A day trip to Beitou.

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Arriving in Beitou is like balm for the soul. Perhaps it is the soothing sound of streaming water all around, or how everything seems so vibrantly green. There is a reason I have saved this little excursion to my second last day in Taiwan. The significantly slower tempo from Taipei for one. (Yet it is a mere 30 minute journey on the MRT separating the two.)

And secondly, what is more relaxing than soaking it up in a natural hot spring? Particularly before one is to spend the following night at the airport.

This post will guide you through things to do in Beitou, some bath house etiquette along with a suggested vegan lunch stop.

how to get to to beitou from taipei

  1. Get yourself on the Red Line of the MRT, travelling towards Tamsui and get off at Beitou Station.
  2. From Beitou, change to the Pink Line and travel one stop to Xinbeitou Station.
  3. Disembaring at Xinbeitou, all the main attractions are within walking distance, with plentiful of maps and signs at your convenience.

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Millennium Hot Springs Public Bath House

The main reason that people visit Beitou is for a relaxing dip in the town's hot springs. Whilst there are plentiful of fancy resorts around, the most budget friendly option is to join the locals as they enjoy their afternoon soak at the public bath house - Millennium. Queueing up outside the entrance in a sizzling 27 degrees, only to enter pools with temperatures measuring up to 45, I do feel like I must have been struck by a slight case of insanity though. Perhaps this is an activity more suited for winter time.

This open air bath house has three hot pools, all at varying temperatures between 40-45, with the coolest being at the bottom (where you ought to start and then work your way up), as well as two icy cold ones.

A few things to consider:

  • You are to shower prior of entering the pools, as well as rinsing your feet with the bucket provided before stepping into each bath.
  • Remove any jewellery (might scald you otherwise) and put your hair back.
  • Although bikinis are allowed, I would have felt a lot more comfortable in a bathing suit.
    You will be denied entry if your shorts have pockets.
  • Bring a wee towel/hat to protect you from the sun rays.
  • About every 2-2,5 hours the bathhouse will close for half an hour. This is to let the water clean up between sessions. Take note of the opening hours below to plan your visit.

Millennium Hot Springs Public Bath House
Opening hours: 5:30-7:30, 8:00-10:00
10:30-13:00, 13:30-16:00
16:30-19:00, 19:30-22:00
Admission: TWD40

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Thermal Valley

This is the source of all water used in the surrounding bath houses, streams and hotels. As you approach you will notice a sudden increase in temperature from the rest of Beitou. The water in the Thermal Valley pool is constantly kept around 80-100 degrees celsius (so whatever you do, do not go for a swim!)

Your nostrils will also notice a light sulfuric smell, but it is way less of that rotten eggs kind that is usual around natural hot springs. (Looking at you, Rotorua!) You will also notice that the water has a really cool turquoise shade.

Beitou Thermal Valley
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 9am-5pm
Admission free.

Plum Garden

Beitou Plum Garden is the former summer residence of calligraphist Yu Youren. These days it is a public museum where you can admire some of his works, along with the tools used.
It is a rather tiny house but absolutely gorgeous. Look at those shiny floors!

Beitou Plum Garden
Open Tues-Sun, 9am-5pm.
Admission free.

Hot Springs Museum

This building was the original public bath house in Beitou. Despite being built by the Japanese back in 1913, it is in a Victorian style. Unfortunately, during my visit (April 2018) it was closed for restoration work. However, when it is open to the public it is free of charge and will tell you the history of the Beitou and its springs.

Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch

A library might not be the most common thing to find on a list of city attractions, but the Beitou one is amongst the prettiest I have seen. It has a eco-conscious architecture (for instance the roof is to capture rainwater that is then used to flush the toilets!) with plenty of natural light. If I lived in Beitou this would for sure be my main hangout!

Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 8:30am-9pm
Sun-Mon 9am-5pm
Admission Free.
(Prohibited to take photos inside without permission slip)

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Suggested Lunch Stop

Once you are fed up of sightseeing and sulfur, make your way back towards the Xinbeitou Station. Across the road you will find Yummy Vegan Home. For a simple Facebook like of their page, you get rewarded a free dessert!

Yummy Vegan Home
735 Daye Rd
Open Tues-Sat 12:00-15:00, 17:30-20:30


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