Rise and Shine at Wuyi Mountain Yeohwa Resort
We entered the middle of our 11 Days China Tour from Hangzhou to Guangzhou. Xiamen would be our next destination today. Getting up after a great night sleep was great. It was rather bright so early in the morning. Very importantly, it wasn’t raining. It was a dreary day when we arrived yesterday, raining lightly most of the day. From our windows, we could see part of the mountain views without the low passing rain clouds this time.
So our first task was to head to the restaurant for breakfast. The restaurant was pretty big and it was decorated nicely for Christmas just a few days away. The buffet spread was sizeable with plenty of local and western food options. The metal mugs were interesting, very nice to hold our coffee. It reminded us about Budapest where such lovely metal cups were sold at the markets. We were spoilt for choice for breakfast. The food was delicious and we were truly filled.
After breakfast, we returned to our rooms for final packing up and freshening up and then went back to the hotel lobby to check out. The friendly and helpful staff efficiently processed our check out. Customer service was very good here. We were so happy to stay here at Wuyi Mountain Yeohwa Resort. Although we didn’t have the chance to visit the attractions in Wuyishan, we had no regrets coming here to stay for a night. The quality of the food in the restaurants and the service we enjoyed in Wuyi Mountain Yeohwa Resort more than made up for any attractions we missed here.
Introduction to Wuyishan
Yesterday, front desk staff had already helped us arrange an MPV to send us to Wuyishan North Train Station. The fare would be CNY 70. We didn’t need to wait long before the driver showed up to escort us to his car near the main entrance. Having loaded up our bags and taken our seats, the driver set off.
We started chatting and he found out we had not visited any attractions here in Wuyishan due to the rain the previous day. Since we were still early, he suggested bringing us to some locations for a quick photo shoot before heading to Wuyishan North Train Station. His suggestion was of course well received. We didn’t expect a driver sending us to the train station would provide such a service.
So he drove into a residential neighbourhood on a slope and then parked his car by the side of the road. From here, we could see the mountains of Wuyishan without much obstruction. Obviously, being a local here, he knew where would be a great place to take pictures of the mountains. Incidentally, this place was the entrance to another five star resort property that was newly open. The views of Wuyishan were truly great up here. This friendly driver also helped us take family pictures with the mountains of Wuyishan as a nice background.
Next we hopped back into the car. He drove along this scenic tourist town where we passed yesterday under light rain. Being a nice day, we saw how nice this tourist city actually was and we were surprised there was a new attraction in town. There is a huge complex for sea world or an aquarium kind of theme park up here. We learned there were some new development happening here in Wuyishan which is a lesser known tourist destination to foreigners.
Having passed the centre of town, our friendly driver drove us to the north gate of Wuyishan. He parked his car at this small little neighbourhood and then led us into the entrance area and helped us take family pictures again. He then told us to walk a little further into the park before the entrance to take a look and perhaps take some more pictures before leaving for the train station. This was really another nice place for us to have a quick look around of Wuyishan without entering the park. The huge nice stone signage at the park described Wuyishan as the Chinese City that will never grow old.
Transfer to Wuyishan North Train Station
After this last stop, we travelled north towards Wuyishan North Train Station. We learned quite a bit from this friendly driver who told us more about this place. Being a tourists city, heavy industries were not allowed to operate here. Only light industries are allowed to set up shop here in order to preserve the environment and ensure visitors enjoy the National Park here.
So the Chinese Government is also environmentally conscious. The locals here have their own tea plantations and they pass time sipping tea and playing cards during leisure time. They depend very much on tourism for a living where the economy here is geared towards that end.
There are two High Speed Trains Stations in Wuyishan. The North Station is about 15 Km from the scenic park area while the East Station is about 37 Km away which is much further. Even though both stations have public buses to bring tourists to the scenic town area but the North Station is the much preferred station to reach town. However, this driver also told us the East Train Station is much bigger and a light rail is being build to connect to the scenic town which will make this station more convenient for tourists in the future, especially for those travelling up from Xiamen to Wuyishan.
The friendly chat with our driver was great for us to learn so much more about Wuyishan. Not long after, we arrived at Wuyishan North Train Station. Although the fare was supposed to be CNY 70 for the ride from Wuyi Mountain Yeohwa Resort, I gave him CNY 100 to keep the change for being so nice and kind to show us around Wuyishan before our train ride to Xiamen.
Wuyishan North Train Station
The weather this day was great with blue skies on a sunny day which was a great contrast to the wet day when we arrived the day before. The exterior of the train station was very beautiful with massive ground area and a very welcoming feel for visitors to Wuyishan. The air here was indeed very fresh due to government regulations to protect the environment in Wuyishan.
