TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Guanziling (關子嶺) in Tainan City’s Baihe District (白河區) is blessed with Taiwan’s only “mud hot springs" (泥漿溫泉), according to the city’s Tourism Bureau.
Every year the bureau holds a variety of activities to promote the hot springs and other attractions in the area. It also showed off Guanziling-themed lanterns at this year’s Lantern Festival, in Pingtung. These lanterns have now been relocated to Baoquan Park (寶泉公園) and the square in front of the century-old Huo Shan Bi Yun Temple (火山碧雲寺), in Guanziling.
Tainan Deputy Mayor Chang Shao-yuan (張紹源) said Guanziling is famed for its unique mud hot springs and delicious local cuisine, including claypot roasted chicken (甕缸雞), barrel broiled chicken (桶仔雞), mushrooms, and Makino bamboo shoots (桂竹筍).
Nearby Haohanpo (好漢坡), Lingding Park (嶺頂公園), Hongye Park (紅葉公園), Baoquan Park, and Guanziling Old Street (關子嶺老街) are all good walking destinations.
Boardwalks have been built at the Guanziling's hot spring area. At night, they are all brightly illuminated, giving the hot spring village an even more romantic ambience, the bureau said.
A boardwalk leads to the source of the hot spring, which is not open to the public for safety reasons. Even so, tourists can still see the hot spring bubbling up from behind the railings.
The bureau also recommends visitors to Guanziling should visit the famous Hou Shan Bi Yun Temple and Water and Fire Homogeny (水火同源).
First built in 1796, the temple’s architecture preserves a mixture of Fujianese and Japanese styles, and has a solemn atmosphere as an old temple. The washed granolithic-finish wall is a major feature.
Water and Fire Homogeny is near the temple. It’s said that a river fault here allows underground natural gases to fuel an eternal flame that ascends through cracks in the rock to the surface, along with the spring water.
Visitors can also enjoy picking fruits at commercial farms around Guanziling and drink coffee at a store on Coffee Avenue 175 (City Route 175) run by coffee farmers. The highway, across Baihe and Dongshan (東山) districts, is so named because local farmers grow Arabica coffee beans that were imported during Japanese rule.
Guanziling (photo courtesy of Tainan Tourism Bureau)
Lingding Park (photo courtesy of George Liao)
Huo Shan Bi Yun Temple (photo courtesy of George Liao)
Water and Fire Homogeny (photo courtesy of George Liao)