For our Day-2 in Taiwan, we traveled through the North Coast of Taiwan through KlOOK shuttle bus tour. Here’s the link of the exact tour itself in KLOOK site: Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Shifen Shuttle Bus & Golden Waterfall One-day Tour
CONTENT OF THIS BLOG
DAY 2: TAIWAN NORTH COAST
- 8:45am meet up at GaKuDen Bakery (near exit 4 of Ximen Station) or Taipei Main Station Gate East 1
- 09:00am Departure
- 9:30am visit Yehliu Geopark (70 minutes)
- 11:55am visit the Ying Yang Sea and the 13 Layer Remains (15 minutes)
- 12:20pm visit the Golden Waterfall (10 minutes)
- 12:40pm discover Jiufen (120 minutes)
- 3:20pm visit the Shifen Waterfall (50 minutes)
- 4:20pm visit Shifen Old Street (70 minutes)
- 5:30pm return to Taipei City
- 6:30pm arrive at GaKuDen Bakery (near exit 4 of Ximen Station)
MEET-UP at GAKUDEN BAKERY
It was a good thing the meet-up was beside a bakery. People lined up to have a quick breakfast and I must say, I love sandwich we bought from Gakuden. I was also surprised that there were a lot of Klook bus tours here. It’s important to find your appropriate tour and tour guide. Tour guides has a list of names that will be under his supervision and will be calling out names from time to time.
On our way to our first destination, our tour guide told us important things that we should keep in mind. Like it’s against the law not to fasten your seatbelts while on the bus ride. She even showed a video clip that passengers were usually being thrown out of the bus as an impact of the collision and can get hit by another passing cars. If I remember correctly, penalty was 3000 NTD. Another, it was against the law for drivers to work more than 12 hours to avoid overfatigue which will result for another road accidents. So they made a point that they are strict with time and tourists shall comply. Or else, they will leave and the tourists will have to take a taxi ride to the next destination in the itinerary. While these are very strict, I appreciate the re-enactments videos they showed on why these are important. They are entertaining and informative. And as well, made me question why rules does not exist in the PH. Or is there? Maybe I am not aware.
Destination 1: Yehliu Geopark
I have a confession to make. Whenever I see pictures of Yehliu Geopark in instagram or other blogs I was thinking “What’s the big deal about this place?” The photos of the rocks reminded me of foot warts and it honestly irked me. I was ready to scratch this place off the list when I was still planning our Taiwan itinerary. But in the end, since its part of the Klook tour that I considered then I let it be. But our Klook tour guide was just awesome and presented to us videos on what is Yehliu Geopark and why it was a national treasure before we arrived here. So the gist was due to the unique limestone composition of the land here in Yehliu, wind and soil erosion naturally formed various rock formations that can’t be found anywhere else. They refer those rocks as sculptures made entirely by nature. They have rock formation that looks like a shoe, elephant, gorilla. The most popular is the Queen’s head because it looks like a head of a lady in bare shoulders. The rocks that looks like foot warts for me were mushroom rocks. Somehow, when I was here they don’t like warts anymore because I find the land color gorgeous to look at personally. So the photos maybe just don’t give enough justice to the beauty of this place, I tried to capture it on my own but even my captured photos may not be enough. I tried my best though.
Here’s the Queen’s Head. The line for this one is soooo long and we just have little time inside #YehliuGeopark so we decided not to pursue having close photo-ops with this rock and just have photo with her from where we stood. It’s just sad to know the inevitable fate of Queen’s head. It’s neck is significantly thinner compared to ten years ago naturally because of erosion. So in the future, it is expected that the head will eventually fall-off.
In the end,I enjoyed my time here because ir’s like a museum or exhibit made by nature. BUT sadly, the alotted time by Klook was not enough to see all rock sculptures. We did not see Queen’ head up close and I didn’t see the candles rock which looks like nipples for me.
Is the time alotted by KLOOK enough for Yehliu? A big NO! Unfortunately 70 minutes was not enough. Just walking to the site would already take you 15 minutes and then going back will cost you another 15 minutes. The time left for everyone to see the rocks will just be around 30-40 minutes.
Destination 2: Yin-yang Sea and Thirteen Layer Remains
These are some shots of Yin Yang Sea from the observation deck and the 13-layer remains which was the old copper factory that was suspected to be responsible to Yin-Yang Sea phenomenon. It was called Yin-Yang as it looks like the duality symbol from top view. Our tour guide said that it only looks like this on the surface. That if you swim just a bit deeper in the sea, it’s just all blue.
IS the time alotted here enough? Yes, We only stayed there for 15 minutes as there was nothing to do much here aside from sightseeing. We also didn’t see anyone swimming there.
Destination 3: Golden Waterfalls
The stones are coated with gold due to several mining around the area during old times. The sun was not directly hitting the waterfalls that day so it was not that obvious in pictures. Other parts on the way here though were indeed glowing in gold color. At this point, I realized that Taiwan was really big in gold mining industry before.
Is the time allotted here enough? Yes. We only spent 10 minutes here. There’s no activity here other than sightseeing also. No swimming is allowed as the water is poisonous for skin contact.
Destination 4: Jiufen Old Street
Wandering the place that inspired Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away! Jiufen Old Street. We ate a lot of food here.
This is not for those who doesn’t like narrow and crowded spaces.
