Ep 24: Su Ao Cold Spring in Yilan
After leaving Taroko, we hop on a train (with the scooter!) and head to Su Ao. Su Ao is a small, quaint town in Yilan County. Famous for seafood and cold springs, this rather small place doesn't seem to be frequented by western tourists. There's a type of quiet busy-ness about the place as you see the younger school-going generation and the older generation of people make their way around their daily activities. Located relatively nearby to the main city area of Taiwan, we assumed that most of the working generation have relocated there.
There are many eateries in the area, which are frequented by locals, and much to our delight, there was nothing very touristy about this town at all, other than Su Ao Cold Spring, which fills up with visitors in the summer months.
Su Ao Cold Spring has a spring water temperature of 22 °C.It is both bathable and drinkable, and has a pH of 5.5. The springs here are quite different from the sulfurous springs of northern Taiwan’s hot spring resorts. Carbonated by high levels of naturally occurring carbon dioxide, the spring water was at first thought to be poisonous, as fish and insects were unable to survive in it. It was later discovered by the Japanese to make a refreshing drink, and since the 1930s its many purported therapeutic effects, ranging from its ability to cure everything from backache to diabetes, have been embraced with enthusiasm.
Su Ao Cold Spring is seperated into 2 areas; the "main" area, which consists of open-air pools, covered with a light roof, or the "private" area, which consists of private rooms with indoor pools.
Bathing in the public pool costs just NT$70, with greater privacy available for NT$200 for one person or NT$300 for two. Given that Taiwan has the only carbonated cold water springs of this type in Asia (Italy is the only other country in the world that has them), this is something of a bargain.
As the water temperature of the cold springs is lower than our body temperature, you will first feel cold when immersing into the water, however, after having soaked for some 5 minutes, your body will start to warm up. As the water of these cold springs contains high levels of carbon dioxide, it can also be used for food and beverages, such as goat-meat stew and glass-bead soda. The latter is not produced anymore, but goat-meat stew is still a specialty of the Su'ao area.
For more information:
Su Ao Cold Spring 蘇澳冷泉 (http://qiito.com/place/308-su-ao-cold-spring)
Subscribe to us on YouTube: