Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Taiwan Day 4 - BeiTou HotSpring.Dan Shui Old street
Day 4 Itinerary - 北投HotSpring.淡水 Old Street
After one relaxing night at 陽明山 (Yang2 Ming2 Shan1), Daddy left for 北投 (Bei 3 Tou2) which is also another hotspot for hot springs. Just to digress a bit, look at bus-itinerary below, in Taiwan, just grab the public bus itinerary from nearest hotel or locals. Buses are quite accurate, and highly affordable. The only thing is everything is in Mandarin :)
It took Daddy 1 hour to reach (Jian4 Tan2) MRT station, with the coach swerving left and right, showing you the beautiful greens and hills! But, please do not go down the hill after a heavy meal!!
From Jian Tan, it is another 20min away to 北投 Bei Tou.
Along the short path to Hell Valley, you will pass numerous motels and hotels offering short spa sessions. Some might be sleazy, please ask around for family friendly units :)
Hell Valley ! This is Daddy's motive for coming to BeiTou. We heard the hot springs here reaches 100 degrees, and the fumes would be an amazing spectacle. Daddy did not smell any overbearing sulphur smell, so you can bring your family young and old here... but you can certainly feel the heat.
There is a mini museum next to the hot spring. Some people believe that Japanese brought hot spring culture to Taiwan (when they invaded Taiwan), please correct me if I am wrong.
Daddy love the streams running along the street, you can even see mini waterfalls !
It would be so soothing to simply rest on the wooden steps and listen to the running water.
If no one is looking, you might even be tempted to dip your toes !
A public hotspring pool (name is literally 1000 Happiness Soup), it is very cheap to soak away your stress and sores :)
President Mah was spotted here dipping before.
Althouth hot Spring is cheap, do not over dip, everything in moderation, take a break every 15min :)
If you have time to spare, spent 30min at the The Hot Spring Museum, learn about Taiwan's hot spring history. Try the tatami mat, but there are only "dry" hot tubs within. Newly wed couples are seen at every corner shooting their ceremonial album , romantic.
Ok, enough hot springs for one morning, Daddy proceed to checkin our hotel and get ready to welcome Mummy+kids at TaoYuan airport.
Did you know Taiwan serves delicious Railway-meal in the train stations? It is like home-cook mixed dish, and you can even eat in the High Speed (HSR) train. Again, you can trust Taiwanese's high level of civic mindfulness to keep the trains clean.
Taiwan 's High Speed train (bullet trains) covers Taiwan from Taipei 台北站 (North) to Kao Xiong (South). It just take 8 stations, 2 hours and around SGD 70. Daddy is taking two stops to TaoYuan international airport. Otherwise, enjoy the Fast and Comfortable ride :)
For first timers, please grab the timetable sheet and ask around which platform to board. The train hub is so efficient, that it can be quite intimidating for tourists. Announcements keep coming, and Daddy hate to second-guess the destinations. Do take note that tickets are sold in two categories, "reserved and free seating".
1510 : Mummy and brood arrive from Singapore, happy family is reunited. However, Kang had a minor incidence and had scalded his hand with hot coffee before departing from Singapore :(
After our driver drop us off, we quickly took the MRT to meet our friends at 淡水老街 (old street). After one or two days, everyone can quickly navigate Taipei's railway network.
As the name implies, Old street is decorated with old buildings. 淡水老街 really comes alive at night. Locals, and students love to throng the streets just for fun and family time.
Together with Auntie Gloria and family, we went for Taiwaness noodles (Lao1 Mian4) and BeeHoon. Both are delicious ! Again, pricing is very reasonable at around 50TWD, about SGD 2.50
Souvenirs and eateries line the streets. Daddy love the motorbikes and neon billboards.
Daddy suspects there are some hidden sidewalks, which we we fail to explore, but it was still a memorable experience. You can even hitch a boat across to 八里 Bali island, you can then cycle with your darlings into the sunset.
Danshui is also famous for the lovers' bridge, 漁人碼頭. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to explore the iconic bridge.
Ice creams Turkish or l-o-n-g (more ice than cream), both are fun ! We did not try the "spicy" la-la.
Pinballs and arcade games line Danshui streets too. Our boys were so excited at the various arcade booths !
Cuttlefish and seafood is very popular in this area, as Dan Shui is next to the Sea. We did not try any seafood, but we were happy snacking on everything ! So much variety, make sure you go to Dan Shui with an empty stomach.
We bid our friends goodnight.
In summary, from Day 4, Daddy is recommending that you should try :
- bullet train
- Danshui for family time, or romantic couples
- go for a Hotspring dip (maybe not in summer)
Click on the links below for our 9D8N Taipei adventure, we guarantee you will be visiting Taiwan soon !
Taipei Itinerary - http://sengkangbabies.blogspot.com/2011/06/taiwan-itinerary.html
Day 1 - Arrival
Day 2 - National Museum (故宮), Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall (紀念堂), Taipei 101, 士林夜市 (Shi Lin Night Market)
Day 3 - Nanya Rock (南雅), 九份, YeLiu Geopark (野柳), Yang Ming Shan hotspring (陽明山)
Day 4 - 北投 Hell Valley, 淡水老街
Day 5 - Tao Yuan (桃园) LeoFoo 六福村 (Safari resort and Amusement park)
Day 6 - 小人國, 寧夏 (Ning Xia Night market)
Day 7 - Baby Boss (職業體驗城), ( 西門町 Xi Men Ding)
Day 8 - Taipei Zoo, Maokong (貓空)
Day 9 - Home
..ps.. if you cannot wait, please visit SengkangBabies Day 4 Fanpage or Daddy's Taiwan Facebook Albums (more pics and descriptions)
More information and tips are available at Taiwan tourism web -->