But then, some friends mentioned that I had to visit them in Taipei.. so I checked it out, and base on their raving reviews, I made a point that yeah, I should! (it's like if you didn't visit the hot springs, you didn't visit Taipei kind of thing).
We then had to change MRT.. sitting in this beautifully decorated train, and yet also one of the slowest MRT rides (the short distance between the 2 stations must be the reason).
We arrived only to be greeted with a full list of hot springs that we could go... now which one to go to? Basically we had a few choices - the public public hot spring or the hot springs provided by the hotels - which are then also divided into public or private, which are smaller rooms for individuals or couples.
Not wanting to make a rash decision, we decided to see what's in store.. so rather than going into the first hot spring, we decided to take a walk uphill, walking alongside the stream. It was a lovely walk.
Along the way, we passed by this library, which I thought was quite cool. It looks cosy yet well designed.. (imagine going to the library surrounded by hot springs..!).
We stopped a little bit here & there along the way (the journey is not short), and chanced upon this hot spring lake.
Walking further & more uphill, I then saw this scooter too.. and thought I'd grab a photo with it. I mean, hey, scooters are like the 101 tower with Taipei.. so I just had to take one shot with it!
Walk walk & walk... and we got a lil lost. Asked some workers who were renovating a building. He first pointed up further on the hill (we were looking for some authentic cool building that was on the map). I asked if he was going upwards as he had a lorry (was hoping to hitch a ride)... but he said he was going downhill instead. Too bad - I thought.
Anyway, uphill we walked.. but then realised that the place we were looking for wasn't in that direction.. and guess what? The guy actually came up back to fetch us, as he too realised that the direction he gave was wrong. So at the back of the lorry I sat - going downhill!!! woo hoo!
The owner cum tea lady made very good teas.. which costed a big bomb! Yeah, way above the cheap but cool jacket I bought! (the tea in her cute teapot costed NT400!).
Anyway, after a few sips & playing with her dog, we walked again.. this time round, to get to what we came for.. the hot spring.
And so, finally we ended up in one of the hotel's hot spring.. and guess which one is it? The very first hotel from the MRT.
Ok, I couldn't take pictures of the hot spring of the hotel (*censored!).. but all I can say is that it has 4 tubs at varying degrees. One tub was super cold while the other 3 had different hot temperatures (there's a thermometer that shows how hot it is). It was very relaxing and clean, though I think the amenities could be upgraded a bit to make it more prestigeous. But the experience on the whole was good. I spent a good 2 hours or so there.
While the epitome was really me soaking in the hot water from the hot spring, but the real plus is the whole journey, which to me is what made the hot spring experience fully memorable! And when I do go back to Taipei, I'll definitely visit em hot spring again - but maybe minus the hill hike the next time round. :)
*I was also informed that there are many other areas in Taipei that has hot springs. But this is one of the more popular areas.