9/24/2010: I remember reading this article in the New York Times in May about the Beitou hot springs, so I really wanted to explore this area. This district of Taipei was my favorite, with its mix of urban and natural environments. The park goes right up to the metro station, so within minutes of arriving at Beitou, you are walking alongside a green sulfuric stream. I wore my bathing suit for this trip, for I was to make a stop at the location below.
I paid the lady at the entrance 40 Taiwan dollars and went to the showers to rinse off before going in the bath. It was pretty hot, but I only went in the lower section. The upper baths are where the hot water comes in, but I was not that brave today. So after about 10 minutes in the bath, I rinsed of again in the shower and dried my bathing suit as well I could, then got dressed and make my way upstream.
Here I am walking upstream. As you can see, my clothes are still a bit wet.
Further upstream was the “Thermal Valley”. The water in this area looked incredibly hot and it had a very strong sulfuric odor.
I have a terrible sense of smell, but the smell of sulfur at location of the above photo was pretty strong.
I walked around the neighborhood after that, up and down and hill, which was mostly filled with hotels. I also walked around a busier section of Beitou for a while, and stopped by a 7-11 for some lunch.
I then took the metro to the end of the line at Danshui, where I walked 3 miles to the Taiwan Strait.
There were busloads upon busloads of high school kids at the bridge area near the sea, so I grabbed a bite to eat then caught a bus back to Danshui station.
After a very long subway ride down from Danshui, I decided it was too early to go back to the hostel, so I continued south down to Yonghe and Zhonghe cities, just south of Taipei proper. I went to a great night market, where I had some type of diced green vegetable encloed in bread for dinner. 25 TWD and very delicious. This was also the first time I recognized the price told to me. “Er shi wu”. Often, I think I hear the “shi” without the “h”, which throws me off, but I could be just imagining it.