The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Want a quick getaway from Taipei? Take a one-day excursion to the spa town of Beitou and historic Danshui

Written By: herbrunbridge - Aug• 16•11

Inside the Beitou Hot Spring Museum

If you’re like us at WoWasis, you love cosmopolitan cities like Taipei, but have to get out once in a while. And maybe you don’t want to have to rent a car or take a bus to do it. From Taipei , you can take an excursion that will bring you to the historical seafront town of Danshui, where you can visit the fort and enjoy some of the local seafood at streetstalls. Return to the MRT Danshui station, then take the train back to the Beitou junction, take the link train to Beitou, then visit the Beitou Hot Springs Museum, and arrange to soak in the waters for an hour or so at a local spa.

All this can be done in one day, and starts by taking the Danshui MRT line all the way north to Danshui. The information counter inside the Danshui train station will give you a map, or do like we did, take Red bus #26, stop off at Alethia University (around the corner from the historic fort San Domingo) , see the fort, and walk the 1.5 km back into town, passing a number of other colonial structures along the way.

After a half day in Danshui, take the MRT back 6 stops to Beitou, then take the short commuter rail into Xinbeitou (this commuter train is the only one we’ve ever seen where seats were removed to accompany a big screen TV, which shows a Beitou promo video). In  Beitou, we recommend a quick visit the Beitou Hot Spring Museum, a restored bathhouse built by the Japanese in 1913. A few meters beyond the museum, look to your left across the street for the poor signage indicating “Thermal Valley,” where you can see some steaming sulphur pits. There is the Taiwan Folk Art Museum further up the hill with a modest collection of artifacts set in a Japanese-style house. On a hot day, the museum’s a hike, so you may want to consider a taxui.

At Beitou, treat yourself to a soak in hot spring water at any of a number of streetside spas. A n inexpensive public one is the Millennium Hot Spring, which charges 40 per 1.5 hours. It’s out in public, and they’ll sell you a bathing suit. We wanted a little more privacy, and found the Kyoto Hot Spring Hotel to be especially accommodating, paying NT$540 for a 1.5 hour soak in a Spartan room that suited us just fine (youcan pay more, and get a nicer room, too, more details below).

So there you have it, a neat one day excursion out of Taipei that ends with a good hot springs soak. Roughly ½ hour after your soak has finished, you’re back in central Taipei via the MRT.

Kyoto Hot Springs Hotel
105 Wuncyuan Road
Tel: 02-291-2151

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.