The next day it literally said rain on the forecast for the entire day. We woke a bit late and were starving. Right outside our hostel we spotted a restaurant with hotpot so we decided to try it out.
I got beef hot pot which came with enoki mushrooms, fried tofu, cabbage, corn, onions and bean sprouts served in a hot stone pot with your own individual little fire burner. I can't remember how much I paid for this meal but I know it was under $10.
Since I lived in Korea, I was so used to cooking my own food which is what you had to do here. It was the best hotpot meals I've ever had! I love how they have the individual sizes so you don't have to cook for anyone else. The meal also came with a bowl of rice, soup and some dipping sauce. There was also hot tea if you want it. Since it was a bit cold outside this helped warm us up.
After eating we headed back to Taipei Main Station for information on what we could do for the day since it was going to rain all day. The girl suggested museums but since we had a late start we wouldn't have enough time to go there since they close early. She then suggested that we go to Beitou. Beitou is a very touristy area with museums, restaurants and hot springs. We decided to go there to try out the hot springs. In the station we stopped at this shop selling Mochi, which I've never tried. I got Matcha Mochi which was delicious and only 18 TWD ($0.72).
Beitou is the most mountainous district in Taipei. Beitou is known for their geothermal steams. To get here it took about an hour to get to Beitou and cost 30 TWD ($1.20). When we arrived it was raining but we came prepared with umbrellas. From the MRT it is about a 10 min walk, in rain it is slightly longer.
We walked straight to the Beitou Hot Spring but when we got there we had to wait an hour because they close at certain times to clean the pools. So we decided to go check out the museum. Beitou Museum used to be a public bathhouse and is now a historic site and has a lot of different types of exhibits.
In the basement of the museum they have the two original baths that were used in the bathhouse which are now on display. There are also three small stained glass windows that make the basement look a bit more classy. They also have display on how the water is heated.
The hallways in the basement have beautiful arches on your way to the baths. This gives off a Roman bathhouse feeling.
On the top floor, where the entrance is, had lots of different exhibits. There was an auditorium which just showed the history of the Hot Spring Museum. There was another exhibit showing the history of Taiwanese Cinemas. It was actually pretty interesting. There were pictures showing the characteristics of the films in the 1950s- 1970s. There is also a special exhibit area with sculptures and paintings. Then there is the lobby that is Japanese style with mats on the floor where you can just sit and hangout. There is a balcony which overlooks the hot spring and also an outdoor pavilion.
Make sure you take off your shoes if you're going to sit or walk on the mats.
Around 4:30 we went back to the hot spring. We paid $40 TWD($1 and change) to get in and there is bathrooms and change rooms in the area. We weren't allowed to take any pictures which is why I have none. Although, as I was getting changed I sudden got my monthly friend, so I had to change back into my regular clothes since I was unprepared for the occasion. Instead, I went to check out the library. On my way to the library I was able to snap this lovely photo. You can see the steam coming from the river. I'm so sad I missed it.
Apparently this library is the most eco-friendly library in the world. I didn't even know there was such a thing. It reminded me of a cottage.
Walking up to the library looked like a jungle. It was so beautiful!
From the library stairs you can see the river.
The English section wasn't very interesting so I looked at travel books because I was headed to Shanghai, China next. The library also had an outdoor pavilion that was really nice. There are a lot more attractions in the area that we didn't visit because of time and weather.
How to get here:
-- Take the red line (Danshui line) going north to Beitou station. There is a another line that only goes from Beitou and Xinbeitou stations which you will take. From Xinbeitou station follow the signs to get to the library. The museum and hot spring are just past the library.
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