Day 6: Keelung, Jiufen & Shifen

Good morning y’all!!!!!!!! I’m currently sipping my first ever coffee in Taiwan and it’s such a good pick-me-up. It’s nearing 8am and today I finally have a plan (though it might change). I’ve been searching around for cool day trips from Taipei seeing as I’ve already explored most of the city and want to venture out. I’m thinking I might go to Hualien and/or Yilan.

Btw, I realised Google Maps doesn’t include the shuttle buses from Taipei to Jiufen via 965, Keelung to Jiufen via 788, so you might want to download this transport app called “Moovit” – it’s in English too! Shorter travel time and cheaper too!

Btw, I need to give a shout-out to the place I’m staying at because it’s affordable and there’s so much space in your own room! It’s called Next Taipei Hostel – Ximending. No wonder why it’s so popular!

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I decided to head to Jiufen first since its easier to get to via 965 which is a shuttle coach so it was a comfortable and speedy travel.

The natural scenery was aesthetically beautiful and it was relaxing to wall along the roads eyeing the view. There was a lot to see and Jiufen, as expected, was packed with tourists like me.

It doesn’t take that long to walk pass the numerous stores selling souvenirs, trinkets and food. The pathways leads you to the Shengming Temple, Shengping Theatre and even the famous photo spot marked by red lanterns 🏮. Trust me, you won’t miss these places.

Afterwards, I walked to Songde Park and admired the beautiful scenery. The park had a few statues but I truly enjoyed the scenery. I love how the little walkways are connected to these old houses and even led me to my bus stop. Here I met two Korean girls who gave me tips and advice about Korea. They were so friendly and it was funny because we accidentally missed our bus because we were talking so much.

The next bus came a few minutes later, after our panic attacks lol. This bus took us to Ruifang Station in which I took a train to Shifen. Be aware that this train is crowded so you may need to stand for the whole ride. Luckily I got a seat and was able to take a short nap. Getting out to the platform at Shifen was CRAZY!

There were so many tourists and honestly, while the town is full of historic value, I didn’t enjoy the place. Initially I wanted to light up a lantern but last night I watched this video in which how these plastic lanterns pollute the environment. This changed my view entirely as while I do really want to put forward my wish, I don’t want to do it at the expense of the environment. This video also states how they successfully made a biodegradable one but the lantern sellers aren’t willing to sell theirs because they claim it would be too expensive for tourists. I’m all for it and wouldn’t mind paying more because the message would be much more significant.

Anyways, I quickly left the town after having wonton noodles for 70NTD. Oh yeah, food is a bit more pricier here (even though it’s still cheap for us). I took a train back to Ruifang and took 788 to Keelung.

Now this port is a beauty! I love the salty breeze, the clear waters and the food! The following pictures doesn’t do Keelung justice and you just have to come and visit yourself! I’m surprised there were a lot of shops for prescription glasses, contact lenses and knockoff clothes! If I wasn’t going to Seoul, I would be buying some of their hoodies because they look so comfortable and they’re PINK!

I went to their night market which was busy and frequented by locals. A lot of foods to choose from and I was literally salivating. I haven’t felt this way from the previous night markets. This has to be my favourite one and beats Raohe by a mile as it was too packed and hard to roam around. I had.

I couldn’t believe how quickly time passed by because it soon got dark and I tried to make it back to the Marina Plaza to catch the sunset. But I took too long of a detour to visit temple, get my passionfruit juice, & crispy pork bone snack. If only I can stomach more food!!!!!!

LOL! Now I’m on my way to Ningxia Street Market as I’m meeting up with friends I made on NYE. It will be a sweet catch up as they’re leaving Taiwan tonight. Let’s see if my stomach can digest the foods I just ate in an hour so I can eat more.. 😉

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Omg we feasted and drank more beers! Enjoyed my time with them and will definitely see them next time!