Beitou Outdoor Public Hot Springs 露天公共温泉
Next stop is one of the most famous Beitou outdoor public hot spring – Millennium Hot Springs. Although there are many private baths and hot springs in Beitou, this public bath would be a wiser choice because (1) you get to relax in an outdoor environment among the greens while the private bath room is just a roofed confined space for two and (2) it is a lot cheaper than a private one. This outdoor public hot spring is just a small price to pay for such an experience.
Unlike private ones where men and women are separated and bathers soak in the nude, this outdoor pools are shared by men and women, so bathing suits are required. There are 5 pools with different temperatures with the bottom being the coolest and the very top is scorching hot. Millennium Hot Springs’ business hours start very early and end at night, and has a set of sessions that limit bathers to only 2 hours. When the 2-hour session is up, everyone has to clear out and allow the next group of bathers in. You’ll probably see a line forming in front of the place at certain times during the day.
Photo: Travel Taipei
Beitou hot springs had become increasingly popular due to the local belief that the hot spring is able to heal a variety of physical pain (such as arthritis, muscle soreness, chronic dermatitis etc). It is now one of the major hot spring areas in Taiwan.
Admission fees: NTD40 for adult and NTD20 for children, students, seniors and military. There’ll be an additional NTD20 if you want to store your stuff in a locker.
Plum Garden 梅庭
Located just next to the Public Hot Springs, Plum Garden – not a plum in sight nor is it a garden – is a small museum. The Plum Garden is the name of the wooden Japanese structure built in the 1930s, a summer getaway home to former Control Yuan President and famous calligrapher Yu You-ren.
Address: No. 6 Zhongshan Road, Beitou District, Taipei City
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9am – 5pm. Closed on Monday and National Holidays
Admission fee: Free
Thermal Valley 地热谷
The last and also the highlight of Beitou is the Thermal Valley, a volcanic valley filled with steaming greenish-hued water that can reach the scalding temperatures of 90 celsius. Hence, it is really not unsuitable for bathing.
From the Plum Garden, continue to walk uphill. If the smell of sulphur has grown stronger the more you walk uphill, you are on the right track to Beitou Thermal Valley. Further up the road towards the end of Zhongshan Road, you will come across a number of small restaurants and hotels. Also known as Hell’s Valley, Thermal Valley is up the small road between a few hotels on the left. There will be a sign to indicate the direction.
Be warned, coming here during summer really feels like you are being steamed alive.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9am – 5pm. Closed on Mondays and National Holidays.
Admission fees: Free
How to Get to Beitou:
By MRT: Take the Red Line towards Tamshui (捷運淡水線) to Beitou (北投) Station. Alight at Beitou Station, transfer to the Pink Line for just one stop to Xinbeitou (新北投捷運站) Station. The attractions and hot springs are located about 5 minutes’ walk away.
By Bus: take the bus number 216, 218, 218 (Shuttle), 266 or S22 to Beitou Park Stop