Taiwan: Yehliu, Jiufen, and Shifen

by - December 18, 2019

For our second day in Taipei, what I planned was to go to Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Shifen. I mean what's a trip to Taiwan without these 3 right? Whenever I see people posting about their Taipei trips, these 3 destinations are always in their itinerary.

 I'm just not sure if these 3 destinations can be enjoyed in 1 whole day but I found a tour in Klook that have these 3 destinations. Unfortunately for us though, the only time slot remaining for the tour is at 10AM and I'm pretty sure that's already late but we really have no choice since I cannot also put these tours on another day because it won't fit by then.

Going to the meetup area is easy breezy because it's just near Ximen station's entrance. Tourists are mixed with some are from China, and most are from the Philippines just like us. Prior also to this trip, I already bought our Yehliu Geopark tix from Klook to avoid the lines and it's also a little bit cheaper on the website than buying it on the location itself.

We are riding a shuttle so the travel is really comfortable except for the tour guide who keeps on talking. I mean most of the guests wanted to sleep but she just couldn't get a hint. LOL. It's okay at first but it gets really annoying throughout the day. So yep... Here we go.

Our first stop was Yehliu Geopark which we roughly only had 1 hour to see everything. The guide keeps on telling us to move faster. We cannot blame her though, we're limited on time. It's quite annoying to hear that we need to walk faster but it gets funny whenever she keeps on repeating it. 

 We went to Taiwan around July and the weather is really humid. At one time, it's hot, and on the other, it will rain. Unfortunately for us, it was super hot when we arrived in Yehliu. We are sweating like we just went for a 5k run and it's just our first stop! I think we didn't stay long enough to appreciate the place, it's like we just went there for the sake of seeing it and taking photos.

The reason why this place is a must for every Taiwan tourist is because of its geological formations. I didn't have any info on how these rocks (should I call it rocks?) formed and how long it's been there but one of the most iconic rocks in the area is called "Queen's Head" and yep, it's named after Queen Elizabeth. There are other rock formations that have names too but I think this one is the most famous. I would have appreciated this more if we had more time but then again, we are in a hurry.

After a super duper quick stop at Yehliu, we then went to Jiufen which is one of the spots I'm most excited to see primarily because I wanted to see that real-life spirited away location. Most people would relate this place to a fictional place in Spirited Away though it's not certain that the creator of the animated film based the fictional place in Jiufen. It could be a coincidence but whatevs. As usual, the place is freaking crowded. The narrow passageways remind me of Macau en route to Ruins of St. Paul. Souvenir shops everywhere, street food, milk tea.

It's an old town and the charm is there but rain kind of ruins the experience.

When we arrived, we ate our lunch first because it was already past noon. There is a lot of stuff to see here but what I'm most excited is to see that certain tea house that's the look-alike of the fictional place in Spirited Away. My boyfriend helped me find the place and when we found it, there's a queue for picture taking like whuuuut? When we also found the place, we are already limited on time so I didn't bother taking a photo but yeah it's fine.

Along the way to Shifen, we stopped for a while to see the Golden Waterfall. Afterward, we went to see Shifen waterfall then the last stop of the day, the Shifen old street.

Shifen old street is most famous for its lanterns where you can write your wishes then release it in the sky. The location is charming too and kind of Instagram worthy. We were able to see a train passing by too! I thought that the rail wasn't in use anymore but we were wrong. The rail track is so narrow that the train could almost touch the shops along it. There are a lot of souvenir shops. Some shops sell beers and it was nice to just chill after a long tiring day in this place.

After Shifen, we were dropped off to Ximen and for dinner, we decided to try the night market outside our hotel.

On our first dinner in the night market, the street vendor seemed overwhelming but over time it during the course of our stay in Taipei, the choices seemed limited by then.

We first tried a street food house. Not sure if I should call it restaurant lol. The food, of course, is delish and at a reasonable price! If there's one reason I'll go back to Taiwan is because of the food. Milktea here is also so crazy like there's a milk tea shop everywhere! So yep, it was one tiring day. As always, life sure is fun discovering new places.

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