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Beautiful Friday

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Fridays are always awesome, even the flowers know it – what gorgeous blooms! :) Have a happy weekend ahead! xoxo

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Cute Kitty

Cute Cat

“Can someone help me press Level 5, purrrese?”
Bumped into our cute resident kitty at the lift, and she sauntered in, plonked herself down and refused to come out.

cat

It was only when the doors started closing that her eyes grew bigger and quickly scurried out. LOL. Such are the little joys of life which literally cross your path to bring a smile to your day. I rewarded her with some treats and a tummy rub.


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Look of the Day – Lotsa Studs

Look of the Day - Lots of Studs

Lots & lots of studs for the day :) And no, they are not very heavy :D
Studded headband – From Hong Kong

Studs

Neon green ruffle pants – Oh My God
Electric blue tank top – From Platinum Mall, BKK (I get a dozen of these everytime I visit)

studded

Accessories Galore
Necklace – From Hong Kong
Balls knuckle ring – Topshop

Studded

studded

Aluminium Cuff – Protest Design Company, Hong Kong
Bones bracelet – Topshop

studded

Sneakers – Isable Marant (these served me real well during my trip to Europe)

studded

Haversack – MCM


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Taiwan – Urban Respite at Beitou Hot Springs 新北投溫泉

Beitou Hot Springs

A good reason to get hot in Beitou – hot springs!

For the weary city dweller – or over-shopped traveller – staying in the midst of Taipei’s crowded business districts, Beitou at the northernmost district of Taipei City is the ideal escape that is perfect for a relaxing day trip. Locals and travellers alike come here for a quick soak in its hot springs, whose sulphurous waters have lured pleasure-soakers for centuries. It is also the closest hot spring resort to Taipei conveniently located by train (just 30mins away).

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Getting to Beitou is a piece of cake
Take the Red Line subway to Beitou station (heading towards Danshui) and change trains at Beitou Station to the Pink Line Xin Beitou Station just one stop away. The journey from Taipei Main Station will take 30 minutes and cost about NT30.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Never leave home without a good travel guide, and an even better travel companion :)

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Beitou Station
Go down one flight of stairs and up another to change platforms to the Pink Line to Xin Beitou.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Look out for the cute decor while waiting for the Xin Beitou train – great photo op!

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

The train to Xin Beitou reminds me of the Disney train – it comes with touchscreens in the form of hot tubs providing information from sight-seeing, food to hot springs. A good way to do some last-minute research ;)

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Directional signs are aplenty at Xin Beitou – you’ll not worry about getting lost.

The name Beitou originates from the Ketagalan aborigine word Kipatauw (“home of witches”) due to the smell of sulphur and the geothermal steam from the hot springs which resembles a witch’s cauldron. Beitou was originally an infamous red light district where men would go for the hot springs and women. The government cleaned up the area in the late 1980s, and today the hot spring town is one Taiwan’s major tourist attractions.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Beitou Public Library 北投圖書館
Apart from its famous hot springs, Beitou is also home to Taiwan’s first “green” library with its use of solar power and natural light. You can spot it on your way to Beitou Hot Spring Museum. It is also the first building in Taiwan to receive the “Green Building” certification.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Lovely lotus pond in the park just behind the library

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Beitou Hot Spring Museum 北投溫泉博物館
Housed in Victorian-style public hot spring bath built during the Japanese colonial era, this museum is a good spot to learn about Beitou’s rich hot spring culture and history. You will need to remove your shoes before entering the building.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Learn all about Beitou’s hot springs
Hot spring sources here originate from Datun Mountains. It is one of the earliest hot spring sources found in Taiwan and the water’s pH value ranges between 1.2 and 1.6 (i.e. very acidic). Sediments in the water crystallize into a rare mineral hokutolite which were unfortunately plundered, and only a few stones remain in the museum.

Architectural Model of Beitou

Architectural model of Beitou Hot Springs
Beitou’s  waters contain radium, which is said to be beneficial for fertility, long-term illnesses, rehabilitation and skin beauty.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

The former baths feel almost Roman in their construction

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Entertainment room where the men gathered to chill out after their hot spring bath. Women were not allowed in this room.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Geothermal Valley 地熱谷
Also known as Hell Valley, the hot spring was named one of Taiwan’s eight great natural beauties in the Japanese colonial era. The mineral composition of the rare green sulfur waters can only be found in two locations in the world, Beitou and Akita, Japan. Being a hydrochloric acid spring that can reach 100°C (212°F), it is unsuitable for body contact unless you are intending to cook yourself. In the past, visitors were able to boil eggs at the valley but not anymore. It reminded me of Jigokudani (also called Hell Valley) in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

A destination stamp to mark my visit!
It’s quite a small place covering an area of 3500 square feet, so 30mins would be sufficient for some eisurely sight-seeing. Besides – you want to save most of your time to soak in the hot springs!

