How to have the best Wulai day trip from Taipei
Wulai (烏來, Wūlái), is a small aboriginal town located 27km south of Taipei in northern Taiwan – making it one of the easiest day trips from Taipei. It’s home to Taiwan’s indigenous Atayal tribe and has roughly 6000 inhabitants. Although many consider Wulai as an untamed slice of Taiwan, the town and outer lying area has plenty to offer day visitors. With outdoor hot springs, scenic hiking trails, beautiful mountain views and delicious street food, there’s no reason not to do a Wulai day trip from Taipei.
If you are looking to explore the outskirts of Taipei, Wulai is a great choice. Trade the busy streets for a relaxing day outdoors on an easy Wulai day trip from Taipei. In this guide, we set out the very best things to do in Wulai.
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The Best things to do on your Wulai day trip from Taipei
If it’s your first visit to Taipei, you might already have Beitou – one of the most famous hot springs spots in Taipei County – on your itinerary. Although Beitou is nice enough, I prefer a Wulai day trip from Taipei.
Firstly, Wulai has stacks more character! And, secondly, if you are thinking of spending a night, you’ll find that prices are much more favourable here than the hot springs hotels in Beitou. Not to mention, you’ll get to experience the unique tastes and culture of the local villagers, the surrounding lush jungles, and let’s not forget the beautiful waterfall.
Wulai is renowned throughout Taiwan for its natural hot springs. Visitors can enjoy the steamy water at one of the many outdoor pools along the Nanshih river, or head to a hot spring hotel.
Most hot spring hotels are located in or near the village’s Old Street (tourist street). Choose to soak in either a public pool or private tub, depending on your budget and free time available.
So, what will it cost?
- Outdoor public pools: Free entry
- Hot spring hotels: Generally most hot spring hotels display prices at their entrances. Budget for roughly NT$300-$500 (unlimited time) at the public pools. Private tubs/rooms range from NT$600-$1200 (two hours)
Thinking of spending a night?
Accommodation types vary from budget hotels and inns to more luxurious spa’s and resorts. Prices typically range between NT$1500-$16000. For the most accurate rates, it’s best to check individual websites or check out the search box here…
Hot spring tips
- Public pools at hot spring hotels are gender based, so it’s not uncommon to see locals enjoying a soak au naturel.
- Be sure to rinse your body properly before and after using any of the pools.
- If you suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure or have any open wounds, it’s best to skip the hot springs entirely.
- At all times, avoid the water covering your chest, especially your heart.
- Don’t stay in the water longer than 20-30 minutes at a time.
- Give your body some time to cool down, before heading back into the hot water.
- Read all the safety instructions displayed at hot spring hotels carefully.
The Wulai waterfall is 80m high and is easily reached on foot (1,5km from the village) or by mini train. There are plenty of lookout points and selfie opportunities once you get to the base. A number of charming little eateries and coffee shops are also based here. Alternatively, take the gondola up the mountain for beautiful views of the waterfall.
Wulai is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers. The area has a scenic 5km trail running along the river. More serious hikers, can also enjoy the 20km Jia Jia Liao Stream trail, which runs between Wulai and Sanxia.
Grabbing a bite
In recent years, Taiwan has become a food lovers’ paradise. It has gained so much popularity that it was even dubbed the #1 Food Destination by an online CNN poll. Even though some critics are suspicious of this result, Taiwan still has a variety of interesting and tasty street food. With its deep-rooted Atayal culture, Wulai is no different and is sure to delight your street food taste buds.
The easiest place to grab a bite, is in the Old Street where food stalls and restaurants are abundant. Although westerners are often quite skeptical of Taiwanese foods and drinks, don’t worry too much. It usually tastes better than it looks!
Must try snacks
- Barbecued Mochi (烤麻糬, Kǎo máshǔ) – a glutinous rice snack served with condensed milk and peanut crumbs.
- Wild boar sausage (山豬香腸, Shān zhū xiāngcháng). If you prefer not to eat wild boar, opt for the traditional pork sausage (香腸, Xiāngcháng). Take note that Taiwanese sausages are usually a lot sweeter than western style sausages.
- Sticky rice bamboo tubes (竹筒飯, Zhútǒng fàn) – bamboo tubes stuffed with rice, vegetables and often some form of meat.
- ‘Tian bu la’ (甜不辣) – made from fish paste, this delicious snack can either be broiled, deep-fried or barbecued.
- Various eggs – a wide variety of eggs, differing in size, color and even texture are available here.
If you follow a vegetarian diet, fresh fruit is available throughout the Old Street at the fruit stalls. Vegetable dishes are also available at most restaurants, but note that some restaurants might add a pork based sauce to their dishes.
Doing a Wulai day trip from Taipei is extremely easy, thanks to Taiwan’s amazing transportation system. You can easily get to Wulai by using the public bus. But if you prefer driving, you could easily reach Wulai by car or scooter, too. In fact, some people even cycle here.
However, if you are using the public transport, catch Bus 849, near Xindian MRT Station. The ride takes about 45 minutes and will cost NT$15 for a single ride.
One last thing…
Travelling solo in Taipei? And wondering what to do? I’ve got you covered! Check out these 10 brilliant things to do in the city!
Have you ever been to Wulai? And, have we missed any of your favourite things to do on a Wulai daytrip from Taipei? Drop your comments below!
As always, feel free to head to our Taiwan section, where you can discover other great places to explore on the island. Plus loads of handy tips and hacks to make your visit a success. Also, don’t forget to follow us on social media and subscribe to our mailing list to get all the good stuff first!
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