Life is the art of drawing without an eraser ~ John W. Gardner

Jiu Fen 九份. Windsor B&B 温莎堡民宿. Gold Ecological Park 黄金博物园

From the 5th to 7th day of our Taiwan trip, we were soaking ourselves in the oh-so-heaven Jiu Fen (九份). :) Our plan was to spend 2 days 1 night in Jiu Fen and then go to Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) to spend a night there. When we reached Windsor B&B, the owner advised us that it would be too tiring and rushing to travel from Jiu Fen to Sun Moon Lake in such a short time. After seeing how amazing Jiu Fen is, we took the advice and stayed 3 days 2 nights in Jiu Fen. Well, now I must say, no regrets. :)

One day before travelling to Jiu Fen, we bought our train ticket to Ruifang (瑞芳) station. Again, I am sorry that I’ve forgotten about the price! :( The journey took about 1 and a half hours to reach Ruifang. Our B&B owner was so kind to come personally to the train station to pick us up. By public transport, after you reach Ruifang train station, you’ll have to go across the road and wait for the Keelung Transit bus to go to Jiu Fen.

Please bring only light luggage when you travel to Jiu Fen. Jiu Fen is on a hill side and you may need to walk to get to the B&B you stay. With the slopes and stairs everywhere, you will be so grateful that you pack lightly. Bring sufficient of clothing will do.

We chose to stay in Windsor B&B (温莎堡景观民宿) because it has those special rooms that attracted all of us. Plus, most of the rooms are facing the sea and the view is spectacular. As for the price, you may refer to the website.

The B&B owners are actually husband and wife, both of them are very nice to their guests. We felt so much like home when we were there. Chen Jie (陈姐) even prepared breakfast and brunch personally. Mr. Hsu (许大哥) cooked us bak kut teh (肉骨茶)! Can you believe it? Having bak kut teh in Taiwan in such a weather, perfect!

After settling down, we went to the Jiu Fen Old Street (九份老街). Chen Jie told us there is a super delicious beef noodles on the street and that is something we shouldn’t miss! We found it! Gosh, the best beef noodles I’ve ever had!!! Seriously, it’s the best! Ask any of us and we will all tell you the same thing. :) It is located along the street, the name is Jiu Fen Old Noodles House (九份老面店). It is very easy to find. There is also this special ice-cream wrap in front of the shop. It is also a must-try!

After a satisfying meal, we decided to go to the Gold Ecological Park (黄金博物园). We went to the main road of Jiu Fen and got on the Keelung Transit bus. If you’re worried you wouldn’t know where to stop, just tell the bus driver to drop you at the park. Entrance fee to the park is NTD100 per person Update 29 October 2012: Received comment from a traveller that the admission is free but the Benshan Tunnel will cost NTD50 per person. Visit the website if you want to know more about the park, I am not going to flood this post with all the history here. :)

The sky got dark faster than we expected. We didn’t manage to go to the Yehliu Geopark (野柳地质公园) and Miao Kou Night Market (庙口夜市). We headed back to the B&B to enjoy the afternoon tea prepared by Chen Jie. :) The best milk tea and coffee I’ve ever had! They’re so aromatic.

After the break, we went back to the street to roam around. One could never get enough of it. There are so many shops there!

On the 2nd day, we spent the whole day in Jiu Fen Old Street! Geez, all of us shopping “kakis”, by the time we wanted to go to Yehliu Geopark, it was already too dark to go! LOL!

You must be thinking that we are crazy to spend one whole day on the street in Jiu Fen. Well, wait till you reach there. There are so many things to eat, so many to see and so many to buy!

Please also be mindful that there a lot of slopes and staircase in Jiu Fen, sometimes the paths are intertwined with each other and one path could lead to another whole new place. It is not a very good idea to wander around those paths during nightfall and it is always wise to travel in group of 2 or 3 at night. Besides, the houses on Jiu Fen are all built very close to each other. So, do not make loud noises when you walk along the paths, you may disturb the residents at home.

