YEHLIU GEOPARK (野柳地質公園) | Admission fee: NTD 80 (or PHP 135/ USD 0.033)
Operating hours: 8 AM to 5 PM.
Yehliu Geopark is a 1, 700 meter-long cape that is home to numerous geological formations, a sea-eroded cave, a lighthouse, the 24-filial-piety hill, and fossils.
It rains a lot in this part of Taiwan so, if the sun is out, don’t hide from it. You will be blessed with great Instagram worthy shots provided, of course, the horde of tourists doesn’t block you.
When visiting this area, make sure to wear shoes with a good traction. Bring also a sturdy umbrella because the winds can blow it away. If you don’t want the hassle, rain coats can be purchased for a minimal price.
Yehliu Geopark has a plethora of natural rock formations. However, for this blog post, I’ll just focus on mushroom rocks because the rest is for you to explore.
The narrow neck mushroom rocks, when seen from a viewing platform, do resemble mushrooms with its wide top and narrow base. Meanwhile, other mushroom rocks that have no neck or a broad neck adds to the spectacle because not only does it look like budding mushrooms but it also displays different stages of erosion.
What seems small from afar is actually big up close. Thus, we didn’t let the opportunity pass by without having a photo in the rock wonderland.
Included in the mushroom rocks is the famous “Queen’s Head” which got its name for its supposed likeness to England’s Queen Elizabeth I. I have to admit that there is a need for me to stretch my imagination to conceptualize the Queen’s distinct features. Regardless, as it is Yehliu Geopark’s landmark, it draws massive crowds of visitors. You will most likely find it hard to take a photo of it or with it without people in the background.
My final tips for you as you visit the Yehliu Geopark:
- Do not touch, climb, and write on the rocks. We, of course, want its natural beauty to be enjoyed by the future generations.
- Do not go beyond the red lines. It was placed there to prevent you from slipping into the ocean.
- Make it a half day excursion to maximize your visit in Taipei, Taiwan.
JIUFEN (九份) | FREE ADMISSION
Jiufen got its name from the habit of nine families who resided the area during the Qing dynasty. They usually purchased nine objects or portions each time. During the Japanese occupation in 1983, gold was discovered. This resulted to infrastructure being built by the Japanese.
When the gold mining activities ceased, Jiufen became a tourist destination instead.
I can understand why visitors are easily enthralled with it. In fact, it served as an inspiration for the famous 2001 Japanese animated film, Spirited Away.
The vertically oriented town was built on the side of the hills facing the Pacific Ocean. It provides a quick respite from city life as visitors get to enjoy the cool breeze of the mountain, at the same time, enjoy the view of the sea. Remnants of Japanese architecture are still intact also which adds to the beautiful experience it offers.
Read further to see a glimpse of its unique charm.
Jiufen Old Street (九份老街)
The Jiufen Old Street is a covered alley that has a multitude of shops selling everything from food to tourist souvenirs. I’ve even seen calligraphy brushes being sold.
While exploring the place, we can’t help but notice that sellers use gimmicks to draw tourists. This lady, for instance, wore eye-catching accessories with big smiles.
Aside from shops, there are also museums such as the Museum of Ghost Masks and a hidden passage to another part of Jiufen. My favorite part though is the middle part because of the numerous red lanterns that make the place enchanting. I heard there is a lookout point for a scenic view of Mount Jilong, the coast, and the surrounding area in this middle part I’m referring to. Thus, I highly advise for you to head to Jiufen Old Street while there is still daylight to appreciate the view.
When we visit Jiufen again, we’ll make sure to allot one whole day so we will be able to try out different food it offers as well as have tea at the famous A-Mei Tea House or at one of its tea houses.
RAOHE ST. NIGHT MARKET
Shopping and dining at night markets are a distinctive part of Taiwanese local culture because of the various finds for a minimal cost. A visit to Taiwan should definitely include a visit to one.
Located at the intersection of Bade Road, Section 4, and Tayou Street, we recommend Raohe St. Night Market for first timers. The night market is just 600 meters long and the walking path is easy. Food choices here are not also overwhelming in number.
What you must try here is the popular stuffed pepper bun which you can see in our video.
Since we usually went for an unfamiliar food every time we visit a night market in Taiwan (this is I think my 5th time in Taiwan), we tried something that is familiar to the taste buds. We had torched beef cubes flavored with black pepper. The meat is cooked quite nicely and it can be addicting to eat even without rice.
We paired it with a healthy drink concoction that is placed in a feeding bottle. There is no need to return the bottle as once you buy a drink, it is considered yours.
I didn’t want this post to be too long so I didn’t include photos of the other food that we ate. Please do watch our Youtube video if you want to see more food.