A Township Famous for Hot Springs, Lotus Flowers, and Sweet Potatoes  

The hot spring pools of a hot spring resort in Jinshan District. (Image: Courtesy of Jin Yomg Quan Spa Hotsprng Resort  金湧泉溫泉會館)
The hot spring pools of a hot spring resort in Jinshan District. (Image: Courtesy of Jin Yomg Quan Spa Hotsprng Resort 金湧泉溫泉會館)

Facing the Pacific Ocean and the Taiwan Strait to the northeast, Jinshan (金山) is a district of New Taipei City in northern Taiwan. With an area of around 50 km2 (19 mi2), Jinshan is a small recreational heaven surrounded on three sides by mountains.

Please watch the following video of the Jinshan District, New Taipei City, Taiwan.

Not only does Jinshan offer unspoiled country scenery, but it is home to hot springs, sweet potatoes, traditional Taiwanese food, and lotus flowers. Moreover, with its close proximity to some other famous tourist destinations along the northeastern coast, such as Yehliu Geopark (野柳地質公園), Juming Museum (朱銘美術館), Fugui Cape Lighthouse (富貴角燈塔), etc., Jinshan always attracts lots of visitors, in particular on weekends and holidays.

The hot spring pools of a hot spring resort in Jinshan District (Image: Courtesy of Jin Yomg Quan Spa Hotsprng Resort 金湧泉溫泉會館)

The hot spring pools of a hot spring resort in Jinshan District (Image: Courtesy of Jin Yomg Quan Spa Hotsprng Resort 金湧泉溫泉會館)

Jinshan is known for its hot springs with their natural purity and thermal properties. Boasting four types of springs — undersea hot springs (海底溫泉), sulfur springs (硫磺泉), carbonated springs (碳酸泉), and ferrous springs (鐵泉) — Jinshan makes Taiwan one of only 11 countries that have ocean hot springs in the world. As a result, hot spring hotels have sprung up in Jinshan District one after another in recent years.

The hot spring pool of a hot spring resort in Jinshan District (Image: Courtesy of Jin Yomg Quan Spa Hotsprng Resort)

The hot spring pool of a hot spring resort in Jinshan District (Image: Courtesy of Jin Yomg Quan Spa Hotsprng Resort)

The temperature of the hot springs in Jinshan is somewhere between 45° and 86°C (113° and 187°F). The pure and clean hot spring water not only can moisturize the skin and enhance blood circulation, but it is also good for drinking and bathing. What’s even better, visitors can take in the expansive ocean views while soaking in soothing hot spring water.

The lotus field in Jinshan District's Qingshui Wetland. (Image: Julia Fu / Vision Times)

The lotus field in Jinshan District’s Qingshui Wetland. (Image: Julia Fu / Vision Times)

Jinshan District has become famous for its beautiful lotus flowers in recent years. There is a 4-hectare peony lotus pond at Qingshui Wetland (清水濕地), and there are some small lotus ponds at different locations in Jinshan. When the lotus blossoms from June to September, Jinshan is a great spot to appreciate the elegant lotus flowers, as well as healthy snacks made from popped lotus seeds.

Peony lotus blooms in Qingshui Wetland in Jinshan ifrom June to September, (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The peony lotus blooms in Qingshui Wetland in Jinshan is from June to September. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The lotus flowers in Jinshan have rapidly gained in popularity after a young white Siberian crane accidentally migrated to the Wetland in 2014. As it was the first time that the endangered species landed in this area, the lotus pond immediately drew a lot of attention.

Lous flowers are sold at the lotus field and Jinbaoli Old Street. (Image: Julia Fu / Vision Times)

Lotus flowers are sold at the lotus field and Jinbaoli Old Street. (Image: Julia Fu / Vision Times)

It is not without good reason that Jinshan has earned itself a nationwide reputation as the best place to grow particularly fine sweet potatoes. Situated at the river mouth with a lot of wind, the fertile volcanic sandy soil in Jinshan is well drained and rich in organic substances.

Jinshan is home to best sweet potatoes in Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Jinshan is home to the best sweet potatoes in Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Its red heart sweet potatoes are especially sweet and chewy. If roasted, they are crispy and caramelized on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. When boiled with ginger, the sweet potato ginger soup is a wonderful dessert, especially during cold weather.

Jinshan boasts the best place to grow particularly fine sweet potatoes, (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Jinshan boasts the best place to grow particularly fine sweet potatoes. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

With a history of about 300 years, Jinshan Old Street (金山老街), also known as Jinbaoli Old Street (金包里老街), is a 300-meter-long narrow street.

Jinshan Old Street is packed with visitors on weekends and holidays. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Jinshan Old Street is packed with visitors on weekends and holidays. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

In addition to the famous baked sweet potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, ice-roasted sweet potatoes, sweet potato biscuits, and a wide variety of other traditional Taiwanese snacks, cakes and delicacies are also available at Jinshan Old Street.

There are many stands selling a variety of traditional food and delicacies on Jinbaoli Old Street.(Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

There are many stands selling a variety of traditional foods and delicacies at  Jinbaoli Old Street. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Baked sweet potatoes sold at the Jinbaoli Old Street. (Image: Courtesy of Jin Shan Su Tong Yao 金山藷童瑤)

Baked sweet potatoes sold at Jinbaoli Old Street. (Image: Courtesy of Jin Shan Su Tong Yao   金山藷童瑤)

What is particularly unique about this old street is its restaurants’ intriguing self-service culture. There are no menus in some restaurants. Visitors pick out the dishes they like along the two sides of the narrow street and carry them to any of the townhouses that have empty tables in the dining area, and then dine on them inside. Once visitors are done eating, a waiter will come over and ask them to pay.

Jinshan Old Street is famous for traditional Taiwanese food and stuff that is missing most street markets in Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Jinshan Old Street is famous for traditional Taiwanese food and for items that are missing from most street markets in Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Among the most popular dishes at Jinshan Old Street are Jinshan duck meat (金山鴨肉), stir-fried noodles (炒油麵), duck oil braised bamboo (鴨油控筍), deep-fried Makassar fish fillets (紅糟魚), deep-fried shrimp rolls (炸蝦仁捲), braised bamboo shoots (滷桂竹筍), etc. In particular, plum juice (酸梅汁) is something that is not to be missed when dining here.

The traditional taro cakes sold on Jinshan Old Street are very delicious. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

The traditional taro cakes sold at Jinshan Old Street are very delicious. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

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