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Beitou Hot Springs in Taipei, Taiwan

Natural hot spring water rises from "Hell Valley" in Taipei, Taiwan's Beitou hot spring District.

Beitou (北投) has been known for its hot springs, historical significance and wonderful scenery in the mountainous suburb. About half an hour away by MRT from Central Taipei, Beitou is just a short distance away from the hustle and bustle of Taipei City. Both locals and visitors enjoy a stop at Beitou for a relaxing day-out, inexpensive hot springs and cheap dining.

In 2011, Beitou was awarded 3 stars by Michelin for best tourist attraction due to its distinctive natural scenery, history, culture, customs, and convenience of access by public transportation.

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History on the Formation of Beitou (quoted from Beitou Hot Spring Museum):

Beitou District is located at the northern tip of Taipei City, between Datun Volcano Group and the rim of the Taipei Basin.

Although the Datun Volcano Group is now dormant, volcanic phenomena such as thermal springs and solfataras are still active along the faults, forming hot spring zones in Xinbeitou, Dahuangzui, Yangmingshan and Jinshan.

Beitou, one of the first areas in the Taipei Basin to be developed, used to be inhabited by the Ketagalan aboriginal tribe. The tribe called the misty, sulphurous springs “patauw”, meaning “witch”, because they believed it to be dwelling place of sorceresses. It is also from this word that the name “Beitou” is derived.

During the Japanese colonial era, Beitou was developed into one of the largest hot-spring spas. The Japanese harnessed the hot sulphur spring water and opened countless hot spring bath houses in the area.

 

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What to do in Beitou:

Beitou is very well planned out with maps and signboards pointing you to the places of visit. Here are some of the attractions here (in the order of nearest to the MRT to the furthest uphill)

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Ketagalan Culture Center (凱達格蘭文化館)

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The first attraction you will come across about 5-minute walk from the MRT is the Ketagalan Culture Center, which is across the road from the Xinbeitou MRT Station. Named after the extinct aboriginal people who originally inhabited Beitou, the culture center exhibits the Ketagalan tribe cultures, performances, pictures and artefacts.

The Ketagalan Cultural Center in Beitou has nice displays of many of Taiwan's aboriginal tribes' clothing and tools.

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9am – 5pm. Closed on Monday and National Holidays.

Admission fees: Free

More info: Ketagalan Culture Center

 

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