Air Hangat (also spelled as Ayer Hangat) Village is a modern cultural complex located 14km north of Kuah Town. The center of the attraction here is the three-tiered hot water spring wells. Most interesting part is that it is a natural salt water hot spring which is rare and can be found only in three other countries in the world. While fresh water hot springs are common and can be seen in several places, but not the salt water hot springs.
Earlier the village was known as Telaga Air Hangat meaning Hot Spring Well when essentially the hot water spring was the only tourist attraction here. The complex has been upgraded recently after three years of renovation work. In addition to the hot spring being converted into a three tier well, it now includes Jacuzzis where natural hot saltwater is pumped in, small ponds & fountains in landscaped gardens, cultural shows, restaurant, selling souvenir and gift stalls etc.
The first tier of the hot spring well is farthest away and near the outermost fence of the village. This is where the water is warmest. This is housed in a roofed gazebo like structure overlooking the beautiful mountains. You can sit around the well and dip your feet. Most tourists do it.
Although you won’t see any fountains, natural hot water comes out from below the floor of the well and you can see the bubbles. As you dip your feet for the first time, you may feel the water too hot, but will soon get used to it and start liking the feel.
It is said that a jug full of boiling hot water fell into this place. As a result a natural hot spring has been formed here and the name to the place given as Air Hangat. ‘Air’ means ‘Water’ in Malay and ‘Hangat’ means ‘Hot’. So Air Hangat means Hot Spring.
However the real scientific reason behind this hot water spring is quite different. The rocks under the islands surface here are quite hot due to geothermal heating. The deeper layers of earth’s crust are even warmer. So the water which is in contact with the rocks at a depth get warmed up and come out as hot springs.