Yey! The sibs have arrived! I was delighted to see my sister and brother who decided to come despites his injuries, arm sling and all.
Today, we are going to explore two districts in the northern part of Taipei. A few minutes walk from our hotel is Shuanglian metro station. We bought the 3-day pass for our travel within Taipei.
11 stops from Shuanglian metro station is Beitou station. We had to transfer trains to Xinbeitou. Beitou and Xinbeitou stations are very charming. They are adorned with cute decorations to attract tourists. Xinbeitou trains are colorful and have a hot spring themed-train cars. Cool!
Beitou district is famous for its Japanese feel and hot springs. What’s even better is that the attractions are close to each other. Directly across the street from Xinbeitou Train Station is Beitou Hot Springs Park. Within the park is Beitou Library, the first certified green building library in Taiwan. From the outside you could see people reading quietly. At the other side of the library, we chanced upon some painters quietly busy with their art, inspired by the ambiance and the cherry blossoms in the park. There is just something in Beitou’s air that relaxes you and soothes your soul.
Right beside the library is Beitou Hot Springs Museum, a beautiful Euro-Japanese building which was once the main public bath. Entrance is free. Shoes are not allowed inside but shoe lockers and slippers are provided for free. The museum showcases information, photos and objects regarding the history of Beitou hot spring.
Not far from the museum is is the Japanese-style Beitou Plum Garden which is actually the summer house of Yu You-ren, a calligraphy master. Entrance is free.
Walking further led us to Hell Valley or Thermal Valley, a natural sulfur hot spring whose pH value is between 1.2 and 1.6. The misty steam creates a dream-like aura of the place. Entrance is also free.
Along the way, we passed by some groups who were conducting wedding photoshoots, that speaks a lot about Beitou’s charm…
Going back to Xinbeitou station, me and my sister fancied to dip our feet in to the outdoor hot spring cutting across Beitou Hot Springs Park. We passed by several visitors who were also doing the same, so why not give it a try?
We left Beitou feeling relaxed and we were delighted with what we had to see. It seems like we stepped out of Taiwan and in to Japan 🙂 What’s more we enjoyed the attractions and they didn’t even cost us a penny!
It was a little after lunch time when we headed to Damsui or Tamsui. We did not come prepared for this trip since we were hoping to get some area maps at the train station. Unfortunately, we were not able to find maps and the station was chaotic, buzzing with people here and there. First order of business, stop for lunch. We followed the road sign pointing to Fisherman’s Wharf which was where we wanted to go. We figured walking that way and finding a place to eat as we go. Our way was not the right place to find a restaurant and the only one we found was a Japanese restaurant. Their menu is limited so we thought we’d order differently so we can share and try most of them.
After our lunch, we continued walking uphill, my brother who was injured found it difficult to walk any longer so we decided to take a cab. It was a good decision since Fisherman’s Wharf is a very good distance away from where we were.
From a distance, we can see the famous Lover’s Bridge, a white tower cable pedestrian bridge which is a popular location for shooting Taiwanovelas. Underneath the bridge is LOVE “art”. There was also a local acoustic performer singing songs upon request and who has a good crowd gathered around him. We climbed up the bridge and was rewarded by a good view of the river, the dock and the restaurants on the other side of the bridge. We took time to take in another good ambiance, the fresh air and the romantic vibe which is fitting of the name of the bridge.
The Fisherman’s Wharf is a good place to spend time with family or loved ones, view the sunset and soak in the atmosphere. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to wait for the sunset and the weather was gloomy that day, no sun.