Dear reader: This article contains links to products and services that I may be compensated for, at no extra cost to you.
The island of Taiwan sits on a collision zone between two tectonic plates. As a result, it has one of the highest concentrations of thermal hot springs in the world. There are at least 100 major hot springs in Taiwan and many smaller ones!
While Taiwanese aboriginals had been aware of the springs, it was the Japanese who developed many of them into spa resorts, including the most famous, Beitou Hot Spring in Taipei City. Beyond the historic bathhouses of Beitou, you can also find salt water hot springs, cold springs, and even mud hot springs in Taiwan!
In this article, I’m going to introduce 20 of the best Taiwanese hot springs from north to south, including famous spas, hot spring villages, hot spring parks, and wild hot springs, most of which I’ve personally visited in my 10+ years of living in Taiwan. Soaking in hot springs is truly one my favorite things to do in this wonderful country!
Hot Spring Etiquette in Taiwan
Follow the below tips to ensure a smooth and embarrassment-free hot spring experience in Taiwan. Also see my beginner’s guide to traveling in Taiwan for more Taiwan travel tips!
- Hot springs spas in Taiwan come in three types: private rooms (湯屋), public mixed-sex (大眾池), and men’s/women’s nude sex-segregated pools (男湯/女湯). If you don’t know, ask:
- Do I need to wear a bathing suit? 需要穿泳衣嗎 (xu yao chuan yong yi ma?)
- Private rooms range from super simple wooden or tiled windowless boxes to fancy hotel rooms with a bed for…resting! You typically get 60-90 minutes. Usually you can see a picture of the rooms at the desk. You’ll get a phone call or knock when your time is almost up.
- Most mixed-sex hot spring pools require a swimming hat (泳帽), which you can buy on site if you don’t have. Swimsuits are required to be worn. A locker with a key is also usually provided. Some fancier ones provide you with a robe and other accessories.
- Although Taiwanese aren’t as strict as Japanese when it comes to rules for hot springs, you should always shower before entering a hot spring.
- It is also polite to wear slippers between pools at outdoor public hot springs, or dump a bucket of water on your feet before entering, if available, to avoid dragging sand and rocks into the pool.
- In busy, shared public spas, it is considered rude to put your feet up on the side, or to sit on the side with only your feet in the water (basically don’t put your feet close to other people’s faces or bodies; feet are considered gross in Asia, even when they’re really clean 🙂
Visiting Hot Springs with Kids
Most mixed-sex hot springs don’t have a rule against brining kids in, but some do, so it’s best to ask before being disappointed. For the nude, sex-separated ones, you probably won’t want to bring your kids in, nor are they likely to be allowed. Some locals, especially elderly, think it isn’t good for very young kids to go into hot springs at all. In some cases, I’ve had elderly Taiwanese attendants at hot springs telling me I shouldn’t bring my kids in (when they were toddler age). I just assured them that my kids had been to many hot springs before, and they still let us in.
Some of the best hot springs for kids in Taiwan, with facilities designed especially for them, are:
- Spring City Resort in Beitou (see #2)
- Tienlai Hot Spring Resort in Jinshan (see #5)
- Chuan Tang and Art Spa Hotel in Jiaoxi (see #7)
- Huilai Resort in Hsinchu (#10)
We’ve never had any problem bringing our kids into private hot springs (the ones where you get your own room), with the exception one spa in Beitou that wouldn’t let us in. We quite enjoy doing thin because we can relax let our kids enjoy themselves without worrying about bothering other people. See here for more information about traveling in Taiwan with kids.
When to Visit Hot Springs in Taiwan
Obviously Taiwanese hot springs are only really going to appeal in winter. Winter generally goes from December to March in Taiwan, with January and February being the coldest. You’ll also find that the subtropical north of Taiwan is noticeably colder than the tropical south, which lies below the Tropic of Cancer.
Hot Spring Cuisine in Taiwan
A whole cuisine has developed around hot springs in Taiwan. Generally, this food is served in hot spring hotels and meant to be enjoyed after a soak. A lot of spas offer hot springs & meal packages, which are often a great deal.
Hot spring cuisine unsurprisingly revolves around Japanese food, which in many ways has been incorporated into Taiwanese cuisine. In Beitou try hot springs ramen, hot spring tofu, and hot spring eggs. In Jiaoxi, you can also soak your feet while you eat! At Jiuzhize Hot Spring (鳩之澤溫泉) at the base of Taipingshan in Yilan, you can even cook your own hot spring eggs. The temperature results in a gooey texture that is really delicious!
