4D3N DIY TRAVEL GUIDE TO TAIWAN

Taiwan Travel Guide
Day 1: Taipei City Tourist Spots
Day 2: Taipei Expo Park, Yangmingshan, Beitou & More!
– Yangmingshan Travel Guide
– Beitou Travel Guide
Day 3: Keelung City, Yehliu Geopark, Shifen Old Street, Jiufen, Jinguashi and more!
Day 4: Taichung City, Taiwan

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Beitou is a geothermally active region only half an hour from Taipei if you take the MRT. It’s a popular spot for both locals and tourists, who go to enjoy its mix of hot springs, Japanese history, and its geothermally active park and spring.



Pre-booked Tours

It’s better to plan your travel so you don’t have to waste hours in thinking if a place to go when you are there. Instead, write it down on a paper/notebook or type it down on your phone. Plus book your activities online beforehand as its way cheaper than buying it when you get there.

Where to get cheaper tours?CaptureBased on our personal experiences, Klook Are a great company for discounted tours for your trip to Taiwan and we took the following from KLOOK.

 

Yangmingshan National Park & Hot Springs Tour

More Activities


History

Beitou geothermal qualities were first in use centuries ago as sulfur mines, but with pretty disastrous consequences as, at the time, they were the cause of serious health problems for the poor miners. Fortunately, how times have changed!

Japanese Era – In 1896 a Japanese businessman from Osaka, Hirita Gengo (平田源吾), set up Taiwan’s first hot spring resort in Beitou (then known as Hokutō Village  / 北投庄). It was hugely popular and soon a great success with all of Japanese and local society, including a visit in 1923 by Prince Hirohito! It was obviously THE place to hang out in the hot baths and much the same attitude prevails today although there have been no further royal visits since 1923.

Post-Japan – Sadly it was left to rot in heavy neglect after WWII and it was not really until Taiwan started achieving some autonomy in the 1990s that local interest, fuelled by the improving economic situation, began to revive its fortunes and put it on the path of favor and popularity once again. With renewed funding, it was soon restored to previous heights of grandeur to once again become the popular ‘hot spot’ that you see today!
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 Getting There

To reach Beitou take the red MRT line towards Tamsui Station or Beitou Station, transfer at Beitou Station to the Xinbeitou Line, which reaches XinBeitou Station (the hot spring area) in a few minutes (one stop). From there it’s a few minutes walk to the Hot Springs Park.

It’s difficult to find a better way to spend a great day in Taipei that beats routing around in the Beitou area. It has a great deal to offer from Buddhist Temples to Hot Springs to Museums and more besides. Below are just some of the must-see places.

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Touring around Beitou using Youbike.

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Xinbeitou Station

From Beitou station a one-station branch line runs to Xin Beitou station, which is near the hot springs area. One train services this line running back and forth between Beitou and Xinbeitou MRT stations, departing from each end approximately every ten minutes.

In order to get close to the hot springs, you can go from Beitou Station direct to Xin Beitou. The train goes every 10 minutes. You can rent a bike (YouBike)when you arrive which makes it so much easier to get around but you can walk if you have the energy and stamina and if you’re going to want to visit the Beitou Museum it’s a fair old trek on foot!

img_2834How to get there:
Option 1: 

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From Yangmingshan, Wait for bus 108 (only bus going to Yangmingshan Bus Station) then from Yangmingshan Bus Station take bus 9 or 230 opposite of 7/11 and Starbucks then get off at Xinbeitou Station in front of the Youbike area.

Option 2:

By MRT: Take the MRT Red Line 2 to Beitou Station (北投), then change to the train bound for Xinbeitou (新北投). Upon exiting the station, walk straight on either side of the park to find hot springs.

Beitou Park

Beitou Park is a long, narrow park just by Xinbeitou Subway Station. Established 1913! It is best known for its water fountain at the entrance which puts on an hourly water show throughout the day. There are also a number of walking trails and great places to relax and worth a look are the Beitou Library and Plum Garden.

