Ease into the Hot Springs of Taiwan
Those who have had the pleasure of doing so before will tell you that there is nothing quite like sitting back and relaxing in a natural hot spring. Since Taiwan is situated on a massive fault line, it is home to a number of fantastic hot springs. Moreover, many of these hot springs have been in use for generations. They are also clean and completely natural – a perfect respite for the weary traveler.
Though people have no doubt been bathing in Taiwanese hot springs for centuries, it was not until 1893, when a German businessman discovered the spring in Peitou, that the springs started to be developed for business purposes. The Japanese later went on developing the springs, with the result that small local spas and later much bigger spas sprang up all over the island. Some of the springs have since been diverted into bathhouses and health spas where the natural goodness of these waters can be enjoyed in pools or private bathrooms or where they can be offered as part of therapeutic treatments. Indeed, hot springs in Taiwan are said to be able to soothe, revitalize and reinvigorate the body. It is interesting to note that the springs are completely natural. They are heated by the earth’s own energy and enriched by our planet’s many minerals. Hot spring facilities simply take advantage of this naturally occurring phenomenon. However, not all hot springs in Taiwan have been developed and some small ones may still be found in their natural state in forests or alongside rivers – perfect locations for hikers to relieve tired muscles on their arduous journeys.
Today there are many different Taiwanese hot springs to choose from. Places such as Yangmingshan, Wulai, Taian, Lushan Jiaosi, Jhihben, Green Island and Guanzihling are renowned for their top-notch facilities. Most of them are very hot with temperatures soaring to as high as 90 degrees Celsius! However, cooler springs can also be found. It is important to remember that bathing in a hot spring has an immense physical effect on a person and for this reason it should not be done around meal times, directly after or during alcohol consumption, or during a woman’s menstrual period. Patrons are encouraged to bath first to keep the water as clean as possible, and also to feel the temperature of the water before getting in. The hot springs also have an interesting historical side to them and tourists may want to visit ‘Hell Valley’ and the Bathhouse Museum before finishing their stay in Taiwan.