A preconcentration method of 13 rare earth elements (REES) was studied for neutron activation ananlysis (NAA). Hydrated magnesium oxide was used as the preconcentration agent to absorb the REES ions from aqueous solution onto the solid magnesium oxide, which was separated and analyzed. It was observed that the Langmuir equation for isothermal adsorption was well obeyed by the REES under the condition studied. The efficiency of the preconcentration process using hydrated magnesium oxide was critically examined for each of REE and for mixture of REES by preparing a known volume of solution containing known amount of trace REES. NAA was used to analyze REES recovered by the preconcentration process. It was found that the REES recoveries were satisfactory and the preconcentration process is reliable. There are several resort resort areas in Taiwan where local people are enjoying its hot spring water. It is generally believed that the hot spring water spa would bring about some sorts of therapeutic functions. The preconcentration method developed above, was applied to analyze the trace amounts of REES in hot spring wate in Taiwan.