A Complete Beginner’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Jiaoxi Hot Spring in Yilan County

Jiaoxi, a hot spring town in Yilan County, is part of the rural township where it is located in a fault zone. The geothermal heat from underground heats up the groundwater, which provides all necessary water for all the hot springs in Jiaoxi, Taiwan.

And Jiaoxi hot spring water is crystal clear and odourless. The sodium bicarbonate hot spring contains high levels of minerals which leaves the skin smooth and healthy. Even the Jiaoxi farmers use hot spring water for crops like spinach, water bamboo, and tomato.

While there are plenty of things to do in Jiaoxi, enjoy the local hot springs is one of the top activities. Keep reading and learn everything you need to know about Jiaoxi Hot Springs and how you can experience hot spring culture in one of Taiwan’s largest areas for hot springs.

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Jiaoxi hot springs: what you need to know

Before trying one of the Jiaoxi hot spring experiences, take a look at my post on everything you need to know before going to Taiwan. I included a lot of travel information, including how to get around Taiwan, where to get a Taiwan SIM card and other useful travel info.

Here are a few additional tips you may find useful for visiting Jiaoxi hot springs:

  • The best day to visit Jiaoxi is between Thursday to Monday (Furo Cafe is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays).
  • It is possible to take a day trip from Taipei and enjoy hot spring facilities in Jiaoxi.
  • If you can splurge, stay overnight at one of the Jiaoxi hotels and experience a traditional hot springs hotel.
  • All the places mentioned in this post are within a walkable distance from both Jiaoxi Transfer Station and Jiaoxi Station. Use Google Maps to help navigate.
  • Read my tips on etiquette and guidelines for using hot springs before trying Jiaoxi public hot springs.
  • Plan your solo trip to Jiaoxi with the following festivals and events:
    • Jiaoxi Hot Spring and Lantern Festival (December) – enjoy a hot spring experience around colourful lanterns.

How to get to Jiaoxi Taiwan

Jiaoxi is a small town at the foothills of a mountain range in rural Jiaoxi Township, which is in northern Yilan County, Taiwan.

The closest airport to Jiaoxi is Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) west of Taipei. Take Ubus 1661 which starts from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and goes to Jiaoxi three times daily (7:30am, 10:30am and 3:30pm).

Bus from Taipei to Jiaoxi

Taking the highway bus is an excellent option for taking a day trip from Taipei. It is a quick option because the bus goes through Hsuehshan Tunnel and not around the coast. The fastest route takes only 40 minutes. 

Several bus companies travel from different parts of Taipei to Jiaoxi each day. Capital Bus 1572 travels from Taipei City Hall Bus Station to Jiaoxi Transfer Station. And Kamalan Bus 1915 starts from Taipei Bus Station to Jiaoxi Transfer Station.

Train from Taipei to Jiaoxi

Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) is the other option if you travel from other parts of Taiwan to Jiaoxi. Take either a local or express local train (with your EasyCard or iPass) to Jiaoxi Station. 

If you are taking a day trip from Taipei, you can get to Jiaoxi with the express train in 1 hour 20 minutes.

Jiaoxi hot spring day trip: what to bring

For a fun day trip (or overnight trip) to Jiaoxi, make sure you bring the following items:

  • Conservative bathing suit if you want to use the public outdoor hot springs or swimming pool.
  • Small towel for bathing in the public hot springs.
  • Bath towel as most public springs do not provide towels. Or you will have to buy one at the hot spring. This is helpful too for drying your feet at the free foot hot springs.
  • Shower cap for the public hot springs especially if you have long hair.
  • Overnight bag if you decide to stay at a Jiaoxi hot spring resort.

Introduction to hot spring etiquette: how to use a hot spring in Jiaoxi

There are very specific rules and etiquette when it comes to using hot springs. And the same rules apply to hot springs throughout Taiwan and Japan.

Here is a quick summary of how to use a hot spring:

  1. Wash – sit at on a low stool in the shower and wash your hair and body
  2. Rinse – use the bucket or showerhead to rinse off
  3. Bathe – enjoy your hot spring experience
  4. Shower – take another shower before getting dressed
  5. Drink – drink water afterwards to replenish the water back into your body

Public hot springs are divided into men’s and women’s sections. Unless the hot spring is specified, you always go into the hot spring without your clothes. Yes, naked. It might feel awkward if you are not used to it, but everyone does it.

