Beitou hot Springs

One thing I love about Taipei in the winter is that the hot springs are just an MRT ride away. Today we・re going to Beitou.
To get to the Beitou hot springs, you can take the MRT red line to Beitou, and then hop on the branch line and get off at Xinbeitou. I always use an Easycard or iPass to tag on and off.
It・s surprisingly hot when you first step in, but after just a few seconds you get used to the temperature and it・s really, really nice. There are lots and lots and lots of hot spring hotels in the Beitou area. Some are very luxurious, complete with fine dining, some are more basic, and some are even free, like this one.
Beitou is where :hot spring culture; in Taiwan started during the Japanese occupation. Hot water coming out of the ground has been happening probably since life on this planet began, but it was the Japanese that made an industry out of it here, between 1895 and 1945.
This is Hot Spring Valley, also known as :Thermal Valley; or :Hell Valley,; because it・s so hot here. The water is heated by a nearby volcano and right at the surface where you see it・s bubbling a little bit, the temperature is about 80-90 degrees celsius. There・s also a distinct smell here - that・s sulphur. Not only is there sulphur, but there・s radium in this water as well. That gives off light radiation which people believe helps heal achy bones and sore muscles.
Hell Valley is a really cool place, but don・t stay here too long. Too much steam and minerals can ruin your camera!
There・s lots to eat in Beitou. There・s a traditional market and plenty of restaurants. I recently discovered this one that serves Cantonese food that I quite like.
If you want a place to rest or to read a book or to use the Internet, you can come here - Beitou・s public library. It・s a green building and is really nicely designed.
Beitou is especially nice in the winter because it has hot springs. The steam along with the smell of sulfur, for me, brings back memories of trips to the hot spring with my grandmother when I was a child. I・m sure this will be a place to remember for you too. You should come.
 
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