4 Amazing Must-See Locations in Beitou District, Taipei

Beitou District is in the far north of Taipei City, and is famous for it’s many hot springs. It’s been a holiday destination since early 1900s. Many people love Beitou for it’s fresh air, mysterious hills – and it’s most famous asset, ‘white sulfur’ hot springs!

Beitou is in fact one of the most hot spring rich places on earth. There are many, many hot springs in Taiwan, but Beitou is the most famous hot spring location by a mile. Ask you walk in certain locations, you can feel the anticipation as you see hot steam rising out of the ground.

The contents of this article:


2. Transport

3. Beitou Hot spring museum

4. Beitou Public Library

5. Thermal Valley

6. Ketagalan Culture Center

7. Renting in Beitou

History of Beitou District

Beitou was a hot spring resort and sulphur extraction center at the beginning of the 20th century, but when the Japanese built a steam train to Beitou in the 1920s it’s popularity exploded. Many people came to visit from all over Taiwan and even Japan, and this helped solidify Beitou’s modern identity as a spa town, making it somewhat of an exclusive location. It’s streets are notably cleaner and neater than many other parts of Taipei. These days, there is a push to revive the ‘summer culture‘ of Beitou, where people would come and drink cold drinks and wander around with fans to get out of the city heat.

Hokuto (Beitou) Taiwan in Japanese times
Beitou in the times of Japanese colonial rule. credit: nickkembel.com

Transport in Beitou District

Beitou can be accessed with the red line MTR – and like many hotspring towns, it has roads built along the path of underground geothermal rivers. To get to main hot spring area, there is a special seperate train line going from to Beitou to the station, ‘Xinbeitou’, and back.

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The platform to Xinbeitou in Beitou station credit: Wikipedia commons
  1. Beitou Hot Spring Museum

The Hot Spring Museum is a Japanense style colonial building that is used for many cultural events, and which also serves as amuseum for showing the old hot spring culture of the time of the Japanese colonisation. It’s well worth a look, and once insuide you will be given a poair of clogs to wander around the tatami mats, see the old hot spring baths and check out the exhibits. They also have numerous festivals there too.

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Taipei Hot Spring Museum credit: travel.taipei

2. Beitou Public Library

Beitou Public Library is part of the Taipei public library, and is one of the nicest modern buildings in Taipei. It’s a beautiful wooden construction with a focus on being eco-friendly – solar panels, energy efficiency and rainwater capture are all built into the building. It has great views and so is worth going to in order to relax and unwind with a good book.

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Beitou Public Library credit: travel.taipei

3. Thermal Valley

The thermal valley is the road directly atop the underground thermal stream, and so sulphurous plumes of steam can be seen rising up from gutters along the way. There are many private hot springs along the way, including both public baths to more expensive options that are sex-segregated, to private booths.

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Beitou Thermal Valley Lake credit: goteamjosh

4. Ketagalan Culture Center

The aboriginal tribes of Taiwan were here long before both Chinese and Western settlers, and are the ancestors of the Melanesian and Polynesian tribes of the Pacific. They were all over Taiwan, and exisited as many different tribes. The Ketalagan Tribes were one of the main tribes in the Beitou area, and although they never used the hot springs until the Japanese arrived, they have a wealth of incredible culture – which can be experienced at the Ketalagan Culture Center, at the foot of the Thermal Valley andwhich was repurposed from an old police station.

Ketagalan Culture Center, the Beitou aboriginal museum
Ketalagan Culture Center credit: nickembel

5. Renting in Beitou District

Beitou is a truly magical location in Taipei, and although it is a little more expensive in general than other parts of the city, people who live there certainly seem to be keen to stay! The many hot springs and the fabulous nature make it easy to relax, but there is also a lot of fantastic food as well!

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