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Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 2.56.34 PMFree: All time
Address: 
No. 2, Zhongshan Rd., Beitou Dist., Beitou Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C 
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed on national holidays.


Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch

Not just a library but a building, housing books, that Tarzan would feel at home in and the first building in Taiwan to be certified as ‘Green’ by the government. Built-in 2006 it’s an awesome wooden structure and even if you are not interested in literature, the building architecture is a must see.

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Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 2.56.34 PMFree: All time
Address:  
Beitou Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C 
Opening hours: 
Tue-Sat 8:30am – 9pm, Sun-Mon 9am – 5pm; Closed first Thursday of each month


Beitou Hot Springs Museum

The museum has an amazing history and really only by a mix of luck and perseverance of some locals, survived the turmoil of post-WWII and the lack of enthusiasm for anything originally Japanese in that era. Luckily for all as late as 1997 the building was lovingly restored to the beautiful landmark that it is today. Both the building and the museum displays are a must for a visit – don’t miss it.

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Unfortunately, They are renovating the place when we went there. So we didn’t go inside.

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 2.56.34 PMAdmission: Free
Address: No. 2, Zhongshan Rd., Beitou Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C 
Opening hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm


Millennium Hot Spring in Taipei

There are a total of 3 hot springs and 2 cold springs. The hottest is at 43 to 45-degree c. With the others at 41 to 42-degree c and 35 to 40-degree c. Conditions of use are strict and using you’ll need to use the shower to rinse yourself and once you have decided which one you’re going to try, you’ll need to wash your feet again with the buckets by each spring. The protocol also requires complete body immersion and not just dangling your feet in etc.

The hot spring is open only at certain hours (below) and if you forget swimwear you can buy in the expensive onsite shop. There are full bathroom facilities and changing lockers.

123-27123-29Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 2.56.34 PMEntrance Fee: NTD 40.
Suggested Months: 01、02、12
Address: Beitou Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C 
Opening hours:
5:30am– 7:30am / 8:00am – 10:00am / 10:30am –1:00pm
1:30pm – 4:00pm / 4:30pm – 7:00pm / 7:30pm –10:00pm

Beitou’s Puji Temple is an uncommon example of a Japanese Buddhist temple. Few survive in Taiwan and Puji was built in 1905 and combines the elements of three Japanese religious traditions; Wayo, Daibutsuyo (Great Buddha) and Zen Buddhist. Today, Puji Temple is dedicated to Tangshou Guanyin – the Goddess of Mercy and the temple and the Goddess are believed by locals to be the guardian spirit of the hot springs.

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Free: All time
Address:
 No. 112, Wenquan Rd., Beitou Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C 
Opening hours: Daily 8am – 5pm


Beitou Museum

The Beitou Museum (北投文物館) houses over five thousand pieces of Taiwanese folk craft dating from the Qing Dynasty up until the 1970s. The building itself is probably the best-preserved example of  Japanese architecture in Beitou and has been beautifully restored, complete with two small stone gardens and in its day it was the most luxurious hot spring hotel in Taiwan. The museum also houses a cafe and restaurant (vegetarian meals must be ordered two days in advance). It’s only a short taxi ride to get there and it’s a great experience.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00AM – 6:00PM. It opens on Mondays if they are a national holiday.


Beitou Thermal Valley

Beitou Geothermal Valley is on the northern edge of Taipei and its hot springs have a history Going back over 200 years to when the Japanese first started using the springs. The Valley has hot springs that reach temperatures of over 100º Celcius and although you have to pay to actually take a dip in the cooler ones, you can enjoy the great views free of charge.  The Valley is easy to access on the subway and it’s a nice break from the buzz of the city center.

