Today we went out of Taipei. I wanted to wake up at 7.15am however my alarm did not go off and I awoke at 8am to realise that we were not on schedule. We took the mrt from Jhongshan to Taipei main station, then we had difficulty finding the Taipei west station which is the place to board the bus that heads to Yehliu. Instead we went to the taipei bus station which has coaches to other parts of the country and the taipei station which is the train station for the railway to other parts of the country. So confusing! You have to go to taipei west station A, go to kuoguang bus counter to purchase the one way ticket to yehliu at NT$96. The bus ride takes one hour to reach the yehliu village.
After alighting from the bus, we had to take a 20 minute walk to the Yehliu park entrance. There were many tour buses in the area carrying PRC tourists. *shudders. The local public buses do not go into that area. We purchased our entrance tickets at NT$50. We saw the famous queen’s head structure and had numerous pictures taken with the famous rock formations. Due to marine erosion of the rocks along the coast of Yehliu, the rocks have formed several unique shapes such as mushrooms, candles, ginger, chessboard and Queen’s head. Mushroom rocks demonstrate the eroding process, from no neck, to broad neck to narrow neck. We climbed to the top of the lighthouse and we were rewarded with a panoramic view of the Pacific ocean. It was like a scene taken off fast and furious 5 in Rio de Janerio, but in this case we are in northern taiwan. There were also cave formations that looked like the grand canyon.
Next, we caught the local bus to Keelung bus station. We do not want to sit the touts’ cabs as they charge exhorbitant prices and we do not know if the actual route that they take is the shortest one or they bring us on a whirlwind tour to earn our money. The bus ride to Keelung main station was 40 minutes and cost NT$46. In order to go to Jiufen, we had to take another bus from Keelung that goes to Jinguashi, but we alighted at the terminus and had to take the bus back to Jiufen which is the second last stop.
I think that Jiufen is not worth a visit unless you are into teahouses and like to follow the tourist crowds. There were many Japanese tourists in this area when we arrived. We walked along the shops with the lantern decorated walkways. The things are overpriced and most of the shops close quite early. We arrived there nearing 6 in the evening and some shops were closing. It gets dark in the mountains early, so the shops end business early as well. The nicest place to take photos here in jiufen is on the steps with the backdrop of the teahouses and the lanterns lighted up in the evening. It was drizzling a little but this did not deter us from walking along the quaint little shops selling authentic taiwanese pastries, desserts, tea, souvenirs etc.
We took the 6.45pm bus back to keelung bus terminus and had dinner at keelung Miaokou night market. This is by far the smallest night market that we have visited during the past three days and there was not much variety of food. Since Keelung is a harbour city, the night market offered alot of seafood. The crab, oyster omelette and the shaved ice dessert that we had were delicious. I tried the chicken cutlet which was so so compared to the famous one at shihlin. There were some clothing stores selling affordable clothes, but it was getting late and we were a distance away from our hotel, so we headed back to keelung main station after walking around a little. We took the 9.41pm train from keelung to taipei main station, a total of about 9 stops.
It was a fun and enjoyable day as I got to see marvelous scenery and it was a refreshing break away from the hustle and bustle of taipei city. However there were many prc tourists at the yehliu geopark which was kinda irritating.