With our aching feet still recovering from the day before, my friend and I braced ourselves for our second day in Taiwan. We had a quick stop at the bread shop and the nearby Family Mart for brunch before heading to the MRT. And boy was I happy we did that, because we would be needing all the energy we can get for this day’s adventures.
Jiufen is a popular tourist spot in New Taipei City. To get there, we had to take a 40-minute train ride to Ruifang District (from MRT Main Station, look for the ‘TRA’ or railroad sign to lead you to the ticket booths and the entrance to the platforms).
From Ruifang railroad station, we walked a couple of blocks to catch the bus that will take us to Jiufen. Don’t worry about finding the bus stop because it’s just beside the police station (plus you’ll easily spot other tourists waiting in this spot). The bus ride takes only 15 minutes on the way up the mountain.
Aside from the amazing view that it offers, the area also has museums along the way that you can check out (like the tea museum, gold mine museum and kite museum).
So, what else did we do in Jiufen? Well, I think these pictures will pretty much tell the story…
We initially planned to explore some more but the skies were starting to look gloomy, so we decided to head back and took the next bus to Ruifang. We went straight to the station and bought our tickets (this time with reserved seats, yey!). Apparently the train to Taipei was expected to arrive in a few minutes, and true enough a train did arrive shortly. Confident that we were correctly on board, I decided to take a nap. So imagine my surprise, a few stations later, when I could no longer recognize the places we were passing by. We were supposed to be back Taipei by this time already.
At first, my friend thought that the train might have used another track going back… but, buttttt, butttttt we could already see the coastline!😱 Scared that we might end up totally lost, we decided to get off at the next station (which was in Toucheng… in Yilan District… in northeastern Taiwan!). Thankfully, the TRA staff were so gracious to us and did not ask us for any additional fee for our tickets. They simply instructed us to go to the other platform and wait for the train there.
Despite what could have been a dramatic disaster, my friend and I just laughed it off and thanked God for this surprise adventure 😄 And besides, the view of the coastline and the towns we passed by gave us more than we initially hoped for.
Upon our return to Taipei, we were still unsure what we wanted to do next so we just walked around the underground mall in Main Station where we tumbled upon an Eslite Bookstore branch. It was only after a few minutes of browsing and window shopping that we decided to go to Taipei 101. We just took a few shots from the outside since we both didn’t want to go up anymore, to save both time and money. I’ve tried it on my first trip, and from what I can remember it’s quite costly to go to the observation deck. But if you want to maximize your tourist experience, make sure to go there by late afternoon so you can enjoy both the day and night view of the city 😉 (The fee is inclusive of the access to the deck, the musem and the exhibits).
So there you go, our 2nd day in Taiwan! Final installment of our three-day trippin will be on the next post 😉