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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Taipei - Beitou Hot Spring Town (2) - Hot Spring Museum


If you want to know what an old Spa looks like, you should visit Beitou Hot Spring Museum.

After an exotic walk in the tropical plants in Beitou Hot Spring Park, you shouldn't miss the English style house with red bricks on your right hand side as you continue on Chungshan Rd.

History
The free of entry museum, built in 1913 by Taiwan's Japanese Colonial Governor, was originally known as the Beitou Public Bath as it is the largest public bath place during the time. The public bath was so famous that Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, known as the father of modern China, and crown prince of Japan had both visited the place.

Tour
To preserve the floor of the building, visitors are required to take the shoes off and intead wear the slippers provided by the museum personnals. The brochure provides information and detail map of the museum. An one to two hour self guided tour will take you to 6 exhibition areas and 12 display rooms that includes the precious Beitou Stone (the hotspring stone), the gathering place with Tatami-type floor and Roman style bath place. While you are at the main bath place, pay attention to the green painted window(1) and the holes on the wall(2).

Information
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am till 5 pm. It's located at No. 2 Chungshan Rd. in Beitou district of Taipei. It's easily accessble from the Xinbeitou MRT station with a short walk along Chungshan Rd.
You may call for more information (02)2893-9981.

Mystery #1 - Green Painted Window
The sealed window was used to collect entrace tickets to the bath. It was also used to distribute towels for the people in the bath.

Mystery #2 - Holes on the Wall
The holes were not drilled by visitors so don't drill any hole on the wall. The holes were made to inject special chemicals to preserve the building materials. Most holes are sealed already while few are still left to let the visitor know how the building is preserved.

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