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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

21 Dec 2014 - Taiwan Trip Day 8: Xin Bei Tou (新北投) Hot Spring and Hell Valley (地热谷)

We started exploring Xinbeitou (新北投) after the slow train ride from Beitou station.  We crossed the road and came to Beitou Park.  Following the pavement will lead us to various places of interest.  The first building we saw was the Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch.  It is a two-storey building and notable as being constructed to be an eco-friendly green building.

Slightly further down the pavement is the Beitou Hot Spring Museum (北投温泉博物馆).
Admission to the museum is free. We need to take off our shoes and wear the slippers provided while touring the museum.
The museum was originally constructed by the Japanese in 1913 and was the largest hot spring public bath in East Asia at that time.  The building combines Roman style arches and columns with Japanese interior design.
 The following bath reminds me of the public bath that we saw in Bath, UK, some years back.
Beitou area is not only about hot spring.  In fact, one of the main attraction in this museum is the rare 800kg Hokutolite stone (北投石).  This is the one and only mineral that is named after a Taiwanese
We spent slightly less than an hour in the museum before moving on to our next attraction, Thermal Valley.  On our way, we saw a public bath (千禧汤) where one just need to pay TWD40 to enter and dip into the water.  Of course, you had to be in your swimming attire.
As we walked down the road, we saw smoke rising from a little stream.  We knew that we were now very near to the Thermal Valley.
 True enough, just round the corner, we reached the entrance of Beitou Thermal Valley (地热谷).
Here's a brief description of Thermal Valley.
The is the first time Jerlene and Javier had come so close to a hot spring.
They were amazed by the smoke rising from the surface of the water.  And of course the unforgettable smell.
Here are more details about this green sulphur spring.

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