Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pool of Biting Fish

At the Borneo Rainforest Lodge deep in the rainforest, there is a beautiful pool fed by a waterfall.  It is known as the Jacuzzi Pool and several of the trails from the lodge lead there.  The pool is filled with biting fish, but the bites are supposedly not painful.  A popular treatment in asian spas, the fish, a kind of carp, bite the dead skin off human feet.  I found it hard to believe that anyone would pay to get bitten by fish.  In nature, the experience was free, but I wasn't sure it was one I wanted to have anyway.

One day we went on a long hike to a viewpoint, and given the heat and humidity I was completely drenched.  Although I dreaded the idea of getting back into my sweat soaked clothes, I was hot enough that I decided to brave the fish and swim in the pool.  The water was nice and cool - not very cool - but much cooler than I was.

The fish swarmed me when I stepped into the pool and I was surprised by how much I could feel them biting.  It wasn't really painful but it was like getting pinched pretty hard by small fingers.  My guide told me to keep moving if I didn't want them to bite me.  I swam out to the waterfall to get in deeper water and then kept my arms and legs moving.  This, unfortunately, resulted in me getting bit on the ass.  So I began to try to wiggle that too - and keep all portions of my body moving underwater.  Although the water was cool, all that moving heated me up again, so eventually I decided to get out.  I probably got about a dozen bites in 20 minutes. 

It was a beautiful place to be - biting fish aside.


Lori B. said...

LOL! That made me laugh so hard! I can imagine you wiggling your ass in that water.

Kristin Nelson said...

Great visual!! Haha!