The holy spring of Yeh Panas Penetahan

The holy spring of Yeh Panas Penetahan, about 12 km north of Tabanan. Japanese soldiers stationed in Tabanan used to visit this spring during the war to refresh themselves in its hot, pungent, sulphurous mineral waters. They widened the track to the spring, and built small bathing sheds.

In the 1960s luxury tourist villas were constructed at the best vantagepoints around the spring, but the project lacked financing and the buildings were abandoned. The shells were soon occupied by invisible spirits (memedi). The voices of women were heard whimpering in the night. To discourage these new occupants from settling in permanently, the remaining structures were used to shelter pigs and cattle.

Today, the delightful and relaxing Yeh Panas Natural Hotspring and Spa on the sylvan winding road (Jalan Batukaru) to Gunung Batukaru is Bali's only hot springs specifically designed as a spa. On the eastern side of the parking lot are two public hot water spouts, which anyone can use for free. No expense was spared in the construction of these nine separate and private outdoor spa enclosures. The pools are of different sizes, some accommodating four people, others eight.

Each spa is surrounded by a bamboo fence and has jets and blowers. For 'room service' you hit a 'kulkul'. The swimming pool is fed by fresh water and has a sunken bar and waterfall. There's a playground for children. The naturally hot water from the springs-probably Bali's hottest-contains sulfur, potassium, sodium, and small percentages of minerals, with no additives except an occasional dose of chlorine. The water, it is said, will relieve itching and heal skin diseases.

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