Friday playgroup this week found us at a new (for us) indoor recreational spot in Taipei – the exclusive Beitou Resort.

 Located at the Fuxinggang MRT stop on the Red Line, this resort was originally created for MRT staffers to use. It is one of those weird government projects that you encounter occasionally inTaiwan. A big cavernous, lonely, wind-blown place for which a lot of money was spent to build, but which was never planned to be used, a slush-fund project. It takes me back to communist China and all the cavernous, lonely, pointless, wind-blown structures there…

 The first surprise we had is that we must enter the Resort from the MRT station. Then we walked across a bridge over the train yard to get to it. Since it is cleverly disguised as a either a train depot or a prison, we weren’t at all sure we were in the right place. We found the expansive steps leading up to the main door, but the main door was locked. There was not a soul around. The only sound was that of the weed whippers at work mowing the grass between the tracks in the train yard. We found a stairway leading downstairs and headed that way. Luckily, there was someone filling an ATM and he was able to give us general directions to the main desk. We pressed on down wide hallways, past huge banquet and meeting rooms. Finally we found someone at a desk in the exercise room.

Seeing all the benefits of this place we quickly bought ourselves a NT$200 membership in the club. One mom took the wiser approach of getting a guest pass to check it out before committing.

 Membership lets you use the facilities for a small extra charge: NT$60 for the kids’ playroom, NT$90 for the pool. The pool looked nice – a lap pool, a kiddie pool and a diving pool.

The kids had a great time in the playroom, and we definitely plan to go swimming there at some point. It is a nice place to add to our (short) list of good indoor places to go for playgroup.

So, if you want to go, just get off at the Fuxinggang exit and ask for directions. You will need two ID photos and some picture ID to get a membership card made. Children also need cards so bring photos and all for them as well. Children need socks in the playroom!

Places in Taiwan are funny: they are either super crowded or super dead.

Beitou Resort is the blue and grey building off to left, next to the depot:

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Inmates, er, “members” this way:

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Landscaping crew at the Resort:

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