Beitou Hot Springs, Taipei
The Beitou hot springs are easily reached form central Taipei by the very efficient metro. Take a train to Beitou (on the Danshui line), change trains for a shuttle to Xinbeitou.
First visit the Hot Springs Museum in the old Japanese Bathhouse (free, with complimentary slippers), with tatami rooms upstairs and the old bathhouse (like a roman bath) downstairs. The old house is surrounded by gardens and overlooked by the modern Beitou Library. Note - closed Mondays
It is a pleasant walk uphill along the hot stream, under shady trees and terraces, across bridges which cross and recross the waters which once supplied the bathhouse toward 'Hell Valley', a geothermal area which appeared to be closed on our visit.
If you are not a fan of hot springs - skip this place as there is really NOTHING fascinating to view and almost everything here is expensive, hotel room rates are cut throat, food is expensive and doesn't taste good. Absolutely nothing to do here except to view the green Geothermal valley(free admission hot spring, size of 2x basketball court) which requires a good 20 mins walk from the Xin Beitou Mrt station. A total of 40mins' walk(return) and for 5 mins you are done viewing the hot spring.
The historical tales of Peitou's development, knowledge on hot springs etc are showcased in the museum. The building's architecture itself is interesting as it is a mixture of East and West influences. It provided an insightful experience about Peitou. Remember to get the museum stamp chop on your travel journal for memento before leaving the museum. ;)
beitou is awesome. you should go early in the day. it seems to close early (while i was there this jan.). there are a couple of hotels on the main drag that are good, a mcdonald's and a place that sells pastries. the library is great to look at for about 4 minutes....cool green structure but if you don't speak chinese or taiwanese, not useful. i don't know about the temple or the market, but it's a nice place to visit for a day; a great retreat from the city with the fresh air and mountains. enjoy!
These hot springs are easily accessible by the red line to the Xin Beitou station, (the end of the line). You can enter the hot springs with clothes on, or get a hotel room and have a private marble bath with both hot spring water and regular water. This part of Taipei is small but has restaurants, hotels and places to buy snacks. The small hike up the hill lends views of the hot springs stream, and there's an eco-friendly library you can visit to warm up on cool winter nights.
To get to Beitou take the Danshui line to Beitou then switch to the line that goes to Xin Beitou Station - one stop from Beitou.
Beitou is famous for hot springs. A huge bubbling pool of water feeds into a stream that runs picturesquely through Beitou Park. The area is filled with spa hotels in which you can bathe in the waters. There are also several museums including the hot springs museum and two Taiwanese Aboriginal museums.
Beitou is worth visiting for the spas or just for a walk around.
These place is open from Tuesdays through Sundays, Mondays they are close for rest. These hot spring baths is open to the public meaning it's almost free of charge, they charge us 40NT per adult which about U.S. a dollar and change, real cheap. You are to bring your own towel, flip-flaps and best if you bring a shower cap as the hot spring water has sodiuk bicarbonate as well as sulfate. What we would seriously advise you is to be extra careful not to get the water into your eyes as it can be harmful and contrary to that the hot spring water is excellent for your bones, it strengthens the bones and relaxes it. Remember also that hot springs is only second to Japan, these are highly concentrated in Datum volvanic district. According to someone we were having our hot spring bath, it is believe that chloride springs, helps the skin become very smooth after you that u soaking in these kind of hot spring...well, we soak for two hours (on and off) the pool, and we felt our skins soften a bit.Let it also be known to those who intends to come to Beitou that there are about 20 small 2 stars, 3 stars hotel with their private hot spings, so, if your serious on having hot springs bath for couple of days guarantee that you will find a reasonable hotel with private bath for you. One of which we stayed for two nights is called: Pacific Wellness Spa & club. The website is: www.pacifichotel.com.tw
We did not mind spending a bit more than usual as it was our wedding anniversary and a bit of treating ourselves was well deserved and more!:)
Taiwan is well-known for its hot springs but did you actually know right in the heart of Nantou (near Taichung), there is this fantastic place called Sun Moon Lake, which is a must visit as the sight of it is simply breathtaking and if you choose the right hotel, the stay there is simply magical.
How to get there from taipei:
Take the high speed rail from taipei to taichung. From taichung high speed rail, you either hail for a cab that costs about NT$1000 to get to sun moon lake or you can take the bus that costs NT$200 to get there. But be mindful that the bus has its own schedule so you have to be at the taichung high speed rail station by a certain time, if you miss it, it might be an hour wait to half an hour's wait before the next bus picks you up.
