There have been four major hot spring places since the Japanese colonial era; The Guan-ziling Hot Spring that we bring you is one of them.
The others are Bei-toe Hot Spring and Yangmingshan Hot Spring in Taipei and the one we mentioned previously in Pingtung, the Sichongxi Hot Spring.
If you have a chance to visit Togo Rural Village Art Museum in good weather, stand on the art boulevard and look from the paddy field toward where the sun rises above the horizon. There is a full line of green hills. That's Guan-ziling.
Guan-ziling is the most special hot spring area in Taiwan. The underground springs and mud gush out from the ground through Pliocene shales.
This is the only mud springs in Taiwan and one of the three mud springs in the world; Sicily, Italy and Kagoshima, Japan are the other two. Some people call Guang-ziling the Dark Springs due to the color of its hot springs.
The easiest way to see the source of mud springs in person is to go up County Road 172 to arrive at Police Mountain Villa. There are a Guan-ziling sign and a parking lot with a site map. Let's begin your adventure here.
You can see the very distinguished color of subsoil at the river site by the Police Mountain Villa. Baihe Township is situated uphill from Chai-nan Plain. The name Baihe originated from the very different color of its rivers compared to the loessial water in the plain. Baihe in Chinese means "white river."
Continue to go uphill and pass by Bao-quan Bridge. You can see a sign that says "Hot Spring Source" by Guang-ling Police Station.
This is one of the two major sources of hot springs. Walking into the park, you can view the mud springs flowing out of the orifice and the dried-out mud from the closest distance.
Finding such type of hot springs to enjoy isn't the easiest thing to do. The hot springs here were discovered by the Japanese Army at the end of the 19th century. The hot spring source suddenly disappeared after the Baihe Earthquake in 1964. It was eventually rediscovered 15 meters away from the old spot.
What distinguishes this hot spring area from typical ones is the fact that every single droplet of hot springs comes out of the ground with mud naturally .
The water is alkaline with a PH value of around 3.5, giving you a silky smooth feeling after the bath. It's used as care products such as facial treatments. Some people utilize it to make facial masks for commercial purposes.
Guang-ziling has been prosperous for over 100 years. Heading toward Guan-ziling from the plain, you'll come by Water and Fire Homology, Autumn Leaves Park, Guan-ziling Park and various attractions.
We bring you to the hot springs this time. You'll see various hotel signs prior to entering the hot spring area. There are almost thirty of them to choose from.
From below, we got to Hongye Mountain Villa at the highest spot in Guan-ziling. You can overlook the entire surroundings of Guan-ziling from this hotel.
Entering the hotel room and turning on the hot tub, you'll begin to understand what makes Guan-ziling Hot Springs so special. You'll see a layer of mud accumulated in the tub not long after the water mixed with green mud spurts out of the faucet.
There are many different types of gourmet food for every hot spring spot in Taiwan.
There's Mutton Hot Pot for Pingtung Sichongxi; there are myriad selections for Taipei Bei-toe and Yangmingshan, and Herbal Cuisine and Herbal Chicken Stew are the most popular; there are Bucket Chicken and Urn Kiln Chicken for Tainan Guan-ziling.
Xiang-yuan Urn Kiln Chicken
We came to Xiang-yuan Urn Kiln Chicken, which was recommended by the locals. The place where they prepare the chicken is right by the road. You can check out how they cook the chicken.
The crew took out the chicken from the oven just for us:)
We ordered a half-chicken. It goes well with Bracken Fern Salad, Stir-fried Boar Meat, Fried Sweet Potatoes, and Bamboo Shoot Soup cooked in roasted chicken broth.