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Saturday, December 7, 2019

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen | Taipei, Taiwan

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen Tour, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

2nd day in Taiwan is about exploring the Northern part on a day tour. For a hassle-free journey, we decided to join a guided tour via Klook to see the country's best sights. During the trip, we were able to visit 5 exciting locations that are different from one another - Yehliu Geopark, Yinyang Sea and the remains of the 13 levels gold mine, Golden Waterfalls, Jiufen Old Street, and the quaint village of Shifen.

We went to Ximen Station at 8:00 in the morning to meet our tour guide in GakuDen Bakery (Near exit 4 of Ximen Station) before departing to Yehliu. When you book this tour on Klook, you can choose for the meetup location between Ximen or Taipei Main Station. We're just near Taipei Main Station, but since I booked the tour ahead of time, I chose Ximen Station because I thought we will be staying near the area, but we end up booking the Airbnb in Zhongshan District. So I suggest you check first the nearest stations to your hotel or Airbnb before booking the tour. 


Travel time from Ximen to Yehliu by bus is 1 hour, but our tour guide, Norman, keeps us entertained by telling us stories and history about the places we will be visiting. Free bottled water was also given to us during the tour. 


Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark


We arrived in Yehliu at exactly 9:00 in the morning, and we were given 1 and a half hours to explore the Geopark. Famed for its unusual rock formations, Yehliu Geopark is home to many unique geological formations made by nature itself. You'll notice the honeycomb shape and mushroom rock formations here, which are all caused by weathering. This is also the area where you can find the famous Queen's head. It is the most iconic of all the unique geological structures in the land.

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

The geographic scenery of Yehliu Geopark is truly astonishing! It’s important to remember that these geological formations are very fragile, so we must not touch or sit on them. There are also restricted areas that are guarded and have a red line on it, which says, "Do Not Cross This Line."

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Golden Waterfalls


So happy to see the glittering cascade of the Golden Waterfall! Although there is no actual gold flowing forth from these falls, the water here is undoubtedly a beautiful gold color as the result of the combination of regular rainfall in this mining area and the abundance of heavy metal elements deposited in the riverbed. The water here is not safe for swimming because of the high toxicity levels.

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yin Yang Sea + 13 Layer Remains


On our way to Jiufen, we did a short stopover in a parking lot where you can see the beautiful view of the Yin Yang Sea and the 13 Layer Remains. The water from the Golden Waterfalls flows at the Yin Yang Sea. The blue and yellow coloring of the bay brings to mind the ancient Chinese principle of yin and yang. You will also see the remains of 13 levels of the gold mines from here.

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Jiufen Old Street


Jiufen is an old town surrounded by buildings and ancient streets bursting with character and culture. Going here is one of the most popular things to do in Taipei, where you can get to try all the local foods and wander in a maze of narrow alleys, traditional stores, red lanterns, and quaint tea houses nestled into the mountainside.


Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Jiufen is said to have inspired Miyazaki’s "Spirited Away."

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

This place is best known for is its food. There are a lot of stalls that offer interesting street foods and souvenirs.

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

 Shifen


Our last stop is the quaint village of Shifen. We ended the tour by releasing a sky lantern in the old train tracks and winding lanes. Sky lanterns come in different colors and color combinations, representing a particular wish, whether it be for love, wealth, or health. 

Note: The lanterns are biodegradable, and once they have landed, the residents return them, and they are being disposed of properly. 

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

We bought the 4-color sky lantern for only 200 NTD. There are lots of shops on either side of the tracks, but our tour guide already prepared everything before we arrived. They were pinned into a rack, ready for painting whatever your wishes are, before sending it gliding into the sky.

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

You don’t have to worry about messing it up because someone will help you in lighting the sky lantern, and they will be taking your pictures and videos as well, using your phone or camera.

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Releasing Sky Lantern in Shifen

And here it is! Our lantern flying up above the sky. I hope all the wishes written here will come true. 🙏



18 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! It's nice to see you again here! Thanks for always supporting my blog :)

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  2. Beautiful Pictures! I am going to Thailand for New years and will be partaking in their lantern lighting!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Alyx! I'm also planning to visit Thailand :) Maybe in 2021? Hehe

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  3. Nicole, I love your photos! Not many people have a chance to travel and experience what you have. Awesome!

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  4. I have often wondered if a guided tour would be worth the extra cost. However, your description has me thinking it can be! I am envious, you didn't have to "plan" this awesome trip!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, guided tours can be worth it sometimes. You just have to choose the right one :)

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  5. Great photos. Wanna go taiwan too, taiwan has been popular to filipino travelers this days.

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    Replies
    1. I think it's because of the Visa-Free travel that has been extended until July 31, 2020 for Philippine Passport Holders :)

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  6. ang ganda ng places na napuntahan ninyo. gusto ko na tuloy punta ng Taiwan... and malaking bagay talaga pag nakakaaliw ang tour guide ninyo.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you :) Norman is one of the best tour guide in Taipei.

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  7. Wow, Yehliu Geopark looks so stunning..! I will visit here if ever I got the chance to have a vacation in Taiwan. Thanks for these wonderful pics.

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  8. I have never been to Taiwan before. The cost line looks so beautiful x

    Laura
    https://www.beautywithlala.com/

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  9. I've read that having aerial lanters can be harmful to the environment, is that true?

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  10. I have never been to Taiwan but the photos you took are beautiful! I love the lantern releasing ceremony, it's such an awesome idea. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. This looked like a great trip. I love that you shared some of the things you're hoping for, like good health. I think we could all use good health right now.

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  12. I enjoyed looking at your pictures. I'm sure you had a great trip. Thanks for sharing.

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Now it's your turn! I'm always excited to read your comments!