I found this simple graphic in Beitou and it clearly explains all the different steps for using the hot spring:

10 Best Jiaoxi Hot Spring Experiences

By now, you must be very curious about what to do in Jiaoxi. I’ve categorized different hot spring experiences into these categories:

  1. Foot spas around Jiaoxi
  2. Public and private hot springs in Jiaoxi
  3. Hot spring food experiences in Jiaoxi

1. Foot spas around Jiaoxi

There are a few free foot spas and some paid foot baths where small fishes eat away your dead skin. Sounds gross but it is quite relaxing.

1. Free hot spring foot bathing pools

One of the best things to do in Yilan is to enjoy the free hot springs! And there are a few free foot bathing pools around Jiaoxi. These are the perfect places when you are tired of walking and want to relax and soak your feet.

One of them is located in Jiaoxi Landscape Square. There are two foot baths for anyone who wants to soak their feet.

Another one is in Jiaoxi Hot Springs Park. There are several foot baths next to the cafe. There’s also a hand hot spring bath too.

Moreover, there are free foot baths at Tangweigou Hot Spring Park. And some of the previously ones I knew were closed but new ones pop up once in a while. So when you are walking around Jiaoxi, look for free foot baths.

Jiaoxi Landscape Square Address: No. 262, Section 2, Zhongshan Road, Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County | Hours: 24 hours

Jiaoxi Hot Springs Park Address: No. 16-1, Gongyuan Rd, Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County | Hours: 24 hours

2. Fish foot spa

Another way to relax your tired feet is by soaking your feet in the fish foot baths. And let me tell you, the fish foot bath is something else! Little fishes nibble on your feet and eat all the dead skin. It sounds gross and pretty ticklish, but it is a unique experience, that’s for sure!

There are some fish foot baths at Tangweigou Hot Spring Park and a few scattered around Jiaoxi town. It costs about NT$50 or so. It is a fun experience if you are not completely grossed out by the idea.

Address: No. 99-11, Deyang Rd, Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County | Hours: 8am-12:30pm & 1-9:30pm

2. Public and private Jiaoxi hot springs

The highlight of Jiaoxi has to be the hot springs. There are several public hot springs around Jiaoxi where you can experience hot springs with locals. Or if you prefer something a bit more private, you can book a session at a hot spring facility or stay overnight at a hot spring resort.

1. Jiaoxi Public Hot Spring and Swimming Pool

Locals love going to the Jiaoxi public hot spring and swimming pool (礁溪鄉公所溫泉游泳池) in Jiaoxi Hot Springs Park. The revamped recreational area includes a 25m long swimming pool and three hot spring bath pools.

This outdoor recreational centre is close to Jiaoxi Transfer Station, and not too busy with tourists. Like I said, locals, especially elder people, love going there since it is free for residence over the age of 65. As for visitors, it costs NT$100.

And it is a very welcoming place during summer but also great for cooler months. But remember to bring a swimming cap and towel.

Address: inside Jiaoxi Hot Springs Park | Hours: 5-11am & 1-7:30pm (closed Thursdays) | Rate: NT$100

2. Tangwei Hot Spring

At the north end of Tangweigou Hot Spring Park is a public hot spring facility called Tangwei Hot Spring (湯圍風呂). The Japanese-style hot spring is affordable (only costs NT$80) and is a local favourite.

Inside the Japanese-style wooden house, there are separated areas for men and women because you do not wear a bathing suit in traditional hot springs. Yup, you go in naked. But don’t worry, this is very common and people are respectful.

Remember to bring a shower cap, small towel for bathing and a large bath towel. Otherwise, you can purchase these items at the reception area.

Address: inside Tangweigou Hot Spring Park | Hours: 8am-12:30pm & 1-9:30pm | Rate: NT$80 (no time limit)

3. Jiaoxi Hot Spring Park Forest Bath

For a bit more of a nicer hot spring experience, try soaking in Jiaoxi Hot Spring Park Forest Bath (礁溪溫泉公園森林風呂). The public hot spring has typical Japanese-style bathing facilities and an outdoor hot spring with beautiful gardens open all year round.

As per tradition, the men’s spa and women’s spa are separated. They both have indoor and outdoor spa facilities with hot spring pools and cold spring pool. It costs NT$200 for each visit.

And yes, this is the type of hot spring you get in naked. And for those who have tattoos, this spa does not have any tattoo restrictions. But remember to bring a shower cap, bath towel and a big towel for drying off.

Address: inside Jiaoxi Hot Spring Park | Hours: 24 hours | Rate: NT$200 (no time limit)

4. Hot Spring Onion

Hot Spring Onion is a whimsical private hot spring in Jiaoxi. The hot spring facility has four types of rooms to choose from. Each session is 90 minutes long and allows for two people.

