Featured Report

Taiwan Hot Springs –Take A Warm Trip with Hot Springs

Taiwan has unique hot spring resources. The featured hot spring areas in northern, central, southern, and eastern Taiwan have their charm. Take a hot spring-themed trip and add more fun with food, accommodation, attractions, shopping, and other experiences.

▲Good-quality hot springs are plentiful in Taiwan. (Photo/ shutterstock.com)

Interview content with Zhen-ling Guo, the director of East Rift Valley National Scenic Area Administration

Now is the perfect time in winter to soak in hot springs. Taiwan is well-known for its unique geological topography, cultivating the best gift of nature –hot springs. Taiwan has a worldwide reputation for a hot spring museum. Good-quality cold springs and hot springs are plentiful in Taiwan, such as sodium bicarbonate spring, white sulfur hot spring, green sulfur hot spring, sulfur spring, iron-sulfur spring, mud spring, submarine hot spring, sulfate chlorinated spring, carbonate spring, and alkaline carbonate spring. Taiwan has a complete range of hot springs, no less than Japan, the hot spring kingdom.

The Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications began promoting hot spring branding in 2007, with “Taiwan Hot Spring” as its publicity theme, both at home and abroad. The marketing of Taiwan’s hot spring areas is into its 15th year in 2022. The Tourism Bureau cooperated with local governments, holding Golden Spring Awards and “Plus 19 Taiwan Hot Spring Project." The marketing improved the quality of hot spring tourism and drove people to visit hot-spring towns in Taiwan. Also, it brought Taiwan’s hot springs to the world.

Taiwan Hot Spring integrated 19 high-quality hot spring areas in northern, central, southern, and eastern Taiwan to coach operators in building the new brand image of hot spring tourism. It was to improve the quality of Taiwan’s hot spring areas, increase the economic value of the tourism industry, and establish the new brand image of Taiwan’s hot spring tourism.

The 19 hot spring areas in Taiwan are roughly divided into (1) the north: Jinshan Wanli, Xinbeitou, Yangmingshan, Mount Shamao, Wulai, and Jiaoxi (2) the center: Jianshi of Neiwan, Taichung Hot Spring Area (including Guguan, Dakeng, Wuri), Tai’an, Dongpu, and Beigang River (3) the south: Guanziling, Bulao of Baolai, and Sichongxi (4) the east: Ruisui, Antong, Zhiben (including Ludao).

Soaking in hot springs in Taiwan has additional tourism benefits. You can experience the quality hot springs and facilities, the natural landscape, the hot spring culture full of history, the nearby attractions and activities, featured souvenirs, and local food. Hot spring tourism is attentively cultivated and managed, worthy of visiting.

From 2021 to 2022, Taiwan Hot Spring keeps delivering the brand concept “Get Healthy at 40°C” and the theme “Take A Warm Trip with Hot Springs" to present the exclusive features of Taiwan’s hot spring areas, such as warming heart, warming stomach, warming people, and warming stories. In recent years, people cannot travel abroad due to the epidemic. However, it is also the time to rediscover the beauty of Taiwan, such as hot springs, cultural performances, and special delicacies. People can take the opportunity to take a hot spring trip with the quintuple stimulus vouchers launched by the Executive Yuan and the domestic travel voucher issued by the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. Soaking in the hot spring can strengthen the immune system, relieve stress, and prevent epidemics.

▲Milking and drinking in Ruisui, Hualien (Photo/ shutterstock.com)

Visit Ruisui in the East Rift Valley and Go to A Hot Springs in Antong

Zhen-ling Guo, the director of East Rift Valley National Scenic Area Administration, said that the administration is in charge of the annual marketing for Taiwan Hot Springs. The event combined fashion to launch a bathrobe show. The bathrobe design presented the culture, ingredients, and products of 19 hot spring areas in Taiwan. It also launched the “Formosa Hot Spring Bus" series of videos.

Take East Rift Valley as an example, Ruisui Hot Spring and Antong Hot Spring are especially recommended. Among them, Ruisui Hot Spring is quite a large hot spring area. It has the reputation of “golden hot springs" because of the formation of yellow and turbid crystals with a slight rust smell. In addition to hot springs, you may have opportunities to drink fresh milk from farms, sample honey-scented black tea with a warm and sweet taste, and visit the surrounding attractions. Headed to Yuli, you will reach the historic Antong Hot Spring.

▲Explore sugar industry culture at Hualien Tourism Sugar Factory (Photo/ shutterstock.com)

The East Rift Valley is a vast area. It is recommended to take Taiwan Route 9 or train to destinations, touring with bicycles. The “Forest Hot Spring" bicycle route is particularly recommended. It combines the sugar industry culture (Hualien Tourism Sugar Factory), tribe culture (the birthplace of the Amis), plain afforestation ecology (Masadi Forest with maple woods), Ruisui Hot springs, Taiwan’s most beautiful county road (County Road 193), and the geological landscape of East Rift Valley (Yuli, the plate boundary). You can experience the wonderful feeling of stepping on the plate boundary as if you walk into a geology class.

In particular, the predecessor of the Yufu Bicycle Trail was the old iron bridge between Yuli Station and Antong Station of the Taiwan Railway. The iron bridge was elevated annually because of the Philippine Sea plate. It is the only bicycle route in the world located on the convergent plate boundary. And also, it is one of the most accessible places to observe active fault.

▲Cycling and seeing the wind that shakes the barley at Chishang (Photo/ shutterstock.com)

In addition to Ruisui Hot Spring and Antong Hot Spring, headed to the south, you can visit Chishang and Guanshan. There are some recommended bicycle routes to enjoy the “idyllic scenery.” You can start from Chishang Station to Cycling Route No.1, Dapochih Bicycle Path, Chishang-Guanshan Road, Guanshan Town Circle Bicycle Path, and ultimately, Guanshan Station. Since Chishang and Guanshan are the hometowns of rice, you can enjoy the wind shaking the barley, beautiful fields, and a nostalgic atmosphere along the way. You can also visit the aboriginal township –Haituan, the eastern entrance of Nanheng Road. Wulu Gorge, Litu Cliff, Litu Village, and Siangyang National Forest Recreation Area are all special tourist attractions.

There are different itineraries for different seasons in the East Rift Valley. It is recommended to arrange at least two days to travel the valley, enjoying the slow pace with sufficient time. Besides, you can arrange a tribe cuisine or appreciate the beauty of season-limited flowers such as rapeseed fields and cosmos flowers.

For more information:
The website of Taiwan Hot Spring https://taiwanhotspring.net
The website of East Rift Valley National Scenic Area https://www.erv-nsa.gov.tw



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