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

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

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.     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...

Chingchuan Adventures Outside Hsinchu: Hot Springs and B-Ball

We know—we’ve been on a temporary hiatus from the blog. Not because we haven’t been doing awesome things that we really want to write about, but rather because when we aren’t gallivanting around town, we’re working 50 hours a week. It’s awesome; it just doesn’t leave much free time for A Cruising Couple. BUT we’re back, at least for this blog post. 🙂 The weather is finally getting better in Hsinchu. But for a while, it was rainy and cold and miserable every day. A couple weeks ago we decided that we couldn’t handle too much more of it, and absolutely nothing sounded better than lounging around in some relaxing hot springs. We decided to make the hour and a half scooter ride out to the aboriginal village of Chingchuan (inconveniently through the freezing and pelting rain) to relax in said hot springs. They were everything hot springs should be:  soothing and tranquil, coupled with a picturesque location in the mountains.  There were three springs to choose from, including super-hot, hot, and suicidal cold, as well as five different massaging showerheads. Added cool points went to the fact that you could actually sit in the super-hot hot spring while simultaneously feeling the rain pour down over you. Had we not had to drive an hour and a half home through the mountains in a pitch-dark downpour just waiting for zombies to pop out at any moment, it probably would have been a perfect day. Fast forward to April 1st. This time we had a slightly larger group trying to get out towards Sheipa National Park for some hiking. But...

Yellowstone: Where the Buffalo Roam (Really Close to Your Car)

Yellowstone is an amazing destination for anyone who loves getting up close and personal with nature. A popular way of getting to Yellowstone is by flying into Jackson Hole Airport and renting a car for the 56 mile drive to the south entrance of the park. With your car you are then free to explore the park as you please. If you are interested in taking a trip to Yellowstone as a foreigner and you need a visa, you may need to find out how to get esta in the USA. Yellowstone is the ultimate in geysers, hot springs and wildlife. Established as America’s first national park in 1872, millions of travelers worldwide have made their way to Yellowstone to experience the pristine park for themselves ever since. Of course, we had to include it in our all-American road trip! Here’s a glimpse at some of our favorite park sights. This colorful hot spring is located just a few steps away from the Old Faithful Geyser. Yellowstone’s numerous hot springs are a result of geothermally heated groundwater. Water temperatures can exceed 400°F, becoming less dense than the surrounding cool water and rising to the surface. With no constrictions (as opposed to geysers), the superheated water forms beautiful calm pools like the one above. But despite the pretty colors, there is a ‘rotten egg’ smell that accompanies the hot springs, the result of anaerobic bacteria living off the sulphur underwater. Yellowstone National Park is home to numerous elk that often come out to play at dawn and dusk. Spring and summer are the prime seasons that animals pop out their...