Hot springs & waterfalls – a hidden paradise in Wulai, Taiwan

Wulai was without a doubt my favorite part of Taiwan.  Sure I only had a long weekend to explore but everything I loved about Taipei was in this quaint mountain town’s market too.  But the real attraction of Wulai isn’t the night market you can find in the capitol, its the lush natural surroundings & friendly locals.

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Directions to Wulai
849 bus from Xindian station (end of the green line.)
Bus fare – $15 NTD ($.50US)
Taxi fare – $600 NTD ($20US)

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Upon first arriving in Wulai its impossible to miss the stunning bridges criss-crossing across the river augmented by the Wulai Waterfall.  A column of water 80 meters high plummets to the river (making it Taiwan’s largest waterfall) just across from the natural hot springs where you’ll find locals inviting you to join them for an afternoon soak.

 

 


Wulai Bridge



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Before you endulge I recommend taking a taxi ($200 NTD ~ $6.50US) to the cable car above.  From there you can take a quick ride across the river ($250 NTD ~ $8).  Don’t forget to break out your camera for the downward view (especially if you have a GoPro!)

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Once across you can enjoy a 1980’s era haunted house ride for about $1US.  Your ticket includes a discount at the shop but before you head there take a stroll up the jungle staircase.  Its well paved and you’ll find a small shrine & views of the waterfall before getting to the top.  You can choose to explore the jungle up there playing among rope bridges and an array of fauna or head back down for the hot springs.

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When you make it to the hot springs don’t forget to shop at that local market.  The street stir fry is delicious, rice wine sweet and slabs of meat a must try!  You can find colorful clothing at a crazy low price and then soak in the warmth of the natural Jacuzzi.

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The pools range from practically scalding to positively chilling with everything in between.  A few of the locals speak English and will welcome you with a smile before inviting you into a more challenging spring.  If you’re brave you can check out the hot spring sauna built up above a stream.  Inside one of the locals splashes water on the walls creating a wonderfully full steamroom.

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If you’re like me and couldn’t stand slowly slipping into a cool pool simply jump in the river!  Be careful of the current and I don’t advice doing so if you’ve enjoyed more than a cup or two of rice wine.

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