Beipu Cold Springs (北埔冷泉), Hsinchu county

Summer in Taiwan can be atrociously hot.  Escaping into the mountains provides some comfort, but finding natural cold springs, well that’s where the money is.  I was surfing the net looking for river tracing routes in Taiwan when I came across Beipu Cold Springs.  2 and a half looks at the online pics and I was sold.  Googled the location and set up a trip for the weekend.

Beipu cold springs are located in Hsinchu county.  From my town, they are about about a 50 min drive.  It’s mostly highway 3 (east) until you hit Beipu township, then south.  There are numerous signs in English as well as Chinese, so you will easily be able to figure it out.  Once you hit Daping Road (大坪路), it’s just a straight drive to the cold springs area.

The springs flow parallel to the road, so there is a long stretch of possible places you can jump out and relax in/by the water.  As you drive along Daping Road, there is even a spot where you can pay 100 NT (per person), about US $3  and get an area by the water for a BBQ type picnic.  If you don’t want to pay, keep going south along the road, and you will see more places where people have just pulled up and picked spots.

If you keep driving to the very end, you will come to a large waterfall area with a pool where you can jump in and swim around (depending on when you go – the first time I went – June – the pool was big enough to swim, but the second time – end July – the pool had shrunk drastically – barely big enough to wade in a bit and maybe sit).  Here is a look at the waterfall area from afar:

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And some spots nearby  where people have put down for a picnic/BBQ:

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There is a parking spot near the waterfall, so we left the car there and started walking around to explore the area.  As we approached the wall you see in the picture above, a small drama started unfolding.  2 guys were daring each other to jump from the top of the wall into the pool below:

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Finally, one of the guys went to the edge:

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and did a pretty nice backflip into the pool.  I missed the flip, but here’s the splash:

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Not to be outdone, his buddy screwed up some courage, but unfortunately, lacking technique, he launched himself into what would become a painful belly flop:

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Needless to say, it wasn’t pretty, but no-one was hurt.  We moved on.

There are 2 bridges that take you over to the waterfall.  Upon crossing one, we came across a fancy looking plaque.  I thought it looked pretty cool, so here’s a pic.  It says  “Běi bù lěng quán”  which means Beipu Cold Springs.

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As we got closer to the waterfall, we saw 2 artificial pools for people that didn’t want to climb over the rocks to get to the waterfall.  It must be noted, that since typhoon Soulik went throught the area, the pools have been destroyed, but they used to look like this:

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And a few meters past these pools, over some rocks is the waterfall/pool area:

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I wanted to get under the falls, but the water was falling with too much force.  It was difficult enough swimming toward it.  It was a little cold, but great on a hot day.  This spring water is supposed to be good for skin conditions, gout and arthritis, but not good for drinking.  If you go in, be careful as the bottom is quite rocky (all throughout the cold springs area), and it’s easy to get a cut.  If you are comfortable with it,  I’d recommend wearing sandals, although they may be a bit slippery in the pool.

Beipu Cold Springs is a great area to go with frinds for a nice, chill day trip.  Buy a disposable BBQ, grab some meat and beers, and your good to go.  Make sure you get there early though, because it fills up pretty fast, and all the good spots will be taken if you get there too late.  Here’s where you can find it:

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