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Paradise Lost: Jingying Hot Spring 2024, and What Once Was (Renai Weekend Escapes 3)

Updated: Apr 27


 
 

Index

 

Tailuwan Hot Spring Area Map


"No mater how I tried, though, I somehow managed to touch it every single time. It swayed there ominously above my head like some massive, blunt, and threatening sword of Damocles..."
 

*Please note that The Map Room participates in the Amazon Associate Program, and other affiliate programs, and may earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

 

The Map Room's Map of Hot Springs in Taiwan



Welcome to The Map Room's Renai Weekend Escapes series!


This is the third in a series of articles about the many, easy, novice and beginner level hot springs in the Renai area in Nantou, Taiwan (台灣南投縣仁愛鄉). You could easily take in several of these in one weekend, or just sit back, relax, and chill out at any one of them you like. Enjoy!



Hot springs in this series:

  1. Renai Weekend Escapes 1: Tailuwan Hot Spring (太魯灣野溪溫泉) Novice

  2. Renai Weekend Escapes 2: Lushan Hot Spring (魯山野溪溫泉) Novice

  3. Renai Weekend Escapes 3: Jingying Hot Spring, Then and Now (精英野溪溫泉) Novice

  4. Renai Weekend Escapes 4: Ruiyan and Hongxiang Hot Springs - Two for One! (瑞岩野溪溫泉和紅香室內溫泉) Novice

  5. Or, see the whole series at this link! 


Introducing this week's adventure:

Jingying Hot Spring 2024: Paradise Lost

 

Why this post, and how to get there?

 

This week's post is a bit different. It's not only about Jingying Hot Spring (精英野溪溫泉) - yes, it DOES still exist - but about the wonders that were once to be found there, but now only live on in pictures, videos, and memories. Many wonders were destroyed forever during a typhoon in 2023 and, while Jingying is still worth visiting, it is now a shadow of its former self and will never be the same again.



Jingying Hot Spring (精英野溪溫泉) 2024

So first, the good news: Jingying Hot Spring does still exist! As of February 2024, there was one large, warm pool right next to a vast campable area. The spring is not super hot, but for anyone like me who likes it slightly less hot than most people, it is perfect.


Jingying Hot Spring (精英野溪溫泉) 2024
Jingying Hot Spring (精英野溪溫泉) 2024
Jingying Hot Spring Area (精英野溪溫泉附近) 2024

Many people don't understand the absolute, raw power of nature, and even for those who do, it is often much more abstract than concrete.


Jingying Hot Spring campsite (精英野溪溫泉營地) 2024

Seeing changes on the scale of what happened at Jingying, though, really hammers the point home: Mother Nature



Below are some select pictures from Jingying Hot Spring as it was before the typhoon of 2023. Perhaps fittingly, for something that is now only a ghostly apparition of the past, these have not been edited. Rather, they are a few I have selected from a collection that I had put together for a post on Jingying Hot Spring before the disaster, but that never quite got published.

GALLERY (UNEDITED PICTURES):

Jingying Hot Spring before the disaster of 2023


Life got in the way, and I had to delay the Jingying post. I had planned to revisit the area, update my photos and information, and publish it during the 2024 hot spring season. In a way, that's what this is... but nobody could have imagined then that things would have changed so much in a year!


Long Love Lost: Ruins of Lover's (Qingren) Suspension Bridge (情人吊橋)


To get to Jingying, of course, you will have to drive over the car bridge. However, there was once a suspension bridge - Lovers', or Qingren, Suspension Bridge - which was totally destroyed during the storm. When I visited in February of 2024, though, the leftover, skeletal remains of the devastated bridge were still in place. Here are some pictures:




The old way down on the near side of the bridge was totally blocked off in such a way that not even scooters could get down.



I crossed the driving bridge, taking in the devastation as I went.



Once on the other side, I quickly found this way to climb down just to the left (below).



This way is shorter, but you have to pass directly under the hanging hulk of the end of the suspension bridge to get down. Having determined that it was secure enough for the time being (and admittedly probably against wiser judgement), I passed under it several times during my stay there.



No mater how I tried, though, I somehow managed to touch it every single time. It swayed there ominously above my head like some massive, blunt, and threatening sword of Damocles. Don't worry, though, you can easily just follow the road down a couple minutes, look for the backhoe blocking off a road down to the riverside, and walk to the hot spring in a matter of minutes.


IMPORTANT!

EVERYTHING below this point and above the beginning of the Nitty-Gritty section is from before the 2023 typhoon and HAS BEEN DESTROYED! It has been included as a record and reflection on what has been lost.


GALLERY (UNEDITED): Lover's (Qingren) Suspension Bridge (情人吊橋) before the disaster


Don't be put off from visiting JIngying, though. It's easy - and safe - to get to. I even saw an elderly woman with no outdoors experience walk down and relax in the hot spring!


A Trip Back in Time: Galleries of what Jingying Once Was


Now, if you're only here for information about Jingying as it exists today, this is the point at which you should just skip down to the Nitty Gritty section for practical, up to date information. But if you have any interest in revisiting the past (or visiting it for the first time), please enjoy these galleries of unedited photos.


