Woke up around 7:00 am, took a shower and went straight to Ximen station. I am not that familiar with the meet up place so I decided to leave early and just grab breakfast while waiting for the bus tour. Guess what, when I say early.. I arrive an hour early giving me enough time to grab something to eat. My booked schedule for Klook was 9:00 am and the meeting time was 8:45 am.
They did a roll call before allowing us to enter the bus. The tour guide asked me my name and with a follow up question “Just you?” and I answered “Yes, just me.” LOL I decided to sit at the back of the bus together with a Chinese couple and two girls (whom later on become my company during the tour :D)
It’ll be an hour drive to our first stop. Our tour guide speaks English and gave a short introduction about himself and about the tour for that day. He even told us to take a nap first and he’ll wake us up once we’re at the location and so we did..
FIRST STOP: YEHLIU GEOPARK (1 hour)
The Geopark is located in the Wanli District of New Taipei. It had been one of the premier destinations in Northern Taiwan. It is the home to a number of unique geological formations including the “Queen’s Head”. There are a number of rock formations that can be seen here in Yehliu and were given names that corresponds to their perceived shape. See more photos below and use your imagination in naming the rock formations.
It would be a great idea to come here early because it gets really crowded and so hot. Make sure to bring an umbrella too as it gets so hot. My tip for you is to go to the farthest spot first so you’ll be able to see everything within the 1 hour duration. Entrance fee for the Geopark isn’t included with the Klook package I purchased, entrance would be for 80NTD.
SECOND STOP: JIUFEN (2 hours)
Off to our next stop.. We we’re supposed to visit three other locations (Yin Yang Sea, 13 Layers Remains and Golden Waterfalls) and it was noted on Klook’s website that those locations wouldn’t be visited during weekends due to traffic control. It was a holiday that day so even its a Thursday, they decided not to bring us there. Too bad, maybe next time I visit, I’ll make sure it isn’t a holiday. :p
I honestly don’t know what happened next. I took the time to take a nap (for 2 hours I slept, is that still called a nap? LOL), our tour guide waking us up as its time to go down and transfer to a smaller bus that would take us to the old streets of Jiufen. It was like a field trip, we were given instructions and when we reached Jiufen I understand why, as you can really get lost there. The place was too crowded! I didn’t even have an opportunity to take nice photos. This is where I decided to talk to 2 Filipino girls and found out that they’re half Chinese, they were my company from Jiufen up to our last stop: Shifen. We ate together and stroll around the busy alleys of Jiufen. They can speak Chinese so they’ve been communicating with the vendors and we’re able to haggle a bit 🙂
Quick trivia: Jiǔfèn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Káu-hūn; literally: “nine portions”. It is said that long time ago there were only nine families in Jiufen.
Imagine how the place was so crowded and it was just small alleys. Food is everywhere here in Jiufen, there’s also a lot of free taste here that you need to take advantage of. :p We literally got lost looking for the tea house for the Spirited Away movie, good thing our tour guide saw us and brought us there. 2 hours isn’t enough to check everything in Jiufen but it was still a great experience as the commute going here to include bus transfers which I think can be a hassle.
LAST STOP: SHIFEN (1 HOUR)
And off to our last stop…
When we reached Shifen, we walked for a couple of minutes and reached the railroad, which I usually see on the photos when I searched for Shifen. There’s also a lot of people, but it wasn’t that crowded compared to Jiufen. Our tour guide asked us before heading to Shifen if we will be lighting a lantern as they have a partner store wherein we can get a 10% discount, together with the 2 new friends I made we decided to get three colors for our lantern and wrote our wishes on each color. We were assisted by a staff from the store in taking our photos. Everything happened really fast, maybe the lady who assisted us did that so we can still be able to light our lantern before it started raining. We still have some time left so we walked towards the Suspension Bridge. There’s also a waterfall in Shifen but we decided not to go as our time isn’t enough.
We we’re able to reach Ximen Station by 6:00pm and I was again sleeping on our way back. It was a very tiring day because of all the walking, but I did enjoy the trip! I really love Klook as it gives me a hassle free experience. 🙂
For those whose planning to visit Taiwan too, and would love to visit the three locations above, you may purchase the said package at an affordable price here and make sure to use my promo code (J6KQV) to get 166PHP off on your purchase! 🙂