Started our second day early as we had booked a Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, Shifen and Golden Waterfall Day Tour via Klook. The tour package cost approx. S$45 per person, which included round-trip coach pick-up and drop-off from/at Taipei Main Station as well as a Mandarin-speaking tour guide.
Book the tour via Klook
For those of you who are interested to book this same tour, you can use my link to sign up for Klook to receive a S$5 promo code.
We had to arrive at the meeting point 10 minutes before departure time. There were several tour guides on site with a few coaches parked by the roadside. Showed my booking to them and found the tour guide who was assigned to my group. We were told to remember the coach plate number as we would be using the same coach throughout the tour.
Yehliu Geopark 野柳地质公园
Our first stop of the tour was Yehliu Geopark, a geological park located on the north coast of Taiwan. The park resides on a cape that stretches out 1.7km from the town of Wanli. Yehliu Geopark is home to some of the most unique rock formations in the world, including the iconic ‘Queen’s Head’.
Breathtaking beauty of nature
The dramatic coastal landscape really looked like a form of art in nature. When coupled with the unparalleled view of the East China Sea, everything just seemed to be even more breathtaking.
Besides the Queen’s Head, there were also other interesting geological formations like Candle Rock, Ice Cream Rock, Mushroom Rock, Elephant Rock, Pineapple Bun, Honeycomb Rock, BBQ Drumstick and more. It was fun walking around this massive outdoor ‘art gallery’ while trying to guess what each formation resembled.
Statue of a hero
There was a statue of Mr. Lin Tien-chen in commemoration of his heroism and bravery when he sacrificed his life to help a student who was swept out to sea in March 1964.
If you’re visiting during summer time, I suggest that you prepare and bring along sunscreen, sunglasses, caps/umbrellas and bottled water before you go out in the sun at the Yehliu Geopark as there will be no sheltered area to take cover. We were practically baked in the sun, lol.
Yin Yang Sea 阴阳海
Next stop was the unusual Yin Yang Sea—a dual coloured bay just beside the northern coastal road. The blue colour side and the yellow colour side of the bay represented the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang (concept of duality), hence the name. Apparently, this special phenomenon happened because of mining activities in the past.
And behind our backs was what used to be a mining town on the hillside. Now, they are just a bunch of abandoned smelting plants and defunct mining facilities.
Golden Waterfall 黃金瀑布
The Golden Waterfall is located near Jiufen in Ruifang District, a mere 2-minute drive away from the Yin Yang Sea. This waterfall runs off into the Yin Yang Sea. It’s not a huge waterfall but the colour is what makes it unique. Because of the minerals in the water, the surrounding earth and rocks have turned golden yellow/reddish brown.
Jiufen Old Street 九份老街
This was the part of the tour that I was most looking forward to. Had heard so much about Jiufen so I was really excited to be here.
Jiufen is a small mountain town located in the Ruifang District. It is known for its narrow streets, traditional Taiwanese-style houses, and beautiful mountain scenery. Jiufen was once a gold mining town and has a rich history dating back to the Qing Dynasty.
We had fun exploring this charming town. Lots of shops, eateries and tea houses. There are also a number of cultural and historical attractions in the area, including Shengping Theater and Jiufen Gold Mine Museum. Jiufen is also a good place to try traditional Taiwanese food like the famous Ah Gan Yi Yu Yuan (阿柑姨芋圆) or taro balls dessert, red yeast bak wan (meat dumplings), wheel cakes (车轮饼), peanut ice cream rolls and more.
Oh, and I had the best Brown Sugar Boba Fresh Milk at Xing Fu Tang in Jiufen too! This outlet just does bubble tea better than their other outlets in the city, lol!
It would be perfect if we had extra time at Jiufen as there were so much to explore and eat but time was just too limited. Guess what? We made a second trip back by ourselves! Shall share more in my later post on Jiufen. 😉
Shifen Waterfall 十分大瀑布
Shifen Waterfall is a large, picturesque waterfall located in Pingxi District, with a width of more than 40 metres. Looks really incredible. It’s like Taiwan’s version of Niagara Falls as both are horseshoe-shaped.
Felt really therapeutic and relaxing to listen to the sounds of the waterfall. Ahhh.
Shifen Old Street 十分老街
Finally, our last stop. The highlight of the tour would be the releasing of sky lantern at Shifen Old Street. You can pre-order the lantern through your tour guide at a cheaper price and the moment you reach Shifen Old Street, the lantern will be hung up ready for you to write on. Just amazing to see so many lanterns going up into the sky. Fun!
And I loved these mini sky lanterns that I bought as souvenirs for family and friends. They came with various Chinese greetings/phrases for good luck, career luck, wealth, health, happiness, etc. Very meaningful.
The duration of the whole tour was about 8.5 hours. I must say, this tour was very well-organised. Really convenient and hassle-free as it saved us time travelling on our own between points of interest so we could sight-see at several places all within one day. Our tour guide, Nana, was really warm and helpful. Really appreciated her candidness in sharing money-saving tips so we don’t fall into unnecessary tourist traps. For those of you who haven’t been to Taipei before, we highly recommend you to book this same tour via Klook. Very reasonably priced. Definitely worth it!