Wulai, a beautiful town nestled among the hills, is only an hour away from Taipei. It’s known for its indigenous Atayal people, beautiful surroundings, and natural hot springs.
In fact, Wulai derives its name from the Atayal phrase “kirofu ulai” which means “hot and poisonous”. But don’t let that keep you away. Wulai is an amazing day trip from Taipei, and let me tell you why.
But first, here’s a quick video from our trip to Wulai.
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Taipei to Wulai
Travelling to Wulai from Taipei is relatively easy. There are basically two options at your disposal.
1. By Public Transport
Take the metro to Xindian Station, the southern terminus of the Green Line. From outside the station, catch the bus to Wulai which takes about 40 minutes, and costs NT$15. You can also take a taxi from Xindian Station which would take about 30 mins, but costs NT$ 600 one-way.
2. By Taxi
It’s also good to know that you can take a taxi to Wulai from anywhere in Taipei. However, be willing to spend anywhere over NT$ 1,000 for a one-way journey.
3. Private Car Charter (Most Convenient)
And if you want to have the convenience of your own car and driver, why not charter a private vehicle? You can rent a car for 4 or 8 hours, along with a driver who speaks English. It will save you the trouble of bargaining with local taxi drivers in Wulai, who may not speak English.
Once in Wulai, everything is accessible on foot. The bus/taxi stand, Wulai Old Street, and other attractions are all located within close proximity. The Wulai Waterfall is probably the furthest away at ~20-25 minutes walk from Wulai Old Street.
Things To Do In Wulai
Wulai may be a small town but it sure packs plenty of activities for a day trip.
1. Experience Hot Springs in Wulai
The main attraction in Wulai is the natural hot springs, and there are a few ways to enjoy them.
Free Public Hot Springs
There are free hot springs on either side of the Nanshi River. Just cross the bridge after the Wulai Old Street, turn right, and walk up the road. There’s a stairway that goes down to the river and the outdoor public hot springs area, with changing rooms.
There are also paid public hot springs, in case you’re interested.
Private Room Hot Springs
If you’re looking for privacy, there are private hot springs that you can book by the hour. After a quick walk around Wulai, we found numerous spas along the main streets. However, the really good spas and hotels are located just a couple of minutes walk from the Wulai bus stop, away from the town.
The Best Private Hot Springs In Wulai
We booked ourselves an hour in a private hot spring room at Volando Urai. Our private room came with a beautiful view overlooking the turquoise Nanshi River, and the mountains. The spa was clean, and the staff were very friendly. I can personally recommend Volando Urai (check out this view from our personal hot spring room).
It’s also worth noting that Volando Urai is highly rated, and private hot spring rooms sell out fast. So, book now.
Other popular spas and hotels in Wulai include the Pause Landis (close to Volando Urai), and the Full Moon Spa. Pause Landis has several open-air themed private rooms, and their public baths are also open-air, overlooking the river.
Hotels in Wulai
Spending a night in Wulai is probably a great way to unwind, relax, and appreciate the town. Other than the fact that you get to stay away from the hustle and bustle of Taipei, Wulai has some really nice hotels.
Spring Spa – Probably the best hotel in Wulai. Some rooms have a private spa bath, others have incredible views of the mountains.
Pick any of the three below. They all have great reviews and amazing private hot spring rooms.
Phoenix Sun Flower Valley Resort – Best budget hotel in Wulai. Always in high demand!
2. Visit The Wulai Atayal Museum
The Wulai Atayal Museum is dedicated to the aboriginal people of Wulai and showcases their history and culture. If you’re curious to learn more about the history of Wulai, step into the museum as admission is free.
3. Savour Local Food
Like most places in Taiwan, food is another attraction in Wulai. On our way to Wulai, our taxi driver requested us to try the sausages that are sold on the streets. Apparently, Wulai sausages are quite famous. And I agree with him, they were delicious!
The Old Wulai Street has numerous restaurants to pick from. We picked a restaurant at random and it turned out to be awesome. We ordered the local fried fish and lots of vegetables. The food was absolutely delicious!
4. Visit The Wulai Waterfall
The Wulai Waterfall is a 20-25 minute walk from Wulai Old Street. It’s not just the waterfall that is gorgeous, the journey to the waterfall is equally beautiful.
Pubu Road (the road leading to the waterfall) runs along the Nanshi River on one side and the Log Train on the other (no longer functional for carrying passengers). The road is relatively flat and offers scenic points along the journey. Stop to admire the natural beauty surrounding you, and make sure you look down into the gorge to see the beautiful river.
For the most part of the day, access to vehicles is prohibited on Pubu Road. This makes the journey even more serene.
5. Admire The Beauty Around You
I really love cities that are so close to nature. It took us less than an hour to get to Wulai from Taipei and we really wished we had more than a day to soak in all the natural beauty – the turquoise river, the green lush mountains, and the blue skies.
Of course, unlike us you can decide to make Wulai an overnight trip. There are some really nice hotels that you could spend the night at, in case you decide to stay back.
Hope you enjoyed my write up on Wulai. If you need more convincing to head to Wulai, check out my aerial photo gallery of Wulai.
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