Yesterday we went up to Changchungu (長春谷) Hot Springs in the mountains near Jinshan with the aim of enjoying a relaxing afternoon in the springs. When we arrived, we found to our dismay that the place had been destroyed by the recent typhoon, and it would probably be several months to a year before it would re-open. We decided to go in anyway to explore the ruins, as nobody was around to stop us.

We went to one of the lower areas, and was we crossed a wooden walkway into a pavilion, we heard a strange sound. An animal of some kind, it seemed. We looked down, and just off the walkway, a couple feet from our legs, we saw an adult cobra! Shit! We moved away, into the pavilion. We hoped it wouldn’t move onto the pathway, thereby blocking our way and trapping us. We waited, and slowly it slithered away around a big rock and into the underbrush.

We decided that would be a good time to leave.

Unfortunately, none of us had cameras at the time.

Gotta love cobra encounters.

Changchunggu, that’s way up into the hills south of Jinshan, right? I found this website:

I’ve been there but didn’t explore the public pools. They look great. A bit like in Nanzhuang.

If you walk up the road past the hotel there is a fenced area you can enter that has huge pools of spring water and lots of cool mineral deposits. This is one place you never had to worry about the water being recycled. Shame it was damaged.

Yeah. That’s the place. A great feature of the place is those little pools. Now it’s a ruin…the pools are empty and covered with mud and leaves, the wooden structures are shredded, there’s debris and broken glass and pieces of wood everywhere. Spring water is cascading down the steps to the lower level, staining the steps brownish red. And even some of the concrete buildings were badly damaged - I think they actually brought in wrecking equipment to do that, for a rebuild. The only sign of life: that danged cobra.

The place looked like it had been hit by a hurricane… um, well…yeah.

The hotel, however, is still open.

Did you talk to the management? Are they planning to rebuild?

They said it would be ready in a month or two. From the damage we saw, that looked like an impossibly optimistic goal.

If they wanted to they could get it back in working order in a week. TAiwanese are busy bee workers and can work 24 /7 to do something if they are motivated enough (read paid enough $)