Rêveuse Travel: Day Trips from Taipei

Rêveuse Travel: Day Trips from Taipei

Recently we've been getting notifications on our phone of memories of this last year. Going through the pictures of our time in Taiwan makes us eager to travel again and go on an adventure, even if that's locally! Aside from Taipei there are so many beautiful places to visit in Taiwan, so we've highlighted 3 places to visit that will allow you to see the natural wonders of Taiwan. If you're on the hunt for some amazing food, or incredible views, we've got you covered. You can also read our Taipei travel guide here if you are staying in the capital.


JIU FEN
The former gold mining mountain town, is now rich with history and culture. Fun Fact: The movie Spirited Away was inspired by this village, emulating the maze of alleyways, bright red lanterns and narrow streets. The town is filled with Japanese inspired cafes, tea houses and souvenirs so you're bound to get some cute insta worthy photos of some amazing food and traditional interiors. The majority of the shops are located along Shuqi Road, so just follow the narrow cobbled path and experience what Jiu Fen has to offer (There's quite a few steps but you can walk up to the top and back down again in half an hour). The Old Street can get very packed, since it's a very popular destination, but it still holds that charm and an amazing ambience.You also get the chance to see amazing views of the ocean, which can be incredibly beautiful on a lovely sunny day! Unfortunately we weren't so blessed with the weather one time we went; it was miserable and pouring with rain so we huddled into a cafe for warmth and some hot treats! Jiu Fen is particularly known for their taro and sweet potato balls which can be served on top of some delicious shaved ice or some hot red bean soup; it's quite peculiar but definitely try it out! 

If you're feeling particularly active and want to go hiking, you can climb to the top of Keelung Mountain, which looks down to Jiu Fen and even the Taipei 101 if you're lucky to go on a clear day! The hike is around an hour but it is very tiring as it involves plenty of stairs.

Another challenging hike to do is TeaPot Mountain. We did this last year and it was very tiring. We were put to shame by the older grannies and grandpas striding up and down the mountain with their walking sticks, despite the gloomy and terrible weather. 

HOW TO GET THERE
BY TRAIN: From Taipei Main Station, take the train to Ruifang Station. The bus station is located next to the police station and buses 827 and 788 will direct you to JiuFen.
BY BUS: From Zhongxiao Fuxing Station, leave Exit 2. Once you are outside SOGO department store, take bus 1062 to Jinguashi. It's around 1 hour journey so make sure you get a seat to enjoy the views of Northern Taiwan. 
BY SHUTTLE: A shuttle bus service is available to Jiufen from Ximen, leaving in the morning and returning before dinner.


SNOW MOUNTAIN
Snow Mountain is the second highest mountain peak in Taiwan. We travelled all the way to Shei Pa National park for a weekend getaway, which has a wonderful scenic hike and lies about 4 hours south of Taipei. We were lucky enough to rent a bus with relatives who live in Taiwan but you can also rent a car to get there. We stayed at a lovely hotel in the mountain and also got to stay a night at a log cabin which was a fun and unique experience, where there was a restaurant also serving traditional Taiwanese food. The time we visited was during late summer and the part of the mountain that we visited didn't have any snow, despite its name, however the mountain air was just so refreshing and the cool and not so hot temperature made it really nice to hike around the area. We didn't hike all the way to the snow mountain peak, but opted to walk the trail which was a few hours. 

Unfortunately there's less information about how to get here unlike other places, so we recommend finding a tour group who include this in their itinerary. Aside from renting a car, you can also take a train from Taipei to Taichung and explore the city before perhaps touring back up towards Shei-Pa National Park. We thoroughly recommend visiting though, as its a beautiful and scenic place away from the bustle of Taipei city!


BAISHAWAN BEACH
For those wanting to relax on the beach and enjoy the sunshine, Baishawan is the place to go! It literally translates to 'white sand bay' which may be a little misleading as the sand is not white, but it's an amazing sandy beach to go to if you prefer sand to pebbled beaches. The bay was formed by volcanoes spewing lava into the ocean creating Fuigui Cape. Later coral grew near to the shoreline, which makes up for most of the sand seen on the beach today. It extends about a kilometer along the coast. This beach is very accessible from Taipei and is a great place to surf, sunbathe, and most importantly eat!

HOW TO GET THERE
To reach Baishawan Beach, take the MRT north all the way to Tamsui. Take the 862 or 863 bus across the road from the station. The ride is around an hour from Tamsui, but the good news is that the bus will drop you right next to the beach. You want to get off at Baisha Bay.

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