They say third time’s the charm-ing (Huh? Lol.) It’s my third time in Taipei and our family’s Mr. Charming definitely is our new trip companion, Papa. Some of you may have followed some of our family’s trips before and may have noticed that never once did Papa come to join us. He has his reasons and to be fair, for someone who’s served as a seafarer half his life, Papa has really seen most of the world.
But let’s talk about Taipei and the new attractions that greeted me this time. These locations were like new to me that actually made me wonder what I did with my friends the last time we were here. To be fair I wasn’t in charge with the itinerary then so never did I make any research but I sure remember a lot of eating with them. Lol.
Thinking it was already discerning on my part to book this northern coast tour of Taipei (it’s all about nature after all and the three seniors with us will appreciate it for sure), I was ready to accept the best middle child of the year lol. But when the day of the tour itself came, I was proven wrong. While the journey to the locations was convenient, the actual exploring in them proved to be a challenge for the seniors (well atleast for just my aunt. I am thankful that Ma and Pa are both very active). One staying behind meant another must accompany so aaahhh. Anyway, here’s where we visited.
Formations in Formosa. Yehliu Geopark was our first stop on our first day. The rock formations are a result of different types of erosion and in an ideal setting, these rocks would be so impressive and a wonder to be seen. But I guess not on a hot September morning where it’s impossible to last for more than 30 minutes in that humid park. My suggestion is to visit this place early in the morning or during a colder month.
Olden Jiufen. Jiufen will definitely be a food lover’s favorite. It was the ideal next stop after Yehliu because it was almost lunchtime then and there’s lots of delectables here. Because seriously, what good is going to Taiwan if not for the food? As this quaint village is located on a hillside, getting the elders to walk up its winding street was a bit of a challenge but somehow the free tastes from the food stalls were propelling them. Lol.
Scenic Shifen. Not exactly sure how Shifen and its old railway track became the perfect place for releasing sky lanterns but a certain blog post explained that in the old days, the tradition was actually used as a means of signaling fellow villagers that it was safe to return to their place after it was ransacked by outlaws. We did not release lanterns in Shifen but near the place is a beautiful waterfall which again I thought my parents and aunt would enjoy. The problem was, on the way to the waterfall, there’s a suspension bridge that shakes and my aunt couldn’t take it. It’s totally understandable. It was just bad that she and Mama had to stay behind (they did their shopping btw). Shifen Waterfall sort of reminds me of Tangadan Waterfall, only that it’s actually swimmable.
The rest of the days were spent touring the usual stuff in Taipei – the Ximending area where we stayed at has this beautiful Red House that we totally didn’t check out with my friends last time, the night markets, Taipei 101, CKS Memorial Hall (this is still a favorite place for me) and other cultural places that I’m sure would be a delight to visit if not for the hot weather. This trip sure reminds me a lot why I never usually visit a country in their summer season. 😅