Beitou

One of the many joys of Taipei are the great places just outside the city center that are now stops on the MTR. Beitou is a premier location just a 20 minute ride from Taipei Main Station. Beitou was the largest hot-spring spa in Asia during the Japanese rule. This was a very unique area in it’s prime combining hot-springs culture, Nakasi music played by wandering musicians and tavern food. It was a location used to wine and service kamikaze pilots on their last night during WWII. It was a major red-light district for American soldiers during the Vietnam War, a legacy extending from the Japanese days.

Hot springs are ubiquitous throughout Taiwan due to the enormous earthquake activity here. There are developed areas like Beitou and other across the entire country, and also wild springs in the mountains that run north-south across the center of the island.

First up is the Beitou library. Although a relatively new structure, it has an ageless feel to it. I find it both very Japanese and also Frank Lloyd Wright.

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