The first six hot springs below are all sourced from Yangmingshan, a mountain massif in the Datun Volcanic Group on the edge of Taipei City. After that, we’ll venture to Yilan County and a few remote hot springs in Taoyuan and Hsinchu County.
1. Yangmingshan Hot Spring (陽明山溫泉)
Yangminshan (陽明山 or Yangming Mountain) is a mountain massif that lies half in Taipei City and half in New Taipei City. It contains volcanoes once though to be dormant, but recent studies show they may in fact be active.
The term “Yangmingshan Hot Spring” doesn’t refer to one but numerous hot springs dotting the slopes and base of the mountain.
These include, on the Taipei City “front side” (Qianshan or 前山) of the mountain: Beitou (#2) and Xingyi Road (#3) hot springs, Qianshan Public Hot Spring (前山公園公共溫泉浴池), and Lengshuikeng (冷水坑), which means “cold water pit” but is actually a hot spring.
You can also see steaming fumaroles at Sulfur Valley Recreation Area (硫磺谷遊憩區) just above Beitou Hot Springs and Xiaoyoukeng (小油坑, pictured above).
The “back side” (Houshan or 後山) of Yangmingshan includes opulent Tienlai Hot Spring Resort (陽明山天籟渡假酒店), wild Bayan Hot Spring (#4), and the numerous other hot springs of Jinshan (#5) in New Taipei City.
2. Beitou Hot Spring (北投溫泉)
As the only major hot spring resort that is right in Taipei City and MRT-accessible, Beitou is the most famous hot spring in all of Taiwan.
Much more than just a hot spring, Beitou is a whole historic district developed by the Japanese during their 50-year colonial occupation of Taiwan (1895-1945).
Come here for a little slice of traditional Japan in Taiwan, including the Beitou Hot Spring Museum (formally the Japanese Public Bathhouse), hot spring ramen shops, hot spring parks, historic bathhouses, and of course, loads of hot spring spas to choose from.
Most hot springs offer private rooms or nude, sex-segregated baths. Spring City Resort is the only kid-friendly one, and you can score this great discounted price online. For a classier experience, try this deal for Gaia Hot Spring Resort, which has a cool library-like lobby. You may find the prices in Beitou are more expensive than other hot spring resorts in Taiwan.
You could easily spend a whole day at Beitou; see my detailed Beitou guide to plan your visit.
3. Xingyi Road (行義路)
Not to be confused with Xinyi Rd, where Taipei 101 is located, Xingyi Road is technically part of Beitou, but about four kilometers off into the hills from the main section of it that all the tourists visit.
Come to Xingyi Road for a totally traditional and off-the-beaten-track Taiwan hot spring experience. About half a dozen hot spring spas can be found here, all of which only offer private rooms or sex-segregated, nude bathing experiences.
Kawayu Spa (川湯溫泉) is the pick of the bunch, with its super atmospheric grounds that remind me of Miyazaki‘s Spirited Away, while Yuse Spa (湯瀨溫泉SPA–watch for the spooky all-black building) comes with an excellent restaurant.
To reach Xingyi Road, hop on bus 508 or 535 from Shipai MRT station and get off at Xingyi Road 3 stop (行義路站三), or take a taxi (approximately NT200).
4. Bayan Ye Xi Hot Spring (八煙野溪溫泉)
Arguably the best wild hot spring within easy reach of Taipei, Bayan is unfortunately also technically illegal to visit. Enforcement is hit or miss; sometimes the cops show up and ask everyone to leave or even issue fines, so please beware of that.
The trail begins near Bayan Hot Spring Resort (八煙溫泉會館) in Jinshan District of New Taipei City. The trail follows a creek and takes about 30 minutes to reach the collection of pools surrounded by the jungle.
As you’ll notice from the above picture, my father learned from the locals there that the hot spring’s mud is good for the skin.
To get there, you’ll need to take bus 1717, which goes up, over, and then down the backside of Yangminshan toward Jinshan. Get off at Qiangxin (Yangmingshan Resort, Baian Hotspring stop) 強薪(陽明山水、八煙溫泉). It’s just 5 kilometers before Jinshan town center.
