29 June 2018

One Day Trip to Shifen and Jiufen from Taipei

Shifen and Jiufen are traditional old towns both located in New Taipei City, the northeast side of Taipei City. Even though they were belong to different districts: Shifen is in Pingxi, Jiufen is in Ruifang, but they are quite nearby and can be visited in the same day. However, moving from Shifen to Jiufen or vice versa by public transportation is not so easy. I did some research and found that we need to take a train from Taipei to Ruifang Station then train to Shifen then train back to Riufang then bus to Jiufen, with some trains have low frequency. If you missed one train, you have to wait for another hour.

Since Jiufen is my most anticipated place I'd love to visit in Taiwan, I did not want to spend unnecessary time during commuting so we could have a lot of energy when roaming around the place. Therefore I booked a tour in Klook. It was practically a transport rather than a tour, because once we got into the area, we were free to go around the place by ourselves and would meet in a designated place at a particular time. You can read more information about booking Jiufen Shuttle Bus in this post.

Shifen


Shifen is a mountainous area famous for sky lantern. There is a little village near train station with shops lined up along the railway selling lanterns, foods and souvenirs. Tourists can choose the lantern color(s), write their wishes on it and fly the wishing lantern to the sky, all helped by the shops staff. These are the list of colors and their meanings.

Single Color - NT$150
- Red = Health.Peace
- Yellow = Money.Wealth
- Blue = Career.Promotion
- Purple = Study.Test
- White = Future.Brightness
- Orange = Love.Marriage
- Green = Vigour.Success
- Magenta = Attraction.Popularity
- Pink = Bliss.Joy

Multiple Color - NT$200
- Red+Yellow+Blue+Orange
- Red+Yellow+Blue+Pink
- Red+Yellow+Green+Magenta
- Red+White+Purple+Pink
- Yellow+Orange+Green+Pink
- Red+Yellow+Purple+Blue
- Red+Yellow+Purple+Magenta

Usually the lanterns would fall in the nearest mountains, and the trash would be collected by the local people, usually elderly. They can get paid for each used lanterns they found, that's how the local government keeps the environment clean.

Writing and flying out our lantern wishes in Shifen, hope all of them come true

04 June 2018

A Day in Yangmingshan National Park Taipei

Taiwan is famous for its mountainous and natural scenery. About 53 times smaller than Indonesia, this country has 9 national parks in total. One of them is located on the northeast side of Taipei downtown, and accessible to visit in one day from Taipei City with public transportation. It is called Yangmingshan, named after a scholar from Ming Dynasty, and Shan means mountain in Chinese (similar to Korean's San). The place is good for seeing cherry blossoms, enjoying hot spring, and hiking. 

Since I came here in the middle of May, there was no longer cherry blossoms insights. We also did not intend to dip in one of its hot springs, since it was not too cold anymore. Furthermore, hiking was not an option for us who are traveling with a small kid. What we did was strolling around the park enjoying the fresh air and beautiful views. The place is quite friendly for baby with a stroller and elderly with a wheelchair.

What to See


Yangmingshan has a lot of scenic spots. The complete list can be seen on its official website, and they are all free! Here I want to highlight 2 of the places.

The detail Yangmingshan map can be downloaded here and here