Mt. Zhongzheng Trail
Today we were going to explore the natures around Taipei and we started with Mt. Zhongzheng Trail. It was a moderately difficult trail because of the amount of stairs you have to climb. However, if you can keep going, you will be rewarded with a lush greenery that would give you a peace of mind.
Yangming Park is a huge park located mainly on Mt. Datun. It was a great place to let the kids run loose and enjoy themselves. One of the famous attractions in the park is the Flower Clock.
Located inside the park is the Datun Falls, which is an easy walk (about 10 minutes) from the main area of the park. The waterfall was blocked from public access due to uneven terrains but we still enjoyed the views along the way.
Beitou Thermal Valley
One thing I really like about Taipei is that it has everything. There are enough commercial areas to let you do the shopping, then there are hiking trails and mountains if you want to embrace the nature. Not only that, you can also bath in the Beitou Hot Spring for the ultimate relaxation.
Once you arrived at Beitou, you can visit the Beitou Hot Spring Museum to learn about the development of this hot spring. Not surprisingly, it was started by the Japanese. In fact, it was advertised even in Japan to attract tourists to come to Taiwan for this hot spring.
Then, you can walk along a trail next to Beitou Thermal Valley to truly experience the power of underground heat. The air is dense and has a strong smell of sulphur. The water is constantly at near boiling temperature and you should never pass the barrier for your own safety. This is also the area where the hokutolite (the mineral named after this town) was found.
A bit further down the road, you will find the Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch. It is a two-storey building designed to be eco-friendly. Rainwater is collected to water plants and flush toilets. There is also a solar rooftop to capture energy from the sun. The library uses a lot of woods to help it integrate with the surroundings.