Next to the night markets and Taipei 101, Taipei is best known for the hot springs in Beitou District (北投區 / bei tou qu).What was once a large center of sulfur production, now features one of the highest concentrations of hot springs in the world. Being in Taiwan in the winter, it seemed like a perfect occasion to check out what the region had to offer.

We left New Beitou Station (新北投站 / xin bei tou zhan) by taxi to get to our chosen resort, Emperor Spa. The trip was a short ride up the hill. Before long, you could see hints of thermal activity with steam rising from the ground.

This is the entrance to Emperor Spa (皇池溫泉御膳館 / huang chi wen quan yu shan guan).

There are separate men and women areas.

The deal we went with required that we purchase some food before enjoying the hot spring. Kind of odd, but we went with it.

Lots of guidelines.

The prices on the menu aren’t that bad. It’s still a bit odd to have to eat before enjoying the hot spring.

This is cherry pork. It tasted kind of like cha shu.

This was the inside of our private hot tub. It featured a hot tub with scorching hot water and a shower on the side to rinse off.

Though it wasn’t too cold outside, it was still really nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Compared to some of the hot springs I had been to in the US, this was an amazing experience.

After enjoying the spa, we wandered around a little bit and took in some of the sights.

There are pipes everywhere pumping hot water, long distances.

Except for the Japanese-style architecture, you can’t really tell that these are spas.

There’s a bridge, with a leaky pipe along it.

More pipes along this part of the river.

We made our way back to the station by way of bus. We picked up the bus at the top of the hill and made our quick but windy way back into the city, ready for even more adventures.

皇池溫泉御膳館 (Emperor Spa)