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Situated just across from Taipei's Beitou Hot Spring Park is the remarkable sight of what is sometimes called 'Hell Valley'.
Taipei's Thermal Valley is a magical, misty valley that looks like something straight out of the set of Lord of the Rings. The natural geysers located in the Beitou valley supply the hot water for the hot springs in the surrounding areas. The eery mist lingering over the valley is in fact sulphuric steam. At night, visitors squint a diffracted view of the surrounding valley through this sulphuric mist. This is what has led to the valley's more imaginative nicknames, like 'Hell Valley' and 'Ghost Lake'.
There are a number of hotsprings located throughout Taiwan, but the hot springs in situated in this particular valley have the highest temperatures of all of the Datunshan volcano hot springs.
The surreal setting prompted the Japanese occupants to name the Thermal Valley one of the '12 great sights of Taiwan' during the Japanese colonial period.
The rock composites in this area are also significant, adding a mineral quality to the hot springs of the Thermal Valley. The 'Beitou rocks' are comprised of Hokutolite or Anglesobarite, and hold the radioactive element radium. These rock types can only be found in Beitou and Tamagawa (Japan). Recently, a conservation area has been established in Beitou to protect this rare natural resource.
The Thermal Valley is a remarkable sight and certainly worth a visit for nature or hot spring enthusiasts.