Taiwan Tales 6 – Ruisui

In Taiwan by Jaclynn Seah4 Comments

We wake up reaaaaally early to catch our train from Hualien to Ruisui – this time the hostel kindly gives us a lift all the way to the train station. It’s about 1.5 hours by train to a dinky little station.

Rui Sui ??

Quiet little town - Ruisui

It’s pretty early still when we reach, so not much is going on. Ruisui (or Juisui, not sure why it translates like that) is a little township still part of Hualien county. (they have a website! It’s in chinese though)

We hadn’t actually booked any accomodation here since we couldn’t find any online, so we thought we’d spend the morning just walking around and finding a place since it was only for one night after all.

Just around the corner from the train station, we chanced upon Yang He guest house ???? – the owner actually ran a betel nut factory below and a guest house on top, and it was one of the nicer places we stayed all trip long. A single room with damn comfy mattresses on the floor and an attached toilet, including toiletries! It was pretty nice. Also, the best part is the owner organized all our activities for us.


So we dumped our bags and a little van came to fetch us to the Hsiukuluan ??? river. Ruisui is famous for its white water rafting, which is what we hoped to enjoy, but man the waters were LOW. Really unfortunate timing. Instead of getting carried along by the rapids, we spent most of our time paddling to get through the placid waters and given that the other people in our group were a couple with a little girl and an old granny, we were pretty disadvantaged on the paddling front. Half the time we had to get pulled along by the speedboat.

This is what it's supposed to be like. What we experienced was FAR from that

Also, we were decked out Singapore style in singlets and slippers, which were not the right gear at all for rafting! We ended up having to tie our slippers to our feet with raffia and getting really sunburnt at the end of it all. No pix because all our energy was spent paddling furiously…

So yes, if you do plan to go whitewater rafting, pick the monsoon seasons in August or so. And be prepared!

End point + Reward!

The best part of this whole experience? Seeing the red bridge end point and sinking our teeth into a great bian dang! After a quick shower, the little van whisked us off to a hot spring place. It was a little place out in the ‘farm’ area – the smell of manure and plants was in the air. The water here was carbonated, as opposed to being sulphuric like the other hot springs, so it didn’t smell so strongly.

The outdoor pool was looking really dingy so we opted for the indoor ones, with each of us taking a cubicle each. It’s a small stone bath, not too big – I had to cross my legs and sit in there. Also, since I was a bit sunburnt from the rafting, my skin was pretty sensitive. There were 2 taps – 1 with the carbonated hot spring water, the other with cool water so you could adjust the temperature to your own liking.

The little bath

After the hot springs, we head back to the guesthouse for a proper bath and take a little walk around the town to find dinner. Ruisui really has only one main street, so we just grab a quick bite before heading back to rest.

Day 6 - Ruisui (i)

Day 6 - Ruisui (ii)

Day 6 - Ruisui (iii)


  1. Hey just wondering how did you manage to go rafting at ruisui? My friends and I are very int and we will be heading to taiwan in June. Did you have to book a tour and is there any company we have to approach?

    1. Author

      Hi Rachel – our rafting was organised by the guesthouse we stayed in, so unfortunately i don’t have a company name to refer you to, sorry! make sure it’s the right time for rafting because there was hardly any water when we did it so it wasn’t as fun as i think it could be!

  2. Hey, nice little report on your trip! Pity bout the white water rafting bit, we did it in early November and although not quite as full as in summer, it was still quite interesting. all four of us were paddling away furiously. Got on man and his iphone overboard 🙂 iphone in plastic bag, very lucky for him!. good fun and well organised with the speed boats to help out, and good value for money.
    The Ruisui springs were exactly what we got as well! quite strange, but after a days heavy cycling (115K) it was very welcome!! I notice your betel nut hotel has a bike sign on it, another inidcation of how many of these places cater for the 2 wheeled traveller.
    Thanks! cheers, Patrick.

    1. Author

      Oops missed this comment earlier, great to hear you enjoyed the trip and yes, thank goodness for the speed boats!

      I took the train all around Taiwan, and the views were pretty great, so I guess cycling must have been quite awesome =)

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