Although Taiwan is known for its hot springs, there are really only two hot springs in the country: the Guanzihling Hot Spring and the “others”. Famous for its muddy hot springs, the Guantziling in Tainan, a city in the South of Taiwan, is one of only three mud hot springs in the world, the others are found in Kagoshima in Japan and in Vulcano, Italy. And that’s what truly makes it a must-do activity in Tainan.
The Guanzihling Hot Springs is divided into two parts: the old hot spring and the summit hot spring. The old can be found near the source of the hot springs, while the summit can be found at the top. Generally, the “old” hot springs area has cheaper and older resorts while the “summit” hot springs area has newer, more expensive type of resorts.
HOW TO GET THERE
Located at the base of a hill in Baihe District of Tainan, getting to Guanzihling from Tainan is possible by bus, train and taxi cabs.
By Bus: Local buses from Tainan are available at Chiayi Bus Station along Zhongshan Road. The bus routes include Baihe, which is about an hour away from Tainan. Buses leave every hour, passing through the old hot springs area and finally stopping at the summit hot springs area.
By Taxi Cabs: If you prefer to get there in style and in a shorter time, you could also hire a taxi. By private taxis, the travel would take about half an hour only and you’d feel comfortable all the way. Just flag a taxi anywhere from Tainan.
By Train: You could also take the train from the Sinying Station. The travel time would only be for thirty minutes.
Once you reach the hot springs, it is possible to travel from the old hot springs area to the summit hot springs area and back to the old area again. You can travel on foot by the main road (about 2km); by the pedestrian 300 steps stairs or; by the wooden staircase. Most find the road more comforting and less frightening.
THE GUANZIHLING HOT SPRING
The mud and the water in the hot springs are said to have skin curative properties. To have a relaxing mud hot springs treatment, just apply the mud on your skin and let it dry. Once dried, rinse the mud off in the waters. You can repeat the process for as many as you want.
When you’re ready to go home, you can take home the experience with you by buying dried hot spring mud in buckets. Dried hot spring mud buckets from the hot springs are available in virtually all the souvenir shops that you’ll find in the area.
Applying mud on your body may seem odd, but the mineral content of the mud from the springs will definitely help relieve you of your skin allergies. Besides the treatment, the experience itself will leave you with a relaxing feeling that you’ll most surely leave the Guanzihling Hot Spring recharged and refreshed, ready for your next Tainan adventure.