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Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 2.56.34 PMFree: All time
Address:
 No. 32, Youya Rd., Beitou Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C 
Opening hours:
 Tue-Sun 9am – 5pm; Closed Mondays


The historic Plum Garden was once a summer house of the calligraphy master and political leader Yu Youren. Built in the late 1930s, it was not until 2010 that officials renovated the building and opened it to the public.  The actual characters “Mei Ting”, meaning Plum Garden, were actually written by Yu and can be seen on a plaque at the entrance. Now housing a visitor information center to promote tourism, the traditional Japanese wood-framed architecture is amazing in its own right and as well as getting information of other places to visit, you can also see some great examples of Yu’s calligraphy.

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Free: All time
Address:
No.6, Zhongshan Rd., Beitou Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C 
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun:09:00 – 17:00. Will be closed on Feb. 28 (2/28 Memorial Day).

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Cherry Blossom Tunnel at Fuxing 3rd Road

The well-known “Cherry Blossom Tunnel,” located at Fuxing 3rd Road, Datun Village, Beitou District, is home to a stupendous ‘river’ of flowers that extend along the entire length of the road. Meticulously maintained, the trees were planted as part of an overall floral theme many years ago and are a symbol of pride for officials and locals alike.

img_0518北投櫻花_劉佳雯攝 (1)

北投櫻花_劉佳雯攝 (2)
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Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 2.56.34 PMSuggested Months: 03、04
Address: Fuxing 3rd Road (Beside Baigong Villa), Beitou Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C 
How to go: Take Bus S(小)6 to Qingtian Temple (清天宮)

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 Day 2 Travel Vlog


Where to stay in Beitou?

Best Budget Hotels in Beitou


On My Way Taipei Hostel
From around Php 795 / USD 15
CHECK RATES HERE


Qi Li An

From around Php 2,000 / USD 52
CHECK RATES HERE

Pink Lotus Hotel
From around Php 2,400 / USD 46
CHECK RATES HERE

Shan-Yue Hotspring Hotel
From around Php 2,600 / USD 50
CHECK RATES HERE

Chyuan Du Spring Resort
From around Php 3,000 / USD 57
CHECK RATES HERE

Spa Spring Resort
From around Php 1,350 / USD 62
CHECK RATES HERE

Where to Eat?

 Man Ke Wu Ramen 滿客屋拉麵

A slightly further walk away from Puji Temple, next door to a beautiful old church. It’s a much humbler Buddhist affair than Su, but still offers delicious set meals for 100 – 200NT. Staffs were welcoming and happy, but it may be difficult to communicate this if you can’t speak Chinese. They offer an English menu.

Perhaps if you come here, try order another ramen like the fried pork chop ramen? or just order a couple of plates of that divine pork chop!

123-24123-23Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 2.56.34 PMAddress: No. 110, Wenquan Road, Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan.
Tel: (+886) 2 2893-7958
Nearest MRT: Xinbeitou MRT


Sample Budget & Itinerary 

DAY 2 ITINERARY – Yangmingshan + Beitou
7:30 AM Taipei Expo Park
Baoan & Confucious Temple
Yangminshan National Park
Xinbeitou Station
Beitou Park
Beitou Public Library
Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Millennium Hot Spring
Puji Temple
Beitou Musuem
Thermal Village
Beitou Plum Garden
Elephant Mountain
Shilin Night Market
End of Tour Youbike Around Taipei
DAY 2 EXPENSES – Yangmingshan + Beitou
  SOLO 2 PAX
Breakfast Free Free
Nanjing to Yuanshan 20 40
Yuanshan to Jiantang 16 32
Jiantang Station bus to Qingtiangang 7 14
Qingtiangang to Yangminshan Bus station 15 30
7eleven Coffee Large 45
Yangmingshan Station (Bus 9 and 230) to Xinbeitou Station 15 30
Lunch 100 200
Beitou via Ubike 55 110
Xinbeitou to Beitou to Xiangshan 36 72
Xiangshan to Shilin 28 56
Shilin Night Market (Dinner) 102.5 205
Jiantang to zhongshan to Nanjing 24 48
Ubike 15 NTD each 15 30
TOTAL NT$478.5 NT$867

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STAY IN TOUCH WITH OUR WORLD OF ADVENTURES BY CHECKING OUT:
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