What I really like about Hot Spring Onion is the fun design. All the Art Rooms (bath only) and Art Room Plus (bath and lounge) have fun and whimsical drawings on the tiled walls. Such a unique way to decorate the hot spring room. Take a look at the Hot Spring Onion website and you’ll know what I mean.

When you arrive in Jiaoxi, go straight away to Hot Spring Onion and see if you can book a session. The place gets pretty busy. Rates starts from NT$700.

Address: No. 77, Section 5, Jiaoxi Rd, Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County | Hours: 10am-11:30pm | Rate: from NT$700 for 90 minute spa session

5. Yunoyado Onsen Hotspring Hotel Deyang

For the best hot spring experience in Taiwan, stay overnight at one of the Jiaoxi hot spring resorts and enjoy a private hot spring in your own room.

And there are many hot spring hotels in Jiaoxi. I chose Yunoyado Onsen Hotspring Hotel Deyang because of its modern minimalist design, accessible location and price.

Opened in 2023, the 4-star hotel has many different types of rooms and some of them have a private hot spring tub. I splurged and got a double room with private bathroom. The room has a queen size bed, a desk, a separate area for vanity and toilet and the large hot spring tub and shower are outside in the private terrace area.

I genuinely enjoyed my stay at this Jiaoxi hot spring hotel. Check Yunoyado Onsen prices and reviews on Agoda if you want to stay here too.

Address: No. 28 Deyang Rd, Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County | Rate: from NT$2,600 for the double room with private bath

3. Hot spring food experiences in Jiaoxi

Hot spring experience in Jiaoxi doesn’t end here. After trying the foot baths and authentic hot springs, grab some hot spring related food before you leave Jiaoxi.

1. 咖啡浴 Furo Cafe

咖啡浴 Furo Cafe is a hot spring theme coffee shop in Jiaoxi. You can drink coffee and eat dessert while sitting in a cafe that resembles a hot spring. When I went, it was in the theme of spring because there were many cherry blossom trees and very pink.

Grab one of the seats by the perimeter of the room and it feels like you’re sitting at a hot spring while soaking your feet. And to top it off, the presentation of the drink is impeccable. My chestnut latte was served in a wooden bucket. They even included a little towel too. How cute!

The owner of Furo Cafe is super nice and helpful. He speaks a bit of English and the menu is in English as well.

Address: No. 3, Deyang St, Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County | Hours: 10am-6pm Thursday to Monday

2. Rakuzan Ramen

I can’t think of anything else better than eating a bowl of ramen while soaking my feet. At Rakuzan Ramen (樂山溫泉拉麵), you can do exactly that!

The new location has a big(ger) hot spring foot bath outside of the restaurant. First, you go inside buy food via the vending machine, then wait for your food at the foot spa table. There’s a small surcharge but completely worth it.

I tried the seafood ramen and it was sooo delicious! I went back another time and had seared fish rice bowl and grilled fish. Everything is very tasty and very affordable.

Address: No. 20, Gongyuan Rd, Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County | Hours: 11am-2:20pm & 5-8:20pm (closed Thursdays)

3. Shanghaoji Yilan Souvenir Shop

As mentioned already, the hot spring water of Jiaoxi is rich in minerals. The hot spring water has high levels of sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium and carbonic acid ions. It is suitable for drinking and growing vegetables.

And one of the most popular vegetables grown in Jiaoxi is the hot spring tomato. The main variety is Momotaro and it is bright red in colour and super sweet.

In Jiaoxi, you might see vendors selling vegetables from a street corner. But if you can’t find one, look for Shanghaoji Yilan Souvenir Shop (尚好記). They sell food souvenirs, tomatos and their signature plum and hot spring tomato juice.

There are other hot spring vegetables in Jiaoxi, including water spinach, bamboo shoots, towel gourd, and so much more. Try some and let me know what you think.

Address: No. 6-2, Deyang Rd, Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County | Hours: 8-12am

Which Jiaoxi hot spring experience are you most excited about?

Most people know about Beitou hot spring outside of Taipei since it is quite a popular day trip from the capital city. But Jiaoxi is also an excellent day trip destination from Taipei because of the efficient bus system.

And with all of these hot springs foot baths, day spas, and other worthy activities in Jiaoxi, I hope you will consider making a trip to Yilan during your next trip to Taiwan. It is one of the best off the beaten path destinations in Taiwan and perfect for solo independent travellers.

Let me know in the comments which Jiaoxi hot spring experience you are most excited about. And if you found any other hot spring related activities in the city, let me know as well.

Thank you for reading my Jiaoxi hot spring guide

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Taiwan:

Introduction to Taiwan
Eastern Taiwan posts

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

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