When people ask me, 'what should I do in taipei, aside from shopping and visiting the night market?' The first thing that comes to my mind is to soak in the hot springs! It might be that the idea of heated water with beauty-enhancing effects is very attractive to me, being a female, but I find the experience very enjoyable, particularly on a cold day!

This April, during our trip to Taiwan, my friend and I make a morning visit to the nearby Beitou Hot springs for a nice dip in the spring breeze.

How to go: Take the Taipei Metro to Beitou station and change to Xinbeitou line to Xinbeitou station. Once you reach the station, exit and walk straight across the road. There are two streets that surround a park, both lined with various hot spring resorts. A simple map of the area can be found here; for a more detailed map, look for the board that is located along the street at the park which lists all the hot spring resort locations and names. 

Cost: there are various resorts that offer hot springs as well as a free public one. Costs can range from SGD$0-SGD$40 or more, depending on whether you select the public hot spring or a private one. Some included a full course Japanese meal with tea. There is also the option of staying the night. 
A few more popular ones include spring, sweetme, Kagaya (most expensive and luxurious one, from japan) and spa spring

The idea of soaking in a hot spring for free sounded really attractive but the idea of sharing the public bath with 3245678765432345678901970 other people (as below) make us think twice... 
You could be enjoying yourself with the entire village at the public hot spring...

My friend wasn't really open to the idea of a totally naked hot spring, since she was a little shy and also because not everyone looks as glamorous as this, naked in a hot spring, so that ruled out a options such as Kagawa.. 
After walking around to get some brochures, compare the prices, we finally decided on spa spring, which offers an open-air mixed hot spring that allows guests to wear swimwear. 
Spa spring is located right at the end of 光明路,about 20mins walk from Xinbeitou station. Cost for the hot spring ranges from NT$320-420 depending on which day you visit. 

entrance of spa spring taken as we were leaving

There's even a small pool of water at the entrance area with instructions on how to cook your own hot spring eggs! Definitely quirky. Unfortunately we didn't come prepared and thus missed the chance... 

Cuddle up in the hotel lobby area where there's a huge rattan egg chair with two adorable enormous bears!

The changing rooms are located on the top floor side by side. After changing into your swimwear, you can enter the hot spring that is located in the open-air area to the right of the changing rooms. 

Near the entrance there is a small long pool for soaking your legs to help you get used to the warmth of the hot spring first. 

The open-air hot spring area consists of 3 hot spring pools, the one nearest to the entrance is equipped with a jacuzzi function, which is very soothing and comfortable. 

After a comfortable dip in the hot springs, you can choose to have lunch at the hotel restaurant which serves ramen. We opted to dine there as there was an attractive package inclusive of ramen set with hot spring experience but the ramen unfortunately was rather forgettable, so I would advise against it.

After our meal, we took a slow walk back to the metro station and visited the beitou hot spring museum, which we found rather ordinary, and the beautiful Beitou Library, which we really loved. 

some interesting old-looking buildings on the walk back

The first building in Taiwan to receive the certification of “Green Building”, Beitou Library is located within vicinity of the Beitou Hot Spring Park, near the Beitou Hot Spring Museum. The library is built primarily using steel and wood, giving it the feeling similar to that of a 'treehouse'. It also has many french windows allowing in natural light. 

entrance to the lovely library

second story balcony with lovely view of beitou

This concludes our time in Beitou. We took the metro to the nearby Damshui to spend the afternoon and evening, which I will be writing about in a separate post to be updated soon.