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Healing Waters – Taiwan’s Hot Springs

A rejuvenating and healing soak has long been a vital part of Taiwanese culture. Here are some of the top places to take a dip for health.

Hot springs, could possibly be one of the most prized gifts given to us by Mother Earth. The rejuvenating, healing and therapeutic properties of hot springs are known since ages. Hot springs are formed by natural waters that emerge from the bowels of the earth, possessing therapeutic properties said to have a positive effect on various disorders. As hot springs generally come from deep below the surface of the earth, when they emerge they bring along with them a high concentration of a variety of minerals that are beneficial to our health. Specific properties of hot springs vary depending on chemical composition, mineral concentration, and water temperature. Taiwan has a great variety of springs, both cold and hot.

Most of Taiwan’s hot springs are in gorgeous picturesque areas, where one can enjoy a blissful soak away from the pressures of modern life. Nestled in the northern part of Taipei City at the foot of Yangmingshan National Park, Beitou abounds in hot springs, the only ones in Taiwan with a powerful sulphur smell. Boiling up from the volcanic core of Mount Datun, these exceptional springs come in three types, “green,” strongly sulfurous, with waters at a high temperature from 50 to 75 degrees Celsius; “white,” containing hydrogen sulfide and at a lower temperature of 45 C; and reddish ferrous waters at 40 C to 60 C.

Beitou is just 30 minutes from downtown Taipei by car or the Mass Rapid Transit system. The spring City Resort is at a distance of 2 km from Beitou station. There is a free hotel bus shuttle service from Beitou & Xin Beitou MRT station.

Contemporary rooms, with Western-style or Japanese furnishings, offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, safes, and tea and coffeemakers. Suites have living areas for families if they want. The facility houses restaurants, outdoor hot springs, and pools, as well as a gym, and private indoor hot spring rooms for those who prefer seclusion.

The Spring City Resort Beitou is an excellent choice if you want to experience Hot Springs without booking a hotel room to enjoy your own hot spring experience. The outdoor hot spring is open to hotel guest as well as to the public for day use. It consists of eight or nine different types of hot spring baths in an outdoor setting with fresh water coming in from natural sources with an inbuilt temperature control for comfort of the guests. Guests are required to wear swimwear and a swimming cap.

Each hot spring bath has a different temperature. The coldest was the ice-cold water bath with freezing jets of water and the others vary from around 35, 37 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees and above. The resort allows guests to move from bath to bath to experience the different temperatures for the different ailments like backpain, body pain etc. The spring baths are framed with rocks and greenery and blessed with stunning views. A soak in these mineral-rich hot spring waters is an absolute rejuvenation for the mind body and soul. The emphasis here is on tranquility, relaxation and a blissful experience offering a sense of harmony that can be enjoyed alone, with a partner or a group of friends.

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Hot Springs in Taiwan

Guanziling Hot Springs

It’s common for people to do a second take when they see Guanziling Hot Springs for the first time. Due to its beautiful location on the side of Zhentou Mountain in south-central Taiwan, the water has a darkish-gray tint due to abundance of subterranean rock strata. This has resulted in an increase in mineral content that some belief has benefits like softening and glowing of the skin. The area is home to several resorts boasting healing waters, but the most popular attraction is undoubtedly the Water and Fire Cave, a true natural wonder where fire appears to dance atop a natural spring. The phenomenon results from a fissure that releases both spring water and natural gas, which, according to legend, has been continuously burning for centuries, discovered accidentally by a passing monk. Although locals say the flame has decreased in size over the decades, visitors can still witness this anomaly of fire commingling with water.

Beitou District

Because of its location just 20 minutes north of central Taipei, the Beitou District has become the go-to spot for both locals and visitors in need of an accessible, soothing escape that feels miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Wedged into the mountains, Beitou is often shrouded in mist or blanketed by stream rising from the area’s numerous hot springs, many of which have been developed into private resorts and spas. This preponderance of thermal choices makes Beitou the Goldilocks of Taiwan, with springs available in a variety of temperatures.

Yangmingshan Hot Spring Area

Located within the Yangmingshan National Park, this area at the northern tip of Taiwan is home to waterfalls, grassy fields and a smattering of volcanoes known as the Tatun Volcano Group. This natural area boasts the highest concentration of hot springs in Taiwan, and each one has its own unique mineral makeup and temperature.

Lisong Hot Spring

It takes a little bit of effort to reach Lisong Hot Spring, but it’s well worth the trek. Guides are available for hire to help travelers navigate the springs, which are located in a valley crisscrossed by creeks and dotted by wild orchids. Once there, you’ll be rewarded by a magical sight: a hot springs waterfall crashing down from the side of a cliff stained green from minerals—perfect for a natural shower. Nearby hikers can soak in pools of various temperatures overhung by old growth trees before plunging into the refreshing cool waters of the Hsinwulu River.

Chaojih Hot Springs, Green Island

Chaojih or Jhaorih Hot Springs on Green Island is one of only a handful of known saltwater hot springs anywhere in the world. Here natural hot water bubbles into circular sets of pools on the beach, offering magnificent views and the opportunity to cool down in the ocean waves. Unlike most of Taiwan’s hot springs, these waters are sulfur-odour free and open 24-hours from March through October.

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By: Viki Shah

 


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