Thu, Feb 22, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Guanzihling tops list of nation’s best hot springs

FIRST LISTING:Guanzihling is home to Taiwan’s only mud springs and operators there have included locally produced foods and coffee into their tours

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

People bathe in the hot springs in Taipei’s Xinbeitou area in an undated photo. The Tourism Bureau announced Taiwan’s Top 10 hot springs, with Xinbeitou ranking No. 2.

Photo courtesy of Tourism Bureau

The Tourism Bureau yesterday unveiled a list of top 10 hot springs in the nation, adding that it would market those that made it to the top five to international tourists.

The top 10 are: Guanzihling (關子嶺) in Tainan; Xinbeitou (新北投) in Taipei; Jiaosi (礁溪) in Yilan; Guguan (谷關) in Taichung; Jhihben (知本) in Taitung County; Tai’an (泰安) in Miaoli County; Jinshan (金山) Wanli (萬里) and Wulai (烏來) in New Taipei City; Rueisuei (瑞穗) in Hualien County and Baolaibulao (寶來不老) in Kaohsiung.

Hot springs in Xinbeitou and Jiaosi were tied at No. 2.

The bureau’s domestic travel section chief Su Yu-hung (蘇宇宏) said that this is the first time that the bureau has evaluated the hot springs in the nation and compiled a Top 10 list.

Su said that the list was determined in two phases. During the first phase, which was from Nov. 1 last year to Jan. 10, members of the public were asked to vote for their favorite hot springs.

Results at this stage accounted for 70 percent of the overall score, he said.

Independent experts were then invited to evaluate the hot springs at the second stage. They examined them based on seven major criteria, which included water quality, safety and hygiene, and creative tour arrangements.

The hot springs that made it to the top five were those that received the highest scores among the hot springs in the south, the north, the east and in central Taiwan, Su said.

The bureau said that each hot spring varies in water quality, history and culture.

For example, Xinbeitou was the first hot spring area in Taiwan, it said, adding that hot springs there can be divided into three categories: those containing white sulphur, blue sulphur and iron sulphur.

The area can also be accessed by the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit System.

Guanzihling is the nation’s only mud springs, the bureau said.

Hot springs operators there have succeeded in combining mud springs tours with the delicious food and coffee produced in Dongshan (東山), the bureau said.

Visitors to Guguan can also see pine trees that are hundreds of years old and experience the Atayal culture, it added.

Visitors to Jiaosi can enjoy hot spring tours and farm produce irrigated by the hot spring waters, the bureau said.

Hot spring operators in Jhihben have turned the town into a holiday resort, where people can bath in the hot springs, walk in the forest and sample traditional Puyuma dishes.

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