One Day in Beitou (在北投的一天)
On the day after my conference session, mom and I went to Beitou (北投) to enjoy the hot spring. It was really a day for me to relax because I had finished my "official duties" in Taipei.
I think it was drizzling a bit as we rode the MRT, but thank God when we reached XinBeiTou station the skies cleared up and we could walk around a bit.
The Beitou MRT platform (waiting for exchange to XinBeiTou line) is such a delight to behold! Took many pictures of the cute structure there. The building is a replica mix of the Plum Garden & Beitou Hot Spring Museum. And there is a Japanese-like hot spring deity in blue. There are a couple of cartoon statues dressed up in Ketagalan (Taiwan natives) costumes too.
We continued the walk up ZhongSan Road (中山路). It was a leisurely walk on a beautiful day, the weather was warm but not too hot, and the sun was not so bright as to sting our eyes. This was my second time to Beitou but my first time to walk up ZhongSan Road. There are so many beautiful things to see there - the big, brick bungalow which was formerly the public bathhouse, now changed into the Hot Spring Museum, its lush, green compound, lotus pond filled with pretty pink lotus flowers, the crisp green air which can no longer be found in Korea at this season.
The interior of the Hot Spring Museum. It is a huge, two-storey bungalow - the upper floor has a nice hall filled with tatami mats and Japanese-styled doors. The paper wood sliding doors reminded me of the Japanese-week furniture I wanted to buy in The Sims Social but which cost too many simoleons. There was a big balcony overlooking the huge compound of the museum.
The ground floor is a remnant of the public bathhouse, now just an empty pool filled with stained tiles and window glass from the olden days.
Continue walking up the road we reached the historical building Plum Garden (梅庭), formerly a Japanese-style house which became a summer retreat for the famous calligrapher 于右任. The house is kept simple yet elegant, with a very poetic nature to it, like it has a tale to tell of its own. The wooden beam ceiling of the house were hung very low, a trademark of the old Japanese house because Japs back then were very short. The location and architecture of the house were superb, truly a befitting mansion for a man of 于右任's stature.
We stopped for a quick brunch at some cafe near the junction uphill from Plum Garden. By stroke of luck, I accidentally found the entrance to Beitou Thermal Valley (地热谷). I didn't know we had to turn left after the junction; I had thought to go straight. Luckily I didn't or I would have missed it because the entrance was not very significant. Beitou Thermal Valley is a place which I missed on my last visit to Taipei, so I wanted to visit it very much this time. The place looked very beautiful but dangerous.
Finally, reached our destination - Spring Hotel Resort (春天酒店). Cost NT800 per person. Only summer season have free beer. Went there the first time with Leo and had a very good impression of the outdoor pools so I brought mom there to try it. Tried all the different hot spring pools (there was one with very nice rice wine smell) and fell asleep on the hot stone slab..........
After I came back I read other people's blog on Spring Hotel Resort then only I realised that taking photo is not allowed at the outdoor pools... hahaha. No wonder many people were looking at me while I used my camera. But Taiwanese are too polite and seldom tell off people outright, unlike the Korean ajummas here.
Feeling all refreshed after the nice hot spring, took the longer road back to the MRT station. Passed by the very beautiful Beitou Public Library and went in to take a look. Reminded me of those days in Chandler where we used to visit the nice public library.