Jiaoxi is located in the northeast part of Yilan County, Taiwan. The newly completed Hsuehshan tunnel has shortened the traveling time and distance to get to Jiaoxi. Now you can travel from Taipei to Jiaoxi as a day trip. Jiaoxi is a well-known tourist destination for its ground-level hot spring, natural landscapes, cultural scenery, and rich agricultural products. With its convenient transportation and numerous tourist facilities, it has become a popular tourist destination among Taiwanese.
Take the Taiwan Railway to Jiaoxi Station.
Drive along Freeway No. 5 towards Yilan and pass the Hsuehshan Tunnel. Get off at Toucheng Interchange. Keep driving on Provincial Highway No. 9 Highway until you reach Jiaoxi.
Take Capital Bus (首都客運) or Kamalan Bus (葛瑪蘭客運) from Taipei and get off at Jiaoxi Station. Both companies have stops at Taipei (台北), Toucheng (頭城), Jiaoxi (礁溪), Yilan (宜蘭) and Luodong (羅東).
For visitors coming by train or bus, here are some options for transportations provided by the local companies:
By taxi: After getting off the bus, visitors can find a company which provides taxi service. The price to any site has been stipulated, so passengers can ask for the price before leaving.
By bike: Some hotels will provide their customers with bikes to go around.
By car: There are some car and scooter rentals in front of Jiaoxi Train station.
Jiaoxi combines beautiful nature scenic spots, traditional temples and lookout points to view the Lanyang plain. Here are some popular spots in Jiaoxi.
- Wofongci Waterfall (五峰旗瀑布): The site has three waterfalls. At the lower waterfall, there is a small pond where visitors can take a rest. Then they can keep walking for about 15 minutes to reach the second waterfall, where there is a pavilion for resting. If you want to see the waterfall at the top, you will need to walk for a further 30 minutes.
- Sietian Temple (協天廟): Built in 1804, IT is the oldest and largest Kuankung Temple in Northern Taiwan.
- Tamkmang University Lanyang Campus (淡江大學蘭陽校區): It is located on Linmei Mountain, this recently-built campus has a different view at day and at night. At daytime, visitors can watch all of the Lanyang Plain and also Turtle Island (Guishan Island). At night, visitors can see the lights throughout the Lanyang plain.
- [dead link] Longtan Lake Scenic Area (龍潭湖風景區). Longtan Lake is the biggest of the five major lakes in the Lanyang plain. It is enclosed with hills on three sides. There are several temples on the hillsides and a trail encircles the lake. It’s located in Jiaosi Township (礁溪鄉) and 6 km away from Yilan center. It attracts many tourists especially during weekends, and people go fishing and picnicking there in spring and summer.
- Spring and Autumn Ritual of Kuankung: Takes place in every 13 January and 24 June of the lunar calendar (Chinese calendar) in Sietian Temple (協天廟). On these dates, all the Kuankung idols in Taiwan will come back to Sietian Temple to bless believers. The grand ritual includes events such as traditional religious rites and traditional religious dances which can only be seen here. Sietian Temple (協天廟): No.51, Sec. 1, Zhongshan Rd.
- Hot springs: Jiaoxi is the location of a ground-level hot spring which is very rare in Taiwan. It is also called “beauty hot spring” due to the rich mineral contained in the water which is therapeutic to the skin. The public Tangwei Brook Park (湯圍溝公園) is where you can immerse your feet in the hot springs for free or pay a small fee for a hot spring bath. There are also many private hot spring hotels and bathhouses around Jiaoxi. Tangwei Brook Park (湯圍溝公園): No.99-11, Deyang Rd. Price of hot springs bathhouse: adult NT$80, elders over 65 years old NT$40.
- Hiking: There are several trails: Paoma Historical Trail (跑馬古道), Linmei Shihpan Trail (林美石磐步道), Shengmu (Marian) Hiking Trail (聖母峰登山步道), and the trail in Wufongci Scenic Area.(五峰旗風景區). Among them, the Linmei Shipan Trail has the smoothest road and shortest route, which is suitable for both young and old.
- Paoma Historical Trail (跑馬古道): On the way to Wufeng Rd.
- Linmei Shihpan Trail (林美石磐步道): No.66-1, Linwei Rd. (Close to the Linmei Golf Course)
- Shengmu (Marian) Hiking Trail (聖母峰登山步道): After entering in the Wufongci Scenic Area, walk down the industrial path where you’ll see a Catholic church. Keep walking uphill for about 3 to 4 km and there’s a wood stele in front of the trail entrance.
- Wufongci Scenic Area (五峰旗風景區): Wufeng Rd.
- Camping: Wufongci Scenic Area provides places for tourist to camp, BBQ and enjoy the view of the Wufongci waterfall (五峰旗瀑布). Wufongci Scenic Area (五峰旗風景區): Wufeng Rd.
- Golfing: Linmei Golf Course (林美高爾夫球場) is an international standard 18-hole golf course with a area of 50 acres. It is also a great spot to overlook the Lanyang Plain and Turtle Island. Linmei Golf Course (林美高爾夫球場): No.156, Linwei Rd.
Jaioxi is famous for hot-spring products, such as hot-spring tomato (溫泉番茄), hot spring glutinous rice cake (溫泉麻糬). Don't forgot to buy some oval kumquat (金棗).
Eat and drink
There are many restaurants in Jiaoxi. They offer a wide selection of cuisines, from Taiwanese to Western, from street vendor to 5-star hotels.
- Jiaoxi Steamed Buns (礁溪包子店): No.218, Sec. 1, Jhongshan Rd., NT$15-18/bun.
- Jiaoxi green onion pancake (礁溪蔥油餅): On the intersection of Provincial Road No. 9 and Yucai Rd., NT$30-35/pancake.
- Huo Che Tou Nosh (火車頭小吃): No.22, Sec. 2, Jhongshan Rd., NT$30-50/bowl.
In Jaioxi there are different choices for you to stay. Most of Jaioxi's accommodation is clustered around the main hot-spring area. Most of the rooms will be booked on weekends.
- Hotel Royal Jiaosi (礁溪老爺大酒店): No.69, Wufong Rd., NT$4200-5000/person for one night plus two meals.
- Sun Spring Resort (山泉大飯店): No.36, Sec. 6, Jiaoxi Rd., NT$2700-5400/room.
- Ri-Ju homestay (日居屋): No.127, Dazhong Rd., NT$1200-3000/room.