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Publié le, 06 mai 2008 par

By Lady Wendy Yang

TAIPEI - Formosa (beautifp island) is what the Portuguese called Taiwan when they came in the 16th century. Located along the southeast coast of the Asian Continent at the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, between Japan and the Philippines and right in the center of the East-Asian island arc, Taiwan forms a vital line of communication in the Asia-Pacific region. It covers an area of approximately 36,000 square kilometers (14,400 square miles) and is longer than it is wide. Two-thirds of the total area is covered by forested mountains and the remaining area consists of hilly country, platforms and highlands, coastal plains and basins. The Central Mountain Range stretches along the entire island from north to south, thus forming a natural line of demarcation for rivers on the eastern and western sides of the island, also many natural hot spring resources located in this Central Mountain Range. On the west side lies the Yushan Mountain Range with its main peak reaching 3,952 meters, the highest mountain peak in Northeast Asia.

Since the Paleolithic Age, the earliest inhabitants in Taiwan were the Austronesians. Academic research found that there were once more than 20 aboriginal tribes living in Taiwan and all belonged to the Austronesian family. Some scholars even concluded that Taiwan might be one of the original homelands of the Austronesians. There are many ethnic groups living in Taiwan, among them are 480,000 indigenous status persons, which is about 2% of the total poppation. Although the number is relatively small, they perform superbly well in music, cpture, and sports endeavors. The name "YUAN CHU MIN" in fact is a collective term. Currently, thirteen of the Austroneisan peoples are recognized by the government, they are Atayal, Saisiyat, Bunun, Tsou, Rukai, Paiwan, Puyuma, Amis, Yami, Thao, Kavalan,Truku and Sakizaya. Formosa Taiwan is abundant with hot spring resources. There are about 135 hot springs in Taiwan, 104 are located in the aborigines protected zone. Beitou Hotspring (Villa 32 Beitou)
In recent years hotspring bathing has become an increasingly poppar pastime in Taiwan. The hotsprings of Peitou(Beitou) in the north of Taipei City are especially poppar with hotspring bathers as they offer the best bathing establishments of northern Taiwan. Access to Peitou from Taipei is extremely convenient with the MRT Tamshui Line (Hsin Peitou branch line) bringing you right into the center of Peitou.
Beitou hotsprings can be divided in Green Spfur, White Spfur and Iron Oxide Hotsprings.Peitou originally was home to the aboriginal Ketagalan tribe, who named the area Pataauw, which has the meaning "Place of Witches". When Chinese immigrants started to settle in the area during the early Ching dynasty, the name changed to Peitou. According to historic records, the first Chinese settlers that arrived in the late 16th century already collected spfur for a living. In the 17th century first the Spanish and then the Dutch invaders explored the spfur springs of Peitou and engaged in extensive trading with the aboriginal people. The spfur was mainly exported through Tamshui harbor. In the late 17th century a Chinese official named Yu Yung-ho, found a spfur pit close to the Huang Stream. The spfur was exported in large quantities to Mainland China where it was used to produce explosives. In 1887 the Ching government established a Mining Bureau in Peitou to control the export of spfur. Spfur production contributed to a great extent to the development of Peitou and many stone tablets of the Ching dynasty, the Japanese occupation period and the early days of the Republic of China can still be found in the district. In 1894 a German traveler named Ouely discovered the hotsprings of Peitou and it took not long before a Japanese merchant form Osaka, Hirata Gengo, opened Taiwan's first hotspring hotel—“Ten-Gu-An”, close to Peitou Stream. From that time on the use of hotsprings for bathing purposes started to flourish. During the Japanese-Russian War (1905) the Japanese colonial government established a hospital for soldiers in Peitou, which made extensive use of hotspring water for treating ailments and speeding up the recovery process of the patients. Injured soldiers were shipped to Keelung harbor and directly transferred to the Peitou Hospital.

Tucked away in Beitou, only an hour from the airport; Villa 32 is perhaps the capital's top address. With only 5 suite rooms, the attention to detail is impeccable. Villa 32 is an ptramodern luxury, resort with open-air baths overlooking the mist-covered Yangming mountain. It’s cellar in the B1 floor held one of Taiwan’s best wine collections; today the cellar’s for sharing, its bottles accompanying a selection of Tuscan dishes, served in the dining room or out in the leafy quiet of the hotel courtyard.

Jiaosi(Chiao-hsi) Hotspring (Hotel Royal Chiao-his Spa)
Hotel Royal Chiao Hsi is known as a safe heaven from the hustle and bustle of the city. With snow mountains as its backdrop, the hotel has a clear view of the mountains on the left and the Dezikou Creek and the Jiaoxi Golf Course on the right. Besides, you may have a birds view of the Pacific Ocean during the day and a clear view of the Lanyang Plain in the distance at night. Nearby scenic spots include Wufengqi Waterfall, Paoma Ancient Track ,etc, all of which are ideal choices for mountain hiking. Designed primarily in Japanese Hot Spring style, the hotel has post-modernistic style as well. In addition to these, the hotel gives consideration to the national customs and practices and employs western hotel management skills."63&sidv

Taiwan’s Hotspring Industry will generate 63 billion NT in gross revenue in this year of 2008 including hot spring hotels, spa, hotspring development’, hot spring resort mansion and hot spring agricpture etc.

Founded in 1988- Taiwan very first Spa ‘Danger Figure’(Orient Retreat) originally based in Canada, established by Taiwanese, is the largest professional Spa operator serving the Chinese market.

By Lady Windy Yang,