To-do Guide when you are in Wulai (烏來) - Taiwan

Upon arriving at Wulai, you will notice the abundance of people visiting; whether it is a weekend or weekday. Couples, friends, families etc... Wulai is not only an escape from the hustle and bustle from Taipei, but from city life (wherever it may be).

A marker烏來老街 -
233, Taiwan, 新北市烏來區烏來
[get directions]

Enjoying the hot springs by the river side
Enjoying the hot springs by the river side

Hotpsprings

One thing that you must experience is the the hot springs when you are in Taiwan. With the many geothermal hot springs throughout Taiwan, you would be spoiled for choice! Just within vicinity of the capital, Taipei, Beitou and Wulai are two places that are well-known for their hot springs:

  1. Beitou is located nearer to Taipei and known for its sulfuric hot spring waters, museums and history (it was an area once occupied by the Japanese)
  2. Wulai is in the northern part of Taiwan and slightly further away, is known for its odorless and colorless sodium carbonate hot springs (apparently known for its beautifying properties).

Both Beitou and Wulai though some distance from the city center of Taipei, can be visited as a day trip or for a couple of days to take in the nature, history and culture that surrounds those areas.

In Wulai, you have a couple of options to choose to enjoy the hotsprings:

  1. If your budget allows and/or you want to experience a more luxurious (and private) hot springs experience, spending some money for a couple of hours (or a night or two) to get a private room or use the public hot spring areas of the many hotels, resorts, inns (bed & breakfasts) that are peppered throughout the area is the option for you. You just have to find one that is within your budget and comfort (some are really ‘open’ a.k.a all naturel nu).
  2. If you’re feeling adventurous and/or just want to save some money, the best way to enjoy an original hot spring experience is to bathe at the open-air hot spring on the bank of Nanshih Creek.

The town beside the river and amidst the greenery.
The town beside the river and amidst the greenery.

Wulai Old Street (烏來老街)

This quaint little town/street on the outskirts of Wulai is well-known for its odorless and colorless hotsprings, food influenced by aboriginal Atayal culture, waterfalls and beautiful lush scenery. Wulai Old Street (烏來老街) is essentially a street that is packed with local snacks and restaurants/eateries, set amidst a picturesque backdrop of mountains with streams and small waterfalls, and the famous hot springs!

So when you are here don’t miss out on trying the local delicacies such as wild boar meat and bamboo stewed rice; especially the aboriginal food.

Wulai Old Street (烏來老街): Food galore... There were many stalls selling wild boar meat sausage
Wulai Old Street (烏來老街): Food galore... There were many stalls selling wild boar meat sausage
Wild mountain boar sausage (山豬肉香腸). NT$35 each. Wild mountain boar skewer (山豬肉串) NT35 each, 3 for NT$100.
Wild mountain boar sausage (山豬肉香腸). NT$35 each. Wild mountain boar skewer (山豬肉串) NT35 each, 3 for NT$100.
Grilled tapioca a Atayal specialty. There are many topping that we could select: sesame, peanuts, honey, seaweed etc... All for the price of NT$30.
Grilled tapioca a Atayal specialty. There are many topping that we could select: sesame, peanuts, honey, seaweed etc... All for the price of NT$30.
Candied sweet potatoes for NT$50 per packet. It looked a little too sweet, so we gave this a miss.
Candied sweet potatoes for NT$50 per packet. It looked a little too sweet, so we gave this a miss.
Hot Spring Eggs! These are simply a delight and very flavorful. They're chilled so they are perfect on a sunny day. NT$10 each for the normal ones and NT$15 each for the wine infused ones.
Hot Spring Eggs! These are simply a delight and very flavorful. They're chilled so they are perfect on a sunny day. NT$10 each for the normal ones and NT$15 each for the wine infused ones.
The delectable handmade pork buns at NT$20 each! They come in 3 different seasonings and are very nice.
The delectable handmade pork buns at NT$20 each! They come in 3 different seasonings and are very nice.
Ranging from NT$150 to NT$450, wine has never looked cuter/prettier. Besides the overly sweet packaging, the standard ones look pretty nice as well.
Ranging from NT$150 to NT$450, wine has never looked cuter/prettier. Besides the overly sweet packaging, the standard ones look pretty nice as well.
As with most Atalyan restaurants, the kitchen is located at the front of the shop where the ingredients used are also proudly displayed on the counter beckoning hungry patrons to come in.
As with most Atalyan restaurants, the kitchen is located at the front of the shop where the ingredients used are also proudly displayed on the counter beckoning hungry patrons to come in.
Stew Bamboo Shoots (background) and Bamboo tube rice (竹筒飯) (foreground)
Stew Bamboo Shoots (background) and Bamboo tube rice (竹筒飯) (foreground)
A plate of noodles with braised sauce: Springy noodles with braised sauce drizzled over
A plate of noodles with braised sauce: Springy noodles with braised sauce drizzled over
Vegetable Soup
Vegetable Soup
Chicken: Highly recommended! ou can choose whether you want the front or lower part of the chicken.
Chicken: Highly recommended! ou can choose whether you want the front or lower part of the chicken.
Stir-fried vegetables: These vegetables have a interesting taste of both spring onions (the crunchiness) and dou miao (the flavor).
Stir-fried vegetables: These vegetables have a interesting taste of both spring onions (the crunchiness) and dou miao (the flavor).
Wulai Atayal Museum
Wulai Atayal Museum