Ok amongst all the other hot springs in Taiwan, Beitou hot springs are one of the most accessible ones, take a train ride from wherever you are to Beitou MRT station and depending on where is your hotel, resort, you may or may not need to transfer on to the Hsin Beitou MRT station, which is one station away from Beitou MRT station.
A good tip is probably go to this hot spring first before exploring taipei proper because sometimes these spa / hot spring resort has its own promotion going on where you can buy a package of sessions to the private hot spring bath rooms at a rate cheaper than the once off session. We bought a package for two sessions on our second last day for the price of one session for about 1400 NT in total and am stuck with one session unused when we are now back in Singapore.
It is more hygenic to be in a hot bath spring with your friends rather than with everyone else, it is like a private jacuzzi with your friends, where you can talk about anything.
I still have one session of 2 hours hot spring session (private room - with a view of the mountains if you are lucky) for 2 persons, they are valid till 13 June 2008. Am willing to sell them for SGD$20 (NT 400 - Map of how to get there inclusive) and would give away 2 amusement parks passes to most of the amusements in Taiwan, Map of Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, Book on Taiwan snacks and cuisine, Map of Taipei, if you are interested please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The spa resort's name is Pacific Wellness Spa & Club. A good thing about this resort is they have cars to pick up their customers to and fro Beitou MRT station or Hsin Beitou MRT station whilst most others don't do that, you'll either have to walk up the slopes and find your hotel / resort or take a cab there.
If you are taking a cab in taipei or anywhere, always make sure they charge you by the meter, remember to ask them to "AN BIAO" otherwise they may just overcharge you with a lump sum.
Visit the hot spring museum if you are interested in the history of hot springs in beitou area. Look at how people in the past enjoyed hot springs, find out how hot springs are formed and take a look at the crystals formed in hot springs.
After reading here in VT that spring city resort has one of the most popular hot spring in xin beitou, i've decided to give this place a try. I took the private horoscope room. Although inexpensive (NT600 for an hour), basic toiletries like towel, shampoo, comb, soap, moisturizer are provided. On the whole the private room is clean and good. If you do not like the idea of an indoor hot spring tub, check out their website for information about their outdoor hot spring tubs as well.
Beitou is a hot springs resort nestled in a valley at the foot of the Datun Mountains and Yangmingshan National Park. While I did not enter Yangmingshan National Park, I did spend some time in Beitou.
Like the rest of Taiwan, Beitou is overcommercialized; despite it's location in a valley surrounded by mountains, it is unbelievably developed with apartment buildings, hotels, 7-11s, and other buildings everywhere. A good and short walk will take you from the Xinbeitou station, past Beitou Park (nothing to see) and the Beitou Hot Springs to Di-re gu (Hell Valley). This walk is highly unrecommended on a hot day.
Do not miss it!
The Peitou Hotspring (The easiest way to get here would be to take the Tamshui MRT line from Taipei Station out to Shin (New) Peitou station. Hell Vally and the hot spring area are just up the hill from the MRT station)
BeiTou district is noted for its hot spring water. Along Shin-Yi road there are a lot of hot spa houses. Last time I went to Royal Pool. There we could choose individual room or public room (men and women are divided). I went to public one where were some pools-cold spring water, hot spring water, vibral water, Sauna house and Sudatory house. It was very relaxing and good for health.
Peitou is easily Taipei's most famous hot spring area. The springs were first discovered in 1895, making the area a popular place for Japanese soldiers to rest and convalesce during the occupation period. Businesses and tourist areas sprang up in the area to cater to the bathers, turning this once agricultural area into a thriving commercial district known as Old Peitou. New Peitou developed later, and is today a center of tourist hotels and restaurants. Hell's Grotto is a smouldering cauldron of sulphuric acid - this is not for dipping - the temperature in this spring is 90 deg Celcius!
Peitou, is one of the famous hot spring attraction in Taipei. Thanks to the well-planned train system and helpful guide available at the station, and if you are not easily being attracted away by the beautiful park with playground, hawker stalls selling variety of delicious local foods, etc. along your way up to the hotspring, it takes only about 20 minutes walk from the station.
There, you can enjoy a free hotspring session where you can soak your leg to chase away the tiredness during your trip with lots of other tourists. You can also choose to have your body soak inside the hotspring, then there will be a fee-charged lor!
And finally the smokey scene behind me, which looks like me standing in a fairy place is another hotspring nearby that is soooo hot that you can only see the smokes coming... and of course, you can't have any part of your body get into the hotspring! :p