Anyone had ever taken a dip into a warm, bubbly, minerals-rich hot spring would agree that this isn’t just any pool of water, but a gift from nature itself. And when it comes to hot springs, there is no place better than Taiwan’s hot spring, which is inherently blessed with an abundance of underground thermal activities and a stunning range of natural hot springs to choose from.
When the burden of work seems too much to shoulder and life begins to take it toils, there is nothing more relaxing than soaking in a pool of warm, crystal clear spring waters, allowing your mind and body to be soothed and healed by caressing your skin from all sides. At the Taiwan hot spring areas, this experience is markedly elevated by serene locales gorgeous scenery of lakes and mountains, and air so fresh people literally call the phenomena a “green shower”.
If you are looking for a place to recuperate, re-energize and temporally get away from it all, here are some of the 5 best hot spring areas in Taiwan that will redefine your idea of a hot spring experience and have you coming back for more.
Photo by Spiritual Travels
1. Beitou Hot Spring
Nestled in the northern tip of Taipei, Beitou is known as “village of the Hot Springs” for the simple fact that it is the undisputed largest hot springs area in the whole Taiwan. There are three types of hot springs in Beitou:
- The white Sulphur spring, the green Sulphur spring, and the iron Sulphur spring. The white Sulphur spring contains naturally heated spring water and features semi-translucent water property
- The green Sulphur spring contains water from nearby mountains and creeks which has converged and is heated at a geothermal location.
- The iron Sulphur spring has darker-colour water which is heavily infused with minerals reportedly good for the alleviation of skin diseases and rheumatism symptoms.
The sheer number of choices here makes Beitou a clear-cut favourite for true hot spring enthusiasts.
Photo by Spring Hill Hotel
2. Dagangshan Hot Spring
Dagangshan Hot Spring is one of the rare low-temperature hot springs in Taiwan, which explains why the locals sometimes call it the “Dagangshan Cold Spring”. Featuring neutral-carbonation spring water that originates from the foothill of the local valley, Dagangshan Hot Spring is clear enough to be consumed directly from the source (though it does have that slight hint of sulfur). Due to the abundance of water in the vicinity all-year-round, Dagangshan Hot Spring almost never dries up, even in drought conditions. The somewhat “cooler” property makes Dagangshan Hot Spring a wonderful option for travellers looking for a refreshing dip to take away the heat.
3. Guanziling Hot Spring
Located in Tainan, Guanziling is renowned for the very rare “black hot springs” which are basically mud springs. It is said that the sulfuric properties of Guanziling Hot Springs have healing qualities and leave the skin feeling soft and smooth, and thus, many have come to regard a Guanziling Hot Spring experiences as more than just a hot spring spa but a natural source of beauty treatment. Take note though, that due to the high sulfur content, the spring water in Guanziling should never be consumed. In recent years, resorts and hotels in Guanziling have gradually increased along with the area’s emergence as a renowned hot spring destination. In the weekends, Guanziling is especially busy as locals come here to enjoy a quick gateway among beautiful scenery… and of course, soothing hot springs.
Photo by Taiwan Tourism Bureau
4. Jiaoxi Hot Spring
In Yilan Country, lies a hot spring so well revered by the locals it is nicknamed “the hot spring among hot springs” in Taiwan. The Jiaoxi Hot Spring, as it is known, features clear, odourless water that averages at a soothing 58 degrees Celsius – a perfect combination for hot spring goers. Despite the flawless appearance, the water actually contains a high volume of minerals, yet washes off quickly leaving no uncomfortable traces of “stickiness” thereafter. Impressively, Jiaoxi Hot Spring can trace its origins back some 30,000 years ago, when magma from a volcanic eruption get trapped underground and had been heating the waters ever since. Today, there are close to 100 hotels and resorts clustered around the Jiaoxi Railway Station – a treatment to the area’s immense popularity.
Photo by New Taipei City Government
5. Jinshan Hot Spring
If you have limited time to explore the delightful hot spring across Taiwan, you may want to look for those in Taipei City. Jinshan Hot Spring located at Yangmingshan, not far away from the Taipei City Center, is also a great spot for hot spring lovers. The temperature of the hot spring is somewhere between 45 to 86 degree Celsius, which change according to the season.
Photo by The Globe and Mail
Additional Hot Spring Alternative
There are other luxury spas with hot spring alike experience for people who do not like hot spring or having other concerns to bathe in a hot spring. Qi Shiseido Salon and Spa offered by the Shangri-La Taipei is a great alternative if anyone missed the chance to explore real hot spring. Another option would be the Miramar Garden Taipei that offered sauna with hot and cold hydro-massage pools, giving you an out-of-the-world comfort in this luxury experience.
General Guide and Etiquette for Bathing in a Hot Spring
Go Tokyo has published a general guide and etiquette to bathe in a hot spring (or onsen, in Japanese). Here are some quick tips from the guide:
- Rinse your body and hair with warm water before entering the hot spring pool
- Wear a cap if asked to
- Jumping or diving is strictly not allowed
- Enter the hot spring pool slowly and gradually
- Soaking the lower part of your body first
- Slowly immerse the other half (up to shoulder or heart level)
- Keep calm and quiet in the hot spring pool
- Don’t force yourself to stay in the hot spring pool (take a break in between)
- Don’t stay too long in the hot spring pool
- You may shower after the session (depends on the water quality or acidic level)
- You can choose to let your body dry naturally to keep the nutrient on the skin
You should obey any advice given by authority of the particular hot spring, remember, on hot spring could simply be different from another, and follow the rules established. Also, seek additional advice if you have any health issues, such as heart diseases, high and low blood pressure, or skin sensitivity.
Share your experience if you have been to these hot spring in the comment below.