Hot springs & Aborigine culture
---By Yan Chen Translated
by Sho Huang
If you're tired of the crowded streets
and suffocatingly-busy lifestyle of Taiwan's urban landscape,
Wulai is a great place to escape to. Legend has it that
the name "Wulai" comes from Atayal Aborigine
language. While hunting here, Aborigines supposedly
found smoke rising from a creek. Upon closer examination,
they found hot water flowing out of cracks, so they
named the place "ualikirofu", which means
"steaming hot springs". Although Wulai is
famous for those hot springs, there are also other fun
things to do.
During the day, you can visit the Wulai
Atayal Tribe Folk Museum, where you get to understand
more about tribal culture. Or check out the Wulai waterfalls
and Wuchong Creek to enjoy the cool waters and forest
showers. When your feet get tired, you can always recharge
along Wulai Old Street, where you will find all sorts
of snack shops and restaurants. Tasty dishes like fried
mountain boar, venison and vegetables can be savored
here. And, if you consider yourself bold, try the deep-fried
bees and "Xiao Mi Jiu" rice wine, which makes
up a perfect authentic Atayal meal.
At night, the hot springs are an absolute
must. There are many options, including simply jumping
straight into the hot springs pool along the riverside.
Or you can walk along Hot Springs Street and cross the
bridge to the "Heated Hot Springs", where
the temperature is even higher. Tourists usually bring
along eggs and cook them up here. While there's no fee,
you should prepare your own towels and showering kit.
And, if you feel like giving yourself a treat, many
hotels here are also equipped with public pools and
private rooms to enjoy the hot springs at.
Finally, don't leave Wulai empty-handed as the specialties
here like plum wine and Aborigine decorative accessories
make great gifts.
On National Highway No. 1 heading north,
take the Hsinchu Interchange to connect National Highway
No.2. Get off at AnKeng or XinDian Interchange. There
is a brown sign pointing the way to WuLai. Take the
Rt. 9 "Jia" spur directly to WuLai.