Welcome back to the part 2 of this 101 Guide to Taipei! In part 1 I covered places you must see in Taipei city. This second part highlights short day trips you can take just outside the capital – easy commuting thankfully to the impressive local transportation.
Taipei is not so different from other East Asian cities. Sure night markets and all the delicious street food Taipei has to offer is exciting but you are bound to crave for something different after indulging to it continuously. Luckily, the charm of Taipei is not limited to its vibrant city life but also in places encircling the capital. The diversity of day trips is truly worth taking while you are visiting.
Here are four places you wouldn’t want to miss while Taiwan-dering!
YANGMINGSHAN NATIONAL PARK
Yangmingshan National Park is located in the north of Beitou. It is just an hour away escape into nature from the city. Home to diverse ecology and numerous species, this park is worth a visit for its mountainous scenery and luscious forests. There is something to look forward to all year long at Yangmingshan. With the convenience of buses running pretty much through the park, simply hop and off depending on the trail or activity you wish to do. Oh, don’t forget to top up your EasyCard for this.
The Yehliu Geopark is located in the Wanli District of New Taipei. It is definitely worth visiting to see the various unique and unusual geological formations. These rocks are said to have been formed because of the geological forces that have kept pushing the Datun Mountains out of the sea for over thousands of years. Several rock formations are given names that correspond to their distinguishable shape. For instance there is the Fairy Shoe, Princess Head, and Japanese Geisha. However, the most iconic rock formation is the ‘Queen’s Head.’ The Queen’s Head is believed to be over 4,000 years old and is it continues to erode, the rock is intensely looked after. in order to preserve this one-of-a-kind rock.
Visiting Tamsui may not necessarily be a day trip but worth a visit if you have some time to spare. It is a scenic spot at the tip of Tamsui District known to be a fishing port. To enjoy some down time, Tamsui is a pleasant place to soak in the sunset and walk along the harbor.
Jiufen was once a prosperous gold mining town in 1893 when the Japanese poured in to profit from the newly discovered gold. However, Jiufen is now regarded as a popular tourist destination. Quick tip, just try not getting lost in its maze of alleyways. With quaint scenes and teahouses, this small town is filled with picturesque streets and a lot of red lanterns. Upon entering Jiufen Old Street, anticipate to see several Japanese influences on the island that remain untouched up until today! If you are Ghibli fan then you will not want to miss the town and bathhouse from Miyazaki’s greatest film; Spirited Away.