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#TravelwithKKDay: Jiufen, Yehliu, and Shifen Kind-of-Day in Taiwan

The journey continues in Taiwan with KKday, which I’m glad that I had them during this trip because I have experienced a convenient and easy breezy exploration of the place. It was raining on and off, thought that the activity scheduled for that day will be cancelled but boy, I was wrong. Everything happened smoothly as planned. Our KKday tour guide, who can fluently speak English, Karen was so energetic and it was contagious. She had this enthusiasm to ensure that her guests, despite of the rainy weather, will still have fun and enjoy the tour on which, surprisingly, we did! Yehey! She had one favor though, to say “Thank you” In Taiwanese language, not in Mandarin but of local Taiwan language throughout the day. Most especially if we’re talking to elders, she said that they will be surprised to hear strangers say “to-siā” and this will bring joy to them. Oh well, I did that 95% of the time.

Yehliu Geopark

Our 8-hour day tour itinerary consist of visiting Yehliu, Shifen and Jiufen - a must visits destinations when in Taiwan. Well, I’ve heard and read great things about these places thus, I couldn’t contain my excitement when our tour still pushed-thru despite the gloomy weather. I really don’t care if the weather was cold or if it was raining, my goal was to have a picture taken at these places. Karen was very helpful in terms of giving us tips on how we can maximize our allotted time to these scenic routes. So yeah, being in a tour also means having scheduled itineraries so we can enjoy it to the fullest. And with Kkday, they really live by the “value for money” mantra. They made sure that being an affordable will not compromise quality but instead give the best out of it. 

at Yehliu Geopark, see the rock formations?

I liked the punctualities of our tour, we boarded at our bus at around nine in the morning. During the trip, Karen explained the dos and don’ts, provided tips, and explained the destinations thoroughly. Our first stop would be the Yehliu, followed by Shifen and last but not the least, visiting the old town of Jiufen.

mushroom rocks 

hi Queen's Head! 

One of the premier go to places in norther Taiwan is the Yehliu Geopark, it is home to a number of unque and geological rock formations including the iconic “Queen’s Head” and is located along a cape stretching out from the town of Wanli. It is said that, in 10 years the Queen’s Head might be broken (due to the test of time) but there’s already a Princess’ Head that will soon replace the icon. In Yehliu Park, there were also other remarkable formations such as Sea Candles, Fairy Shoe, Ginger Rocks, Elephant Rocks, Ice cream Rock, Kissing Rocks and Mushroom Rock. You will also notice the Statue of Lin Tianzhen, a fisherman who was known for his heroism. In 1964, a group of students were visiting the area while a student named Chang Guoquan fell into sea by an accident. Lin jumped into the sea to save the student; unfortunately, both of them were drown in the end. Upon hearing the news, President Chiang Kai-Shek gave orders to set up a statue in memory of the fisherman and also his story was also included in the textbooks for people to remember his brave acts. 

more photos with the rocks!

Right after some photo ops and wonderful excursion at Yehliu Geopark, we headed back to our Kkday bus and continue our trip to Shifen. Located in the Pingxi area, Shifen Old Streets is known for flying Sky Lantern. Many years ago, lighting of sky lantern was a way of communication, once someone arrived in Shifen, they will light a lantern as a way of telling their loved ones that they arrived safely. Fast forward to today, it became a tradition to write your wishes to the lantern and fly it to the sky so that gods and goddesses were able to read it and make you wish came true! Well, good health for my family, friends, and people dear to me are more than enough. More so, Shifen Old Street is also a collection of lanes and alleys in and around the Shifen railway station area. Originally built for transporting coal during the Japanese era, the station and track runs straight through the village. The marketplace area of Shifen is a great place to grab some xiaochi snacks and some souvenirs, it’s way cheaper compared to Taipei. Have a 30-minute walk northeast from the train platform area, you’ll be welcomed by the 40-meter tall Shifen Waterfall. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see this because I’d chose to stay in the bus because it was raining. 

the small town of Shifen 
our sky lantern // NT$200 for 4-color lantern

had to try the milk tea here // NT$60

mandatory picture at the raliway

the train is coming...

sky lantern for souvenirs with wishes

If I have a favorite place among the three, it would be Jiufen. Once a gold mining mountain, it was originally built by the Japanese and now a maze of lanes and alleyways with rich history and culture. This small town was a relatively isolated village until the discovery of gold during the Japanese occupation in 1893, quickly developing the town due to a gold rush. After the war, gold mining activities declined, and the town today exists mainly as a tourist destination remembering and celebrating Taiwanese history. And here, I was able to ate a lot of Taiwan fares. It was a haven for all the food lovers out there! Plus, at Jiufen you can try the best oolong tea, a bit costly though but it’s worth it. It is also advisable to buy pasalubong or souvenirs here. 

the old town of Jiufen

similar to pancake, cream cheese was my fave!

It was quite tiring (in a sense that I was able to explore and see these places to the fullest) but fun day with KKday despite of the not-so-good weather! Hmmm… I’m looking forward for another visit on these places especially, the small town of Jiufen to taste and try more food fares and had that great tasting oolong tea. By the way, book your hassle-free Jiufen, Yehliu, and Shifen tour here.

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