Taipei is not only green and comfortable city with lots of hills around, but it’s one of the few cities in the world, that have hot springs. These springs are considered very good for the health. Most of the older people in Taiwan, who use it regularly, looks much younger and healthier than we can expect.
Getting here is very easy as the cities MRT have a stop exactly in this district and it’s just 20 minutes ride from the city centre. When you exit – you feel like you are in a absolutely different place: there is no rush or buzz of a big city, lots of greenery and literally smoke from the geothermal activity on the streets.
You can see a small geothermal park here and visit couple of museums. But the best is bathing in the hot springs. The most affordable way to do it is to visit Millennium open air hot spring, which is a bit more than 1$ for a visit. The only disadvantage is that it is super packed, you will be like in subway during rush hour. Around it there are several other places to have a bath with much less people. Most of the hotels in the area have got common and private spaces with the price up to 40$ per person with unlimited time.
I choose something in between (say 5$) and spend my time in small traditional bath. The main difference between traditional and modern is that traditionally you have to bath fully naked. Haha! Honestly, I’m not too shy, but being the only western person there feels a bit special as everyone was literally watching what i do during the first minutes. The water there was super warm, i hardly put myself inside the bath, but definitely love this experience overall.
Later in the afternoon i went to the Elephant mountain, which is more like a hill in the city. This place is definitely the best to get the view to Taipei101 and the city. The hike is very organised with lots of steps, places to have a rest and if you are not in a hurry, it would be easy and you don’t need anything special. The best part: it’s free and there are much less people there than on the observation desk of Taipei101 as it still requires a bit of workout.