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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Taipei - Beitou Hotspring Town (3) - Hell Valley


If there's a place called Hell, would you go there?

Hell Valley may not be as scary as hell but its non-stopping hot steams and bubbles off the pond still creats a somewhat misty and creepy atmosphere.

How to get there
Hell Valley is located at the end of Chung-Shan Road, about 15 minutes walk from Xinbeitou MRT station. The entrance to Hell Valley is surrounded by hot spring spas. If you are on Chung-Shan Road and cannot find where the entrance is, go to one of the spas and ask them for the entrance to Di-Le-Gu (Hell Valley).

Once you pass the entrance, you should smell very strong sulphurous gas known as Green Sulfur. The trail to Hell Valley is a very easy 5 to 10 minutes walk. On the right hand side of the trail is the steaming creek coming from Hell Valley. The water temperature of the creek is not as boiling as Hell Valley so during the winter time local residents go near the creek for a warm foot bath.

How it is formed
Once you reach a steaming pond, you are at Hell Valley. There are few different versions of how Hell Valley is formed; some say it is a collapsed volcano crater; others say it's formed by underground hot spring coming off surface cracks. Nevertheless, its misty looks makes it a perfect photo spot.

The highly erosive water could be as high as 98 degree celcius so it is recommended not to stick your finger or toe into the water. A walk around the pond should take less than half hour. However if you are not comfortable with the smell, you may just want to take a few picture and stay closer to the entrance.

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