5. Jinshan Hot Spring (金山溫泉)
Jinshan, a rural district of New Taipei City on the north coast of Taiwan, is the furthest extent of hot springs from the Datun volcanic range. Located on the back side of Yangmingshan, they are the northernmost hot springs in Taiwan.
Over a dozen hot spring spa hotels are located in Jinshan town, but the best of Jinshan’s hot springs are along Provincial Highway 2a (陽金公路 or Yangjin Highway), the highway that descends from Yangmingshan to Jinshan, just a few kilometers out of town.
This is where you’ll find luxurious Tienlai Hot Spring Resort, one of the most famous hot spring spas in Taiwan. We personally love the simple outdoor pool at Yangmingshan Resort (陽明山水溫泉會館, pictured above), which has one of the best mountain views from a hot spring that we’ve seen in Taiwan.
6. Wulai Hot Spring (烏來溫泉)
The aboriginal village of Wulai south of Taipei in New Taipei City is one of the most popular day trips from Taipei, and for good reason. Wulai features riverside hot springs, hiking, river tracing, and northern Taiwan’s tallest waterfall.
Wulai is the northernmost village of the Atayal, Taiwan’s third largest aboriginal tribe. Wulai Old Street is one of the best places to sample aboriginal food and millet wine (小米酒 or xiao mi jiu), perfect after a hot spring soak.
Wulai was once very popular for its makeshift riverside hot springs, but they’ve become so worn down, and sometimes have no hot water left, that they are no longer worth visiting. The hot spring spas in town have also seen better days, but we still like the ones on Wenquan (Hot Spring) Road, across the busy pedestrian bridge and to the left. Most offer private rooms with river views for a reasonable price.
The fanciest hot spring resort in Wulai is Volando Urai, which is located on the highway into town. You can save money by booking your tickets for the outdoor spa or your own personal bathhouse online to save on the entry price.
See here for my guide to all the fun things to do in Wulai.
To get to Wulai, take bus 849 from Xindian MRT station to the last stop. It takes about 40 minutes.
7. Jiaoxi Hot Spring (礁溪溫泉)
Jiaoxi is my personal favorite hot spring village in all of Taiwan. Located on the plains of Yilan County in northeastern Taiwan, you can reach it in about an hour from Taipei by train or by riding the bus through one of the longest tunnels in the world.
Jiaoxi makes for a super fun day trip from Taipei. There are some amazing hikes and waterfalls just out of town. At Tangweigou Hot Spring Park, you can soak your feet in hot water while enjoying local craft beer (try the green one!)
Jiaoxi also has two super fun hot spring spas: Chuan Tang (川湯春天), which has two locations in town, offers all kinds of different colored and scented hot spring tubs, scented steam rooms, massage jets, and foot skin-eating fish, while Art Spa Hotel (中冠礁溪大飯店) has a super tall hot water slide, loads of massage tubs, and more. Both of them have tons of different pools and are good for kids. You can also find hot spring spa discounts for Jiaoxi like this one and this one on Klook.
For everything you need to know, see my Jiaoxi Hot Spring guide.
8. Paigu & Fan Fan Hot Springs (排骨 + 梵梵溫泉)
Also in Yilan County, but way off the trodden path, Paigu Hot Spring and Fan Fan Hot Spring are two wild hot springs for those who love some nature and solitude while they soak, and unlike the other wild hot springs in this article, they don’t requite a long walk to reach.
Both are located at the base of the mountains a short drive west of Sanxing (三星), a little village known far and wide for its delicious green onion cakes. There’s a good chance you’ll have the hot springs all to yourself like we did when we visited.
9. Sileng Hot Spring (四稜溫泉)
One of the most rewarding wild hot springs in Northern Taiwan is Sileng Hot Spring, located in a remote corner of Taoyuan on the Northern Cross-Island Highway (Provinial Highway #7). Above is a Taiwanese blogger’s video showing how to get to Sileng Hot Spring.
The trail from the highway (around km 58.5) down to the hot spring is steep and requires using a rope in parts. It takes just under an hour to hike down to the hot spring. The hot pool is in a cleft of a cliff beside a small river, which you’ll have to cross to reach it. The hot water cascades down the cliff wall into the pool, in a scene reminiscent of (but not quite as colorful as) Lisong Hot Spring in Taitung (#16).
You’ll need your own wheels to get there.
10. Jianshi Hot Spring (尖石溫泉)
Jianshi is a large, remote district of Hsinchu County that is primarily inhabited by Atayal aboriginals. From Neiwan, a pleasant Old Street that is the last stop on the Neiwan Small Train Line and is very popular among domestic tourists, you can venture out to some excellent developed and wild hot springs in the area. You’ll need your own vehicle.
