Aside from the fancy themed-restaurants and cafes, vibrant street night markets, and creative parks, one must not miss to visit natural hot springs in Taiwan. They have this mud spring in Guanziling, Central Taiwan, and a seabed hot spring in Green Island, east coast of Taiwan. And, a lot of other hot springs to explore.
For travel wise, Beitou District is the easiest hot spring hub you can go visit. It is located thirty minutes away up north of Taipei City. Just take the MRT traversing the Red Line and alight at Beitou Station.
For another option with a nice odorless hot spring bath and a picturesque view of nature at the same time, you’d want to visit to Wulai District. This district of aboriginal Atayal is accessible within 30 minutes by a shuttle from Xindian Station.
Volando Urai Spring Spa and Resort in Wulai District
Volando Urai Spring Spa and Resort allows you to experience to bask in in the mineral water of Wulai. Even though the Instagrammable resort offers a private hot spring pool and bathhouse, they made sure that you’ll still get the vibe of being close to nature. The resort is conveniently located along the main road of the mountainous town, and along the riverbank of Nanshi River.
Aside from public outdoor hot spring, and private bathhouse, Volando Urai Spring Spa & Resort can serve as your lodging while exploring the district of aboriginal Atayal. This hot spring resort also features fine dining restaurants, conference rooms, Taiwan Indigenous cultural show, and spa treatment.
For a four-hour pass to outdoor hot spring including access to other facilities, you may book a reservation to Volando Urai Spring Spa and Resort via Kkday through this link.
For aromatherapy treatment including a package meal at the Resort’s fine dining restaurant, book through this link.
For a one-hour use of private grand view bathhouse including a package meal at the Resort’s fine dining restaurant, you may book a reservation through this link. This is actually what we booked. Read more below to learn about my personal experience and quick tips you need to know:
Quick Facts about Wulai District
Our other friend joined us in Volando Urai but didn’t do the bath. She walked around the small but interesting village of Wulai which is only 15 minutes away by foot from the Volando Urai.
Aside from numerous public and private hot springs and resorts, there are a lot of other places to drop by in Wulai. The lovely town also boasts clothing store, souvenir store, food stalls and restaurants that all try to showcase the unique culture of the aboriginal Atayal. And, you can also explore the beautiful scenery with the waterfalls as the centerpiece by taking a hike, getting on a coal-cart-turned-tourist-tram or riding a cable car.
How to Get There:
The best way to get to the Volando Urai Spring Spa & Resort is to catch the shuttle. Travel time going Volando Urai via Shuttle only takes 30 minutes from Xindian Station, the south end of the green line of the MRT. Right outside of the Xindian MRT Station, near the Starbucks at No. 2, Section 1, Beiyi Road, you can find the van with Volando Urai Spring Spa & Resort poster printed on it. The fare for a one-way shuttle van is NT$50 (P 84.28).
For reference, shuttle van from Xindian Station to Volando Urai starts to leave at 9:30 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and the last trip is at 7:00 PM.
The trip via shuttle van from Volando Urai going back to Xindian Station are scheduled at 10:20 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 6:00 PM, and 8:00 PM.
For cheaper transportation going to Wulai, you can take the Bus 849 parked at the Xindian MRT Station Exit. Or, you can hail the Bus 849 passing through along the Xindian MRT Station Exit. The fare for public bus costs NT$15 (P 25.28). Travel time via public bus may take almost two hours. Drop off point is at the Yanti bus stop. From there, you’ll just need to do a little more walk to reach the Volando Urai.
Other options we had was to hire an Uber or a taxi. But, both were really expensive. The cheapest we could have hired costs NT$ 680 (P 1,146.71). So, good thing we caught the shuttle.
Don’t forget to make an early reservation of the shuttle before it gets fully booked. I think the van is only an 8-seater. As for us, we asked the reception at Amba Ximending to make a reservation.
By the way, Amba Ximending is an art-themed hotel located on the upper floors of Eslite Shopping Complex in Ximending.
To get a quick glimpse about Amba Ximending, you may also read Instagrammable Taiwan.
The Hot Spring Bathhouse Experience
It was a rainy day when we went. And, it was a peak season which meant we only get to have an hour to use the Grand View Bathhouse. That’s part of their regulations in order for them to accommodate more guests. During the summer season, minimum time that the guests can stay is an hour and a half.
We wished we had more time. Of course, we hoped we had an additional time since we had to take a lot of photos before we basked in in the Instagrammable bathtub. It was a perfect indoor and rainy weather activity in Taipei.
Inside the private bathhouse for two guests, you will find the bathtub, shower, sofa, and vanity table. On the top of the vanity table are the toiletries. Towels, slippers, and dryers are also provided. Loved it!
The Grand View Bathhouse has that modern Japanese design. The black tiled tub is beside the picture window from which we were supposed to get a picturesque overlooking view of a green slope and turquoise river. We did not get that photo of the turquoise river. Instead, the nonstop rain turned the water into an earthy brown color. But, it was still a relaxing view. And, the raindrops added a more dramatic mood in our hot spring tub experience.
Ten minutes before your time on the bathhouse is up, the resort staff will call you. You’ll know when to start packing up.
Volando Urai also features different bedroom suites, spa treatment, in-house restaurants, conference rooms, other public hot spring. We wanted to check the public hot spring out but a separate payment for entry is required.
Entry rate per person in the Resort’s public hot spring plays around NT$ 750 to NT$ 1,000 (P 1,265.75 to 1687.67) depending on the season. To a get a pass to use this outdoor hot spring pool, you may book a reservation through Kkday with this link.
Lunch at a Fine Dining Restaurant
Our Volando Urai Pass to Grand View Bathhouse via Kkday comes with either Afternoon Tea Set, Lunch Set Meal or Dinner Set Meal at Siliq Restaurant.
There are two fine dining restaurant sitting inside the Resort. Aside from Siliq Restaurant, they also have Soyan Restaurant which offers Taiwanese delicacies with a touch of French style plating. Soyan Restaurant has floor to ceiling window that allows guests to savor the panoramic view of the Wulai mountain and its river.
Siliq Restaurant, on the other hand, is a bit enclosed but has Japanese-style Interior design. Although there is a communal area that retains the Zen vibe and since there weren’t a lot of people during our visit, we were able to take the seats at the little private nook with the nice view through large picture windows.
On their menu, Siliq Restaurant offers less expensive cuisines. They also use local fresh ingredients to serve Italian dishes curated by their in-house Austrian chef.
We ordered a lunch meal set complete with appetizer, salad, soup, main dish, and dessert plus coffee or tea. We started our meal with balsamic mushroom and seafood and sprout salad, Caesar salad, and creamy tomato soup with pesto sauce.
While Lara had the seafood risotto for main course, I had the fillet beef with artichoke. I really loved the Fillet Beef seasoned with Rose salt. I think the Rose salt does all the magic. It reminds of the torched beef cubes we had at the Raohe Street Night Market.
Read also my article What to Eat in Raohe Street Night Market.
For our dessert, we had the tandem of Grappa Mascarpone Cream and Marinated Fruits. Then, we ended our meal with a hot cup of Cappuccino.
Lara and I had a long talk and bonding session over lunch. Before 2 PM, we got all set to ride our shuttle bound to leave back to Xindian Station.
To book the same close-to-nature hot spring bathhouse experience via Kkday, click here.