The sunshine has rolled into Yilan County now that the summer months are here, and with it temperatures are reaching 35’C in the middle of the day. Trips to the hot springs are going out of fashion faster than a gecko chasing a cockroach, and trips to the cold springs are in.
This month, Luke and his Kindy class went on a school trip to Suao Cold Springs, and when he came back boasting photos of cool spring water and beautiful sunshine bouncing around, I begged him to go again with me the following week. So after language exchange yesterday we took a late afternoon jaunt to the springs ourselves.
Having been chastised by our language exchange for having not made it to Nanfang’ao beach (a 5-minute scooter ride towards the coast from Suao) we ceased the moment and headed round the corner, through the fishing harbor packed with boats, to the grey shingle beach.
We only strolled a little way because the sun was going down, but it’d be a gorgeous place to take a longer walk and explore.
It’d got pretty dark by the time we were leaving…
Explore: Suao fishing harbour is a quaint little place with a really famous fish market. Though Luke and I aren’t big on wandering round looking at dead fish, I’m sure fish-eaters would find it an interesting place.
Drink: Suao’s cold spring water is drinkable and contains sodium bicarbonate. They use the water to make the popular ice-cream flavored soda called crystal ball soda. You can buy a bottle outside the front of the entrance to the springs from the man with a rickety cart. You need to push down the marble-sized ball into the soda to drink it, which, as Luke found out, makes it fizz up like crazy!
Cost: Entry to Suao Cold Springs is NT$50 per person for an unlimited amount of time. If you don’t want to pay, Alishi springs only minutes down the road are free to enter, although these are gender-divided pools.
How to get there?
We went by scooter from LuoDong, which is a very easy route in a straight line down Highway 9. Alternatively, you can catch the train to Suao station, which is right across the road from the cold springs. Nangfan’ao is just round the corner, but really you need to take the bus, train or scooter to get there.