Posts Tagged ‘fish’

Eaten Alive By Little Fish in Hong Kong

September 6th, 2010 at 2:22 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

Yes. It’s true. We (our feet, actually) were eaten alive by hundreds of voracious little fish.

Fortunately the effects were temporary.

Fish nibbling on my foot, presumably removing only dead skin

Fish nibbling on my foot, presumably removing only dead skin

One of our last days in Hong Kong in July was spent taking a trip up to Victoria Peak – the highest point of Hong Kong island.

The Peak Galleria Shopping Centre, atop Victoria Peak on Hong Kong island

The Peak Galleria Shopping Centre, atop Victoria Peak on Hong Kong island

Located at the top of the Peak is the Peak Galleria Shopping Centre (pictured above), where we found ourselves confronted and intrigued by the sign below.

Advertisement we saw in the mall for the Wonderfish Spa

Advertisement we saw in the mall for the Wonderfish Spa

We made our way to the advertised Wonderfish! Spa tucked away on an upper floor of the Peak Galleria mall, and committed to the 20-minute treatment (which cost about US$20 per person).

We put our belongings in a basket which was stashed away in cubby holes in full sight, then had our feet washed, and then were seated on the edge of large square tiled “tub”, filled with about 18 inches of water and hundreds of small (2-3 inches long) fish. We were directed to slowly put our feet in the water.

As soon as our feet touched water, the small fish swarmed all over them, creating an odd tickling/scratching sensation that at first was a bit discomforting, but soon became quite entertaining – both from a sensation of touch as well as visually.

Here’s the video of our experience:

I had a small waterproof camera with me, which helped in capturing some of the above clips, in case you wonder.

The fish are related to carp, and legend has it that a farmer in Turkey discovered the foot fetish properties of these fish by accident some thousand(s) of years ago.

They are apparently strongly attracted to dead skin, and that’s what they focus on as they munch their way over your feet, although I can’t help but wonder what happens after they have consumed all the dead skin there is to be had.

We found 20 minutes to be just about long enough. Our feet felt refreshed and tingly after the treatment. And we had a good time with the whole experience.

However, I found that my feet, ankles, and lower calf, where the fish had dined, were still extra sensitive to excessive heat for several days afterwards. Linda did not have a similar issue.

It was a really entertaining and fascinating experience, but not one that either Linda or I have any need to experience again anytime soon. Once was probably sufficient.

The Wonderfish! Spa web site has ample details on the process.

 

Bas Gets Certified – As a Diver

December 3rd, 2009 at 9:57 am (AST) by Jake Richter

I had a nice father-son afternoon yesterday here on Bonaire. I took Bas for his final certification dive to upgrade his PADI Jr. Scuba Diver certification to a Jr. Open Water Diver certification. The big difference between the two certifications is that as a Jr. Scuba Diver he must dive with a divemaster or instructor (like myself), whereas as a Jr. Open Water Diver, he can dive with any other certified Open Water Diver (like his mom), and he can dive a little deeper (40 ft. vs. 60 ft.). So, congratulations Bas!

We joined our friends Seb and Mary at the Belmar Apartments a mile or from our home here, suited up, and went in for our dive. We swam out on the surface for about 100 yards to an orange buoy and then did our descent without reference, which was one of the exercises Bas still needed to do. He and I then performed the additional exercises he still needed to complete to finalize his certification, and we then enjoyed the underwater scenery, including a myriad of fish, crustaceans, an eel and even a seahorse that Seb and Mary had found on a prior dive.

Some of the photos are below, with the rest on my Flickr page.

Bas entering the water to go diving

Bas entering the water to go diving

School of grunts

School of grunts

Male peacock flounder

Male peacock flounder

Bas explores the underwater world of Bonaire

Bas explores the underwater world of Bonaire

Fish eyes

Fish eyes

A flamingo tongue snail on a soft coral

A flamingo tongue snail on a soft coral

Surreal white seahorse with flamingo tongue in background

Surreal white seahorse with flamingo tongue in background

A sharp tailed eel plays peek-a-boo

A sharp tailed eel plays peek-a-boo