Taipei’s efficient transport system was outstanding. It’s so easy to go around places because there’s public transport anywhere and it’s also very easy to understand. Their train lines had a few lines but it wasn’t as confusing as Singapore. It’s also probably because their public transport (the train line especially) is never really crowded or cramped that I don’t feel any kind of stress when I’m navigating the area.
There is not much too see within Taipei City so it’s highly recommended to go outside. We’ve visited Tamsui which is the tip of the train line and was about a 1.5 hour ride away from Taipei City. We decided to go to two places outside Taipei City: Beitou and Yangmingshan. I wanted to o to Beitou because I wanted to see the geothermal springs. I thought it’s really cool. Yangmingshan promised a hike which my friend wanted to go to.
We went to Beitou first and we took the train. From our Airbnb, we got on the Red line which stops at the Beitou station. I saw on the map that from Beitou there is another train to ride going to Xinbeitou station which will get you off close to the hot springs. When we got off Beitou we didn’t see the connection right away so we decided to just walk around to get to the springs. It was a fair amount of walking which I didn’t mind so much because I was with good company.
We finally reached the hot springs. Going up there, you pass by Beitou Park which has a library and a vast walking space that was fun to dawdle in. There’s even a very small museum so you can see the history of the hot springs.
We walked a little bit more and finally, we saw the Beitou Thermal Valley! It was such a fascinating sight! The whole area smells a bit — it’s actually your signal that you’re getting closer. The smell isn’t so bad, but it does a smell a bit like rotten eggs.
I was impressed with how well they have taken care of this place and how easily accessible this was. I was prepared to go on a bit of a hike that requires a bit of effort but I was fairly surprised that it was walkable. Even if I went there without wearing sneakers or trainers I’ll be just fine. The park ascends up a small hill but it goes by slowly that you don’t even feel the strain of the ascent.
I would really recommend going to Beitou if you are staying in Taipei for more than two days. It’s very accessible via train and the whole place is fairly walkable. It’s quieter than Taipei but it’s not provincial. There are a lot of buses going by, Western establishments to eat at, and 7/11s. The trip here is easily done for half of the day if you’re just going to Beitou for the thermal valley. We went here on a whim, we only read about how to get there the morning that we were going. We didn’t really read around what else you can do around the area because we were set on going to the thermal valley. Moreover, we were also off to Yangmingshan so we could only spend a bit of time there.
How to get to Beitou Thermal Valley:
1. From your starting point, ride the train going to the Red line.
2. Transfer to the Red line and get off at the Beitou station.
3. From Beitou station, transfer to another line going to Xinbeitou station. — we didn’t get to try this and instead walked a bit around town to get to the Beitou Park.
4. Walk towards Beitou Park. Walk a bit more and you’ll reach the thermal valley. There are plenty of signs along the way so you will not be lost.
5. Take your time! It’s not a lengthy walk to reach the thermal valley and Beitou Park in itself looks beautiful and has a lot of attractions. Very perfect to walk around in and just bask in the air. The weather when we went was the perfect kind of cold so it was such a lovely visit.