A few weeks ago I wrote a guide to popular day trip destinations from Taipei. The three places I mentioned, Fulong, Yingge and Sanxia, and Wulai are trips that are popular among Taipei locals. In this article I’ll be detailing three more day trips from Taipei that are popular with tourists, but still cheap and easy enough for the budget traveler.
You don’t have to be a geologist to appreciate Yehliu Geopark. In fact, most tourists visit simply to experience the beauty of Yehliu’s sea- and wind-shaped rock formations. Thousands of years of erosion have created beautifully striated colored rocks in some truly unique formations, such as the famous Queen’s Head rock. To get to Yehliu, simply go to Taipei West Bus Station, Terminal A and buy a ticket from Kuo-Kuang bus company for bus 1815, headed in the direction of Jinshan Youth Activity Center. After about an hour and 20 minutes, get off at Yehliu bus stop, then follow the signs to the geopark. The walk should be about 15 minutes.
Transportation: About 1h 20m on Kuo Kuang bus 1815, $102nt, then 15 minute walk
Entrance: $80nt, open from 7:30 A.M.- 5:00 P.M. year-round
By all accounts, Jiufen was just another sleepy mountain village until gold was discovered in the area in 1893. The resulting gold rush caused Jiufen to boom into a town, one that to this day has preserved many of its original Japanese buildings. These days, Jiufen is known for its natural and architectural beauty, and draws people to it with its quaint Old Streets and teahouses. To get there, you’ll need to take a train from Taipei Main station to Ruifang station, then take Keelung bus 1062 in the direction of Jiufen. After 15 minutes, get off at Jiufen Old Street stop, then duck into the alley by the 7-Eleven to start exploring!
Transportation: 35min-1 hour, $49nt-$76nt, depending on train type; 15 minutes on Keelung bus 1062
When one talks of Yilan, a number of attractions comes to mind. Unlike Jiufen and Yehliu, Yilan isn’t just one town or area, but an entire county and has a variety of places worth visiting. If you’re into surfing, head to Honeymoon Bay, Taiwan’s most famous surf spot. It also has a sandy beach for those who just want to lay out. If relaxing in water is more of your thing, the town of Jiaoxi boasts a plethora of both hot, and the less-common, cold springs. Consider yourself a foodie? Head to Luodong to try one of Yilan County’s largest and busiest night markets. To get to Honeymoon bay, take a train from Taipei Main station to Daxi station. For Jiaoxi and Luodong, take a train from Taipei Main to Jiaoxi and Luodong stations, respectively.
Transportation: Between 1hr 15 min-2hr 30 min, $101nt-$238nt, depending on train type and destination