Located just 30 minutes north of central Taipei, Beitou is a mountainous area full of natural hot springs and supporting spas, hotels, teahouses, and parks. It’s a popular destination for locals and visitors looking to escape the city and enjoy a soak in warm, mineral-rich waters surrounded by lush forests and beautiful scenery.
The Japanese first developed Beitou into a resort destination during their occupation of Taiwan. Today Beitou features public hot spring pools as well as a number of private hot spring resorts and hotels. The public pools offer the best value, though they are also the most crowded. Generally mixed-gender and requiring swimsuits, public hot springs typically have several pools of varying temperature, from ice cold to extremely hot, and patrons often move between different pools during their visit.
Beitou is easy to visit independently. If you have an interest in hot spring culture and history, you can join a tour that also includes the Beitou Hot Spring Museum as well as Yangmingshan National Park, which is full of geothermal features. Or choose a tour that includes other top Taipei attractions such as Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, or the National Palace Museum.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Each location has different rules and etiquette, such as whether the pools are segregated by gender and whether swimsuits are required.
- Bring a change of clothing and a bag for wet swimsuits, plus towels for the public hot springs.
- Photography is not allowed in the pool areas.
- Individuals with health issues, such as high blood pressure and heart problems, should not use the hot springs.
How to Get There
Beitou is north of central Taipei. Take the MRT’s Red Line to Beitou Station and transfer to the Pink Line for one stop; disembark at Xinbeitou Station, then walk five minutes to the hot springs. You can also take city bus 216, 218, 266, or S22 to the Beitou Park stop.
When to Get There
The hot springs in Beitou are open year-round. The public hot springs tend to be open-air, and you may find it more pleasant soaking in the hot springs when the weather is cooler. Public hot springs also tend to be open for set intervals, with cleanings in between; check online for the current schedule.
One of the most famous attractions in Beitou, Thermal Valley—also known as Hell Valley—is a natural sulfur hot spring filled with steaming greenish-blue water. This spring is a source of water that feeds all the hot springs in Beitou, and water temperatures here can reach 194°F (90°C)—too hot for bathing. Railings prevent visitors from touching the water, but it’s definitely a worthwhile sight to see.