Hot springs are very popular in Taiwan. Especially during the winter months, Taiwanese people visit the various hot springs and resorts. So this was something that was definitely on our list to do during our time in Taiwan. But how exactly does this work? Are there things we should and shouldn’t do? I must admit that I have never visited a Spa in the Netherlands. Only those in the holiday parks, but that is self-explanatory. Visiting the Hot Springs in Taiwan was exciting, and the fact that we already know more about Taiwan culture has helped enormously. I’m glad I can share our experiences with you so that your visit doesn’t have to be a little less exciting.
Hot Springs in Taiwan
Taiwan is located on the fault line where the Euro-Asian and Philippine continental plates meet. It lies between an oceanic trench and a volcanic system. This creates a unique environment that produces high-temperature hot springs. Around these slightly acidic waters are spas and resorts that are must-visit sites.
Taiwan has more than 100 major hot springs and many smaller ones. This is one of the highest concentrations and greatest variety of hot springs in the world.
Some types of hot springs are:
- Hot springs
- Cold springs
- Mud springs
- Seabed Hot springs
Things to know before your visit!
Visiting with kids | If you are traveling with children like us, you should remember that not all hot springs allow children. So always inform in advance.
Signs | I know that there are Hot springs that have signs to help you guide through the different steps.
Differences in Bathhouses
Public or Private | Public bathhouses offer communal bathing where you will share the different baths with other people, while the Private hot springs are just for you. Some bathhouses will offer private rooms, but you can also find some hotels where you can book an entire room with a hot spring included.
Mixed areas or Men and Women separately | Most bathhouses have mixed areas and areas for men and women separately. The mixed area is where all genders bathe together and where you wear a bathing suit. The entirely separate areas allow for nude bathing. These areas are usually clearly indicated by gender-marked signs and have lockers and shower facilities.
What to do and not to do
- The process of what to do will be much the same in all hot springs in Taiwan. The most important thing is to enter the hot springs completely clean so that the spring water remains as clean as possible.
- So avoid applying any product to your skin or hair before visiting the hot spring. These products can leave a residue in the water.
- Change your cloth for a swimming suit and put everything in a locker except your water bottle and towel.
- Shower and clean yourself thoroughly before entering the hot spring area.
- In the hot spring, we went, we could wear slippers between the different pools but check how this works in the hot spring you visit. Most of the time, it’s polite to wear them at outdoor public hot springs.
- Clean your feet before you climb into the pool. There is a bucket by the water edge that you can use to rinse your feet and underlegs. Never sit on the edge of the pool with your feet too close to someone’s face. They don’t appreciate that in Asia.
- In most hot springs, you have to wear a swimming cap. If this is not the case and you have long hair make sure the hair is tied up neatly and kept off your face and neck.
- If you use the spaces for sitting and relaxing, try to use your towel for sitting on or rinsing the surface when you get up.
- Usually, the bathes in a hot spring are from different temperatures. Start with the lower temperatures and slowly get into the water to get used to the temperature.
- Don’t spend too long in hot water. The hot spring experience consists of short baths in hot pools alternating with cold pools or showers and long recovery periods outside the water.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Quiet conversation is perfectly acceptable in the hot springs but tell your kids that it is not allowed to be rowdy and to run around.
Also, the one I describe below is a family-friendly hotel with an outdoor swimming pool.
We visited the Mud springs in the south part of Taiwan and will share our experiences with you.
Guanziling Hot Spring is situated in the mountains at the border of Chiayi and Tainan in Baihe District. The Guanziling Hot Springs are located in mudrock formations created by an earthquake. This hot spring water is dark grey, and it’s also called ‘mud hot spring’ or ‘black hot spring,’ but they contain tiny pieces of rock, not mud. It is said that the sulfuric properties have healing qualities for several skin irregularities, nervous and joint problems, or discomforts. Our experience is that it leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth.
The village of Guanziling is divided into a lower (the older part) and an upper section. In this lower part at the Baoquan Bridge, you can see one of the two mud spring sources for the Guanziling Hot Springs. Natural gas from underground bubbles up through a pool of water and ignites spontaneously on the surface. Most of the hotels you will find in the upper part of the village.
Guanziling has one of the three largest natural mud hot springs in the World. Moreover, it’s the only hot spring in Taiwan sourced from an age-old natural spring rich in minerals.
Kings Garden Villa – the perfect place to stay!
We stayed three nights at a beautiful resort called King’s garden villa. They offer European-style villas in the mountains surrounded by lush trees and peaceful gardens. The wooden villas are all spread over the beautiful garden, and some villas have private indoor or outdoor hot springs. There is an outdoor swimming pool and more than 20 different spa facilities, giving you various ways to experience the natural minerals.
Room with private Hot Spring
We booked a 4-person villa with a private outdoor hot spring. One pool you can fill with hot mud water, and the other pool is for cold water. We loved to have this little space for ourselves. Our teenagers still don’t like being looked at by everyone, so this was very welcome. We enjoyed this private bathing with a drink and some snacks.
There is a public area with a great outdoor swimming pool and over 20 types of spa facilities.
The facilities that we really liked
- Water Spa Hydrotherapy, where they use water pressure to apply massage techniques to your body.
- The fish pool.
- Low-Frequency Electrotherapy Therapeutic pools. You can choose a hot muddy pool or a herbal pool.
- Hot Muddy Pool. You can choose between different water temperatures.
- And of course the outdoor swimming pool.
There are also sauna and steam rooms and separate areas for men and women to enjoy the mineral mud spas and saunas.
You can stay in one of the villas or just go here for a day. There is a one-day pass available too. Don’t forget to bring your swimming caps. You will need them.
If you stay for the night, you can enjoy a great dinner with delicious and healthy food.
Most Popular time to visit Hot Springs
These hot spring places are most popular by Taiwanese people during the winter months (December to March). We visited this place during the summer months and loved that it wasn’t too crowded.
It was a wonderful experience, and we will advise you to visit a Hot Spring during your time in Taiwan.
Best Hot Spring Resorts to visit with kids!
Taipei – Spring City Resort in Beitou
Taipei – Yangmingshan Tienlai Hot Spring Resort and Spa in Jinshan District
Yilan – Chuan Tang Spring Spa Hotel in Jiaoxi
Yilan – Art Spa Hotel in Jiaoxi
Hsinchu – Huilai Resort in Jianshi Township
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I would love to help you.