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Everybody can afford to enjoy the hot springs in Beitou
For a totally free experience, you can soak your feet at the public hot spring foot baths along a stream in Quanyuan Park

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Beitou Garden Spa 北投親水公園露天溫泉
Beitou’s outdoor public bath is one of the cheapest options from NT20 to NT40. It has 6 outdoor pools ranging in temperatures from scalding hot to frigging cold. There are 6 entry time slots from 5:30AM to 10:00PM and can get crowded especially in the evenings or during weekends (well, it’s dirt-cheap afterall). Bring a swimsuit or buy one there, no au naturale pls :)

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

If you like a bit more privacy, there are very affordable indoor baths all around with signboards shouting their prices for a hot soak.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Since we were rather shy, we opted for a private soak in one of the hot spring resorts.

Beitou

Off we go!
Most of the hot spring resorts were clustered together along the road

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Which one should we go to? Hmm…

Beitou

You can opt just for a hot spring bath or choose to rest for a few hours or stay the night.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

One interesting thing which I noticed in Taiwan are the electrical boxes – they are all very prettily decorated!

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

We opted for Spring City Resort cos’ it’s one of the few with outdoor baths. There were some really nice ones along the way to the resort, but it was a pity they only had indoor baths. They also provide a shuttle bus to Beitou/Xin Beitou train station, so it saved us some precious time after we were done.

Beitou

The resort has nine outdoor pools with water of varying temperatures. The entry fee is NT800 for adults/NT550 for kids and free for hotel guests. They have indoor hot spring rooms too costing NT600 for adults/NT400 for kids per hour.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Time to play with water!

Beitou

SO good to have a warm soak!
That said, I still prefer the hot springs in Japan where the water feels ‘softer’ and you feel your skin go silkly smooth after a soak.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

The package we took came with a buffet which was okay but nothing to shout about.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

Beauty Food
I ate a lot of this fish skin for its collagen.

Beitou Hot Springs 北投

This heart-shaped biscuit looks more like a bum to me.

We left Beitou about 4.30pm for Fisherman’s Wharf and Danshui Old Street. If you are not intending to soak in a hot spring, you can plan about 2-3 hours in Beitou and leave more time for eating and shopping at Danshui Old Street. It would be ideal to visit Fisherman’s Wharf during sunset or night time for its scenic sight and then spend the rest of the evening at Danshui Old Street. More on that later! :)

More on Taiwan:
Taiwan: Blooming Delights and Cultural Richness in Daxi 大溪
Taiwan – Nature’s Wonders at Yehliu Geopark 野柳地質公園
Taiwan – Jiufen’s 九份 Golden Nostalgia
Taiwan – Tamsui 淡水:Of Romantic Sunsets & Tantalizing Snacks
Taiwan – Jingguashi 金瓜石:Goldmine of Yesteryear
Taiwan – SHIFEN十分放天灯: Sending Wishes to the Sky
Taiwan – Sun Moon Lake 日月潭: Picturesque Nature

Explore Taiwan with Spunktitud3!


Getting to Beitou
Take the Red Line subway to Beitou station (heading towards Danshui) and change trains at Beitou Station to the Pink Line Xin Beitou Station just one stop away. The journey from Taipei Main Station will take 30 minutes and cost about NT30.

Attractions

Beitou Public Library 北投圖書館
Address: No. 251, Guangming Rd, Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan 11246
Tel: +886 2 2897 7682
Opening Hrs: 8:30AM-5:00PM (Tue-Sat); 9:00AM-5:00PM (Sun & Mon)
Free Admission
Website: http://english.taipei.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=1100571&ctNode=30280&mp=100002

Beitou Hot Spring Museum 北投溫泉博物館
Address: No. 2, Zhongshan Rd, Beitou District  Taipei City, Taiwan 112
Tel: +886 2 2893 9981
Opening Hrs: 9:00AM-5:00PM (Tue-Sun); Closed on Mon
Free Admission
Website: http://www.taipeisprings.org.tw/english/scenic/hotspring-museum.htm

Geothermal Valley 地熱谷
Address: Zhongshan Road near the entrance of Wenquan Road中山路靠溫泉路出口, Beitou District, Taipei, Taiwan
Opening Hrs: 9:00AM-5:00PM (Tue-Sun); Closed on Mon
Free Admission
Website: http://english.taipei.gov.tw/ct.asp?xitem=1104691&CtNode=30688&mp=100002

Beitou Garden Spa 北投親水公園露天溫泉
Address: No. 6, Zhongshan Road, Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan 112 (台北市北投區中山路6號)
Tel: +886 2 2897 2260
Opening Hrs: 5:30AM-10:00PM daily (6 sessions daily)
1st session: 5:30-7:30AM
2nd session: 8:00AM-10:00AM
3rd session: 10:30PM-1:00PM
4th session: 1:30PM-4:00PM
5th session: 4:30PM-5:00PM
6th session: 5:30PM-10:00PM
Admission: NT$40 for adults, NT$20 for students and seniors
Website

Spring City Resort 春天酒店
Address: No. 18 YouYa Road, Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan
Tel: +886 2 2897 2345
Website: www.springresort.com.tw

I find this detailed map from Escape2Taiwan a useful guide of what to see and do in Beitou.