Tuesday, September 22, 2015

5D4N Itinerary For Taipei: Day 3 In Yeliu, Jiufen, Shifen & Keelung (Itinerary For Download)

Read Day 1 of 5D4N Itinerary for Taipei
Read Day 2 of 5D4N Itinerary for Taipei

Since we had young kids and old folks with us on the trip, we decided that for the sake of everyone’s sanity, we should pay a little more for a private transport and driver for our day trip out of Taipei City. It was definitely worth it, considering we didn’t need to take train and change to buses for 5 times, figure out where to take those buses and where to alight, etc. Plus, the kids could nap in the car in between destinations and we could leave our shopping loots in the car. Definitely worth it.

I found our driver from a travel forum and he had many positive recommendations, and speaks both Mandarin and English fluently. I personally like him because he was not talkative and did not give comments on the conversations we had in the car. He also gave me a mobile phone with his number saved in the fast dial so that I can call him if I encountered any problems, or needed to contact him when we were done at any of the spots and wanted to go on to the next destination. If you are interested to engage him, you can contact him at:
Enrico (Whatsapp +886955 228080)

He charged us 5,000 NT for 10 hours in a 7-seater vehicle and the itinerary is really up to you, but he recommended that we visit Yeliu, Jiufen, Shifen, Jinguashi and Keelung Night Market within that 10 hours. That is a typical touristy itinerary for a day trip out of Taipei and since it was the first time for all of us, we went for it. In the end, we spent too much time at Jiufen (it is a Auntie-shopping and food paradise =D) and decided to forgo Jinguashi.

Here was how our day went:

Stop 1: Yeliu

This was a touristy spot packed with tour buses and tourists. If you are not a fan of nature, I suggest to skip this place because you need to pay entrance fees to get into the park. The husband and I enjoyed taking photographs of this place with natural rock formations but the kids and the old folks sat in the shade to wait for us to be done. There’s really nothing much except for the beautiful landscapes and sceneries. I would not go back a second time, that’s for sure.

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Stop 2: Jiufen(九份老街)

This was our favorite leg of the trip. It was cooler as it was located higher up the mountains. The mums went crazy buying all kinds of local produce and food that they like, and we had street food along the way. The old streets of Jiufen was filled with interesting shops selling all kinds of stuffs – food, souvenirs, toys etc. I love the atmosphere in that place! The most famous food item in that place was definitely the desserts – Similar to ‘Blackball’ that we have in Singapore, they do it 500 times better. The pearls, yam, pumpkin and sweet potato balls are so QQ (chewy)! Delish and very refreshing! If you google, you will be able to find many recommendations of ‘the best’ stall to have those desserts at Jiufen, but we just walked into the first shop we saw and we already love it. =D


Another popular dessert here was the peanut shavings popiah with ice-cream. We didn’t try it because we were very full, but many people were buying!

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Jayne tried shell fish for the first time on this trip and she loved it! =X


It was really chewy and tasty with chili powder and five spice powder.

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View from up there. So windy and cool. :)


Stop 3: Shifen (十份)

Many people pop by Shifen to release sky lanterns. If it’s not something you are interested to do, you can skip this place because there’s really nothing much there. Almost every shop there sells sky lanterns – single color or multi-colors, depending on how much you are willing to pay. Generally, they are very cheap and the shop owners would help you set it up for you to write words of blessings and prayers and then help you take photographs with it, before lighting it for you. The more interesting part of it for me was that the entire sky lantern act was done on a railway track (still in use, by the way), so whenever a train came by, there would be shouts by the shop owners for everyone to clear the tracks.

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You can also walk on to the nearby Jing An Bridge for some photo-taking. Love the blue skies. :)


Stop 4: Keelung Night Market

As it was nearing evening, we decided to head straight to Keelung Night Market for early dinner. The icon at Keelung night market is the rows of yellow lanterns on both sides as you walk in. Frankly, the market was nothing much but the moment you stepped in, you would see many shops all selling the same dish – Crabmeat soup & glutinous rice. It was delicious!!! Huge chunks of real crabmeat were given, so it was really very ‘shiok!’


My only observation there was that the stall owners were not very friendly. We were tourists and planned to eat many dishes at the market, so we only order 3 portions of each to share among the 6 of us, and they were really unhappy about and not afraid to show it. Then again, don’t expect good service at a night market. Quickly finish the food and move on.

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And that wrapped up our day trip out of Taipei City. We decided to head back to Taipei so that we can visit Ximending that night for more shopping!

Ximending is one of the most popular destinations for both locals and tourists in Taipei. It’s vibrant and busy throughout the day, and even more so at night when the street performers are out. Jayne even helped out with one of the street performances that night, making it a memorable trip for her.


Both my kids love to watch street performances, so if we happened to see one, they would definitely stay and watch.


It was a very full third day in Taipei for us, and I was glad that everyone enjoyed themselves. This would also be my final post on my 5D4N Taipei trip because our 4th day in Taipei was spent at the hair salon and more shopping at the Underground Shopping Mall and Wufenpu Wholesale Market, before catching our early flight back to Singapore on the 5th day.

For those of you who wish to take reference from my itinerary, you can print it out here:

5D4N Taipei Itinerary
(Click to enlarge image for printing)

Thank you for following us on our journey!