Wulai Atayal Museum

Wulai (烏來) is home to one of the many aboriginal tribes in Taiwan - the Atayal, who were known for their traditional facial tattoos depicting their coming of age and skills (e.g. weaving skills for the women and hunting skills for the men). So if you are up for a little history and local culture of the Atayal, than this is a place you should visit.

The museum displays Atayal handcrafted artifacts, traditional clothing, and weapons etc...Not to worry if you do not understand Chinese, all exhibit descriptions are in both Chinese and English. The Wulai Atayal Museum is located along Wulai Old Street (烏來老街).

Address: No. 12, WuLai St., Wulai District, New Taipei City
Phone: (02)2661-8162
Wulai Atayal Museum Website
Admission Fee: NT$50

Wulai Waterfalls and Gondola

From the street, there is bridge (Lansheng Bridge) which leads to the Wulai waterfalls and the other side of town.

Getting there: Taking a taxi is a good alternative if you want to spare your aching feet from all that walking/hiking or if you simply feel lazy. Of course if you want to save (that bit of) money, taking the bus or walking would be better options.

Address: Pubu Road, Wulai District, New Taipei City
Phone: (02)2661-6383
Hours: Daily 8:30am – 5pm for park access (cable car runs until 10pm)
Admission Fee: NT$220 (for adults)

How to get there from Taipei:

MRT -> Bus

  1. Take MRT to Xindian Station (the southernmost stop on the green line)
  2. Take Bus 1601 or 849 (bus stop is in front of the station) to Wulai for about NT$15-40. The bus journey takes about 40 minutes (usually a little longer on weekends). For a better view of the scenic landscape, face the right side when you board the bus.
  3. Wulai Old Street (烏來老街) is a short 5 to 10 minutes walk from the Wulai bus terminal. You will have to cross a short bridge to reach.

MRT -> Taxi
If you do not want to compete with the crowd, you could take a taxi after alighting at Xindian MRT Station. A taxi trip should cost about NT$650++.

Transportation and Getting Around Wulai:

Wulai is a relatively small district / neighborhood, so youshould be able to get around on foot without much problem, sans the minor slopes and relatively short distances.

  • If you want to see the waterfalls or go to the amusement park, you could take the cable car and/or tram to get around; giving a different perspective.
  • If you are interested in exploring parts of Wulai which are slightly further out, where the hiking and natural attractions are available, you can either take a taxi or rent a scooter. Taxis are available for hire: each trip within the Wulai area costs NT$200 and for shorter distances NT$150.
  • If you prefer, you can also rent a scooter and explore at your own pace instead.

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