Monday, 30 October 2017

Tapei - Yehliu, Shifen and Jiufen

This is a very belated post, but late is always better than never. I thought we should document our Taiwan trip somewhere for the sake of memory refresher or search back. We did an 8D/7N Taiwan trip during the last June holiday, with the 3 little ones and my Mum.

We had a very well paced and non-rushing itinerary. Love it this way. 

Day 1
Welcomed by the very rainy season in Taipei.

Day 2  
We hired a driver for one full day of chauffeur to Yehliu, Shifen and Jiufen.

We visited Yehliu Geopark (野柳地質公園), which is home to some of the most famous eroded rock formations in the world. If you love nature, this will be one place you should step foot on. My man is an extreme nature lover, and I'm glad the kids did enjoy this part of the tour too. It will be better enjoyed if it wasn't raining on us. 

Eroded rocks

We see King Kong

The eroded rocks tickles much on imagination, leaving you to wonder what they each look like. While some are famously identified like the queen's head, some provokes you to imagine further. Keep the kids busy by asking them to imagine and imagine.

Queen's head rock

During peak sunny period, a long line may form to taking picture with the queen's head rock. Wet days seem good, it wasn't overly long when we visited. Only bad was that ours pictures didn't turn out well due to the weather, which no amount of editing can salvage.

To enter the park, a nominal entrance fee is required. Children below 6 enters free.

Shifen (十份)
After Yehliu, our driver drove us to Shifen (十份)for the excitement of releasing sky lantern. We thought this must be a visit with kids! It was fun writing wishes on lanterns made of rice paper, and then releasing it into the sky. Whether wishes come to past or not, it's nice to know there's always hope. My idea was to try get them write something in Chinese, which we eventually ended up writing in English!

Using calligraphy brush to write

Up and away!

Then it was also an opportunity to explain to the kids the concept of hot air balloon. Fire generates the hot air, which is lighter than the surrounding cold air, and it rises the lantern. 

Prices of the sky lanterns are mostly the same even as you walk inwards. So save some time, skip the bargain hunt. It was very much crowded the weekend we visited and due to the rain, we didn't manage to release and take picture with the lantern along the railway track. The track is a great spot for photo taking, but beware! Tracks are in use, watch out for little kids and hop off the tracks when you hear the chugging and horn of the train. 

Coming on train

Jiufen (九份)
After sky lantern, it was most convenient to move over to Jiufen (九份) for some local delights. We shopped mainly food. I've to say dessert was a very satisfying hunt within. Love this stall that we chanced upon, where we had yam and sweet potato with beancurd. It was good! Their hot ginger soup was soooo good too! Maybe rainy weather played a part.

Traditional dessert

Cold vs Hot

As we navigated along, the street got more challenging with steep steps and slopes. Hold on well to little kids and elderly. There's also public toilet within, which we had to ask for directions. 

We covered 3 locations within this day. It was quite well paced and not at all rushed. More time will need to be catered to Yehliu though, there's much walking and sightseeing that may slow you down.  

We paid our driver NT500 per hour. He had a huge MPV that could take 3 adults and 3 kids. Good service deserves to be shared around. Here's his contact:

Nope, not Mark Lee.

We stayed in an apartment instead of a hotel. We booked itaipei Service Apartment, which was just above Taipei main station. I won't highly recommend it though. We hard a tough time locating it and the bathroom was just to tiny for us.

Next coming up post, Day 3 was much dedicated to the kids!

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