Amei tea house is a hundred years old tea house in Jiufen Old Street. It’s the most popular site because it is said to be the inspiration of Hayao Miyazaki for the design of the Bathhouse in Spirited Away. For those who are not a fan or not even familiar, you may find this teahouse very expensive. I saw a lot of pictures of this teahouse and I believe it’s more gorgeous at night because of the red lantern ornaments.
Random shots food stalls. Filipinos will be delighted to stroll around Jiufen because once Taiwanese vendos see your faces, or hear you speak, they will go “Pogi Maganda, bili na kayooo!” It goes to show that Filipinos became common tourists in Taiwan after the country lifted the visa requirement.
Food tripping in Jiufen. Basically what we did in Jiufen.
In summary, Jiufen Old street is a haven for Spirited Away fanatics. For non-fans, this is haven for food trips and souvenir hunters. The streets are narrow and full of stairs. Our tour guide said to be wary of going upstairs as tourists could easily get lost in the myriad of stairs. If you are not into crowded narrowd spaces, you may get annoyed as this place can be Really crowded. Base on blogs that I’ve read it could be really hot in there too specially in summer. We’re lucky to be there in Autumn season. Klook gave us two hours to roam around here as this is also a perfect place to spend lunch time.
Is the allotted time in Jiufen Old Street enough? We stayed here two hours and I can say that was enough. We came back in time. I must say though to be careful in wandering here in Jiufen as it the narrow streets could make someone lost it’s way.
Destination 5: Shifen Waterfalls
This the little Niagara of Taiwan as it resembles the popular Niagara falls. And true that statement, it was really cute. It also create a mini rainbow when directly hit by sunlight. Like golden waterfalls, this one was also barricaded and it looks like it’s also prohibited for swimming.
And since Shifen is known for Sky lanterns as well, we found this shop selling mini sky lantern lamps. And I found them really cute and perfect for portraiture background.
Aside from gazing at the waterfalls, what we did here is …you guess it right, eat again!
Is the time allotted here enough? Well I can say yes. We had little time to finish our food but it was on us. The area was not that big. We only stayed here for 50 minutes.
Destination 6: Shifen Old Street
It’s my personal choice not to fly a skylantern in Shifen Old Street. The reason would sound “kill joy” so I woud rather not disclose it here. But I enjoyed watching families, friends and lovers as they successfully launch their sky lanterns riddled with their written wishes. I just silently enclosed my wishes as they fly it haha. Kidding aside, our tour guide told us how sky lantern started in Shifen Old Street. In times of war, a soldier was stranded in a field and desired to get help silently as the enemies were around. Given that there are no cellphones before, the means of long distance communications is through smoke. But it was night time and smoke would look rather invisible. So the smart soldier imitated the principle of hot air balloon with just papers. He designed it and successully sent a “Send Help” through the sky. He was saved after that. That’s how the sky lantern was born.
It’s good to know that there are only few places in Taiwan licensed to fly sky lanterns and Shifen is one of them. In this place this is a cultural tradition. Out tour guide also noted that if ever your wishes in the skylantern came true, you should go back here and send a “Thank you” message again by flying another sky lantern. But she stressed that when you wish,you should also work hard to achieve it. Makes sense.
When I see Shifen Old Street in instagram, I thought this train tracks are already inactive. Well, I was wrong. It was completely active. And people have to rush out bringing their lanterns away when the police whistles signalling the coming train.
SO ONCE AGAIN, WE EAT AGAIN!
MUST EAT: CHICKEN RICE!
Just want to share this chicken wings with rice. This was included in our Kloor tour in Shifen Old Street. This was absolutely delicious. We thoughts it was just an ordinary fried chicken wings. It turns out it was grilled and I think it is marinated in a different way because of its rich unfamiliar taste. The rice also was infused inside the chicken wings. This is definitely a perfect meal for someone on the go.
MUST EAT! PEANUT ICE CREAM ROLL!
One also must not skip eating this Taiwanese Dessert , Peanut Ice Cream Roll. One of the uinforgettable eats in Taiwan that we had. We also availed this as part of our Klook Tour and their stall in Shifen Old Street was just beside the tracks.
IS THE ALLOTTED TIME ENOUGH? YES, 70 minutes was enough. I did not feel deprived with our time here.
This is the end of our tour. We returned to the same meeting place we had that morning in Ximen MRT. We arrived at around 6:30pm just like what they promised in the itinerary. After that we went souvenir shopping in Ximending and Shilin Night Market. We also had a memorable dinner in Modern Toilet Restaurant . Below is the link for the continuation of our Day2 adventure.
4.5 out of 5 stars!
I totally recommend this tour specially for first timers in Taiwan because of the following reasons
- Our tour guide Vickie is proficient in English and were able to present historical facts about the places we have visited which made the tour more enjoyable while we were on our way to next destinations.
- The inclusive food (the chicken rice and peanut ice cream roll) were delicious and truly memorable. I recommend everyone to avail this version of the package.
- The bus is cozy and full of safety features for the passengers.
- It is affordable and it covered a lot of places in North Coast of Taiwan! As of this writing, this tour only costs P756.00 per person.
The only cons that I can think of was the lack of time in Yehliu Geopark. We missed a lot of rock structures because the area was really big. But overall, the experience was great!
Once again, here’s the VLOG version of this blog. See this magnificent places in action.
And if you’re interested to check on our Day 1 Adventure, here’s the link.
I hope this blog would be helpful to you in planning your next Taiwan trip!
Remember, you are awesome!