No. 24, Taiwan: Day trip to Yeliu, Jiufen & Shifen

During my 5 days stay in Taipei, I also took the opportunity to check out some of the suburbs area nearby to Taipei, knowing that this could probably be the last time that I am heading to Taipei, I have to definitely check out all the sites since I am here. Similar to my time in Taichung previously, I hire a driver for the day trip. This is definitely the better plan since we are travelling in a party of 3 and with a car we could always chill off in the car from the sweating hot weather and then we do not have to wait for all the busses to get around, which runs infrequent, especially in the rural area. Furthermore, it will not be possible to hit all the places in a single day if you do not hire a car. If you need the contact you can find the details in my Taichung post.

The price is the same, 3500 TWD for a day, which is the same, it may look pricy at first but after dividing by 3 pax, I think it is a fair price for the premium. Since we have only arrange the pick up at 9am we rush to have breakfast nearby before the driver arrived. I had this little fusion bun that was simply the most marvelous creation ever at this little store just around the corner that specialise in selling soya bean and mantou, the typical taiwan pairing. I went for the most luxe option. A chicken, egg “hamburger” where instead of bread, a huge soft freshly steamed bun was used. Inside was an omelette and a huge pan-fried chicken steak.

Alright, back to the day trip, first up on the itinerary, as well as the most favourite day of today was Yehliu, towards the north east of Taipei, near Keelung. This place is located towards coast and it used to be a fishing village. We were here after about 45 mins of drive and the views were spectacular. I love drives along the coast so much.

The main attraction here is the Yehliu Geopark, this is a popular photospot, as well as the scenic rock formation, where they were designed and formed after centuries of waves crashing onto them. I love it. Ticket prices around 80 TWD for adults and 40 TWD for childrens. It is a nice place to walk, simple enough since there is only one main direction for you to walk towards.

We were travelling in the rainy season, and while the weather was good while we were there, the wind was gusting, it could literally blow you away, especially since we were by the coast. Check out some of the pictures taken here, the most well-known formation is known as the Queen’s Head which takes more than 4000 years to form.

After the visit, we went to a local seafood restaurant just along the jetty, where you could find all the fishing boats anchored. This place is a local favourite for eating seafood and we certainly couldn’t miss it. We went to one, recommended by the driver and it was marvelous. The restaurant name is simply Yucun. We got fish, prawns, clams and a dish of vegetables all for a cost of 1,500. That is about 65 SGD. Everything was good and fresh. Highly recommend you guys to check it out when you are here!

After that we drove towards the direction of Jiufen and stop by at some popular spots. One of them is the YinYang Hai. It is a spot where you can get to see two distinct colors in the sea. And it is super obvious. This is definitely an eye opener. This area is really nice for pictures. Having a driver also meant you have a part-time photographer around!

We then check out the waterfall nearby, known as the Golden Waterfall. Which frankly doesn’t interest me too much too!

Next up was Jiufen, which is a town that is perched on the top of the hill. This place is super crowded. Certainly a must visit when you are in Taipei. This place is established since the 1900s. The most famous place is the Jiufen Old Street, where you can find narrow alleyways of its old town, packed with teahouses, street-food shacks and souvenir shops. Sadly it begin pouring when we are here. We just briefly have a walk along the street and enjoy the vibes. You can certainly find all sort of snack here.

What I really love is the little viewing point at the end of the street. The view is impeccable here, furthermore since you are at the top of the hill, it feels that the cloud are closer to you as well.

Shifen and Shifen Waterfall was the last place that we visited for the day. The weather seemingly start to get gloomy at this point in time. Let me first just share about the waterfall, Seeing The World In Steps advice is, DON’T GO! You have to walk like 10 to 15 mins to get there and then it is so underwhelming. I basically just rolled my eyes furthermore when I had to walk under the rain to get there.

Look at how underwhelming this waterfall is!

Shifen is famous for writing your wishes on a lantern and then letting it soar into the skies, this place is well-known for Tian Deng, or heaven lantern, a traditional ritual ages ago. It is said that the higher your lantern soar, the higher the chances of your dream coming true. Shifen is also a little town or establishment that lies on both side of the railway tracks. Something that makes it even more magical. Sadly the weather is not on our side, but I still love the place alot. The picture was perfect, having lantern all over the skies.

At Shifen, you can find all sorts of shops selling lantern, you basically pay for one, then enter their shop where they will pin it up on a rack for you, here you can write your wishes on the lantern. Then later the staff will help you release the lantern together with you. They are also super expert at taking photos, you will have the standard 4 photos with each side of the lantern. Me and my ugly lantern, what else to wish for besides having more miles and first class travels!

We made our way back to Taipei after a long day out. All in all, my favourite place was Yehliu. The driver was also super nice and drove us to the nearby store to get our favourite Sun Cakes before sending us back to our place. How you all like this sharing, stay tuned for the next post where I will share about my dining experience at the top of Taipei 101.

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