Beautiful Beitou, Taiwan

Art at Train Station

Art at Train Station

The last few days we had in Taiwan we spent lapping up the healing hot spring waters of Beitou. This area has a rich history all based around the concentrated springs where the town came to be developed. As soon as you step off the train the sulphur fills your lungs in that special way, leaving you wondering if it is weird that you like the smell.

Train to Beitou

Train to Beitou

Beitou train station

Beitou train station

In ancient days the aboriginal people of Taiwan referred to Beitou as the Witch’s Cauldron. They assumed the foreign boiling smelly waters coming from the earth must have been caused by witches casting a spell- not hard to imagine. The town was only known by locals until the early 1900s when Japanese soldiers began heading to the waters to rest and recover. Beitou became infamous for its “taxi girls” whom were delivered to your door, often with food, on the back of a motor bike, creating a red light district reputation.  

Eventually it became a popular spot to film dramatic Taiwanese cinema and almost all films produced in the country in the 50s and 60s had a scene featured in Beitou. Around this time investors were keyed into the potential of this fertile locale and began to clean up the area to transform it into the resort destination it is now.

Taiwan's Movie Plots

Taiwan’s Movie Plots

While in Beitou we did what most do, relax. We set up camp atop the Yangming Mountain at the Boy Scout’s campgrounds outside Yangmingshan National Park. We were a stone’s throw from the park headquarters and were able to gather intel with ease.

Once a Scout, Always a Scout

Once a Scout, Always a Scout

hanging out

hanging out

garden at campgrounds

garden at campgrounds

9*celsius with 70% humidity= cold

9*celsius with 70% humidity= cold

After settling in we took the bus down the mountain to the heart of town where we chowed down some Beef Noodle Soup and Taiwan Beer. Apparently we chose a busy time to visit, the annual “Hot Spring and Fine Cuisine Festival” had descended with a vengeance packing streets, crowding restaurants, occupying springs and allowing businesses to gouge prices. When we would ask about rates to the hot springs we were usually given an “uh, this weekend it costs…” and in response we would ask how much does it cost on Monday, the answer was usually half as much!

bike rentals

bike rentals

hot treat

street food

street treat

We spent our time Saturday and Sunday hiking around, visiting the cheap public hot springs- sorry no cameras allowed- and the free museums, library and park that lined the main walk. The Beitou Public Library has received all types of recognition and awards for its green design and is quite an architectural sight.

Beitou Public Library

Beitou Public Library

Hot Springs Museum

Hot Springs Museum

Stained Glass at HS Museum

Stained Glass at HS Museum

Once Sunday night arrived we checked into a fancy hotel with hot spring water directly into the room for $40/ night!! Well worth the wait! We both made sure to get our money’s worth and bathed twice a day even adorning face masks we purchased at the local 7-11 for the full spa treatment… what can we say we are traveling on a budget!

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hot springs on tap

hot springs on tap

bathing beauty

bathing beauty

fancy digs

fancy digs

insert key for power

insert key for power

The spring water really has healing properties- before the springs I had psoriasis on my ankles and elbows that completely vanished after a few dips. I guess the pH levels of the water complemented the imbalance in my skin!

After leaving Beitou we head back to Taipei to take the speed train to the airport… on to Cambodia!

like father like son

like father like sonOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Asian Pears- taste like caramel!

Asian Pears- taste like caramel!

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8 thoughts on “Beautiful Beitou, Taiwan

  1. Nancy we miss you so much i wish i was with you we all miss you so much i will see you on x-mas I hoPE you have so much fun over there in Vietnam
    i am on spring break and i am all yours for now i want to start mailing each other starting Tomorrow

    love you

    Eva

  2. I love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love your story so much and your pictures they are so fun and fun p.

  3. fun p.s. you are my best pen pal ever
    that last one i sent to you i mest up so thats why i put it on the first few words its like a compleet sentence

    • Eva you are too sweet!!! I cried when I watched the video your mommah sent me because I miss you guys so much! I hope we can do a video chat this week since you are out of school! I LOVE YOU AND Beanie Man and baby Elena… can’t wait till Christmas!

  4. Sounds like a blast. Strangely, I worked in Beitou for two years but never once soaked in one of the hot springs there. I’ll make a point of doing so during a future trip to Taipei. Thanks for stopping by my site!

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