New Taipei City: Yehliu Geopark & Jiufen Old Street
Located at the north coast of Taiwan is a cape called Yehliu and is where Yehliu Geopark can be found. The Yehliu Geopark has stunning rock formations and amazing scenery.
Rock formations such as honeycomb rock, mushroom rock, ginger rock, candle shaped rock and bean curd rock can be found at this park. The most scenic and popular rock is the mushroom rock called the "Queen's Head". It is called such because it looks like the side face of Queen Elizabeth. There is a queue to have a photo with the Queen's Head at a certain angle. Don't worry it's free.
How to Get There:
From Taipei Main Station find Terminal A of Taipei West Bus station and purchase a ticket at the KuoKuang counter bound for Yehliu Geopark. The bus will drop you off on the main road just outside of the park entrance. You will have to walk for about 5-10 minutes towards the entrance. You will pass by an elementary school, a chinese temple and fresh seafood shops. Travel time from Taipei to Yehliu is approximately 90 minutes.
We arrived at the park late in the morning. Why? Google screwed us in finding the bus terminal. We wasted almost an hour finding the terminal. It felt like one of those moments in Amazing Race where contestants couldn't find the place.
Piece of advise: Just ask locals because Taiwanese people are very warm and friendly. Just make sure to ask from the young ones because there's a high probability that the elders won't understand English.
It is best to go here early to avoid the crowd and to have more time to walk around the park. Unless you want someone to whistle at you do not cross beyond the red line.
Jiufen Old Street
Originally built by the Japanese, Jiufen was a gold mining town in the mountains. Walking along the maze of alleyways you can feel the rich history and culture of the place.
If you love food this is the place for you! There are so many delicious food to try here such as pork buns and xiaolongbaos. There are also shops here for souvenirs, bags, clothes and the like.
How to get here:
From the main road in Yehliu Geopark wait for a bus bound for Keelung City. Ask the driver to drop you off at the bus stop bound for Jiufen. It is just in front of 7-11 and near an overpass. The bus no. for Jiufen is 788 and will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour travel time. There are drivers at the bus stop that will offer you a 30-min ride to Jiufen for NT300-600 and will bargain. As much as we wanted the fastest and convenient way, we still opted for the cheaper way to travel.
If you are familiar with the anime "Spirited Away", you may notice a familiar scene. I have not seen the anime so I was really clueless. I've just read about it when I was planning the itinerary.
Outside the alleyways is a view of the ocean and other instagram-worthy subjects. We'd like to spend some more time at the old street to experience the night view but we were unsure if there are still buses heading back to Taipei at night.
The bus stop for buses bound for Taipei is located uphill from the entrance of Jiufen Old Street.
Yehliu Geopark Admission Fee- NT80
Jiufen Old Street:
Magnet (glow in the dark)- NT120
Peanut Ice Cream Roll- NT40
Xiaolongbao (8 pcs.)- NT120
Red Bean Bun: NT30
Total Expenses: NT470Note: NT1 = PhP1.75
We used a smart card to travel around Taipei - called an EasyCard. The card costs NT100 however we bought ours at the airport and it was the only available design. It cost NT150.
There's no need to buy at airport. You can buy one at a convenience store once you arrive at Taipei Main Station. Save that NT50 to buy a snack at Raohe Street night market or souvenirs.