Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Taiwan Hot Springs

The weekend before my tech tour of Taiwan began, I luckily got to experience the hot springs at the Hotel Royal Chiao Hsi, in the northeastern village of I-lan. Here, just an hour drive and a 14-kilometer tunnel passage from Taipei, I recovered a bit from jet lag, and also found a way to write stories from a Zen-like resort that doesn't offer a writer's chair or desk. It's decorated in Japanese futon style so you can imagine the kind of arrangement I had for writing. I was up Sunday morning at 5 for a delightful hike along the mountain stream that feeds the hot springs--and spotted these locals photographed taking a refreshing swim. Only some stray dogs along the path cut my journey short. I was the only westerner there among the tourists, but that just added to my R&R. The resort, which is newly opened, also offers a spa and a ladies' only bathing spot, but no time for that, unfortunately. I'll be back, I promise!