Beitou Hell Valley 地熱谷 and Yangmingshan 陽明山 for the day
Taipei Travel Blog› entry 32 of 34 › view all entries
March 30th, 2008 – by: portia
It was raining again today! Our first stop was the "Earth heat valley" aka "Hell Valley" in Beitou. This is the orgin of the Beitou hot springs, and the water here was very hot (95-100 degrees F) and clear. People used to cook eggs here as a stunt or novelty, but that's been prohibited so as not to pollute the water. Steam rose from the surface of the water, and with the rain coming down, this place certainly looked a bit like hell, but was still very beautiful.
2nd stop was a temple built by the Japanese but one of only a couple preserved well today.
Then we went to the Beitou Hot Springs Museum. Beitou 北投 used to be a sacred place during the Japanese occupation, and the location of the museum used to be a large public bath, in the Japanese style of course about 1913. There were restaurants, rest areas in addition to the baths. The building itself is considered a historical landmark. It was turned into a museum in 1998, by this act, Beitou became a culture destination instead of the "red light" district it had become during the previous decades after the Japanese left. When I lived in Taiwan, if you said you were going to Beitou, people would look at you with the understanding that you were probably going to provide "service" to men there! The museum has free admission, and you have to take off your shoes and change to slippers upon entering.
Next we went to the remains of a bridge over the source of the Beitou river. This bridge was in some movie where the main actor sang a song about his love for his girlfriend. Anyway, the rest of my class were more than familiar with the story and the movie and they sang the song under the direction of our guide. Unfortunately I was ignorant of the song or the movie, and didn't quite "get the picture".
The bus then took us to Yangmingshan National Park, and we had lunch at a nice restaurant there.
Some of us decided to have another soak in the hot spa in the hotel, but I and a few others went back to the MRT and headed home. It was a long day and I needed some rest.
I look the MRT to near the hotel, and found the restaurant which sold the �'餅夾油條 Shao-bing with long oil sticks/donuts, one of my favorite foods for breakfast, and got some! The other day I stopped by I asked the chef if they were any good, and he answered "Of course, what other answer would you expect?" I probably looked odd to him to be asking such a question. I was not sure he recognized me today, but I can report they were delicious!
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