Not being satisfied with our hot spring experience at Beitou, we decided to pay Wulai, the other place famous for hot springs, a visit as well. Getting to Wulai was slightly easier than Beitou, because we just needed to take the MRT to Xindian Station, and queue up for a bus that brought us directly to the Wulai entrance. Even though we went on a weekday, the bus was filled up with seconds and we had to stand for the 40-minute journey up the mountains. Definitely not a comfortable ride considering the roads up were winding and on a slope. We heaved a sigh of relief when the bus stopped and everyone alighted to cool and crisp fresh air with the sound of gushing waters in the distance.
Smooth as silk Wulai waterfall
Entrance to Wulai village
Wulai mountain village
From the bus stop, it was only a short few minutes walk until we saw the Wulai main street, filled with shops and street food on both sides of us. Really, you would never go hungry in Taipei, because food is so easily accessible anywhere. 🙂 We must have done too much walking for the past few days there because my shoe decided to give way there and then! The easy fix was to glue it back, so I went into the Wulai equivalent of a 7-11 shop and got my Scotch glue for the temporary fix.
Towards Wulai Old Street
Too much walking
Scotch glue to the rescue
Once that was out of the way, we continued walking along the main street, exploring more street food and souvenir shops. If there’s one thing that I couldn’t resist from having, it was crispy Chinese crullers! When I spotted that along the street, I knew we simply must stop and have a snack. The stall sold Chinese crullers that were supposed to be eaten with almond milk. With almond milk, I think one can either love it or hate it, and I belong to the latter. I tried to take a sip but I could never get past the pungent smell of the milk, so I gladly ate my crullers on their own. Unfortunately, they were not how I’d imagine to be. These were oily, hard and tough to bite, almost as if they had been left overnight.
Street food at Wulai
Chinese crullers and almond milk
We continued our walk towards the river and across the bridge, where we saw many houses built on the mountain. It was quite a scenic walk, with people having a dip in the rock pool by the river. We spotted another street food stall selling Taiwanese sausages near the bridge, and decided to give it a shot. The queue to the stall was long, and we had to wait about 15 minutes before it was our turn. Thankfully, the sausages didn’t disappoint – they were juicy and bouncy, without being excessively oily.
The scenic river
The main bridge
Taiwanese sausage stall near the bridge – pretty good!
Hydroelectric power plant
After crossing the bridge, we walked towards the left and headed up towards the Wulai Waterfalls. It must have been a good few km up, for we found ourselves sweating halfway, even in the cool weather. The walk took us less than 30 minutes, but it was rather nice with the view of the river gorge below and the greens surrounding us. What’s more interesting was we spotted the Lovers Pathway near the top, even though we were not very sure of the story. There was also a mini train station nearby, which apparently leads to the cable car terminus.
Walking up towards the waterfall
Railway track up
View of the river from the top
Pretty soon, the view of the gorgeous Wulai waterfall came into sight. It was majestic, breath-taking and looked as smooth as silk. When we reached the waterfall, we also spotted a souvenir shop with several ladies dressed in aboriginal outfit at the entrance. We were, however, just after the views, so we did not visit the shop. There was a staircase descending to the washrooms from the top, and once we’re down the staircase, there was a platform which gave a better view of the waterfalls.
First sight of the Wulai waterfall
Us at the falls
Rocky river below
After taking enough pictures of the waterfall, we decided to head back towards Wulai main street for lunch. I was all for walking down the same way we did up, but Saucer was already complaining about aching feet and such, so we decided to take the mini train / Log cart instead. The ride cost NTD50 each, and took us downhill in minutes.
Wulai Log Cart Ticket office
The Wulai log cart / mini train
Too tired to walk so we took the cart
Before we left Wulai to go back to Taipei, we had lunch at a small shop near the bridge, selling beef noodles. Apparently, they sourced their beef from Australia! The noodles tasted like thick pan mee, but the broth was hearty and flavourful. It was extremely delicious especially after a whole morning of walking. Wulai may be famous for hot springs, but it has so much more to offer than that, and we’re happy to have endured the 40-minute winding bus ride up the hill, standing. 🙂
Beef noodles at Wulai
Getting to Wulai Hot Springs:
Take MRT to Xindian Station and take the public bus to Wulai from outside the station. There is usually a long queue for the bus, and Wulai is the last stop of the bus, so you don’t have to worry about missing the stop.
*Note: Read the rest of my Taiwan Escapade here!