Monday, June 24, 2013

Taiwan: Day 9

Good morning all!

It's a great day today. We woke up early, had breakfast that we bought the night before. I'm telling you, the bakery here especially near Ximending sells delicious cakes. Hubby said we have never eaten such soft, smooth, fine and fragrant cake before. So we rented two coaches for our group. The half driver half tourguide who uses microphone to explain to us took us on a road trip to Yehliu, Jiufen, Golden Waterfall and Ruifang district. It's a common combination for tours around here.

After about an hour and a half, we arrived at Yehliu Geopark where the rocks were formed by sea erosion that took thousands of years. You can easily take a bus ride here too. Tickets are priced at NT50 only and opening hours from 7:30am to 5pm. It will take 3 hours if you want to walk the whole park.The main rule here is DO NOT touch on any of the rocks even during photo-taking. There are coast guards who will blow whistle at you. Click here to see other rules.

You will see a replica of the Queen's Head after the entrance. This replica was made because it was estimated within 30 years from now the real Queen's Head will break off at the neck due to erosion caused by the sea and wind.

Gosh! That was hell lot of tourists, more than Sun Moon Lake and Taipei 101 but the density was a bit lesser than what we have seen in Seongsan Peak at Jeju. I will blog about the humungous crowd later.

This deck will lead you to the beach where there's a nice long range by the ocean.

The sea water was so clear!

Very nice perspective.
We came up to a balcony overlooking the rocks.
It's such a beautiful sight!

Let's go down and explore the rocks. The rock formations have been given imaginative names based on their shapes. The most well-known is the The Queen's Head. Others are such as Sea Candles, Fairy Shoe, Mushroom Rock, Camel Rock, Ginger Rock, Pearl Rock, The Bee Hive, Marine Bird, Ice-cream Rock, Elephant Rock, Peanut Rock, The Buddhist Monastic Pig and The Little Turtle, Japanese Geisha, Fried Drumstick, Carp and Parrot Rock, 24 Filial Piety Hill, Gorilla Rock, Dragon's Head Rock, Lion's Head Rock and many others. Besides, there are also caves, sea grooves and lagoons. As you can see there was so much that we could not visit all. However there's a very clear map in the brochure to guide you.

This wasn't the real queen's head but it was very similar.

These per-historic lookalike are honeycombed rocks. Looks like I've just gone back to Paleolithic Age. 

A dinosaur egg rock.
Tourists queuing up to take picture with the queen's head.

This is the statue of Lin Tianzhen. Before the geopark was established, Yehliu was an open spot without safety measures. On March 18th, 1964, a group of students were visiting the area while a student fell into the sea by an accident. A local fisherman, Lin Tianzhen, jumped into the sea to save the student but 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, Lin Tianzhen, while his story was also included in the textbooks for people to remember his brave acts.

Hubby was very fascinated by this lagoon because the water was so clear.

The hollow rock. The broken heart rock was just around this area but hubby did not want to take picture of it due to his silly belief.
We did not queue to take picture with the queen's head as it might take up to half an hour.
Ended our journey here with the leopard rock. I think this was just a replica.

About half an hour drive we came to the famous traditional street of Jiufen. If you are taking the MRT, make a stop at Zhongxiao Fuxing Station then ride Keelung Bus (bound for Jinguashi) to Jiufen. This old gold mining town also served as an inspirational model for the Japanese animation Spirited Away. This small town began with only 9 families but after gold found in 1890s, it grew to 4000 families. Today, gold mines are no longer in operation and the town is mainly for tourism and movie shooting purposes.

The houses on the hill looks like in Mexico.

At the main entrance. Spotted another 7-Eleven. Taiwan is really infested with 7-Eleven!

You ain't in Taiwan if you haven't tried Taiwanese sausage. It's the best sausage we have ever tasted.

Also don't forget to try ice-cream and sugar peanut crumbs wrapped in popiah skin. It really taste like heaven though its weird combination to other cultures.

 Hubby loves it so much that he ordered another one.
I was drinking almond milk. The strong smell drew me towards buying it but the I did not like the taste as it was not sweet at all.

The narrow street of Jiufen. Lots of shops to explore.

Love this traditional feel.

Entrance to a shop which looked like a scribbled cave.
I love this building so much! Reminds me of little Shanghai.

We have come to the end of the street. Then we waited for our coach to fetch us around Ruifeng district. That time we waited for like half an hour for our lost friends and those friends who went on a search and got lost too. Totally ROFL!

Our driver took us round some hills and stopped at this viewing point. You can see the Yin Yang sea from here. The Yin Yang sea is located near Shuinandong in Rueifang township. This phenomenon gets its name due to the intense contrast between the yellowish-brown water in the bay and the azure blue water towards the open sea.

Although most people assume that the colored water is waste water from the gold factory, its actually not true. In fact the yellowish-brown water is natural runoff from a special geological feature nearby. Because the rock in that area contains large amounts of iron pyrite, and the Northeast Cape is a very rainy place, rainwater enters the rock and leaches out iron hydroxide which resulted the yellowish-brown color. Hence the phenomenon of the Yin Yang Sea is created.

This is the Teapot Mountain. A hike up to the peak will take 5-6 hours. For those adventurous folks, there are rope trails for you to pull your way up through the teapot.

The road below looks exactly like Initial D route at Mt Akina. We came up here through that snaky road!

Next, we arrived at Golden Waterfall which is located near the Gold Ecological Park in Jinguashi. Because it rains a lot in this mining area and abundant heavy metal elements deposited in the riverbed making this waterfall looks so gold.

Behind hubby was abandoned Shuinandong Smelter or better known as 13 stories which looks like The Forbidden City. Built in 1933, this was the ore sorting and smelting plant for the Taiwan Metals Mining Corp.There were 3 giant long pipelines going up the mountain to flow toxic gases to the other side of the mountain.

The last stop for today was a famous town for sky lantern in Shifen. Ping Hsi Branch Railway Line is located right in the middle of the town. Our driver dropped us by the road and we walked along the steep road.

This is Jingan suspension bridge you will see as you walk towards the village.

As we were reaching the lantern shops, we saw numerous sky lantern floating in the air.

The train was so close!

 This was the shop where we bought our tiny glow in the dark lanterns for souvenir.

We were given some sky lanterns for free by our drivers. Actually I think they were included in our package.

Our wishes and my horrible art.
Time to light up!

Pray that our wishes come true!

After hours of snoozing in the taxi, we came back to Ximending and had our late dinner at Choir Cafe. I had cod fish set while hubby had teriyaki chicken set. The price was reasonable.

Before we head back, we took photos with the cute poodle that belongs to the cafe owner. Tomorrow will be our last day but it will be a relaxing one.


  1. Followed from Instagram, nice blog.

    1. Hi Perfume Beauty, thanks for dropping by! Your support mean a lot to me.


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