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Tailuwan Hot Spring (Renai Weekend Escapes 1)

Updated: Apr 27


 
 

Index

 

Tailuwan Hot Spring Area Map


Simple, short, relaxing, and with plenty of pools for everyone, Tailuwan Hot Spring is a perfect way to spend an afternoon or a weekend in nature, without having to work super hard to get there.
 

*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 first 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:

Tailuwan Hot Spring

 

Parking and Entrance

 

Tailuwan Hot Spring (太魯灣野溪溫泉) in Nantou's Renai district (台灣南投縣仁愛鄉) is a great place for novices, families, people with pets, and anyone who wants to get away for some relaxation in nature. You can reach the end of the entire route in under an hour, passing plenty of campsites and hot springs along the way.




Drive down this road...



...park in the large, open area at the trailhead...



...and just walk on in!



One of the many, large campsites on the way to Tailuwan Hot Spring


Red River

 
One of the many naturally red hot spring pools at Tailuwan Wild Hot Spring in Nantou, Taiwan (台灣南投縣仁愛鄉太魯灣野溪溫泉)

After about 15-20 minutes of easy walking, you will notice that the river has turned a deep, rusty red. Put your hand in and feel - the entire thing is a pleasant hot spring temperature, and you will see plenty of pools that have been made right in the middle of it.


One of the many naturally red hot spring pools at Tailuwan Wild Hot Spring in Nantou, Taiwan (台灣南投縣仁愛鄉太魯灣野溪溫泉)

In 2023, a devastating super typhoon wrecked havoc on the entire Renai and Nantou area, destroying much of the beauty of this and many other rivers. However, by the beginning of 2024, it had already begun to recover.


Broken and exposed, these natural stone rings used to be the bases of stalactites hanging from the ceiling of a cave!

Keep your eyes open along the way and you will see some really cool things! Can you guess what this is? It used to be part of a cave. It collapsed, exposing the walls and flipping them upside down, and a bunch of stalactites broke off, leaving these interesting little circles at the side of the stream.


Going Deeper

 

Just beyond the red river area, you will find this grey, somewhat desolate looking stretch of river. This is the result of the super typhoon.



Even still, though, by the beginning of 2024, nature had already busted out its paint brush and begun to redecorate!




Don't let the dusty and dirty looks of this part of the river put you off, though. The typhoon did a good job of clearing out a lot of brambles, tall knife grass, and underbrush, according to the locals, so now it makes for a great place to camp!




There is even an artificial hot spring right next to this large campsite. The locals stretched a tube down from further upstream, providing a constant source of nice, hot spring water right to the doorstep of your tent.


Colorful algae and microorganisms in one of the outcrops at Tailuwan Hot Spring



After this, you will come to a series of small, not-quite-waterfalls, like you see in the picture above. They are incredibly easy to climb up around - no special gear or experience required - and they mark the transition to the final hot spring area.


Tailuwan Hot Spring

 


Congratulations, you've arrived! Did I mention that this is a short, easy, and relaxing route?


Tailuwan Hot Spring

Once I arrived at the main Tailuwan Hot Spring area, I found a bunch of locals already on site enjoying a nice soak.


Tailuwan Hot Spring from above

Elderly gentlemen, a little girl, and even several pet dogs had all made their way there with no difficulty whatsoever. So had I, for that matter, and I was sick, tired, and all around low on energy.


Tailuwan Hot Spring

Tailuwan Hot Spring



Waterfalls

 


If you're feeling adventurous, you can continue up another 5-10 minutes of easy walking. There are several small waterfalls to enjoy while you're there.



And that's it - that's all there is to it! Simple, short, relaxing, and with plenty of pools for everyone, Tailuwan Hot Spring is a perfect way to spend an afternoon or a weekend in nature, without having to work super hard to get there.


 

THE NITTY-GRITTY

 

Renai Area Outdoor Destinations Map

The Map Room's Map of Hot Springs in Taiwan




GPX file: Tailuwan Hot Spring - The Map Room 太魯灣溫泉進去 - 地圖寶庫.gpx

Tailuwan Hot Spring - The Map Room 太魯灣溫泉進去 - 地圖寶庫
.gpx
Download GPX • 44KB

GPX file: Tailuwan Hot Spring DRIVING ROUTE - The Map Room 太魯灣溫泉進去 - 地圖寶庫開車路線.gpx

Tailuwan Hot Spring DRIVING ROUTE - The Map Room 太魯灣溫泉進去 - 地圖寶庫開車路線
.gpx
Download GPX • 30KB




24.02421, 121.16748





Skill level:

Novice - Beginner


Length of trace:

Roughly 1 hour one way, though you could do it in less if you are fast.


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 might be 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:

Possibly. This is an exposed trace along certain sections, but shaded in others, and it's not very long. The main hot spring area seems well shaded.


Yes, I saw a little girl about 7-8 years old all the way at the innermost hot spring (picture above), and you could stop before that at many points along the way to soak. For babies and toddlers, be prepared to carry them, but the walk to the end is neither difficult nor long.



Dog friendly:

Yes, I saw several dogs all the way at the back waterfall.


Camping /overnighting options:

Plenty! See the map and GPX.


Remarks:


Parking:

You can easily park by the trailhead.


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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