Taipei city is mostly metropolitan area, which I could hardly find any difference from Singapore (malls, mrt, buildings and temples). So during our 4 day trip, we allocated 1 day to see the outskirt of Taipei along the Northern Coasts, to have some nature trip and to find out if its really fun in Taiwan?
Transportation to the northern region has these routes for public transportation:
Taipei to Yehliu
Take MRT to Taipei Main Station and transfer to 金青活動中心 at Kuoguan Bus at West Station A. Alight at Yehliu Station.
Taipei to Jiufen
1. From MRT : ZHONGXIAO FUXING Station (exit 1) take the Keelung Bus (基隆客運). Alight at Jiufen (九份)station (2 hours for one way)
2. From Taipei Main Station, take train to Refang (瑞芳)station and transfer to Keelung Bus, alight at Jiufen station.
Taipei to Pingxi, Shifen
From Taipei Main station, taking train to Ruifang station and transfer to Pingxi Line. Alight at Pingxi, Shifen station.
Jiufen to Keelung Night Market
From Jiufen station take Keelung Bus and alight at Keelung City Hall station, walking about 10 mins.
Return by train to Taipei Main station.
Jiufen to Jinguashi
From Jiufen station take Keelung Bus to Jinguashi line. Alight at Jinguashi station.
To optimize our travel – more place to visit within a day, we rented a van for 10 hours which includes the driver. We contact: Ernest Sung (+886 978-103-799) – he assigned us to his friend driver: 董永順(+886 936-168-151)
First stop (45 minutes away from Taipei) we visit the rock landscape of Yehliu Geopark. (Entrance fee: 50 TWD). Yehliu is full of seawater-eroded holes as well as numerous limestone rock formations.
Keelong Temple and Night market
For lunch, we were drop along the Keelong temple street. The area is unique since right outside the temple is the throngs of hawker shops where you can taste several street foods.
Jiufen Old street
Continuing the tour for afternoon, we headed to Jioufen 九份 Old street, the village is next to a mountain by the sea that’s why the scenery is beautiful, and has refreshing cold wind blowing.
This place has an atmosphere of old Chinese village on a hill, which is the reason why it has been use for several film locations. There are assorted shops throughout the place (coffee shops, movie house, dessert shops, souvenir shops).
Yin-Yang Sea and 9 Turn road
After Jioufen village, we had a short stop at the viewing deck for the:
Two-tone bay which is called Yin-Yang Sea (陰陽海) – the sea is a mix of yellow and blue, which is cause by the large amount of pyrite which does not dissolve easily in the water (Wikipedia).
On the same viewing deck, you can look down at the 9 turn winding road 九彎十八拐 , with beautiful mountain scenery :
On the way down the mountain, there is a scenic part of the Golden waterfall-黃金瀑布
I would say this itself is worth a visit, one of the most beautiful falls (or rapids) I have ever seen.
The iron minerals have been oxidized to golden-yellow sand, which accumulates in the stream bed.
Few minutes after passing the tunnel, is the Nanya (南雅) area which is famous for the coastline with clusters of Peculiar rock formations.
Pinxi – Shifen
We initially planned to visit the 福隆- Fulong white beach to see the Sand Sculpture exhibit, but due to heavy traffic jam, we just re-routed to 平溪-Pingxi – Shifen village, which is famous for sky lantern and railway.
Due to unique and romantic scenery this place was use as location for movie filming. It’s recommended to experience writing your aspirations on the four sides of the sky lanterns and launch it to the sky …hoping to make your wishes come true.
At the end of this journey,it was indeed Fun in Taiwan! Not only the beautiful places but most importantly are the people who are generous with their time to accompany and show us around.