Beitou is one of the most interesting places in Taipei, known for its rich history dated back to Japanese colonial era and is the heart of hot springs. The area is a small town, with buildings similar to Japanese design. The main attraction, Thermal Valley also known as Geothermal Valley（地熱谷) is the source of hot spring in Beitou Hot Spring Park.
One of the things to do in Beitou, is of course experiencing my first hot spring. I was skeptical about public baths, so after some research and price comparison on private hot spring from hotels in Beitou, together with my boyfriend we booked a room in Aqua Bella Hotel which offers in-room private Hot Spring.
SEE ALSO: Aqua Bella Hotel @ Taiwan
After the morning rain, we took a slow 15 minutes walk around Beitou, starting from the shops where our hotel was located to Thermal Valley while stopping by at Hot Spring Museum. It was a lovely morning, rather romantic walking together under the umbrella with cool breeze in slow pace as if time had stopped. The area was surrounded with greens, arriving at the museum, one would easily notice the signature red bricks with European style architectural.
Rain started to pour all of a sudden and we were glad to take shelter while exploring the museum. Stepping into Beitou Public Bath, walking through the hallways with Japanese slippers provided by the museum, scenarios ran through my mind. Imagining what it was like back then as people walk through these hallways to seek relaxation or networking while enjoying hot spring baths.
Similar to the Roman bath in Europe, located center of the building is the main bath which served only male guest. While downstairs is the individual changing rooms and baths for men and women, with an independent bathing room on the south end caters to very important guest. The entire place is a mimic of hot spring bath in Izuyama, Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan.
As you explore the place, take note of the 800kg rock known as hokutolite (Beitou Rock) where crystals grow on the rocks in Beitou Streams. You may get a leaflet at the entrance to learn more about the history of Beitou Public Bath.
We then proceed on to Thermal Valley which was also known as The Valley of Death due to the many tragic accidents. Feel the heat and steam from below while walking pass rusty metal drain covers.
This was my first sight of Thermal Valley, nature beauty at it’s best.
The clear jade green volcanic crater is filled with steaming natural sulfuric hot spring water with a temperature of up to 100°C (212°F). Over the years, various fatal accidents resulted in individuals accidentally fell into the water boiling themselves.
Today, barriers, wooden fence and warning signs are placed to keep tourist from fatal accidents, as the stone pathway can be slippery especially after rain.
Thick and tall steams.
The great friend and lover, my fluffy Larry.
As a marker, this is the fountain you would see after getting off the Xin Beitou MRT Station, which is the last stop after a interchange at Beitou station. Follow the signboards which will point arrow to Thermal Valley and Hot Spring Museum (both at the same direction) and wander your way through the greens till you see a brick house (museum) then continue your way further up towards the left, Thermal Valley is located behind a row of shop lots.
Beitou Hot Spring Museum and Thermal Valley
Beitou District, Taipei City
Take MRT Danshui (RED) line to Xin Beitou Station.
It is about 30 minutes train ride from Taipei Main Station.
Opening Hours: 9 am till 5 pm (closed on Monday and public holidays, except weekends)