Tourists dip into 'human hotpot' ahead of Chinese New Year

People taking a dip in a hotpot-shaped hot spring pool in a hotel in Hangzhou, China. Photo courtesy: AFP

Beijing (AFP) -- A tourist town in eastern China is trying to attract health conscious visitors with hot springs designed to look like a fiery hotpot, a popular Chinese dish said to drive away winter blues.

A hotpot is eaten with friends or family, with diners cooking raw meat, vegetables and noodles in a shared pot of spicy broth.

Visitors to the First World Hotel in Hangzhou can dip into a hot spring bath, shaped like a rectangular copper pot with nine compartments, each containing popular hotpot ingredients like chilli peppers, lime, corn and lettuce.

The hot spring is designed to promote a healthy lifestyle in the run-up to the Lunar New Year, or spring festival, which begins the first week of February, according to Chinese news site

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