• Kelan River Taroko National Park
  • Plyons Princess Pier
  • Little Penguins St Kilda Pier
  • Panaroma Yarra Valley
  • Chandon Yarra Valley
  • Bidding Goodbye Koh Lipe
  • Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall Taipei
  • Pebbles QiXingTan Beach
  • Candle Rocks Yehliu Geopark
  • Nanya Rock Formations Taipei
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13 December 2011

Jinguashi, Jiufen, SYS, Taipei 101

Panorama of Nanya. Sea sculpted rock formations scattered along its shore

We have earlier arranged with Taiwan Tour Bus via email for a half-day tour to Jiufen Old Street, plus a few scenic spots along the way - Bitou Cape, Nanya rock formations, Jinguashi etc. Since there are no MRT system and bus transfer isn't that convenient, if you want to go to these tourist hot spots, I would recommend the Taiwan Tour Bus or charter a car.

This tour also comes with a tour guiding service. Fees are quite costly, NTD1100 per person for this trip. Not sure whether is it cheaper than chartering a van or car. Like every other tour, the tour guide is always rushing for time.

The bus was supposed to pick us up at a nearby hotel - 73 hotel at 1:05pm. Looked down at my watch. *Gasp!!* 12:20pm. It took us quite some time to locate the hotel, with the help of some friendly locals. Then we dashed to a nearby market for lunch.

Oh no!! So many people. We need a quick lunch. *Panic*



Ah..not many people here


Intestines, gizzard, meat, fats, fish ball...more intestines. Yeeeee...
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15 minutes later.........

 Fish ball + wantan + noodle soup

No time to lose. We have a bus to catch. Gobbled everything down and bolted of to 73 hotel. The eight seated mini van arrived on time. Phew..we made it.

After a 40 minutes ride from Taipei City, we saw this strange scene along the coastal road - Yin-yang Sea 阴阳海.



 A mixture of yellow and blue

 It was believe that the yellowish-brown colour of the sea was a result of pollution from smelting activities decades ago.



Shuinandong Smelter (13 stories) 水湳洞選煉廠

One of Taipei County's historic relic, this abandoned shabby factory, yet maintaining it's grandeur facade was once the ore sorting and smelting plant for the Taiwan Metals Mining Corp. Also once an important facility in the gold making process.


Bitou Cape 鼻头角  announced our arrival to the Northeast Coast. Did you see the elephant trunk?



See the fish head?! (red circle)


Another pictorial - Frog's head


Tofu...tofu..

False bedding


Nanya peculiar stone...awesome!!


Golden Waterfall without the waterfall

Apparently there's a Golden Waterfall but we couldn't see it. The picture above was taken on the way to Jiufen Old Town.

entrance to Jiufen Old Street 九份老街



Freaking crowded with people. Had to hustle and jostle our way through.


Taiwanese pie biscuits. Many different flavours but the one with pineapple and custard stuffing is a MUST BUY!!!

And of course we mustn't miss mentioning the local cuisines...


Yam Tang Yuan (Chinese glutinous rice ball with yam)


No idea what they are...but they look raw :s


The nicest view in Jiufen...the one and only "old town" scene



That's all for Jiufen. Suppose to be a popular tourist destination. Visitors are said to be able to relive scenes from the past. It is a good place to taste numerous Taiwanese cuisines at one go. On the other hand, in my opinion, this place is lacking authenticity, thus I wouldn't include into my MUST VISIT list. But if you really want to go, remember, just don't go during weekends and peak seasons.

After squeezing through the mad crowd for 40 minutes (as requested by the tour guide), we had to go for compulsory shopping. One of the things which I loathe about tours. Then, we bid bye bye to our tour bus and adjourned to SYS Memorial Hall. Again??! Yes, again. Just to see the night scene.


Rather dark isn't it? More lighting needed.


This is how SYS look at night..handsome??

Next we strolled off to Taipei 101 for dinner.  There's nothing much there except shopping for branded goods. We did not go up to the observatory. 1) Not worth the money, NTD 400...2) Too cloudy and dark. If you wanna experience a bird's eyeview of Taipei, I'll recommend taking the Maokong Cable Car. Unfortunately, due to time constraint, we failed to go there.


Taipei 101