I don't want to say more than that about Jiaoxi and Chuan Tang for now because I'm saving that for a future hot spring-focused blog. But suffice to say that soaking in a 39-degree tea bath is every bit as soothing as it sounds. Real tea is used, evidenced by the enormous pouch of tea leaves floating around in the tub.

I don't know for a fact that it is oolong tea (烏龍茶), I'm just making an educated guess. The sign says "五峯茶" (wu feng cha), which confuses me. 五峰旗瀑布 (wu feng qi waterfall) is the name of a popular waterfall in Jiaoxi. The first two characters of each are identical in sound and tone, but the second is a different character. I couldn't find anything online about an 五峯 tea, leading me to believe they just made up a name that sounds like the local waterfall, and they probably just use some kind of cheap local tea.

Neverthless, it's not like we're drinking this tea or anything. The tea nerd in me is just curious.  

oolong tea hot spring in Jiaoxi (Jiaosi), Taiwan
different scented hot spring pools at Chuan Tang Spa in Jiaoxi (Jiaosi) Taiwan

As a keen tea and hot spring enthusiast, I was thrilled to find that one of my favorite hot spring spas in Taiwan now has a tea scented tub. Jiaoxi/Jiaosi (礁溪) is a popular hot spring town that is located in Yilan (宜蘭), just as you emerge onto the coastal plain from the mind-bogglingly long series of tunnels on the Taipei to Yilan freeway. Jiaoxi is easily my favorite day-trip from Taipei, offering hot springs, waterfall hikes, and local craft beer gardens with foot soaking hot tubs. The Chuan Tang Spring Spa Hotel (川燙春天溫泉飯店) is a mandatory stop for me every time I visit Jiaoxi.

my feet in an oolong tea hot spring at Chuan Tang Spa, Jiaoxi (Jiaosi) Taiwan
Oolong hot spring at Chuan Tang Spa, Jiaoxi (Jiaosi) Taiwan

One final thought, and something that amuses me, is that in Mandarin, the same word is used for "steep/brew" (泡) (pao) in reference to tea (泡茶) (pao cha), as is used for "soak" as in "soaking in hot springs" (泡溫泉) (pao wen quan). In this case one is "paoing" oneself in both tea and hot springs at the same time!

Note that the tea spring may not always be available. As the sign above indicates, this particulat tub rotates with another scent, maotai alcohol (茅台酒), a distilled sorghum liquor (白酒) from China similar to Taiwan's Kaohliang (高粱).

If you want to get to Chuan Tang, here's the info:

Chuan Tang Spring Spa Hotel (川燙春天溫泉飯店)

Add: #43, Deyang St., Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County (宜蘭縣礁溪鄉德陽路43號)

Ph: (03) 9889-889

Five minute walk from train or bus station, entrance NT 280 (weekend) NT 190 (weekdays), swimming hat required

If you could soak in any tea, which kind would you choose? Please comment below!

My son Sage playing with rocks in the tea hot spring, with other interesting scented pools in the background.

Yep, those are my hairy, sandal-tan-lined feet in a tea bath

Soaking in Oolong Tea at Jiaoxi (Jiaosi) Hot Spring, Yilan, Taiwan

April 21, 2016 by Nick Kembel

Hey, I'm Nick!

I first left home with a backpack in 2001, and I've been living in Taiwan for the last 10 years. I am especially drawn to religious centers, spiritual sights, and natural attractions.

I started this website to share the things I learn on the road and to inspire YOU to travel MORE!

See my full bio, read my book, or check out my photos!

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