7 Amazing Things to Do in Wulai, a Hot Spring Town Near Taipei, Taiwan

Photo by Atosan/Shutterstock

7 Amazing Things to Do in Wulai, a Hot Spring Town Near Taipei, Taiwan

Incredible mountain scenery, waterfalls and relaxing hot springs, Wulai is an essential day trip from Taipei for those wanting an escape to nature. Not only does it offer stunning landscapes and activities, but also a unique chance to see the life and culture of the Taiwanese aboriginal people. Add that to the relaxing hot spring resorts you'll find around the town and you'll soon see why Wulai is one of the best destinations in Taiwan.

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7 Amazing Things to Do in Wulai, a Hot Spring Town Near Taipei, Taiwan

Wulai Old Street

Wild boar sausages in Wulai, Taiwan

Photo by Atosan/Shutterstock

A must-see for any gluttons heading to the town, Wulai Old Street is packed full of food stalls, snacks and shops selling local produce that can be cooked for you. Make sure to try the bamboo-tube rice and wild boar kebabs or sausages along with some millet wine to wash it down.

Along with the delicious street eats, you'll find souvenirs and goods made by the local aboriginals that make for beautiful gifts to bring back home.

Pamper Yourself at a Hot Spring Resort

Private Hot Spring Bath at resort in Wulai in Taiwan

Photo by MONTREE WAIMITTRA/Shutterstock

Meaning hot springs in the local aboriginal language, Wulai is all about the spa waters here and taking some time to soak in the soothing waters is a must. While most people visit Wulai for a day trip and bathe in the public springs, we'd recommend staying at one of the resorts here for the ultimate relaxation after hiking around Wulai.

Some recommended resorts to visit in Wulai include Full Moon Spa Wulai, Pause landis Resort Wulai and Yufuin Hot Spring.

For a taste of luxury, Volando Urai Spring Spa & Resort offers some beautifully designed rooms, complete with private hot spring baths. Prices don't come cheap however, expect to pay about NT$16,050 per night for two people.

Experience Aboriginal Culture

Atayal aboriginal people in Wulai, Taiwan

Photo by Ianz/Flickr

Having a long history as the territory of the Atayal people, Wulai is a fascinating window into the aboriginal culture of Taiwan. Try out the food made by the local ethnic groups or buy some local crafts and handiwork for souvenirs. The Wulai Atayal Museum is also in the hot spring village and is full of information about Taiwanese aborigines and the local Atayal indigenous people. Best of all, the museum is free of charge to visit and the displays are translated into English.

Hiking Around the Mountains

Mountains around Wulai, Taiwan

Photo by Atosan/Shutterstock

With its location deep in the mountains that cut through Taiwan's central regions, Wulai offers a number of beautiful hiking trails and scenic spots throughout its area. The XinXian Trail is relatively easy, following the river further on from the waterfall area. For a more challenging hike, try following the trails up Badaoer Mountain. The view from the top offers stunning sweeping vistas over the surrounding mountains.

Note that some trails are still damaged by the typhoon and parts are inaccessible. The one's mentioned above have been repaired.

Wulai Scenic Train

Scenic train in Wulai Hot Spring Area, Taiwan

Photo by Jirka Matousek/Flickr

Originally built by the Japanese in 1928 to transport timber and other items through the mountains, also known as Wulai Trolley, this 1.6 km long track takes tourists from Wulai to the famous waterfalls nearby. While you can easily walk to the waterfalls by yourself, the train is fun to try out at as you slowly trundle through the mountain passes. It's well worth trying out at least once when you're visiting and only costs NT$50.

Take a Cable Car up the Mountain with the Wulai Gondola

Cable car gondola in Wulai, Taiwan

Photo by Jirka Matousek/Flickr

For some of the best views over the town of Wulai and the stunning adjacent Taiche Falls, the Wulai Gondola takes passengers up over the waterfall to Yun-hsein Park. While the resort is still recovering from the 2015 typhoon, the ride itself is more than worth it for the views.

Help Out the Local Area

After being hit by a strong typhoon in 2015, much of the town was damaged, the town only recovered in the last few years, with most places reopening in 2017. Once a thriving hot spring town for residents of Taipei and the surrounding area, Typhoon Soudelor crippled the tourism industry of Wulai for several years. With much of the area still recovering today.

Other Things to Do

Cherry Blossoms in Wulai, Taiwan

Photo by Kit Leong/Shutterstock

If you're planning to visit during February or March, Wulai is also a famous spot for cherry blossom viewing, one of several spots on the island to see this beautiful foliage. The peak viewing season for sakura in Wulai is at the end of January or early February, however it changes each year depending on the weather and other conditions, so be sure to check beforehand.

How to Get to Wulai From Taipei

The easiest and cheapest way is to just take Bus 849 from Xindian Station, in the south of Taipei. Buses from here are frequent, about every 15 minutes to half an hour and costs just NT$15. Take the bus all the way to the last stop for the town of Wulai, the journey will last about 40 to 50 minutes.

If getting to Xindian is inconvenient consider taking a taxi, which will most likely cost around NT$800, depending on where you leave from. Taking a car or taxi will mean you can get there in 30 minutes from Xindian, saving slightly on journey time. As the roads are quite windy, meandering around the mountains, for those who get easily car sick, taking the bus can be a little nauseating.

Note that Little Wulai (Xiao Wulai) is a different place, further to the west outside of Taoyuan City. It also offers some beautiful scenery, known for the Xiaowulai Skywalk which takes you up into the canopy and Xiao Wulai Scenic Area. It's not reachable from Wulai however, you'd need to go through Taoyuan to get there.

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