Gallery: Jingying Waterfall (Now Destroyed)





Gallery Jingyng # 2 Hot Spring (now buried)


Gallery: Up to Yunhai Hot Spring (雲海溫泉) (now much less beautiful)


Gallery: Yunhai Hot Spring (雲海溫泉) (now buried)


So that's it, another easy and relaxing - if unusual - hot spring experience in the Renai area of Nantou, Taiwan. So go ahead, check out the other hot springs in the area, but don't overlook Jingying Hot Spring!


 

THE NITTY-GRITTY

 

Renai Area Outdoor Destinations Map

The Map Room's Map of Hot Springs in Taiwan




GPX file: 2024 Jingying Hot Spring - The Map Room 2024年精英溫泉 - 地圖寶庫.gpx

2024 Jingying Hot Spring - The Map Room 2024年精英溫泉 - 地圖寶庫
.gpx
Download GPX • 7KB

GPX file: 2024 Jingying Hot Spring Driving Route - The Map Room 2024年精英溫泉開車路線 - 地圖寶庫.gpx

2024 Jingying Hot Spring Driving Route - The Map Room 2024年精英溫泉開車路線 - 地圖寶庫
.gpx
Download GPX • 28KB




24.03099, 121.19755





Skill level:

Novice - Beginner


Length of trace:

Minutes, even if you are a little old lady. Literally. I saw it with my own eyes.


Water sources:

You could filter the water from the river, but given how close it is to some country roads, and how short the trace is, it is definitely better just to bring your own.


Gear and provisions:

I brought hiking shoes - that's right, I didn't even need tracing shoes, - a light day pack, a bottle of water, a few snacks, and... well, pretty much just that, actually. Still, you may wish to consult the river tracing gear list below.


Sun protection:

Definitely! This is an exposed area.


Yes, bring your babies and toddlers. Be prepared to carry them, but the walk to the end is neither difficult nor long.



Dog friendly:

Yes, bring all your furry friends!


Camping /overnighting options:

Plenty! See the map and GPX.


Remarks:


Parking:

You can park in the general vicinity, though you may need to be just a little creative. There is also pay parking right at the bridge.


Water:

See above and below


River tracing gear and provisions (for basic not requiring rappelling and rock climbing skills and gear):

  • Clothes: Should be ok for swimming and getting dirty/torn, protect from scrapes. Quick drying, non-cotton, close fitting. UV reflective for hot traces, wetsuit for colder traces.

  • Boots: Neoprene or other river tracing specific boots (not shoes, NOT rubber or fishing boots!) to prevent blisters. High tops to keep stones out, soles to provide good grip and prevent slipping. I prefer felt soles for extra padding, especially after prior injuries. Some prefer alternatives which prevent organisms from being transferred between various streams and rivers.

  • Helmet: Designed for rock climbing.

  • Backpack: Waterproof. IPX 8 rating (protected when immersed in water over 1 meter / 3 feet) recommended.

  • Rope: Non-climbing rated, floating rope (that does not absorb water and get heavy) with knots is helpful, but NOT for doing serious climbs. Use ONLY for pulling weaker swimmers through more challenging stretches of water, and perhaps helping with scrambles up short sections of difficult terrain. For advanced climbing or rappelling, get advanced climbing rope, gear, and training!

  • Life jacket: If you are not a strong and confident swimmer.

  • Phone case: IPX 8 rating (protected when immersed in water over 1 meter / 3 feet) recommended.

  • Water filter or other water treatment options.

  • Waterproof headlamp or flashlight. IPX 8 rating (protected when immersed in water over 1 meter / 3 feet) recommended.



The Map Room recommends Fenix headlamps for high-quality, durable headlamps for hiking and river tracing (Amazon affiliate link*).

  • Lighter (always!)

  • Optional gear: A bandanna, headband, or other light cloth for wiping sweat is also often useful when you are not fully immersed in water.

Drinking water:

Choose water from a fast moving, clean source. This kills certain parasites, like giardia. Check upstream for polluting factors (dead animals, droppings, etc). Look for signs of pollution (vehicle tracks, lots of footprints). It's best to filter, and possibly either boil or otherwise treat it as well.




Important river tracing safety notes:

  • Strength and water levels of rivers change with rain, seasons, and other factors.

  • ALWAYS check the weather in advance of a river trace. If there is rain upstream, it is not advisable to go, due to the risk of flash floods.

  • If it has rained recently, rockslides are more likely. If the sun then comes out and evaporates recent rain, they are more likely still. Wear a helmet, and be sensible!

  • Stopping to rest in rockfall areas, under rock overhangs, or near sheer cliffs is not advisable due to the risk of rockfalls. Look for a wider, open area with less steep rock walls.


So now you're ready to go! Get out there, enjoy nature, get wet, and have an amazing time!


 

Loved this article? Make sure to check out TMR's growing collection of hot spring articles!

 

All information on this page is intended for reference only. Preparing adequate food, water, and gear for your adventure, as well as following local rules and laws are, of course, your own responsibility! Always make sure that you check the weather for outdoor destinations, be careful and sensible for enclosed spaces like tunnels and bunkers, and bring a lighter - you never know when it could save your life! Now... get out there and have an amazing time!

 


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