Saturday, August 21, 2010

~ Past Holiday Experiences 9 - Taiwan Oct-Nov 2005 (Day 7) ~

2nd Nov - Day 7: Today we are going to "泡汤". Taiwan has many hot/cold springs and it is one of the Must-Do things here. Being in Taipei, it is very important to see the Metro System Map to take us around. We took the train from Simen (西门) to Xinbeitou (新北投). Upon exiting, there is a shop just outside the station and we took up the package from Pacific Wellness Spa & Club (太平洋北投温泉饭店).

We waited for the bus that took us up and was directed to our Suite room. Inside the suite room, there is a separate wet and dry area. Fitting room, shower room and a separate toilet, chairs and bench at the side and of course a spacious bathtub area. Never been in such a SPA facility before and we all had a relaxing dip in the hot spring. It was so good that our aching bodies and legs are massaged and we all felt so refreshed. I nearly fell asleep in the tub. Our package also includes enjoying some snacks and tea at the lounge area and everything is just perfect.

We left the Pacific Wellness SPA and walked on our own. We stopped by the 北投温泉博物馆 (Beitou HotSpring Muesum) and went in for a short tour. Admission is free and upon entering, we have to take off our shoes and change into the slippers provided.

Some information of Beitou Hot Springs Museum: It is built during the Japanese occupation and was once the main public bath in Beitou. It has been restored and was re-opened to the public. Visitors can see the various displays of stones, information on the formation of hot spring and understand Beitou's rich hot spring culture and history.

After exiting the museum, we followed the hot spring path and that somehow lead us to an open hot spring - 千禧汤 (露天温泉). The price here is very cheap!! Only 20-40 Taiwan dollars for 1-2 hours. You'll need to wear a swim suit to go inside the bath area. Since it does not allow visiting, we can only take photos from the outside. But there are a few pools within and it is open to the public. I believe this should be one of the cheapest place to enjoy the hot spring in Beitou!

As planned, we left Beitou and took the train further up to Danshui (淡水). I must say the Taiwanese are very friendly and thoughtful people. Whenever we take the train during the peak hours, there will always be people who are willing to give up their seats to me seeing that I am carrying Denver. Sadly to say, it is something that we didn't experience as much back home.

We took a bus from Danshui MRT station to the Fisherman's Wharf (淡水漁人碼頭). It is a very scenic spot and I guess the best time to come is around 4 plus so you can get to see the beautiful sunset. There is also seafood resturants and other leisure facilities around the Wharf.

The "Lover's Bridge"- 情人桥 is a white coloured single slanted tower cable stay pedestrian bridge. It got it's name since it started on 14th February 2003, Valentine's Day and is a favorite spot for local couples.

That evening, we also saw a couple taking their wedding photos by the Lover's Bridge. There are many tourists and locals standing on the bridge, taking pictures and looking out at the sea. It is very cooling and windy and my hair is all messed up. :)

Beautiful scenary around the Fisherman's Wharf. We stayed on for the sun to set and you can see how the clear blue sky slowly turns orange-red and go into darkness.
We have been out for the entire day and night and it was very late already. On our way back to the MRT station, we didn't get a chance to try out the local delights like A-Gei (阿给),Grandma's Tiedan (阿婆鐵蛋), Danshui Fishballs (淡水魚丸) etc. What a shame!

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