Exploring the East coast of Taiwan, from coffee farm to hot spring

Last November, we went to Taiwan for two weeks and we did a road trip around the island and it was fabulous ! The weather, the people.. and the food, oh the food…. it was just amazing ! We landed in Taipei and we started to drive clockwise around the island. Previous parts can be found here : Taiwan 

During our exploration of the East, we stayed two nights at Sialin Coffee Farm Homestay and we had an amazing time over there ! The location was perfect to explore Taroko National Park. The couple that hosted us, Lisa and Boya, were lovely: they recommended us good hikes around and they even sang for us the day of our departure :-)

One of the best thing about that place is the coffee ! They grow coffee plants and roast the beans themselves to produce delicious coffee for their guests ! It was very nice to have a fresh cup of coffee locally grown :-)

The breakfast was really good and typical, and Lisa put a lot of effort in the dressing of the plates. Over there we met a Canadian couple that were also exploring the region by public transport.

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The garden was also wonderful ! The last morning we got up at 6am to take some pictures under the beautiful light. I made a terrible mistake though : wearing a skirt. I got bitten 10 times in less than a few minutes and got itchy for several days. It was really bad. Lesson learnt for the rest of the trip.

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After saying our goodbyes, we headed South towards Ruisui Hot Springs (瑞穗溫泉). It was very quiet and cheap and a real authentic experience. This hot spring was built by the Japanese government in Taiwan at the end of the 19th century as a sanitarium for the Japanese officers and was opened to the public at the beginning of the 20th century. One peculiar thing to know about this hot spring is that the water that emerges from the ground is rich in iron which gives it its funny muddy colour. This is the only carbonated hot spring in Taiwan !

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Over there, you can find three outside pools with different temperatures. One that is quite cold, one about 37 degrees Celsius and the other around 43 degrees Celsius. They don’t recommend to stay for too long in the last one and I only managed to stay for a few minutes. My favourite was the cold bath, as it was quite hot outside. If you don’t wish to take a bath in public it’s also possible to go upstairs in one of the private baths.

The different pools don’t look too appealing at first but the tranquility of the place makes it very relaxing.

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After the hot spring, we felt all relaxed and took back the car towards the South. On our way, we had our first tea tasting experience at Done Sheng Tea House (http://www.dsts.com.tw/). It was very good and we bought a few boxes of Honey black tea. The tea was really sweet apparently due to the insects biting the plants.

We then stopped for food in Hualien at a hot pot restaurant called 上乘三家花蓮 and it was probably the best hot pot meal of the trip ! The sea food was so fresh !

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53 responses to “Exploring the East coast of Taiwan, from coffee farm to hot spring

  1. So interesting to hear more about your Taiwanese adventures Gin! The homestay sounds a lovely place to stay though sorry you got bitten by the mossies. I would love the tea places – right up my street. So lovely to meet you in person too!! Hope all’s going well for you – our holiday seems rather a long time ago now!

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    • It seems it was ages ago ! I don’t know where the time goes.. but it seems I have less and less free time. I hope you are settled back into your daily life in lovely Perth :-) It was lovely meeting you in person and I would definitively go back to that nice restaurant if I’m back in Harrogate !

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      • I know Gin I don’t know where the time goes either! My daughter has been working so much this term (she is a relief teacher) so I have been helping out a fair bit with my granddaughters and it is quite tiring! Trying to fit the blog in can be tricky too but it’s such a fun thing to do! The holiday seems so long ago now – daily life has taken over again! I have been meaning to email for a while – it was so lovely to meet up in person and I will definitely keep in touch and catch up all being well on our next visit over (of course you’re very welcome to come to Perth!!). Yes I love Le Jardin so hope you can get over there again. Hope you’ve been enjoying your break too and have a lovely weekend :)

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  2. I work in a coffee company and visited Taiwan many times for business purpose, I loved the people of Taiwan and they always give loads of respect and make your comfortable. When you visit Taiwan again try Xi meng ren sheng tea House’s Cappuccino (A place above the clouds), I usually drink Black coffee but I became fan of Cappuccino there. When get time, also check this fantastic read.

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    • The people over there are just so nice and amazing, and you can feel it’s genuine. We had such a great time over there. oh, I will try to remember about Xi Men ren sheng tea :-) Thanks for the recommendation ! :-)

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  3. Looks like a fabulous adventure. I felt for you with the multiple bites so quickly. I seem to be a magnet for insects and realize it can happen so quickly and then the suffering for days following.

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    • Merci ! Je suis vraiment désolée pour le retard mais le temps file à une vitesse et les journées sont vraiment trop courtes ! :-) j’espère que tu profites du long weekend pour prendre de jolis clichés.

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  4. I hope your also have the opportunity to travel to Taiwan and can stay longer, we will take you to their very special tourist attractions, it is undeniable that, we were a bit hasty and feel shy …
    Eastern Taiwan is like a green light shining gems, there is blue sky and sea …… I’m glad you felt the ….. :)

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  5. What a interesting and varied trip. The food looks so yummy, again and to have fresh coffee every day sounds heaven. It’s nice you find some hotpots there. I guess, it’s always relaxing to dive into one. :)

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      • This sounds weird, Gin, but it really works. Take a cup of boiling water and a cotton swab (Q-tip, or something similar). Dip the swab in the water and touch it directly to the bite. It will sting for a few seconds, then you will have instant relief. Do not do any more than the tip of the swab, or you will hurt yourself. I did it to every bite on both legs and felt great. :)

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  6. So cute to hear your hosts sing for you! They must have enjoyed your company :) Awww, hope the mosquito bites weren’t too annoying. The hot springs sound hot not cold, lol :D

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  7. Looks a very good place to relax. And happy to see some sun. ^-^
    Near my home in the cold Peruvian highlands there is the jungle. And there, in Sandia, is made the Tunki coffee, one of the most world prized varieties. What is funny because I dislike coffee. xP

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    • I’ve never heard about the Tunki coffee before ! But I know South America is famous for coffee… I love coffee from Peru and Guatemala but they don’t specified the region it’s coming from, probably a blend :-)

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