Want China Times
By: CNA and Staff Reporter
Taiwan launched its annual hot spring festival on Friday in one of the island’s four main
hot spring areas — Sichongxi in the southern county of Pingtung — as the government and industry officials hope that the four-month fair celebrated across the country will boost tourism.
Despite its relatively small size, Taiwan has one of the highest concentrations and greatest variety of thermal springs in the world, due to its location next to an oceanic trench and volcanic system in a tectonic collision zone. There are more than 100 thermal springs in the country, ranging from hot springs to cold springs, mud springs and seabed hot springs.
The island’s former colonial rulers from Japan developed Taiwan’s hot springs in the early 1900s and brought with them the onsen culture of spring soaking. Although the hot spring culture was not promoted after the Republic of China took over Taiwan in 1945, the government began promoting hot springs in 1999, seeing it as a way to attract domestic and overseas tourists. [FULL STORY]