Wulai is a beautiful town nestled among the hills and 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 from it. Wulai is an amazing day-trip from Taipei and let me tell you why.
Taipei to Wulai
Getting from Taipei to Wulai is quite easy. 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.
It’s also good to know that you can take a taxi to Wulai from anywhere in Taipei. However, be willing to shell out anywhere over NT$1,000 for a one-way journey.
Once in Wulai, getting around the town is easy 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 the Wulai Old Street.
Things To Do In Wulai
Wulai maybe a small town but it sure packs plenty to do, especially for a day-trip.
Hot Springs in Wulai
The main attraction in Wulai are 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.
Private Hot Springs
However, if you’re looking for some more 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, some of the really good spas and hotels are located just a couple of minutes walk from the Wulai bus stop.
We booked ourselves an hour in a private hot spring at Volando Urai. The 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 (see our personal hot spring room below).
Another popular spa in Wulai is the Pause Landis (close to Volando Urai). The hotel has several open air themed rooms and their public baths are also open-air, overlooking the river.
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 the admission is free.
Like most places in Taiwan, food is another attraction in Wulai. On our way to Wulai, our taxi driver told us that we had 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!
The Wulai Waterfall is a 20-25 minute walk from the 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.
Simply 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.
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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