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If you only had one day to squeeze in a visit to Yangmingshan and Beitou Hot Springs in Taipei, Taiwan, you can consider this itinerary.
I’ve included Google map links which you can star as favourites and track your location via GPS. You can buy simcards with data at Taoyuan airport so you can access the internet in Taiwan.
Try to get your own Easycard (you can buy at MRT stations) which you can easily use for MRT/metro trips and bus services.
Travelling from Taoyuan Airport to Yangmingshan
From Taoyuan Airport, you can now take a direct train from both Terminal 1 or 2 to Taipei Main Station which takes about 35–45 minutes. Alternatively you can also hop on a bus to Taipei Main Station which takes about 50 minutes.
There are about 41 stops so do try to get a seat if you can; the bus runs every 20 minutes. It takes about an hour, depending on traffic, to reach Qingtiangang.
Once you alight at Qingtiangang, you’ll see a flight of steps leading up to the grasslands.
Hiking trail from Qingtiangang to Lengshuikeng
The path consists of large gravels and stones, which can be uneven and slippery especially inside the forest, so it’s best to wear shoes. Watch out for cow poop on the ground.
From this point, you have a choice of multiple trails.
But if you only have a couple of hours to spare including a short picnic and taking photos, take the trail leading towards Lengshuikeng.
This trail will take you past some grazing cows, it’ll go uphill and downhill, past a few small streams, a small lake, a pillbox (used in Taiwan’s aerial defence strategy), a suspension bridge and you’ll end up at the Lengshuikeng visitor centre.
You can have a drink at the café (both outdoor and indoor seating), and enjoy the scenery.
Getting from Lengshuikeng to Beitou Hot Springs
From the bus stop at the Lengshuikeng visitor centre carpark, take bus 108 to the Yangmingshan Metropolitan bus terminal, which is about a 10 minute ride away. You’ll be asked to get off the bus as the bus terminal is the last stop.
Beitou Hot Springs area is actually closer to the Xinbeitou MRT than the Beitou MRT so you should alight at the Xinbeitou bus stop.
S9 only comes by every 40 minutes, so you can check the next S9 bus arrival timing on this website or scan the QR code printed on the bus stop signpost under S9 section.
In the website, look for “陽明山” (which is the stop after “第二停車場”) and the time shown on the website is the arrival of the next bus in minutes (分).
Things to do at Beitou Hot Springs
Enjoy the walk back to Xinbeitou MRT station via the boardwalk and stone path that is at the side of the hot springs stream and ends up at Beitou Park, instead of walking along the side of Zhongshan road.
Hope you enjoyed reading this, and that the directions came in handy.