Itinerary: Nanya Peculiar Stone, Golden Waterfall, Gold Ecological Park, Jiufen, Shifen, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei Zoo
➡ Day 1: Singapore > Taipei | Xinbeitou Hot Spring, Shilin Night Market
➡ Day 2: Taipei > Kaohsiung | E-DA World
➡ Day 3: Kaohsiung | E-DA Theme Park > Taichung | Fengjia Market
➡ Day 4: Taichung City Tour
➡ Day 5: Taichung > Cingjing
➡ Day 6: Cingjing > Taipei
Finally, I’m at my last post now. I pushed myself so hard to complete our 2015 Taiwan Summer Vacation series ‘cos next month I’ll be blogging about Korea. Haha, I spilled the beans about our upcoming June vacation. I’ll be back with more K-Beauty posts too. =)
On Day 7, we explored New Taipei City with our driver, Mr. Wen. He’s very kind and took great care of us, I’d highly recommend him too. He picked us from our hotel at 10am and we set-off to Jiufen, which is about 45 mins drive away.
On the way, we stopped by Nanya Peculiar Stone (南雅奇岩) – which is just a road side stop. There are many giant rocks and layered sandstone rocks being eroded by rain and wind over a long period of time and turned into peculiar shapes. We stood at the top, admiring the beautiful view of the stones scattered all around the sea that is azure blue and clear.
This is one of my favourite scenic spots. Further down, we saw the Yin Yang Sea (陰陽海) – a bay where the sea is a mix of yellow and blue (didn’t manage to take a picture of this).
Next, our driver drove us up to Gold Ecological Park. On the way, we visited the Golden Waterfall (黃金瀑布). There’s no real gold here, but the water is in stunning gold as a result of the combination of regular rainfall in this mining area and the abundance of heavy metal elements deposited in the riverbed.
Gold Ecological Park (黃金博物園區) is located in the mountain town of Jinguashi (金瓜石) in Ruifang District, New Taipei City. It’s rich in historical, cultural and natural resources. The must-visit in this area is the Museum of Gold, which is an eye opener to gold mining industry as well as insightful look into the life of a miner.
The highlight of the museum has to be this – the 220.3kg pure gold brick!
Not only you can see it, but you also get a chance to touch it. Based on the gold price at the time of our visit, this gold brick is worth a whopping USD$12Mil! We also had the opportunity to try gold panning on the third floor with a nominal fee. We had our lunch at one of the cafes in the museum before we head to Jiufen.
I’ve heard of Jiufen and Shifen many times, finally I had a chance to visit both places on Day 7. Jiufen is a small town developed along with the gold rush. We visited the jam-packed Jiufen Old Street where lots of yummy local treats such as taro balls in a sweet red bean soup are sold. It’s interesting to see so many tea houses, coffee-shops and souvenir shops lined the entire streets of Jiufen.
We spent about an hour here enjoying the local treats before we went to Shifen, which is about 40 minutes’ drive away. Personally, I prefer Shifen as Jiufen is too packed for my liking.
Shifen Waterfall (十分瀑布) is the most renowned cascading waterfall in Taiwan. It’s fondly nicknamed as the Niagara Falls of Taiwan. However, getting to the waterfall isn’t an easy task at all. We walked for at least half an hour, through a series of up slopes, down slopes and bridges.
Ah! Finally, this is the waterfall! (Picture taken at the last viewing platform)
Our last destination on Day 7 was Shifen Old Town, which is famous for sky lanterns. It looks like an old railroad town of yesteryears, bursting with visitors painting their wishes with calligraphy on the lanterns before releasing them into the sky. It was an interesting place to visit, unfortunately, it was drizzling so we didn’t get a chance to put up our lantern.
On Day 8, we explored Taipei on our own via public transport. Getting around Taipei is a breeze as most of the tourist attractions are accessible via MRT. We only had half a day as we had to reach the airport at 5pm to catch our flight home. So, we visited Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and Taipei Zoo.
For someone who likes History like V, he enjoyed touring Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. The exhibition hall on the ground floor displays stories about Chiang Kai-Shek’s life. More galleries and exhibition rooms can be found on 2nd and 3rd floors. One thing that interests me is the honor guard shift-changing performance that happens hourly from 9am to 5pm.
Taipei Zoo, on the other hand, was a let-down. No doubt it’s a huge zoo, it’s said that Taipei Zoo is the largest city zoo in Asia. They even have gondola, but I still prefer Singapore Zoo. Or perhaps we were too exhausted and couldn’t pay more attention to our last visitation.
We went back to our hotel for a quick shower (already soaking in sweat after the zoo), and our driver, Mr. Wen, came and pick us to the airport. We were so glad to engage his airport transfer service as it was raining very heavily.
Mr. Wen told us that there’s a new highway and he could bring us to Yilan for just 45 minutes. If we’ve a chance to travel to Taiwan again, we will certainly engage Mr. Wen’s service. And this time, we will visit Yilan, Hualien and Hsinchu Leofoo Resort.
Bye Taiwan! Till we come again.