Beitou Hot Springs, located just outside Taipei. Is a natural hot springs area that is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Taiwan. With its relaxing baths, stunning scenery, and rich history. Beitou Hot Springs offers a unique and memorable experience that will surely delight and rejuvenate.
The hot springs in Beitou have been a popular destination for centuries. The first recorded use dating back to the Qing Dynasty in the 17th century. During the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, from 1895 to 1945. Beitou became a popular resort area for Japanese officials and tourists. Many of the hot spring bathhouses and hotels in Beitou were built during this time. And their Japanese-inspired architecture and design can still be seen today.
Today, Beitou Hot Springs is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Many people come to soak in the hot springs and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Beitou is the only metro-accessible hot spring in Taiwan, which is a godsend for anyone living in Taipei, thanks to the two-station (pink) line connecting Xinbeitou to Beitou station on the Tamsui (red) line. You can already smell the area’s hot springs as you transfer. You’ll notice the pink line travels slowly as it goes uphill toward the base of the mountains.
Beitou Thermal Valle
Xinbeitou (新北投), the hot spring village around Xinbeitou MRT station, occupies a lush valley home to 1200 species of plants, 110 species of birds, and 160 varieties of butterflies. Nature truly spills into the city of Beitou.
The main source of the “white sulfur” hot spring water that is used in most Beitou hot spring establishments today is Liuhuanggu (硫磺谷) and Longfenggu (龍鳳谷) thermal valleys located further uphill in Yangmingshan National Park.
Beitou Thermal Valley (also called Beitou Geothermal Valley or Hell Valley) is a second, highly acidic “green sulfur” hot spring that is a major tourist attraction in Beitou and the source of the hot creek running through Beitou Hot Spring Park.
The spring water is high in radium, which in the past underwent a corrosive reaction with the andesite rocks on the river bed about 150 meters downstream. Creating layers of cream and white diamond-shaped crystals named Hokutolite or “Beitou stone,” the only mineral in the world to be named after a region of Taiwan. You can see an 800-kg example of Beitou Stone in the Beitou Hot Spring Museum.
A third, “iron-sulfur” spring source is located east of Beitou around Xingyi Rd. The Beitou area also produces fine white china clay perfect for pottery firing. Rushes can be used for making tatami, and stones are used to construct the Taipei City walls.
The Ketagalans, who originally occupied the Taipei Basin, knew Beitou’s hot springs but didn’t use them. They called the area “Pataauw,” which meant “Residence of the Witch,” due to the year-round mist enveloping the valley. Similarly, later inhabitants of Taiwan developed a hot spring culture when the Japanese arrived. The first outsider to take note of Beitou’s hot springs was a German sulfur merchant, who, in 1894, built a hot spring club there. Japan took over the island the next year, quickly realizing the springs’ high quality and commercial value.
The first hot spring establishment to be opened was Tenguan Hot Spring Hotel (Tian Gou An天狗庵), near today’s Hot Spring Museum. Other popular hotels, such as Songtaoyuan, soon followed. By the early 1900s, Hokuto (the Japanese name for Beitou) boasted a thriving. Upscale hot spring and entertainment scene, complete with geishas, primarily for Japanese upper-class Taiwanese visitors. Eventually, some 70 hot spring establishments, a children’s amusement park, and a Shinhokuto train station were opened.
The hot springs in Beitou are known for their therapeutic properties. The water contains various minerals believed to be beneficial for the skin, muscles, and overall health. Visitors can choose from various public and private baths, outdoor and indoor baths, and even foot baths.
One of the most famous baths in Beitou is the Millennium Hot Springs. Which features a large outdoor pool with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Another popular bathhouse is the Beitou Hot Spring Museum. Which is housed in a historic Japanese-era bathhouse and offers visitors a glimpse into the history of the hot springs in Beitou.
In addition to its relaxing baths, Beitou Hot Springs is known for its stunning scenery. The area is surrounded by lush green mountains and beautiful forests, making it a great destination for nature lovers. Visitors can hike in the Yangmingshan National Park, enjoying stunning views of the Taipei Basin and the Taiwan Strait.
Beitou Hot Springs is also an important cultural destination in Taiwan. With many of the bathhouses and hotels in the area featuring traditional Japanese architecture and design. Visitors can also learn about the history and culture of the site at the Beitou Hot Spring Museum and the nearby Beitou Museum.
– If you’re traveling to Beitou during Chinese New Year, which usually takes place during January or February in Taipei, find out what will be open or closed.
– Avoid visiting Beitou on Monday, when several things there are closed.
– Beitou Hot Springs are located at Xinbeitou MRT station. You must get to Beitou station on the red MRT line first. Then transfer onto the 2-stop pink line to reach Xinbeitou. You may consider combining your visit with Tamsui Old Street and Fisherman’s Wharf in Tamsui.
– You can also find some good deals for Beitou on Klook, such as this highly discounted entry for Spring City Resort, the best mixed-sex/family-friendly hot spring in Beitou.
– If you prefer to have a local guide show you around, you can visit the area on this Beitou and Yangmingshan tour.
– Beitou is also the starting point of the Beitou-Zhuzihu tourist shuttle bus (S9). A great way to explore Yangmingshan, the dormant volcano beside Beitou. Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass holders enjoy free rides on the shuttle bus.
Beitou Hot Springs is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Taiwan. With its relaxing baths, stunning scenery, and rich history and culture, Beitou Hot Springs offers a unique and unforgettable experience that will surely delight and rejuvenate. So, if you’re planning a trip to Taipei, including a visit to Beitou Hot Springs on your itinerary!