The 10 Best Highlights To See in Wulai
Welcome to the district of Wulai, a charming mountainous area in northern Taiwan that offers breathtaking natural scenery, cultural experiences, and a refreshing escape from the bustling city. Wulai is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, known for its hot springs, indigenous culture, and stunning waterfalls. This travel guide will introduce you to the many attractions and activities in Wulai, from hiking trails to traditional markets to delicious local cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an adventure-packed getaway, Wulai has something to offer for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to discover the beauty of Wulai.
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Wulai Old Street
Whether it’s in the middle of a booming metropolis or a quiet mountain town, you’re more than likely to come across an Old Street. Wulai’s offering, much like others around the country, is where all the best shops, restaurants and food stalls gather for tourists’ convenience.
What makes Wulai’s Old Street even more unique is the immense amount of traditional indigenous-themed goods and cheesy souvenirs.
Even better, you can get your hands on an endless amount of tribal snacks! Those include wild boar sausages, caramelised sweet potatoes, bamboo tubes filled with sticky rice (once used by aboriginal hunters as a convenient lunchbox!) and endless bottles of millet wine, a staple of indigenous tribes.
Hidden deep in the valleys surrounding Taipei, there are plenty of natural landmarks to discover. Amongst the valleys of Wulai, that highlight is its iconic Waterfall.
The 80-meter cascade free-falling towards the valley below is a sight to behold and is easily visible from the observation deck on the opposite side.
The area surrounding the falls also gathers a small number of shops and cafes. It’s also a site for regular performances by local tribe members. Oh and be sure to check it out during cherry blossoms season from January to February!
Wulai Scenic Train
Getting the waterfall from the old street is a bit of a trek, it would be great if there was a get there quicker. Luckily, the Wulai Scenic Train is the perfect solution.
Originally built by the Japanese in 1928 to transport timber through the mountains, it has since been given a much-needed makeover and converted into an adorable tourist attraction that transports eager visitors deeper into the valley.
The 1.6 km ride costs NT$50 each way, and is worth every penny!
The ultimate itinerary for exploring the indigenous hot spring town in the middle of the valleys on the outskirts of Taipei, Wulai!
People come to Wulai for the stunning nature and vibrant indigenous culture, yet they stay for the hot springs!
Throughout the small town of Wulai are a seemingly endless supply of places to get yourself into the toasty waters.
The clear and odourless waters come out at about 80° C and are rich in minerals that are believed to do wonders for your skin! From high-class spas with elegantly designed private and public hot springs to small, basic rooms with hot spring bathtubs which can cost as little as NT$100 per hour.
If staying the night doesn’t take your fancy, don’t worry, many hotels and resorts rent hot springs by the hour!
Want to explore another hot spring destination in Taipei? Check out The Ultimate Travel Itinerary: Beitou in 1 Day!
Wulai Atayal Museum
The region of Wulai and the valleys that surround it were first inhabitants by the Atayal tribe, the 3rd largest indigenous group in Taiwan. So, after indulging yourself in some local tribal cuisine, why not learn a little more about their fascinating culture?
In the heart of Wulai Old Street, you’ll come across the Wulai Atayal Museum. Inside this free museum are a number of exhibitions dedicated to the local Atayal tribe.
From displaying clothing and tools to some local tribal traditions such as hunting and weaving. The most noteworthy customs of all are facial tattoos which were once a rite of passage and an iconic trademark of Atayal women.
For one of the best views of the waterfall and Wulai in general, the Wulai Gondola is just what you need! Taking off from the Taiche Waterfall Station, the gondola travels right over the waterfall to Yun Hsien Resort.
Before the hotel is a small recreation area, much like a miniature version of what you’d find in Sun Moon Lake. The park has some lush greenery to explore and a number of smaller activities including paintballing and archery of all things! Entrance to the park is covered by a return ticket for the gondola at NT$220.
Hiking the Trails Surrounding Wulai
Being right in the heart of the valleys and surrounded by glorious mountain ranges, Wulai is the perfect setting for a day of hiking!
Leading from Old Street and further past the waterfall are a number of trails including the Xinxian Trail which follows the Nanshi River towards Wusha Creek and Neidong Forest Recreation Area
From there you could also take the 2.9 km long Neidong Forest Loop which leads past the Neidong Forest Recreation Area, Wusha Creek and Doll Valley.
If you want a real adventure, then you could also hike all the way to the Sanxia district of New Taipei or all the way to Jiaoxi Hot Spring village in Yilan County.
Wulai Suspension Bridge
The first most notable site you’ll come across is the Wulai Suspension Bridge which crosses the Nanshi River. The pedestrian-only bridge is one of the most gorgeous in the region and an image synonymous with the region.
The bridge also gives visitors access to Wulai Fude Temple on the opposite side of the river. Speaking of which…
Wulai Fude Temple
If Taiwan isn’t short of one thing, it’s temples, yet you’ll find only a few around here. Wulai Fude Temple may not be the most eye-catching, but it’s said that this was the first Buddhist temple established in Taipei! Quite an achievement!
A popular summer pastime for local Taiwanese is river tracing, where they will walk up rivers and creeks and find spots to swim and frolic amongst the waters. Luckily, Wulai has one of the best within reach of Taipei!
The Jiajiuliao stream can be found after stepping off the bus at Cheng Gong Bus Stop and following the road beside Jiajiuliao Bridge. The stream gathers all manner of crowds during the summer that come for BBQs as well as have a chance to whisk their way down a rockslide to the cooling waters below!
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