Jiufen, Shifen and Yeliu Geopark

by farrah

Two out of our 5 days in Taiwan, my mom and I joined full day tours. My mind wouldn’t normally suggest this but since I was travelling with my mom, I needed to think of a way to maximize the trip without her being too exhausted. Good thing, I found Round Taiwan RoundThey have the best deals and itineraries I’d seen so far when it comes to tours in Taiwan. It’s easy to come across them ’cause when you google Taiwan tours, you’d see them on the top results. I also checked their reviews online. Majority were very positive! And mine isn’t any different. Their customer service was very responsive and helpful so I highly recommend them if you’re planning to purchase tours. We chose the option of transportation only so we didn’t have tour guides. It’s very convenient for those who want to go around on their own but can’t afford to get lost.

The two tours we purchased were the highlights of our trip (at least for me!). Today’s post covers one of them. To see the itinerary, refer to this link! I only featured 3 of the places on the itinerary as we literally just dropped by the others. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the Yin Yang Sea because of the not-so-good weather. The tour was still fun, though! Wait ’til you see the pics I snapped! *.*


You cannot leave Taiwan without seeing the rock formations at the Yehliu Geopark. It’s something really different from the tourist spots that we’re used to when travelling to Asian countries. Being here was a very refreshing experience! I guess it was the fact that we were by the sea while it was drizzling a bit. We’re all used to going to the beach on sunny weather. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going there when it’s not. I did that once here.

Greens are always bracing to see!

Plants of Yehliu~

The rock formation on the ticket is known as the Queen’s Head (’cause it’s shaped like Queen Elizabeth’s head facing to the side). It’s the main attraction in this park. Cool stuff.

There are a lot of kinds of rock formations. I didn’t get a photo of each but the mushroom rocks were enough for me. Hehe!

I see giant mushrooms! *.*

Strong waves that formed the mushrooms. *.*

It’s actually not that cold but since it was rainy, people were in their jackets. I, who wasn’t, managed not to get sick.

This is the part where Shim Cheong gets carried by the waves into Joon Jae’s arms. Hehe!

Heart the view!

Lost in mushrooms.

Are we in Mars or something? *.*

Where are the aliens at?

Who’s Trypophobic?

You do not want to fall down there.

Spot the Queen’s Head! It’s amazing how the Queen’s Head was purely formed by chance (by the random waves of the sea). It’s said that the rock is about 4,000 years old. Just, wow!

Statue of Lian Tianzhen, a fisherman who jumped to save the life of a child who fell into the sea. *.*


Jiufen (pronounced as “chiu-fen”) is the most significant part of this trip for me. It is probably the most famous destination outside Taipei for Asian tourists – all because of the award-winning Japanese animated film, Spirited Away! Many say that setting of the movie was inspired by the scenery of Jiufen and I really saw the resemblance while I was there (you’ll see it, too, as you scroll down!). However, I read somewhere that Miyasaki actually denies this! I’d like to think that it’s still true, though. Hehe! This movie is why I started getting into Ghibli animated films and I don’t want to ruin the feelings that I have for them, lol. If you haven’t watch any, you are missing half your life, hooman!

Jiufen, literally means nine “portions”, used to be a small isolated mountain village (housing 9 families) turned gold mining town built by the Japanese. It’s now a destination of alleys with food stalls, shops and tea houses in every corner. Since it’s located on a mountain, you can enjoy some really good views here.

Random Candy Crush store is random. My mom died.

This is where the stores that seemed so endless starts!

Expect many people around here, especially at night. It’s a good thing we went here during lunch time.

Stinky tofu is too stinky for me. It was good, though!

Some dessert with ice cream and nuts inside.

Ghibli characters that I later realized are cheaper at Shilin Night Market (more on my next post!).

Taiwanese sausages are the bomb!

Taiwan’s version of Ginataan.

Oh hi! It’s me!

It’s not every day that you see a dog this plump.

Tea, anyone?

Cute cat stickers!!

House of Ghost Masks. I couldn’t stand inside even for a minute. Kinda freaky!

Dunno why Totoro is here.

Peach hair <3

Before going around, I suggest looking for A Mei’s Teahouse first! You cannot leave without taking a snap here. It’s located at the highest part of the mountain! It resembles Yubaba‘s Teahouse.

Red lanterns everywhere~


After 9 (“chiu”) comes 10 (“shi”). I wish we’d seen the famous Shifen Waterfall (Taiwan’s broadest waterfall) but sadly, it was closed the day we were there. We did get to go around Shifen Old StreetIt is the most famous stop in the Pingxi Branch Line in the Pingxi District that was originally built to transfer coal. Now it holds a meaningful history of coal-mining and is filled with many sky lantern and souvenir shops!

Bye, lantern!~

Super cool pocket-sized planes and cars.


Edit (08/29/17):

Good news to those who are planning on heading to Taiwan soon!~

rtaiwanr.com is now offering a new service called Tripool. It enables tourists to enjoy the cost-benefit of carpool but also have the luxury to customize their itinerary for the scenic areas chosen in Taiwan. It’s like going on a shared tour except you can customize where you want to go!~

Still don’t get it? On their website, you’ll get to choose an area where you want to do your shared tour. Then other tourist spots around the same area will appear for you to choose from. You can select six tourist spots that appeals to you the most and come up with your own itinerary! Awesome, right? Check out this link to know what I’m talking about: https://www.rtaiwanr.com/jiufen/jiufen-custom-shared-tour

The fee is US$30 per person (SO CHEAP!); with an English tour guide, it’s US$70 only! :O

What’s more is you can use my exclusive coupon code so you can save some of your money when you book on their site:  FarrahEspina (valid until 31st December 2017)

Wuhoo! Go book your tours now! ^^

#Tripool #WeRoamLikeThis #RoundTaiwanRound

This post was recently (8/29/17) sponsored by Round Taiwan Round. I truly believe in their services and I’m sure it will really help those who are about to tour Taiwan. Plus, you get a small discount when you use my code. 😉

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Ria February 14, 2017 - 12:43 pm

Nice photos! Love your outfit and your hair. 🙂

Farrah February 15, 2017 - 8:59 am

Thanks Ria! 🙂

Richel V. February 14, 2017 - 9:09 pm

Hi! Are you able to understand Mandarin? I’m planning to take the same tour, but I’m afraid of the language barrier. Thanks!

Farrah February 15, 2017 - 9:00 am

Hi Richel! Yes! For this tour, you don’t have to worry! They can tell you in English what time you should be back for every stop. 🙂

Shine February 21, 2017 - 2:51 pm

hi! i’m a fan! what camera are you usnig? nice photos!

Farrah February 21, 2017 - 3:52 pm

Sony A6000 🙂

Sophia November 23, 2017 - 4:44 pm

Hi Farrah, do you think it’s fine if we will book the non-English Speaking driver for the Jiufen Custom tour? I just don’t want to pay more than a double. Thank you!

Farrah April 9, 2018 - 6:25 pm

Yes Sophia ^^

Molly January 5, 2018 - 12:53 am

Hi! I’m thinking of using tripool but since the english-speaking driver is a bit expensive?, i’m opting for the mandarin-speaking driver instead?. But i’m worried of miscommunication. Any tips? Thanks

Farrah April 9, 2018 - 6:23 pm

Use a language translate app ^^


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