Taiwanese Hot Springs: The Ultimate Guide to Taiwan’s Hottest Attraction

Taiwan Hot Springs

I’m not really a huge fan of hot springs. I mean, I like them enough. They’re relaxing and rejuvenating and don’t require any physical exertion. It’s mostly that I can’t manage to stay in them longer than five minutes because of the sweat that begins to pour down my face.

That being said, Dan and I just got back from a hot spring hotel in Central Taiwan, and I loved it. It probably helped that we had a private hot spring bath in our room that overlooked the adjacent valley and mountains. And I must admit, even if I don’t normally get excited about hot springs, I always feel amazing afterwards.

In Asia, hot springs are believed to raise energy levels while possibly treating chronic fatigue, eczema and arthritis—a pretty good reason to give the popular Taiwanese pastime a go.

 

Dragon-Valley-Hotel-Hot-Springs-Taichung-County-Flowers

 

There are two main things to remember before visiting Taiwan’s hot springs:

 

1)    If hot spring baths are separated by gender, you’re expected to bathe nude. I was bit worried it would be totally awkward sporting by birthday suit with a bunch of old Taiwanese women, but it’s not actually that bad. Plus, these “nude” hot springs are typically a bit nicer, with various showerheads, more variety in water temperature, steam rooms, and no obnoxious children splashing sulfur water in your face.

2)    You must wear a shower cap before entering the hot springs. Sometimes these will be provided, other times you are expected to bring your own.

Beyond that, just follow common sense. Don’t bathe if you have any health risks, don’t stay in the hot springs too long, don’t drink alcohol while immersed in scalding hot water, etc.

 

Dragon-Valley-Hotel-Hot-Springs-Taichung-County-A-Cruising-Couple

 

With the ring of fire rumbling just below Taiwan’s seaboard, there is plenty of lava-heated spring water to go around.  Hot springs range from wild and natural baths in the mountains to commercialized spas and resorts.  Here are a few of the ones we’ve tried and can recommend:

 

Beitou

The hot springs at Beitou are arguably the most frequented by tourists in Taiwan, and easily accessible off the New Beitou MRT stop (from Taipei). Beitou’s history of developed hot springs dates back to the early 1900s and the Japanese era. Today, public and private hot springs are abundant, and easily found via a quick stroll through the area. English signs pave the way. Search for Hotels in Beitou.

 

Chingchuan

Chingchuan-Hot-Springs-Taiwan

Chingchuan-Hot-Springs-Waterfall-Taiwan

Chinchuan-Hot-Springs-Night-Taiwan

Located in a small aboriginal village in Hsinchu County, these hot springs are famed for being some of the best in all of Taiwan due to their soft mineral water. We love the rustic feeling emanating from the town, and the beautiful mountain views from the hot springs. After your revitalizing soak, go for a stroll and meet some Atayal people, who will be more than happy to chat with you, regardless of Chinese proficiency. Search for Hotels Near Chingchuan.

 

Dragon Valley (Taichung County)

Dragon-Valley-Hotel-Hot-Springs-Taichung-County-Taiwan

Taiwan Hot Springs

 

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.

 

With a few sizeable resorts to choose from, including the immense Dragon Valley Resort and Paradise, you’ll be sweating off stress in no time. When you’ve had all you can take of the purifying waters, head down the public hot spring trail to “the ditch”. Here you’ll find a combination of 3 ankle-deep foot-cleansing ponds. Only this time, it’s not the water that’s special; it’s the fish. These hungry little tickle-monsters bite the dead skin right off your feet. Yummy!

 

Dragon-Valley-Hotel-Hot-Springs-Taichung-County-Fish-Cleaning-Feet-1024x614.jpg
 

Jiaoshi

Bordering Yilan on the east coast, Jioashi has a high concentration of hot spring hotels, perfect for restoring your wave-beaten body after a long day of surfing. However, if you don’t have the time or the budget to commit to one of these hotels, there are also public and private baths available at a reasonable hourly rate. Unfortunately, some of the private baths here tend to be enclosed by sheet metal, leaving something to be desired in terms of scenery.

 

While these are the hot spring areas we have visited, there are still over 150 other hot springs all across Taiwan! A map with some of the more popular destinations can be found here.

