TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The annual Jiaoxi Hot Spring Festival in Yilan County opened with a parade in Jiaoxi on Saturday Dec. 2, with over 34 groups participating in the day's events.
Some visitors from Japan were also participating in the parade, including the Hanagasa (Flower Hat) Dance troupe from Yamagata Prefecture and the Sansa dance troupe from Iwate Prefecture, according to CNA.
The dance troupes were invited to join the event to showcase the mutual appreciation for natural hot springs that is shared by both Taiwan and Japan.
Opening parade for the Jiaoxi Hot Spring Festival (Image: CNA)
The town of Jiaoxi is famous for its mineral rich hot springs and its quiet mountain roads. Most of the year, Jiaoxi is a quiet place that makes for an excellent getaway, to enjoy the fresh mountain air, cozy cafes, and of course the luxuriant hot springs and hotel amenities.
For the next month however, Jiaoxi may be a little more crowded on the weekends than usual, since December is the yearly Hot Spring Festival, when the town promotes its mineral rich hot springs to boost tourism, just as the weather starts to chill in Northern Taiwan.
There are two public areas where visitors are welcome to enjoy a warm foot bath in the refreshing water that is full of mineral compounds like potassium chloride, sodium sulphida, and postassium hydrogen carbonate, which are said to leave skin feeling smooth and healthy.
There are also several waterfalls and quaint mountain trails surrounding the town that are perfect for a leisurely hike and a day out in the fresh air, before returning to a hotel for a hot soak in the baths and a relaxing night's sleep.
This is the 14th year the town has promoted the annual festival, and in addition to various deals at hotels in the region, the town will also organize a showcase of local products and cultural attractions from 2 to 8:30 p.m. on the weekends.
A list of the planned attractions and performances at the official public venue for the Hot Spring Festival is available here.
There is also a Jiaoxi Hot Spring Marathon planned for later in the month on Dec. 23.
Visitors can find information about Jiaoxi at the Tourism's Bureau website.
Or for info on hotels in Jiaoxi offering deals for the festival, check out this official list here to begin planning your trip (list in Chinese).