For the best developed/family-friendly hot springs, head to Huilai Resort (會來尖石溫泉渡假村) . Note that the kids’ waterpark at Huilai is not heated, so that section is not open in winter, but there are still plenty of shallow pools for the kids to enjoy. If you don’t have a car, they offer pickup from Neiwan, which you can reach on the Neiwan train line. Another family friendly option in the area is Nature Valley Hot Spring Resort (天然谷溫泉會館).
Further up the same road, Jin Ping Spring Resort is another spot we’ve enjoyed. The same road has numerous guesthouses and some excellent campgrounds that we love (like 香杉露營區, which has a pool in summer, cherry blossoms in spring, and lots of bunnies!). This whole area is one of our favorite getaways from Taipei and we take our kids there often.
Even further up the road, Xiaojinping (小錦屏溫泉) is a wild hot spring. On a different road that leads up to the remote aboriginal village of Smangus, Xiu Luan Ye Xi Hot Spring is yet another wild hot spring for adventurers to seek out.
11. Tai’an Hot Spring (泰安溫泉)
Another one of our favorite Taiwanese hot spring villages is remote Tai’an in Miaoli, a mostly rural county known for its laid back vibes and Hakka population.
Over a dozen hot spring hotels are spread out on either side of the Houlong River, perfect for a peaceful weekend getaway.
Two options in town are especially noteworthy: luxurious Onsen Papawaqa (泰安觀止溫泉會館), which has a fantastic outdoor spa open to non-guests, and our favorite: King’s Resort & Spa (錦水溫泉飯店), a super friendly family-run large hotel with several hot spring pools on terraces offering great views. Guests also get a free hour in one of the private hot tub rooms on the roof of the hotel, overlooking the valley.
If you don’t have a vehicle, you can get to Tai’an by taking this hot spring day trip from Taichung. It says Taichung in the description, but the hot spring they go to is Tangyue Resort in Tai’an.
When in Tai’an, you can also pay a visit to nearby Dahu, famous for its U-pick strawberry farms.
12. Dakeng & Guguan Hot Spring (大坑 + 谷關溫泉)
Dakeng Scenic Area (大坑風景區) offers plenty of hiking in lush surroundings right on the edge of central Taichung City, making it one of the most popular day trips from Taichung. After hiking, check into The Sun Hot Spring Resort (台中日光溫泉會館), which overlooks the surrounding hills.
Further out of town on the Central Cross Island Highway (Highway 8), nearly half way across Taiwan, Guguan Hot Spring is a popular hot spring resort just past Basianshan National Forest Recreation Area (八仙山國家森林遊樂區). You can try Bali Nature Spa Hot Spring Hotel, Mingao Hot Spring Resort, or beautiful Hoshino Resort.
13. Wenshan Hot Spring (文山溫泉)
Hopping over to the east coast of Taiwan in Hualien County, Wenshan Hot Spring is long past its days of glory, but you can still sneak in and visit what’s left of it.
Located in dramatic Taroko Gorge, one of the country’s most popular natural attractions, Wenshan Hot Spring was very popular before it was mostly destroyed in a landslide. Nowadays, you can sneak around a fence or two to take a soak in the remaining riverside pools.
Find out exactly how to get there in my guide to Wenshan Hot Spring.
14. Ruisui Hot Spring (瑞穗溫泉)
Further south in Hualien County, on inland Highway 9 (which runs parallel to the coastal highway, but through the scenic East Rift Valley), Ruisui is yet another hot spring village for diehard hot spring lovers to seek out.
Ruisui is home to some of the best white water rafting in Taiwan, on the Xiuguluan River.
Besides the numerous hot spring hotels where you can break up a Hualien to Taitung road trip, there are also several cafés in town where you can sample coffee that is grown in the area.
In the far south of Taiwan, you can find some especially unique and appealing hot springs, including a mud hot spring and a saltwater hot spring on Green Island.
15. Guanziling Mud Hot Spring (關子嶺溫泉)
One of the most unique hot springs in Taiwan is Guanziling in Tainan, which is a mud hot spring. You can see my more detailed guide to Guanziling Hot Spring here.
