NOTE – I’VE HEARD FROM A NUMBER OF PEOPLE RECENTLY THAT THE POLICE ARE CRACKING DOWN ON PEOPLE VISITING THESE HOT SPRINGS. THE BRIDGE LEADING TO THE SPRINGS HAS BEEN DESTROYED (STILL PASSABLE) AND PEOPLE ARE BEING FINED FOR GOING TO THERE.
Sitting on the pacific ring of fire has many disadvantages, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes to name a few but as is often the case there’s always a flip-side and Taiwan’s hotsprings are one.
The Ba Yan springs 八煙野溪溫泉, located in Yangmingshan national park, have to be one of the best wild hotsprings I’ve been to and with your own transport, they’re relatively easy to get to.
We headed out just after lunchtime towards Yangmingshan 陽明山. Taking Yangde Boulevard 仰德大道, we slowly (too much traffic at weekends) climbed up and over the national park. As soon as we turned the corner to start going downhill, clouds smothered the hillside and it started to rain. Undeterred, we cracked on and as we descended, the rain finally gave way.
We followed the road down towards Jinshan 金山 and about 20mins later arrived at the turn off. The road leading to the springs is at the 5.1km mark and is on same road as the Bayan Hotspring hotel 八煙溫泉會館. At the bottom of the turn off there’s a small car park and directly in front, down a dirt track there is a red sign which marks the beginning of the trail.
The sign is a warning not to enter and the consequences of being caught are a rather steep $15000 fine! However this doesn’t seem to be enforced as there were dozens of people there when we went and we don’t care anyway.
The trail follows alongside a gorgeous river with bright orange stones for about 1km. It then crosses a small stream and follows that for a further 250m. It’s a gentle walk and only took us about 15mins.
At the springs, there are lots of pools which have been made using sand bags and rocks. Near the top, boiling hot spring water mixes with fresh water from the stream and fills pools below.
After taking a dip in the sulphurous water, we climbed up the trail a little further and came to the source of the spring water. The area here looks so desolate and reeks of rotten eggs. The water comes out of the ground boiling and makes an eerie sound.
After a couple of hours at the springs and we then headed back and got to the top of the road just in time to catch a glimpse of a beautiful sunset.
And an awesome 360 panorama from Theodore Kaye
To get there, have a look at the map below if you’re driving. The turn is on the left hand side when coming from Taipei. If you don’t have a vehicle, one option would be to first go to Jinshan and then take a taxi from there.
By public transport – The 1717 leaves from Taipei Main Station every hour on weekdays and every half hour on weekends, and it takes you directly to the 八煙會館 (Bayan Hotspring Hotel) stop where the trail starts (just walk straight down toward the hotel, pass the parking attendant person and go straight into the little car lot where all the trash is (you don’t have to turn right toward the hotel’s official car park).
If you take exit m8, the stop is directly across from the McDonalds. I think the last bus from there back to Taipei is around 6ish p.m., so best to head out on the earlier side if you want lots of time there. Have fun! Make sure to walk up to the source of the springs and slather yourself in the clay mud! – Thanks to Ashley for this extra informoation.