After entering the station, we found the train station to be very new and modern with plenty of seats for passengers using this terminal to head out to other destinations. There are convenient stores, shops and small cafes inside the departure hall. Signage was good and trains information were displayed on huge electronic signboards in the hall.
We were taking train G5301 at 9.55 am arriving Xiamen North Train Station at 1.15 pm. Train ticket cost CNY 191 each. Thankfully, we had already purchased and gotten our tickets much earlier. So all we needed to do at the train station was to wait for our call to get to the platform. Soon enough, our train number was flashed on the signboard to head to the platform. So we entered the platform to wait for train G5301 to arrive.
High Speed Train to Xiamen North Train Station
A few minutes later, the train showed up and we boarded the train. Having located our seats, we sat back to enjoy the train ride. We were more than comfortable with spacious seats with plenty of leg rooms. This time the train ride would take slightly more than three hours. So we had a bit of time on hand. Our children were busy with their work either reading or using their phones.
Three hours seemed to pass quite quickly. We did catch up a little more sleep from time to time. During the journey, we even snacked on the bakery items we bought from Wuyi Mountain Yeohwa Resort the night before. So it was a rather relaxing ride which was very smooth again where the train speed reached 300 km/h very often.
Exiting the train led us into Xiamen North Train Station. We wanted to use the washrooms but couldn’t find them while walking from the platform to the exit. So we were left with no choice but to exit the train station. So many travel agents and drivers were waiting outside the exit to ambush passengers here. A couple in their forties approached us and kept talking to us. We were not in a mood to strike deals as we were looking for toilets. So this guy brought us down the escalator and pointed us the direction to the toilets.
Xiamen North Station to Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort
After visiting the toilets, he was still there waiting for us. He told us he had a vehicle that could take our whole family to our resort. Initially, he quoted us CNY 150. So we negotiated down to CNY 120 for the transfer. He then told his wife to bring us to the underground carpark while he drove the car to pick us up. There were shops and eateries on this level where the toilets were located. So we followed the woman to the basement carpark to wait for the driver to drive his car over. The carpark was a typical modern carpark we would expect to see in a modern shopping mall.
A few minutes later, his vehicle pulled up and we got up the small van. This vehicle could not be compared to the MPV we sat from Wuyi Mountain Yeohwa Resort to Wuyishan North Train Station this morning. The conditions of the vehicle was subpar. It seemed he was trying to save cost on fuel because he drove with the windows down towards our destination. We passed a stretch of roads where road works were going on and he had no choice but to close the windows and turn on the air-conditioning.
As usual, this couple tried to solicit more business suggesting to bring us to visit attractions in Xiamen. Of course we declined. We were staying at Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort, a five star property. Why should we spend time away from such a fantastic property! The whole purpose of staying there was to enjoy the hotsprings in the resort.
We found out that the driver used to be a soldier but had now tried to make a living in Xiamen in the tourism industry. It wasn’t easy. I supposed the conditions of his vehicles didn’t attract many fans, not that his vehicle was in a dilapidated condition but it was just unkempt and didn’t smell nice. After rumbling along on a hot day in Xiamen, we finally arrived at Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort at 2.15 pm. I paid the driver CNY 120 as agreed and he looked with admiration at the resort and we imagined he seldom had the chance to send visitors to this resort.
It was such a great feeling as we made our way into this massive five start property. The staff were all smiles as we entered and front desk staff were so pleasant and polite when assisting us in the check in process. One lady staff even helped us save money by suggesting we take two inter-connecting rooms for our whole family. Each room has two double beds which were more than sufficient for us. This lady was so sweet and had such a pleasant disposition and great mannerism and in fact all other staff were also very professional when dealing with hotel guests. We were told the General Manager of this resort was from Singapore and the staff were very happy working here.
After getting our keys, we proceeded to check our rooms. The property is sizeable and there is some walking to our rooms along some long corridors. The size of the room is indeed massive with two double beds in each room. Being inter-connecting rooms, we could get into each other’s room without having to get out off our rooms which was great.
The bathroom came with a big and deep hotspring bath. Full range of toiletries was also provided. Special bath salt was provided for those who wish to use them at a cost. Wifi was excellent as well and TV came with English channels too and of course English movies. We had all that we needed so it was time to head for lunch.
Lunch at Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort
We went back to lobby level and the restaurant was located at the other end from front desk. This restaurant has an open concept setup along a corridor, with a very relax resort style café like ambiance. It was actually past lunch time by the time we got there. Anyway we were served by another very pleasant and friendly waitress.
It didn’t take us long to place our order as we were hungry. We ordered western meals as we had been having Chinese dishes quite often these few days. Our food came shortly and they tasted very good. Fruits were also served after our meals. Sometimes we were very apprehensive whenever we ordered western meals in China. However, the restaurant in this five star resort didn’t disappoint us. In addition, hotel guests were given 10% dining discounts. Our lunch was really good.
Riyuegu Hotspring Resort Courtyard and Garden
After this satisfying meal, it was time to explore the resort and check out the facilities. Firstly, we went to the open space from the lobby lounge area in the middle of the hotel. Once we stepped outside, it was such a pleasant surprise. There was so much space at this courtyard area. This courtyard was so nice and well kept with seats for guests to just rest and enjoy the environment here in the open space adorned with plants and trees in a resort style ambiance.
This day was indeed a nice day just to chill out here, very sunny on a winter day. The temperature was just right and the air was fresh without any haze in this part of China. The same could not be said about the capital region where flights were cancelled or delay due to smog causing low visibility to the regions up there not to mention the hazardous pollution caused to residents living there. The concentric grass patches on the ground were man-made patterns and certainly no works of UFOs.
We continued to explore around the courtyard and reached another area with seats and swings, shelters and stone pools as well as nice water features. We found ourselves in a tropical garden in Balinese resort type of setup. It was so pleasant and pleasing. We were surprised indeed to find such a resort in China. Spending time out here in the courtyard and the surrounding garden was really nice, so relaxing indeed.
Swimming Pool and Hotspring Pools Facilities
Next we entered the hotel again but this time we went to the wellness centre side of the building. Once we entered, we were served by friendly staff again. We were given vouchers to use at the wellness centre and the staff here were very pleasant as well. One very helpful staff walked us out to the swimming pool and the hotspring pools area for an introductory tour of the facilities.
The outdoor area of this wellness centre is huge. The ground area is also Balinese styled in deco. A huge building houses the gym with a lot of equipment. The gym looked impressive even from the outside. The wellness centre also comprised of a spa centre with different kind of treatments available.
A very nice swimming pool then greeted us and then as we walked down towards the other end, there were many deck chairs arranged neatly and nicely for guests to use. Further up is a hotspring spa pool, quite a large pool with Jacuzzi features.
Towards the end, there are two smaller hotspring pools with temperature kept at around 40 degrees Celsius. One of them is a milky pool due to treatment to miniaturize the molecule size of the hotspring mineral waters. The garden like setup of this area was very pleasing as well. There is a also children’s pool next to the indoor lounge area.
Enjoy Hotsprings Facilities
After this visit, we returned to our room to rest a short while. Next we got ready to head back to the outdoor pool area to indulge ourselves in the mineral pools and use the facilities there. When we entered the wellness centre, the staff greeted us warmly again but this time they didn’t demand to see our vouchers. So we went out on our own this time and helped ourselves with the towels available there and started our hotspring indulgence.
It was so good to be out here under such nice weather to have a good soak in the hotpsring pools. It was so wet and dreary the day before when we reached Wuyishan and we didn’t do much but to relax and recuperate from our Huangshan hike. This day was really a time to unwind with such superb facilities. I deliberately planned a hotspring break for our family in the middle of this free and easy China Tour covering cities and mountains and so now a dip in a hotspring resort. This was great family bonding time around hotspring pools. We felt really great.
Actually, a hotspring theme park is just nearby where shuttle bus service is available from the hotel to shuttle hotel guests over for another hotpring experience. Of course entrance fee is chargeable but hotel guests do enjoy discounts when booking their accommodation together with this theme park. The hotspring theme park comes with many mineral pools with many different infusions where guests could spend the whole day over there to have fun. But since we only had a day to spend here and arriving in the afternoon and leaving the next morning, there wasn’t much time for us to enjoy the hotpsring theme park. Perhaps the next time when we return, we might stay two nights and try out the hotsprings at the theme park.
While we had a great time outdoor soaking ourselves crazy, evening was dawning upon us soon. Of course in between dipping in the pools we had to get up to rest for a while before the next dip. The temperature in the pools was just right. It could be sleepy after dipping for a while especially when we got up to rest. This outdoor swimming and hotspring facilities were simply fantastic. To use the swimming pool and the Jacuzzi mineral pool, swimming caps must be worn. They were very strict about this requirement. The shop near the wellness centre do sell swimming caps and other stuff where guests might need.
Short Rest before Dinner
We then returned to our room to shower and rest a while after this outdoor experience. The weather was truly great. Had it been raining and cold, we might not be able to have such great time at this resort. So it was TV watching time and internet surfing time after the nice shower. Our skins were so smooth after the hotspring dip and we felt very good. Moreover, we could still immerse in hotspring bath anytime in our bathroom with hotspring facility.
