Monday, 24 February 2014

Spa Review: Kawa Hot Bath (Tibiao, Antique)

The exotic and soothing Kawa Hot Bath, an idea similar to Japanese ofuro hot baths which use rectangular wooden tubs, is done, instead, in a kawa, a huge wok (fryer) that was transformed into a jungle hot tub (PhP200).
The row of baths being preparedThe row of baths being prepared
The kawa with "ingredients" added inThe heated kawa with "ingredients" added in
Kayak Inn, an upland riverside resort operated by Tribal Adventure Tours (an adventure outfit based in Boaracy), and Bugtong Bato Falls Inn, both in Tibiao, offered these unusual hot baths.
Meditating inside the fryerThe five big, recycled kawas, cauldrons used for cooking muscovado (raw brown sugar) and taken from abandoned sugar mills, are filled with natural flowing spring water fed from a pipe.  

Then, a real fire, fuelled by chopped wood, rice hulls, charcoal and dried palms, is placed underneath the kawa to heat the water Guyabano and guava leaves, said to cure skin disorders and add aroma, are then added as "ingredients" to the now heated water, together with ginger slices and flower petals.
Jandy's turn at the cookerOnce the water temperature is right, you can now dip your body inside the now heated kawa, experiencing the feeling of being “cooked alive.” 

While having your hot dip, you will feel your tired and tense muscles being relieved as the heat permeates your skin.   During the session, an attendant controls the fire so that it does not become too hot.  However, the thickness of the kawa prevents the fire from scalding your skin.
Father and son bonding moment in a kawa
The fryer can fit two or more people
All the while, guests enjoy the sights and sound of the nearby forest (in Bugtong Bato Falls Lodge) and the sound of the onrushing waters of the Tibiao River (in Kayak Inn).  It is recommended to just stay in the kawa for 20 to 30 mins., otherwise you’ll end up like a prune.  Truly, a “must do” while in Tibiao.

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