One of Taiwan’s most stunning natural thermal pools is Lisong Hot Springs, which can be found tucked away in the rugged highlands of Taitung. This geothermal spring is known for its green wall and seclusion in a canyon.
Visitors can only reach the springs by taking a moderate walk down 1.7km/1 mile to the valley floor, which takes about an hour. The trek isn’t long, but it’s steep, and ropes are installed to help hikers make their way down.
Mineral Hot Springs
Once you’ve made it to the riverbank, you’ll need to ford the water twice before you arrive at the pools. This spring is particularly stunning because of the hot mineral water that rushes down the colorful canyon wall and the clouds of steam that rise back up to the green trees above the river.
A colorful spectrum of crystalized elements on the canyon wall includes shades of green, white, yellow, brown, and orange. The modest-sized pools are filled with water temperatures ranging from 45 to 65 ° C/113 to 149 ° F, but they cool off enough to make it ok for soaking.
The best time to visit is on a weekday, sometime between November and March. It’s advantageous and easier to reach when the water levels are low and not on weekends when the trail and pools get crowded. These springs are free to use.
No public transportation will go to the trailhead, so visitors need a personal vehicle to get there. The parking lot does charge a fee.
Once you reach Taitung, go north to Guanshan to link up with the Southern Cross-Island Highway. It takes around 2.5 hours to get there from Taitung. The final few kilometers are on a narrow, winding mountain road. There are few designated parking spots by the trailhead, but you can always park on the roadside and walk in if it becomes too busy.
Rural camping near the spring and along the river is permitted. Some spots with elevated ground are suitable enough to pitch a tent and sleep in the island’s beautiful wilderness.
Address: Nanbu Cross-island Hwy, 海端鄉 Taitung County, Taiwan 957
Season: Year-round, but seasons with high water levels might make it more difficult