Exploring North Eastern Taiwan: Yehliu, Jiufen and Shifen

The start has always been the hardest, at least in some cases. This is the stage where you have to be prepared and armed with the informati...

The start has always been the hardest, at least in some cases. This is the stage where you have to be prepared and armed with the information that you will need, where you are going to discover new perspectives and personality. The start has always been the hardest. Most especially if it is your first time in a different country.

Just like any other beginning, we did not have it easy on our first day. After crashing a closed coffee shop to catch some sleep with only kimbap and coffee in our system, we breezed our way to go to Ximen where we are going to hop on a bus to start our tour out of Taipei.

I take it back; we did not breeze through it. There were a lot of asking involved, tons of walking and a few times of getting lost around Taipei Main Station. It also didn’t help that the three of us are mathematically challenged. (That’s a secret, don’t tell anyone).

We managed to reach the meet up point on time but we still had to go back to Ximen station to find lockers for our backpacks. We initially planned to drop off our things at the hostel but we didn’t expect that the airport commuter train would take for an hour to reach the main station (the express train is just way too expensive for a one way). We were pressed for time, we were sleep deprived and it was as if we were forced to join a marathon we did not sign up for.

Is there anyone named Ma. Elaine here?” we heard Stacey, our tour guide for the day asked the group of Pinoys waiting.

After showing her the voucher that we got from Klook, we settled ourselves at the backseat of the bus and off we went to explore the North Eastern part of Taiwan. 


Yehliu Geopark 2

Yehliu Geopark

First stop was the Yehliu Geopark. Home to a wide array of unique rock formations with the Queen’s head being the most famous of it all.

We were given an ample amount of time to explore the park but because of exhaustion, we just explored the area where the Queen’s head is and a bunch of other mushroom-like rock formation. 

Yehliu Geopark 1

Yehliu Geopark 3


Shifen Waterfall

Next stop was the Shifen Waterfall. We were quite on a rush to go to Jiufen for lunch so Stacey just gave the group 15 minutes to scan the area. As for Joe and I, we decided to just stay in the bus and wait for them so I wasn't able to see the main waterfall.

Shifen Waterfall 1


Jiufen Old Street

One of the places that I am looking forward visiting is Jiufen Old Street. Mainly because of the classic Japanese animated film, Spirited Away. With the food, red lanterns, stairs and alleyways having huge resemblance like that in the film, it is said that the place has been Miyazaki's inspiration.

Upon entering the street, we were greeted by different things that will leave your five senses in awe. Our eyes and hands marveled at the variety of beautiful pieces (majority is Spirited Away related), our mouth feasted because of the side by side shops that sell assorted dishes and goodies that will satiate one's taste buds, our noses on the other hand were overwhelmed by the smell of stinky tofu — one of the famous dishes in Taiwan.

Jiufen Old Street 1

Jiufen Old Street 2

Jiufen Old Street 3

Jiufen Old Street 4
The bathhouse where Chichiro works is said to be inspired from this 100 year old grand teahouse
Jiufen Old Street 5
Our first cherry blossom sighting <3

Jiufen Old Street 6


Shifen Old Street

After two hours of roaming around the maze and alleyways of Jiufen Old Street with milk tea in our hands, we then headed to Shifen Old Street. Set by the one of the famous railway station in Taiwan, the street is filled mainly with different souvenir shops, sky lanterns and a few restaurants.

Shifen Old Street 1

Shifen Old Street 2

Shifen Old Street 3

Shifen Old Street 4

For just 200 (150 for single colored) bucks, you can experience flying your own sky lantern! 

Though we don't really believe that your wishes will be granted once you fly one, we still bought one for us to experience it (even though our lantern ended up landing too early at a nearby tree). After all, I am a sucker for anything Disney related and the movie Tangled has a piece of my heart. 

Shifen Old Street 5

Shifen Old Street 6

Shifen Old Street 7

After our short Tangled moment, we decided to explore the area some more before heading back to our bus that will take us back to Ximen.

Shifen Old Street 8

We checked-in at the hostel and decided to call it a day, bidding Shilin Market goodbye because our body can no longer function. 

We may have abused our body on the first day but little did we know we will keep on doing it on our whole trip. 

More of our TaiWandering on my Day 2 entry! :)

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All posts and photos are © Elaine Vidal unless otherwise stated. For collaborations, sponsorship and other concerns, you may contact me at waytogoelaine@gmail.com.