Dinner at Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort
Soon it was time to head out for dinner. This time we went over to the Chinese restaurant on the second floor. It was closed during the afternoon when we arrived. We were ushered to an empty table and the restaurant was quite empty as well. Actually, this Chinese restaurant could be partitioned with a much bigger area for other events. We found the restaurant next door rather busy. A function was going on but we were not sure if it was a wedding dinner.
We ordered local food for dinner. We wanted to try out the local Xiamen dishes and see if they were about the same as those in Taiwan. Food was really delicious. Fruits were served again after dinner. Seemed like this was a standard practice dinning in China. 10% dining discounts were given again and customer service was great.
Explore Surrounding of Resort at Night
After dinner, we exited Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort to check out the surrounding at night. The night air was crisp and cool. We walked along the road on the left and climbed up an interesting overhead bridge. The stairs were circular ascending upwards and they were lit up nicely with lights on the sides of the steps. It was a lovely walk up and then we walked over near to the other end. However, we didn’t descend as there wasn’t much to see over the other side.
So we went back across the bridge and descended back to road level. Walking further down would be some shops and a convenience store. There were lights further down at the traffic junction but we didn’t feel like proceeding further. Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort would be so much more appealing so we walked back to the resort.
We were met with the resort security staff who asked if we had been to the courtyard. We told him we did during the day. He told us we should check out the place at night too because the vibes would be different. We saw on the signage the resort has tennis courts so we checked with the security staff. He told us they were damaged during a typhoon recently and they were in the process of repairing the facility.
Romantic Courtyard and Pools at Night
After thanking this friendly security staff, we returned to Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort. We walked towards the back of the lobby and exited and then entered the courtyard. Indeed, the place looked very different at night. Under strategically placed warm lights, the place was so charming and romantic. This brought our memories back to some resorts we had stayed in Bali. It was a really nice walk in the park out here.
We then walked over to the wellness centre and checked out the outdoor pools and hotsprings area. This place was equally lovely if not even more charming. We were surprised to see more hotel guests using the facilities here at night. It was so quiet during the afternoon where we had the entire place to ourselves. Perhaps night time might provide a more romantic and enjoyable hotspring experience in the cool night.
Family Bonding at Bar Lounge
Finally it was time to return to indoor area of the resort. We were given welcome drinks vouchers to use at the bar lounge on the second floor. Once we entered the lounge, we were ushered to an empty sofa and table corner. After checking what was available on the drinks list, we made our order. We had nice soothing interesting fruits drinks as well as tea. So we settled down to enjoy ourselves at the lounge for quite some time.
The children went over to the corner for dart games. Once done, they had fun on the pool table playing snooker. We did join them from time to time and it was really fun. After this we also had a great time at the table soccer. It was so much fun and so funny when the score was so lopsided with their lousy skill. The funniest part was rubber handle of the skewer kept coming out during the excitement of the game while trying to block or score against each other. We laughed so much and we hoped we didn’t disturb others. Anyway, the lounge wasn’t crowded at all, just a few hotel guests including ourselves.
We then returned to our sofa seats to enjoy our drinks and listen to the oldies churned out by the Filipino singer singing his heart out. So the children continued with their games at different places and had a great time. This was indeed a great place to park ourselves during the evening for some wonderful family bonding times over games and lovely songs.
We stayed till the Filipino singer packed up and closed shop. We chatted with him in between and found out he used to work in one of the hotels along Orchard Road in Singapore. He was happy to meet us of course and to converse in English. So we left the lounge together and he headed for home while we returned to our rooms.
Retire at Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort
It was so good to be back to our inter-connecting rooms. We could walk over to each other’s room to get stuff without leaving our rooms. But the room was so spacious and walking back and forth required some work. Instead of calling out each other, we used WhatsApp to communicate at times though we were just next door. So it was time to watch English movies and surf the internet. Those fruits provided were very good too as we continued our evening entertainment.
Had we not booked this property to stay for a night, we would have missed out so much fun. This was the first time we had a hotspring resort experience for the whole family. The service staff here really made our day with their friendly and helpful service. Their smiles were so infectious and the facilities here were in tiptop conditions. Perhaps credit should go to the Singaporean General Manager who could inspire his staff to work here happily providing positive experience to guests using this resort to get away from work to unwind a while.
We didn’t feel like retiring early this time. This resort was so fantastic and we wished to enjoy every second of our stay here. Anyway, we didn’t have to rush anywhere the next day. We just had to transfer to Xiamen City not very far away. Moreover, the resort does operate shuttle service to Xiamen Island near to to city. So we while away our time in one another’s company having fun with this great family bonding day.
Eventually, fatigue took over. Perhaps the hotspring dip did the job well. We slipped into sweet sleep uncontrollably and unconsciously and day seven of our China Tour began to dawn upon us. More fun would definitely follow as we enjoyed city attractions from henceforth.
Continue to Day 7 …