I had some time to kill before going to work, a rarity awarded to me during Shida’s semester breaks, so I decided to walk from Xinbeitou Station [新北投站] to Zhongzheng Mountain [中正山]. I didn’t know anything about the mountain, I just saw a picture of its location on the area map located inside the MRT station. Along the way I
got lost changed my mind and decided to stop at the Liuhuangku Geothermal Scenic Area [硫磺谷地熱景觀區].
Silver Grass [Miscanthus floridulus] is a very hardy plant that can survive this unforgiving environment.
The only signage in the area is in Chinese, which explains why the English version of Yangmingshan National Park’s website has no information on the area.
The only animal life I saw was the pack of about a dozen stray dogs that made a home near the warm vents.
The sulfuric gases and acidic springs scorch and erode the surrounding rocks.
If you only have time for one geothermal scenic area while in Taiwan I would suggest Xiaoyoukeng [小油坑] over Liuhaungku.
As I was leaving, I noticed this couple getting their wedding pictures taken along the side of the area’s lake. The groom-to-be was a lot more happy about the rain and smell of sulfur than his soon-to-be wife. She did manage to crack a smile for the camera, but in between shots she didn’t seem too enthusiastic about the shoot.
If you want to get there without walking, you can take the S9 or S7 buses from Beitou MRT Station to Datong Zhijia Station [大同之家站].