TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — When it comes to hot springs in northern Taiwan, the famous Beitou hot springs are always the first to pop up on tourism blogs, and yet many travelers are less familiar with the Volando Urai Hot Spring Resort (馥蘭朵烏來渡假酒店).
Located in Wulai, Taipei, the resort is surrounded by mountains and a river with water the color turquoise. From the steaming hot springs, views of the Nanshi river and a petite waterfall can be seen in the mountains. If the weather is good, you may even catch sight of Chinese egrets passing by the window.
Hundreds of years ago, Taiwan's indigenous people first discovered the hot springs in Wulai. Thrilled at the sight of steaming hot water percolating out of the ground, they shouted ‘Ulay,’ which means ‘boiling hot’ in the Atayal (泰雅) dialect; thus, the area is now called ‘Wulai’ (烏來).
In Wulai, there are mainly sodium bicarbonate hot springs, which are known for their remarkable effects on human skin, almost a natural beauty treatment. This type of hot spring is colorless, tasteless, and odorless.
The resort is divided into 2 parts: the hot spring area, which is the part of the building with bathhouses for guests who are just there for a day visit, and the accommodation area, which consists of suites and hotel rooms that provide in-room hot springs.
There are two restaurants at the resort: Siliq and Soyan.
Meals served at Soyan are only available to overnight guests; day visitors, however, can make reservations to have afternoon tea at the restaurant.
Siliq provides Italian-style cuisine specifically designed to be eaten after a dip in a hot spring. Despite its Western cooking, Siliq is decorated with lanterns, folding screens, and other Chinese-inspired ornaments; additionally, the restaurant's menu changes every year, and items vary seasonally.
While having afternoon tea at Soyan, with the mountains as the background and the river as the stage, a series of performances that involve meditation, Chinese Gong shows, and Taiko drumming can be enjoyed. The performances, which embody Chinese Zen concepts, are divided into the following segments: “Life Rituals,” “Silent Chess,” “Seclusion of Sun Moon Gong,” and “Drum and Gong.
The resort also provides spas, aromatherapy, and various massage services.
To plan a trip, please visit their website.
Grand View Bathhouse. (Volando Urai Hot Spring and Resort website photo)
Dish served at one of the resort's restaurants. (Volando Urai Hot Spring and Resort website photo)
Chinese folding screens at Siliq. (Taiwan News, Venice Tang photo)
Performance at the resort. (Volando Urai Hot Spring and Resort website photo)
Chart of accommodation available at Volando Urai Hot Spring Resort. (Taiwan News image)