Beitou Hot Spring

This is one of those expectation and reality gone wrong in my Taiwan trip. When one talk about hot spring, this is what I imagine...
  • natural rocks that make up a pool filled with spring water
  • sexy people with pretty bikinis soaking in the water (with possibility of nudist)
  • peaceful, quiet surrounding
So I headed to Beitou Hot Spring (北投) for some au naturale bathing experience. Beitou is one of the famous hot spring resort in Taiwan. The bath houses are modeled after the old school Japanese bath house (knowledge that I read from some travelogues). You see, I was so excited to go there...

As soon as we reached there..................... MAN! THIS PLACE STINKS LIKE SHIT!!!!!! Apparently, it's because of the sulfur. No one told me sulfur smells like cow dung! I would have mentally prepared for that if someone would have told me about it much earlier. But no.... most travel shows deliberately leave that part out. If they reveal it, no one would visit the place, I guess.

And worst of all..... the public bath is not like what I've imagined. There are fat, old, wrinkly, sagging meat walking and soaking in the public bath.... NAKED! Well, if you're a fan of old naked men or women, then this is your place. No photos here, not even for illustration purpose.

The public bath is totally backfired my expectation, so I headed to the private bath which is in the same bath house and for the same amount of money. At least, I can keep my sanity here. 

The private bath is not any better. It's good in a sense that you don't have naked strangers walking in front of you that makes you wanna dig out your eyeballs, but the place is dirty. I'm not sure they even clean the place up after every use. Stains are apparent on the wall. It irked me. I don't feel comfortable removing any of my clothing because I have wild imagination of bacterias sticking everywhere in the bath.

At least you can keep your belongings safely with you in the hut. 

I really didn't dare to bathe myself in the tub. So we only soak out feet to get the feel of it. For experience sake...

The water is really hot. Boiling hot. No wonder they call it a hot spring. No joke. It is not warm spring. But hot spring. 

I am so thankful, they have proper vanity and hairdryer inside.

This is by far the worst turn off during my Taiwan trip. Nonetheless, I am still hopeful. I will return, but I shall try other bath house. To play safe, I think I will stay in those hot spring resort. It is much pricier but I think it wouldn't be as bad as this.