:

Yang Guifei

Yang Guifei – the beautiful fat lady (visiting the fat lady).

And this is where she used to dip her voluptuous body into the thermal waters more than a thousand years ago:

ancient pool

This slightly larger pool is the one that belonged to her boyfriend the emperor:

ancient imperial pool

It seems as though all these people got their own private pools that they would leave for historians to study after they were gone.

Here’s another one from a totally different epoch, in use by Chiang Kai-shek 蒋介石 in the year of 1936:

Chiang Kai-shek's pool

You’re probably getting weary of looking at dried-out pools belonging to famous people?

Well, here’s my contribution:

commercial spa

And here’s the sexy-clip to make the experience complete:


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The thing is, hanging around in this tiny room all by myself actually got really boring, so I took out my book after a while and just sat there reading in my pool.

“You can use the room as long as you want!” the lady from the reception had told me before, but then they started slowly draining the water.

I got up after an hour or so, took a shower and stepped on the dusty road again:

green truck

There was a place with A LOT of pool tables that I chose for lunch:

pool place

I didn’t have time to play though – too much time was lost already…

Somewhere on the way when I looked up, I noticed some dude was hanging in the air over me, fixing something that I didn’t understand:

floating man

It was then that I started thinking: why are there no faces on my pictures anymore??

But then the kids appeared, first one by one:

way home from school

…and then by the dozen:


They had just gotten off school and were laughing and screaming all along the highway.

And they LOVED posing for pictures:

motorsport jacket

They even dragged some old people along to pose for me:

photo pose

This lady looks kind of like the old Chairman, doesn’t she?

Definitely lacked the mole anyways.

Last thing I noticed before I fell down on a bed in a small run-down hotel by the roadside:



  • ian

    hi, ich habe dein füß gesehen.
    haha, die alt frau = chairman mao?


  • andy gerber

    Nihao Christoph ;o)

    …Dein Reisebericht zum Abschluß meines Tages! Dankeschön (und v.a. für die Thermal-Bad-Story). Deine gestrigen Anmerkungen zu den Terra-Cotta-dudes kann ich nur zu gut nachvollziehen ;o))
    Viel Spaß heute und viele Grüße aus Stuttgart von


  • Christoph

    ian: Exactly, you got it man!
    andy gerber: Immer gerne, Gruß zurück.


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