In Asia, hot springs are believed to raise energy levels while possibly treating chronic fatigue, eczema and arthritis.
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. As it is easily accessible and is homed to numerous hot spring resorts and leisure facilities, this area has made it to become 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.
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 many public baths, foot baths, water play areas and sheltered resting areas. Apart from the public baths, most of the attractions within the park can be enjoyed free of charge. Don’t miss out on trying the local cuisine prepared with vegetables cultivated with the hot spring waters when you make a trip there!
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!
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. This hot spring have been said to be active for three centuries!
Located in a small aboriginal village in Hsinchu County, these hot springs are famed for being some of the best in Taiwan due to their soft mineral water. With the rustic feeling emanating from the town, and the beautiful mountain views from the hot springs, this place is very serene and a nice get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. After your revitalizing soak, go for a stroll and meet some Atayal people, the locals, who will be more than happy to chat with you, regardless of Chinese proficiency.
7) Dragon Valley (Taichung)
It takes a lot of work to get here, but the seclusion is well worth the effort. Dragon Valley is about a two-hour bus ride from the nearest train station at Fengyuan, just north of Taichung. It has a similar vibe to Chingchuan due to its location deep in mountain country, which is a welcome relief from the overly congested urbanization that plagues much of Taiwan.
There is a fish spa here too, so head on down to “the ditch” after your hot spring to have your dead skin cells on your foot nibbled clean!
What is the difference between a hot spring in Japan and Taiwan?
- In Japan, most hotsprings require you to remove all clothings but in Taiwan, you are able to enter the hotspring with your swimming costume.
- In Taiwan, you are expected to enter the hotspring with a shower cap but this is not needed in Japan.