At all the hot spring resorts in Guanziling village, the hot spring water is slightly murky due to high silt content. You don’t actually bathe in thick mud, as you may be imagining, but at some hot spring spas, they supply tubs of actual mud that you can rub on your face or body, which is thought to be extremely good for the skin.
The King’s Garden Villa (景大渡假莊園) is the best spa choice in town, with loads of different muddy and non-muddy pools to soak in, as well as bowls of mud provided to rub on your skin.
Near town, there’s also an “eternal fire” called Water Fire Cave (水火同源).
You’ll need your own wheels to get to Guanziling (unless you’re willing to take a series of slow local buses), or you can take this day tour from Tainan.
16. Lisong Hot Spring (栗松溫泉)
Remote Lisong Hot Spring in Taitung County, southeastern Taiwan might just be the country’s prettiest wild hot spring.
Like Sileng Hot Spring (#9) in the North, Lisong is a small riverside pool created by hot water dripping down a riverside cliff. Mineral deposits from the hot spring water have painted the cliff vibrant hues of orange and green, which is a true spectacle to observe as you recline in the hot water and look up. There are even calcium carbonate deposits that look like brain coral.
From around km 168.5 (GPS: 23°11’55.0″N 121°01’39.2″E) on the South Cross Island Highway (Provincial Highway 20), watch for a driveway going downhill and follow it down to the trail. You’ll need to budget a solid 3-4 hours return, not counting soaking time, and the hike is steep and challenging. You’ll also need to make a few river crossings before reaching the hot spring.
There is no public transportation. It is possible to camp beside the hot spring.
17. Baolai Hot Spring (寶來花賞溫泉公園)
What do Kaohsiung residents do when they crave a hot bath, on the off-chance that it actually gets cold down there? Well, they head to Baolai Public Hot Spring in Liugui District way up in the hills of Kaohsiung City!
Besides a few riverside hot spring hotels in the area, Yuanshan Wangyue Hot Spring Campsite (遠山望月溫泉露營) has simple cabins you can rent. You can see some aerial footage of the hot springs park and hiking trails in the area in the above video.
To reach Baolai by public transportation from Kaohsiung Railway Station, take bus No. 8025 to Liugui town. From there take bus No. H11 (five services a day) or a taxi to Baolai.
For the more adventurous, you can hike to Shikeng Hot Spring (十坑溫泉) further upstream.
18. Zhiben Hot Spring (知本溫泉)
If you’re in Taitung and looking for a soak, Zhiben (also spelled Jhihben or Chiben) Hot Spring is the biggest and most well known hot spring village, and one of the largest in Taiwan in terms of hot water output. It is located about 15 kilometers southwest of Taitung City center in the Zhiben River Valley.
A large number of hot spring hotels are found in the area. I personally recommend Cheng-Ping Hot Spring Inn for a quiet getaway with river-facing hot tubs on the room balconies. For the most lavish experience, try Hotel Royal Chihpen.
Nearby, you can also explore Zhiben National Forest Recreation Area (知本國家森林遊樂區), but we weren’t blown away by it when we visited.
You can take the train to Zhiben, but most hotels are a ways from the train station, so you’ll need to arrange a pick-up or catch a ride in a taxi.
19. Sichongxi Hot Spring (四重溪溫泉)
Sichongxi is the furthest south major hot spring in Taiwan, located in Pingtung County. There you can take a dip in the Japanese-style (nude, sex segregated) Sichongxi Public Hot Spring Bath, or take a stroll and soak your feet in the Sichongxi Hot Springs Park (四重溪溫泉公園). In the above video, find out why these guys think Sichongxi is the most romantic hot spring in Taiwan.
You can visit Sichongxi as a small detour on the way to Kenting National Park, or take bus 201 or 302 from Hengchun, 518 from Fangliao, or 201A or 201B from Kenting Arch.
20. Zhaori Hot Spring (朝日溫泉)
I’ve saved one of the absolute best for last. Zhaori Hot Spring on Green Island is one of my favorite hot springs in Taiwan. It is one of only three salt water hot springs in the world!
The hot springs are located right on the rocky coast. While this is a developed hot spring, the lower pools have a natural base. If you go at the right time, water from the sea will splash in, and at night you can recline and watch the stars with the sound of the surf all around you. Truly special!
Well, that concludes my list of the best hot springs in Taiwan. There are many more that I haven’t included, especially wild ones. If you feel I’ve made a glaring omission or want to tell me your favorite Taiwanese thermal hot spring, please do so in the comments below!