Day Trip to Wulai, Taipei

Welcome to Wulai!

Wulai is a very small district located in New Taipei City. It is about a 40-minute ride from Taipei City.

So, what’s in Wulai?  Wulai is known for its natural resources, several waterfalls, aboriginal culture, and odorless hot spring. Given that I’m not a (huge) fan of waterfalls and hot springs, it’s kind of weird having this included in my itinerary.

Unbeknownst to many, I just really wanted to see the cherry blossoms in Wulai; the closest to Taipei for flower viewing. The cherry blossoms here are believed to be best viewed between February – March every year.

One of the many bridges in Wulai

I am already aware that there’d be several waterfalls but I was really suprised at the number of bridges in Wulai.  I lost count of all the bridges that I crossed and they’re not even far from each other.

Wulai Old Town

From the bus stop, you’ll just have to walk ~200meters (and cross a bridge) to get to Wulai Old Street. Here, you’ll find several stalls all selling varieties of exotic food and souvenirs, including Aboriginal favorites and traditional dishes.

Wulai Old Street

Walk another ~300m from Wulai Old Street (and cross yet another bridge) and you’ll see several hotels offering several hot spring packages.

Accommodation in Wulai

Since I was interested in exploring parts of Wulai a little further out, I got a little giddy when I saw signs of a trail going to Wulai Waterfalls and amusement park. Since Wulai is pretty small, I assumed that walking would be more than adequate.

Don’t fret just yet! For those of you who despise walking uphill, you have the option to take the tourist train, cable car, or rent a scooter.

Adequate signs going to Wulai Waterfall

I found it impressive that they actually try their best to preserve their history.  Here, you’ll see several markings, both men and women, along the trail. This is one way to get in touch with the myriad aboriginal groups.

 

Atayal Aboriginal

The 2km-walk along a wooded lane with mountain/river scenery was a pleasant one.

I immediately assumed that this was the Warrior Square, overlooking the Wulai Waterfall.  It had lots of stalls selling food and souvenirs.

 

Warrior Square

This was also where you can take the gondola and float past the waterfall. From what I’ve read, the gondola operation was temporarily stopped due to a devastating typhoon that hit Wulai in 2012.

I was a little sad because the cherry blossoms weren’t in full bloom yet. I picked up a couple of flowers that were already on the ground. They’re beautiful.

 

Cherry Blossoms
One of the cafes in Wulai

After an hour of strolling, I decided to go back to Wulai Old Street. Time to devour Wulai’s delicacies!

For some, the reason they go to Wulai is just to eat their chocolate mochi (dubbed as the best chocolate mochi you will ever eat in your lifetime) and they become the happiest people in the planet.  I didn’t disagree. It was really, really good!

For the rest of my day trip,  I wanted to try anything the looked exotic!

True enough, there were people lining up for this. Of course, it was imperative that I had to have one. I believe that these were the wild boar sausages, a popular snack in Wulai. For $35/stick, I was in heaven that I wanted to bring all these home for my family and friends to try.

Would you look at the fat glistening!!!

There were lots of food to choose from. I just couldn’t understand what they were.

I’ve never seen this many mushrooms in my life!

A stall selling different kinds of mushrooms

I believe that these were also traditional Wulai rice wine (like sake in Japan, I think).

I’d definitely go back there if only for the wild boar sausage and chocolate mochi.

How to Get There

Taiwan makes transportation quick and easy for anyone. It’s a simple ride from the city.

Take the Taipei Metro (MRT) to Xindian station.  Just outside the station (right side), is a tourist center (English-speaking staff).  Behind the tourist center is the bus stop for bus 849.

Take the same bus going back to Xindian station.

I paid $15 from Xindian Station to Wulai.

Bus stop for Bus 849

TIPS:

-Have your coins changed at the tourist center (buses don’t give you change)
-Bus drivers don’t speak English. Upon getting on the bus, look up at the sign (right above the driver) on “when” to pay. Some buses require you to pay upon getting on the bus and some require you to pay upon alighting. I learned this the hard way.
-Don’t worry. The bus’s route will end at the Wulai bus stop.
-Going to Wulai, sit on the right. It has the scenic view.
-Most shops are closed on Mondays

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