On our third day to Taiwan, we decided to venture out of Taipei to some other tourist attractions like Yehliu and Jioufen. The package we bought to tour Yehliu and Jioufen cost NT$1000 and NT$1100 respectively. Both packages were from the same company and they included hotel pickup by van, entrance tickets and tour guide.
Well the tour guide was actually the driver himself too lol, it was basically an one-man show. After we came back from the trip only we realized there were companies offering cheaper (by NT$300 to NT$400) packages for the same tour. The thing was, it was only advertised on brochures. So if you don’t get hold of it, you wouldn’t know. If I remembered correctly we got the brochures from one of the hotels we were scouting to stay.
On the way to Yehliu we made a brief tour of Keelung town, just to know how it looked like and all. Not getting to stay at places at your own pleasure is one of the worst thing about taking tour packages, sigh.
For your information Keelung is actually a port city situated in Taiwan’s northeastern part. It is also Taiwan’s second largest seaport after Kaohsiung. Chung Cheng Park is one of the attractions here, located at Keelung’s east side.
This huge bell is said to bring good luck to whoever strikes it.
Besides the temples, the statue of Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) is the landmark of Chung Cheng Park. The white statue stands at 25-metre high and is guarded by two Qilin. This place feels very much like a smaller version of Kek Lok Si in Penang.
Since the park is located on a side of a hill, you can see Keelung town and the port clearly. Here are some other photos:
One the way to Yehliu from Keelung, I captured a rare phenomenon of a rainbow on the sea. I must have been very lucky to see that.
Yehliu is actually a cape, in the town of Wanli located somewhere between Taipei and Keelung. The Yehliu Geopark is the main attraction here featuring rock formations with interesting shapes. Based on the shapes, the rocks were given imaginative names like “The Queen’s Head”, “The Fairy Shoe” and “The Bee Hive”.
Sounds boring? Yeah, it does to me. Honestly, I didn’t expect much from Yehliu especially after reading what other people have posted in their blogs. After all, it’s just a beach with rocks of funny shapes right? Well, not really. I have to say Yehliu was actually the point where we started to feel the fun lol. I finally got to see some blue skies, compared to the miserable weather in the first two days.
Yehliu Geopark is huge, and the wind from the ocean was salty and warm. Any warmer and you will become salt-baked
chickenhuman lol. Red lines were drawn on the ground to indicate the ‘safe area’, which visitors are not allowed to cross for safety reasons.
The staff is serious about this, and don’t expect friendly warnings just because you are a visitor. I saw an uncle got shouted at for not crossing the lines for photos lol.
This statue was built to honor the man who sacrificed himself to save another drowning man at this spot. Another version of the story was that he saved a few drowning children instead.
OK these are supposed to be ginger shaped rocks, but to me they look more like things we make in toilet. Well, you know lah.
A rock that looked like an elephant taking a bath. Hmm, try to use some imagination.
Bee hives shaped rocks.
Taiwan shaped rock, which I think looked like Peninsular Malaysia too.
And the most famous rock of all, “The Queen’s Head“. From what I saw, it’s also the most photographed rock. You gotta to admit the resemblance is really there.
I don’t know what these insects are, but they look like some sort of sea cockroaches and you get find LOTS of them crawling all over in the park. Gross? Now, some other photos taken at Yehliu Geopark. Other photos of the park:
Food stalls selling seafood and local drinks are available in the park itself. A lot of free samples here lol.
And some local product shops as well. We didn’t buy anything though, tight budget. So was Yehliu worth visiting? Yes if you visit it on your own, if it’s by tour then it’s not really worth it. We were here only for about 40 minutes and didn’t really explore the whole place because of time constraint placed by the tour guide.
Even our lunch had a time constraint.. but luckily our tour guide offered to bring us to try a very famous food at Xi Men Ding called Ya Rou Bian (Flattened Duck Meat)
This food was one of my Taiwan’s must-try-list so we accepted the offer. This shop at Xi Men Ding is one of the very few ones left in Taiwan that still serve this delicacy. In fact, almost everyone would recommend you to this shop if you want to try Ya Rou Bian.
They were doing brisk business, luckily it’s a double storey shop with plenty of seats available upstairs.
I didn’t know the meal would include a noodle too. Quite surprised as well with the waiters’ ability to speak in Cantonese so fluently.. I think many tourists from Hong Kong come here often. We had a bowl of mi hun, which tasted very similar to our local koay teow soup.
The duck meat was flat like the name implied, cold and quite tough and chewy. Imagine eating a ‘lor ak’ (braised duck) taken out from a fridge.. that’s how it was like. Nothing impressive to be honest. It wasn’t cheap too.. a quarter of a duck and a bowl of noodle cost NT$350. Part 2 to be continued..