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Let the hot springs at Yangmingshan soothe your earthly worries
photos courtesy of Lin Yi-Quei and Tien Lai Spring Resort

imageYangmingshan, which used to be known as Caoshan (Grass Mountain), is ringed by Mt. Datun, Mt. Cising and Mt. Shamao. In 1950, the area was renamed Yangmingshan to honor the Ming dynasty philosopher Wang Yang-ming (1472-1529). Hot springs can be found at Tahuangtsui and Matsao; fumaroles belching steam and lined with startling yellow crystal sulphur formations are the features of Tayukeng and Hsiaoyukeng. Volcanic hollows, where steam and corrosive gases have worn away the earth's surface until it has become weak and caved in, can be seen at Tayukeng, Hsiaoyukeng and Macao. The hollow areas are surrounded by a desert of yellow sulphur and broken rocks, and support no plant life.

The public pools near Cianshan Park are famous far and wide. There are male-only and female-only pools and one large round pool. Some 30 shower heads are set up around the area. The temperature can reach 52℃. The Lotus Pool is located between the male and female pools.

Come and enjoy the hot springs, with a cup of tea or sweet potato soup in hand, during the cool days of autumn. Bathing in the pools is free of charge. Visitors usually come along with their families and vendors bunch together in the same spot too. Snacks, fresh fruit and vegetables are available. Opening hours are from 5:00am to 7:00pm.

Both Chanshan Park and Chungshan Hall share the same hot spring source. While the pools at Chungshan Hall are used to treat our special guests, those of Chanshan Park have the same high-class water. The prices at these hotels with hot springs are reasonable, for example, use of the public pool at the International Hotel costs a piffling NT$80.

Macao hot spring and Lengshuikeng hot spring

From the Yangminshan National Park Visitor Center, go straight along Jhongjheng Rd for about 10 minutes and you will arrive at Macao Bridge.

To the east of Macao Bridge, a new alfresco hot spring resort has opened and is going strong. The hot spring's temperature hovers at 71℃.

In Chinese "Lengshuikeng" means cool water pit. The hot springs at Lengshuikeng reach temperatures of about 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Centigrade), quite a bit lower than the average (194 degrees Fahrenheit, 90 degrees Centigrade). Here, a unique bowl shaped steam vent has been formed by volcanic activity thousands of years ago. The public bath is not bad for a free facility.