Prices are hugely variable, ranging from NT$150 for public baths to NT$6000 for five star hot spring hotels (including accommodation). Just be sure to take a peek at the hot springs before paying, as some offer better value than others. It’s never fun to end up squashed in a luke-warm pool with a hundred other people.

 

We’re especially excited to be visiting Green Island in the next couple weeks, after a three-day cycling trip down the East Coast. Green Island boasts one of the only salt water hot springs in the world.

Update: We never did have time for Green Island! Cycling was just too much fun. In fact, we loved it so much we were inspired to cycle the entire country of Vietnam! You can learn more about the salt water hot spring on Green Island here :)
Do you love hot springs as much as the Taiwanese do? Have you ever been to a salt water hot spring? Where’s your favorite hot spring in Taiwan? Don’t forget to leave a comment below!
 

Interested in learning more about all Taiwan has to offer? Click here to download our free eBook, 101 Tips to Living in Taiwan, for an all-inclusive guide to life in Taiwan.

 

 

Meet: Casey Siemasko


Casey Siemasko is a blogger, content marketer, and co-founder of A Cruising Couple. She has been living and traveling outside of the US full-time since 2011. She finds her life inspiration in exploring the world and seeks to find the magic in the most ordinary of places.

17 Comments

  1. Another exciting adventure…WOW!!!! A great way to spend a birthday!

    Reply
    • It most certainly was! Thanks!!!

      Reply
  2. I love hot springs but this is by far the most comprehensive setup I have ever seen! Taiwan is #1 on my list of places to see in Asia so I hope we get to visit here someday…looks so relaxing and fun!
    Andrea recently posted…Stay Or Go? Our Survey Of Potential Places To LiveMy Profile

    Reply
    • If you love hot springs then Taiwan is def. the place for you! I hope you get to come visit sometime soon-if you do you’ll have to let us know so we can tell you all our favorite places! It’s a shame a lot of travelers never make it to Taiwan, so I always get really excited when people say they are interested in it!

      Reply
      • could you please share all the great places in Taiwan with me!
        I am planning to go there in Oct. I will be in Taipei for about 5 days. days are not finaly yet – just that I will arrive in Hong Kong Oct. 14. and fly out of Hong Kong Oct. 23
        kind regards
        Marie

        Reply
  3. Where did you stay in Central Taiwan since you mentioned that there was a private hot spring in your room ? and how much did you pay for it? I am looking for one and hope you can help! thanks!

    Reply
    • We stayed at the Dragon Valley Resort and Paradise, but I can’t recall the price. We booked with friends who had a coupon.

      Reply
  4. I can’t believe you went to chingchuan! I lived in the mountains close to their for a while and never saw another foreigner there except my friends. Its also a bit off the beaten path. I used to go there all the time. There is also a nice market in the town right across the river that has good street food. The hot springs there are also really cheap. If I remember correctly around $150 NT. Its also beautiful there in the evenings when the bridges are lit up. .

    Reply
  5. After living in Taiwan for ten years I think the best hot spring is/was Wenshan in Taroko Gorge. The last time I was there it was still closed due to falling rocks. So glad I had to the chance to go when I did.

    Reply
  6. Hello! My husband and I are going to Taipei next week and wondered if you had any specific recommendations of less touristy hot springs/hotels in Beitou that would allow us to go into the baths together (vs. be separated by gender). Thanks so much! We are very excited to visit!

    Reply
    • We haven’t been to any of the Taipei hot springs besides the public baths in Beitou, which are very popular. We have stayed in other hotels around Taiwan where you can get a private room with your own hot spring inside as well as shared open air hot springs, but I’m not sure about any specific places to recommend in Taipei. I hope you have an awesome trip!

      Reply
  7. My family will have a 9-hour transit in Taipei to Canada. We’d like to experience the famous hot spirits in Taiwan… Any suggestion given our time frame? And if you can tell us how to get there, it is very much appreciated.

    Reply
  8. Hello, What other hot springs resort are located in northern Taiwan? Couple of weeks ago, we were in Taiwan with friends and we went to this hot spring place. The water is heated by an inactive volcano (according to the guide), which is indoor. They have two parking lots (lower and upper), and when you walk to the spa, there are hot steam coming out of the side of a hill. There’s accommodation for men and women. I don’t think it is well-known or popular, but it is low-key.

    Thank you,

    Reply
  9. I’m heading to Taiwan next week, and this is a super helpful guide. Thanks a lot!

    Reply

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