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Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekend Fellowship: Sunday at Guanzihling Hot Springs

The day after I met up with Eric in Yuanlin I went to enjoy some hot springs in Tainan County with Grace and family. I have been to hot springs in Taiwan in Beitou and Yangmingshan in Taipei City which are Sulfuric, Jhiben in Taitung County, and Dungpu and Lushan in Nantou County. There are so many hot springs on my list!

It was about a 2 hour drive there from our place in Anping (maybe less, but with Z and Grace's 2 sons playing and yelling in the back next to me it felt longer.) Before we took a dip we walked around an old temple built during the Japanese Colonial period, walked down numerous stairs into a valley on the side of a small hill that had a large Matsu statue surrounded by lotus and we walked the grounds before checking out the temple and outdoor eatery stalls near the water/fire display. The bee man selling honey (real honey as so much if it sold here is fake, or a mix) gave us bottles of free honey water for us and the kids (Grace is a beauty).

At the temple entrance a poem that can be read up/down, or right to left

We went to Grace's favorite bath house to soak, its not the best looking place, there are some new, snazzy hotels with hot springs water pumped into your bathroom tub that are lining the main road. She took me to the original Japanese established bathhouse, which looks its age. The water was fabulous, the smell was not the strong sulfuric, hard boiled egg smell I imagined. It smelled strangely of Chinese medicine. The water was a muddy gray and Z and I had our own huge bath room to ourselves.  After about an hour we were getting restless, I could of easily dozed off. I went in intervals from a soak where I was sweating to a cooling off/rest and found a game Z could play with the differnt shapes/sizes of water buckets. The only nuisance was my door didnt lock properly and when it did lock the owner had to unlock it for us to get out.
Japanese era bath house
After we  put our clothes on, I literally felt things moving around in my gut, there was alot of activity happening. Not like gas or cramps, but something was changing inside, I never felt that after a hot springs before. The  medicinal properties are said to "treat skin disease, neuralgia, and gastrointestinal disorders, " due to the high levels of alkaline and iodine. I imagined the ph balance was changing in my organs or something, there was some kind of chemical reaction going on. I'm sure the iodine was great for my thyroid.
Grace with the kids walking around town beside the mineral waters

Grace and her husband treated us to lunch which consisted of a nutritious Chicken garlic soup (free range), mountain veggies, fresh craw fish and fried noodles. Before we drove back to Tainan we stopped at Baihe Reservoir to take a walk, there were lovely views of the water being framed by misty mountains.
Baihe Reservoir

More than one website said, " With the exception of the Sicilian hot springs and the Japanese Kagoshima hot springs , the Taiwanese Guanzihling hot springs are the only other hot springs of this kind." For a detailed listing of hot springs click here: Hot Springs Listing . For more details click: Hot Springs in Taiwan .
Fire and Water

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