Taiwan Hot spring

Japan is famous for being an onsen (hot spring) nation, so much so that a friend of mine preaches that “if you’ve never been to an onsen, then you’ve never been to Japan”. Quite the extremist, but you get the idea. Japanese hot springs come pretty close to “heaven on earth”.

But Japan’s neighboring country, Taiwan, also has some fabulous hot springs to boot! The fact that there are onsen-loving Japanese people who travel to Taiwan for a soak is sufficient to vouch for the quality of these bubbling hot baths. Here’s a list of five onsen hot spots you wouldn’t want to miss on your trip to Taiwan!

1) Beitou Hot Spring
(30-minute MRT [subway] ride from Taipei Station)

Located in the Beitou District of Taipei City, the capital of Taiwan, the Beitou Hot Spring is one of the most famous hot spring areas in Taiwan. Its accessible location, combined with numerous hot spring resorts and leisure facilities in the area has made it a popular attraction among locals and tourists alike. The Beitou springs are known for their sulfur hot springs, which are said to be therapeutic for rheumatism, bodily aches and skin diseases. It is also one of the few radium hot springs in the world.



2) Wulai Hot Spring
(90-minute bus ride from Taipei Station, 30-minute bus ride from Xindian Station)

Also in the northern part of Taiwan, the Wulai Hot Spring is located in the Wulai District of New Taipei City. The area got its name from the word “Wulay”, which means “hot spring” in the dialect of the Taiwanese aboriginal Tayal tribe who used to reside in the area. Surrounded by rich greenery, the sodium bicarbonate hot springs in the area also bear the reputation of “beauty spring”, as its waters are said to have marvelous skin enhancing effects. Due to its cultural roots, Wulai is also a popular tourist spot as you will get to interact with the vibrant culture and descendants of the Tayal tribe.


▼ Cultural performances by the Tayal tribe.wulai tayal

3) Jiaoxi Hot Spring
(1-hour bus ride from Taipei Station. In the vincinity of Jiaoxi Railway Station)

Another sodium bicarbonate hot spring, the Jiaoxi Hot Springs are located in Yilan County in the northeastern part of Taiwan. Among the numerous hot spring resorts in the area, a notable attraction is the Tangweigou Hot Spring Park which was built in 2005. The park has several public baths, foot baths, water play areas, as well as sheltered resting areas. Apart from the public baths, most of the attractions within the park can be enjoyed free of charge. While you are there, you might also want to have a taste of the local cuisine prepared with vegetables cultivated with the hot spring waters!


▼ Families enjoying a foot bath at the Tangweigou Park.礁溪溫泉02tangweigou

4) Taian Hot Spring
(30-minute bus ride from Miaoli Railway Station)

Located in Miaoli county, central Taiwan, the mountainous area promises an indulging soak in the midst of nature. It is said that the aborigines from the Tayal tribe first discovered the hot springs in the area. Today, several hot spring hotels have popped up in the area, making it a must-go destination for hot spring lovers. After relaxing in the milky sulfur baths, enjoying a flavorful meal prepared by the local Tayal tribe and Hakka people is probably the most satisfying way to end the day!

Taian Hot Spring

5) Guanziling Hot Spring
(30-minute bus ride from Xinying Railway Station)

One of the four famous hot spring sites in Taiwan, the Guanziling hot spring area is located in the southern part of Tainan. The springs in the area bear a muddy characteristic, which are far and few between. Rich in minerals, the muddy baths are said to have positive effects on skin allergies, rheumatism and arthritis, and promises to leave your skin wonderfully smooth. The area is also known for its produce of lotus, and unique lotus flower dishes can be enjoyed when the season comes around.

Guanziling Hot Spring

▼ A rare hot spring that releases methane gas. It’s said to have been burning for over three centuries!DIGITAL CAMERA

In Japan, it’s the general protocol to strip down to your skin when you enter an onsen, whereas in Taiwan, entering the baths in a bathing suit is the norm. So if you’re dying to experience soaking in an onsen, but can’t get over baring it all in front of strangers, Taiwan might be the most favorable destination for you!

Source: R25
Images: Photophoto, WikipediaTaipei City Government, Wikipedia, Trip Advisor, Flickr, Encyclopedia of Taiwan, Lehuo x Meixue, Flying Tour, Qiequluxing, Escape to Taiwan