Beitou Hot Spring
Traditional public hot spring etiquette requires that bathers thoroughly wash and rinse off their bodies before entering the bath, do not wear clothing (including swim wear) in the bath and tie up their hair so that it does not touch the water. Finally, people with high blood pressure, heart disease or open wounds should not enter the baths.
Most of the public outdoor hot springs In the Beitou area are modeled more after European spa centers and require swimsuits since you will be bathing in mixed company. Finding a real traditional Japanese style public bath is increasingly rare. Take a peek and check before peeling off all your clothes.
There are many hotels and traditional baths located around Qinshui Park (previously called Xin Beitou Park). This park is located directly across from Xin Beitou MRT station (Danshui line). Xingyi Road, the main road from Tianmu to Yangming Mountains in Beitou, also has many hot-springs-cum-restaurants, plus a couple of free public baths (at the top end where the bus turns back). For Xingyi Road, take bus 508 from Wenlin Road, Shilin (from Shilin MRT station exit 1, follow the overhead tracks and turn left at Zhongzheng Road and right at next crossroads [with pedestrian overpass], the 508 stop is on the right). On its way to Xingyi Road, the bus makes a stop opposite the Veterans Hospital in Shipai. Note: The spring water in Beitou is acidic, so don’t wear anything that could be damaged by acid, such as pearls.
Photo by Yang An Shen