During our 7-day backpacking trip in Taiwan, we dedicated a whole day visiting two of the must-see destinations, Yehliu Geopark and Jiufen. Both places are located in the north east part so it is possible to make a whole day itinerary for these two.
We stayed in Oxygen Hostel Ximending, which is an ideal hostel for budget travellers due to its proximity to the Main Station and the Ximen Walk District. Despite its low cost accommodations and shared bathrooms, the hostel maintained very clean facilities and we had a comfortable sleep on our beds. There’s also a bar and restaurant at the lobby. I recommend this hostel for budget travellers in Taipei.
We woke up early in the morning around 7:00am so that we can have enough time enjoying our target destinations for the day. We ate breakfast in a vegetarian authentic Chinese food house somewhere near our hostel. I guess they put only a little amount of salt when they cook because food in Taiwan taste bland. Anyway, we’re okay with that since we want to be healthy during our trip.
We walked our way to the Main Station for around 10 minutes. On our way to the Main Station, we passed by the 228 Peace Memorial Park, where you can also find the National Taiwan Museum. The park is a great place to relax and unwind due to its scenic views.
Finding your way through the subways of Taipei is confusing especially if it is your first time there. It took us about an hour before we found the right train. We also had a hard time asking for directions on where to buy and which train to ride because they can’t speak English.
Let me just give you the directions so you won’t get confused and spend a lot of time finding your way out. Once you reach Taipei Main Station, go to the Kuo Kuang bus terminal just outside the building. We went there last February 2017 and at that time, the West Bus Terminal was under construction so the buses are moved to the East side. I’m not sure if it’s still under construction as of today. Just ask the tourist concierge at the main hall to be sure.
Purchase your tickets first from the Kuo Kuang window just beside the bus terminal. The ticket going to Yehliu is NTD96 per person. Then, find the Kuo Kuang bus which has the number 1815. Travel time is around 90 minutes.
The bus will drop you on the main road of Yehliu. You have to walk your way through the fishing village for around 10 minutes until you reach Yehliu Geopark.
However, we spent some time taking pictures of the fishing village. It was refreshing to feel and see these moments.
The entrance to the geopark costs NTD80 for adults, NTD40 for Taiwanese students and for children aged 6-12. A group ticket, which should be purchased at a minimum of 30 persons thirty persons, can have a 20% discount. The park also allows courtesy entry for the disabled and children whose height is under 115 cm or under age of 6.
Yehliu Geopark is a unique destination because of its unusually beautiful rock formations, one of which is the iconic “Queen’s head”. When you look at that rock at a certain angle, the rock actually looks like the head of Cleopatra. It’s so beautiful to look at especially during daytime.
Walking through the trails you’ll see other rock formations including the Sea Candles, Fairy Shoe, Ginger Rocks, Elephant Rock, Ice Cream Rock, Kissing Rock, and Princess’ Head. Make sure to take pictures of those magnificent natural creations.
If you’re really an adventurer, there is a long trail ahead all the way to the end of the cape. The trail is so beautiful since you can see below the waves gushing through the natural formation of rocks.
The trail ends in a small terrace where you can have a beautiful view of the ocean. It’s awesome to think that at this point, Okinawa island is already on the other side. Bring your jackets if you’ll be walking this trail. It’s cold and windy up there. The best time to go to the terrace is before sunset.
After Yehliu Geopark, we went our way back to the main road for our next destination, the Jiufen Old Street. In order to go there, you have to ride the bus at the opposite side of the road from where the bus dropped you off. Ride the bus going to Keelung Station. Tell the bus driver to drop you off at the stop after the Keelung Station. In case you dropped off at Keelung Station, the bus stop going to Jiufen is just near. You can walk to it for a few minutes. If you’re lost, you can ask the locals there where the bus stop going to Jiufen is. The journey to Jiufen will take around one and a half hours.
On the way to Jiufen, we passed by Ruifang district. Here, we found street food and milk tea. There are many food to choose from but remember to reserve your appetites for Jiufen. There are lots of good finds in the old street.
I found Jiufen Old Street amazing because I love Asian culture. With all the lanterns and traditional style of houses, it’s like you’re actually in Spirited Away, which is an anime movie that got its inspiration from Jiufen Old Street.
In Jiufen, you can lots of unique street food. We tried the grated nuts with ice cream in a crepe, grilled snails, fish balls of different flavors, and a lot more. I liked the crepe though.
We also tried the kumquat juice which was healthy and very refreshing. We even had a free souvenir of water bottle in the shape of Doraemon.
Different types of souvenirs can be found in the Old Street. From keychains to traditional dolls, everything is there.
And there’s even a mining museum.
The overview of the town can be seen from the view deck at the top of Jiufen. It’s such a magnificent view to look at. Bring an umbrella or a raincoat when you visit.
We were already tired and we decided to call it a day. We took the bus parked just outside the old street entrance going to Ruifang Station. Then we took the train going to Taipei Main Station.
It was a very tiring day yet it definitely satisfied our wanderlust.
|7:00-8:00||Wake up and fix|
|9:00-10:00||Go to Taipei Main Station and purchase bus tickets|
|10:00-11:00||ETD Taipei Main Station|
|12:00-1:00||Roam around Yehliu|
|1:00-2:00||Roam around Yehliu|
|2:00-3:00||Roam around Yehliu|
|4:00-5:00||ETA Keelung Station; Ride bus to Jiufen|
|5:00-6:00||ETA Ruifang / Jiufen Old Street (depends if you want to visit Ruifang first)|
|6:00-7:00||Roam around Jiufen|
|7:00-8:00||Roam around Jiufen|
|8:00-9:00||Roam around Jiufen|