Jiaoxi (礁溪) is a town full of hot springs in Yilan county, about an hour away from Taipei by a bus that winds through beautiful mountain scenery. These hot springs are the best thing to visit on cold days. You have to pad over to the heated pools armed only with your swimwear against the winter breeze, but once you step into the water you never want to leave. The hot springs I visited at the 川湯春天 hot spring place/hotel (chuāntāng chūntiān, literally ‘Soup Spring’) aren’t painfully hot (42 c was the hottest) and include a bunch of different baths to try out, like fragrant lavender, whiffy sulphur, and radish (it really had some daikon floating around in there) – in fact the smaller baths change every hour or so, so you can try out many different kinds, hurray! I think it must be impossible to stress out when ‘brewing’ (the Chinese verb for dipping in hot springs, same as for tea and coffee), it’s just too relaxing. You can’t take pics while there, so here is a simplified illustrated layout of the 川湯春天 hot springs and its many wonderful features!
(sorry for the slightly off quality due to scanning and computer troubles. I’ll put up better quality images when I can!)