2. From Taipei: Beitou Hotsprings and Yangmingshan Volcano Tour
Meet your tour guide and driver in the morning at MRT Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station and take a 40-minute journey to the Yangmingshan National Park. Along the way, stop by the Taipei Public Library at Beitou. Located in Beitou Park and near Beitou Hot Spring Museum, it is Taiwan's first "green library", and is one of the most beautiful public libraries in the world. It minimizes pollution and harm to the environment by using recycled materials and by being water and energy-efficient.
Visit the Beitou Hot Spring Museum which was built during the Japanese colonial era. The Tudor-style building has a brick and wood facade and black tile roofing. The 1st level consists of a small bath and a large bath with a piece of Hokutolite Stone weighing 800 kilograms displayed at a corner. This is the perfect location to learn more about Beitou's rich hot spring culture and history.
The next stop is Yangmingshan Flower Clock, the centerpiece of the Yangmingshan National Park. See the flowering plants which change by the seasons, where visitors can enjoy the bloom all year round. Visit Yangming Shu-Wu Mansion, also known as Zhongxing Guesthouse, which was the summer residence of the late president, Chiang Kai-shek. Today the mansion is an important site for Taiwanese culture and history.
Afterward, you will visit the most popular spot in the national park, Xiaoyoukeng, which literally means "little oil pit". This is a post-volcanic geological area, where you can see and smell the steam rising from the ground, and feel the heat of a dormant volcano. See Qingtiangang, a lava terrace formed when the lava flowed north after the eruption.
The last stop is Lengshuikeng, which means “cold water pit”. This is a barrier lake formed by the volcanic lava flowing down from the mountain. The hot spring water here is colder than the other areas hence its name. Before the tour comes to the end, enjoy a hot spring foot bath that gives relief to aching feet and helps release tension in the muscles.
After the tour, you may choose to disembark at MRT Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station or Shihlin Night Market and enjoy the local street foods.