On the 3rd day, time for us to say goodbye to Jiu Fen. Chen Jie was on her way down to Taipei city, she offered to drive us back to the city! How sweet of her! In the car, she was telling us all sorts of stories in Jiu Fen. What an unique experience. :)

On the train to Ruifang. Clean and tidy.

The street performance in Ruifang train station.

7 of us cramped up the MPV! LOL.

Finally! The beautiful and mystical Jiu Fen (九份).

Heaven on earth?

In Windsor B&B 温莎堡民宿.

Amazing and stunning view.

Jiu Fen Old Street 九份老街

Jiu Fen Old Noodles House 九份老面店

Ice-cream wrap

Here’s the beef noodles! The best we had in Taiwan. :) Beef was tender and juicy, the soup was thick but not sticky. Thumbs up.

One of us ordered the rice, not as nice as the noodles. :)

Food is everywhere on old street.

Very old-fashioned feel 古早味

Yam balls. One of the must-try when you come to Jiu Fen.

Seafood steamboat.

Pork steamboat.

Beef steamboat.

The full and filling sandwich from Chen Jie. :)

I’ve taken a lot of photos in Jiu Fen. For more photos of Jiu Fen, please click here.

208 responses

  1. Hi Ashley,

    I chanced upon your blog when I was looking for reviews on Windsor B&B as I am thinking of staying there for my trip in Mar11.

    From your writeup, I can see you and your friends really had a very enjoyable time in Jiufen and at Windsor. I looked through all your Jiufen pics and am thinking of staying 3 days too! I have questions, hope you can help:

    1) Does the owner of Windsor provide any pickup service from airport or we need to take taxi there to look for them?
    2) I know some Minsu provide free transport when you stay with them i.e. the owner will drive you around. Is this an option with Windsor?
    3) Can I find out when did you go as its not very clear from your blog.

    Many thanks!!
    Ariel

    January 20, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Ariel, thanks for dropping by and leaving me a comment here. :) Here’s to your questions:

      1) They do provide free pick up service but it’s only at a certain hour, I think it’s at 2pm. That also depends if they’re available. My sisters just went in November and they said they took a bus from Ruifang station to Jiufen, no pick-up from the owner.
      2) Windsor doesn’t provide touring service around Jiufen, you’ll have to travel by bus/taxi on your own. However, you could get a chartered taxi/car. You may ask the Windsor B&B owner for help on that.
      3) I went to Taipei last January, today is the one-year anniversary of my trip! Miss Taipei so much.

      If you still have any questions, please ask away. I’m more than happy to help if I could. :)

      January 21, 2011 at 9:03 AM

  2. Dear Ashley, thanks alot for your prompt reply! Can I find out if I can correspond with the owners via email (English) or you recommend that I call them instead?

    Did your sister had an enjoyable trip and stay too? I read your blog that we shouldn’t bring big luggages, does that mean the taxi doesn’t go to their doorstep?

    I am going with my husband, mum, 2 kids (5 & 2 yrs old). Currently thinking of going there in Mar, staying for 3days at Windsor, then stay in Taipei for another 5days before heading home to SG. Any recommendation on places to go will be greatly appreciated :)

    January 21, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Ariel, no problem. Since your trip is coming soon, I’d bet you’ll need all the info fast. :)

      Before my trip, I corresponded with the B&B owner, but in Chinese. Yes, you may call them directly. That will save you a lot of time and hassle. They’re very nice people, don’t worry. :)

      Yes, both my sisters enjoyed their stay in Windsor and Jiufen too. They went to Yehliu Ecological park, which I strongly recommend to you too. My sisters went to Pingxi too, in the hope of doing some lantern praying, but one of them was sick and they had to head back to Jiufen.

      Jiufen has a lot of stairs and slopes. The reason I mentioned not to bring heavy luggage as you may find it difficult to drag those luggages around. A backpack is good. Yes, taxis and buses may not be able to have access to certain roads as the roads are sometimes pretty narrow.

      Are you a museum person? If you’re not, I suggest you could drop all those memorial halls/museums. Those are actually pretty boring. :) My sisters went to Hualian and spent 3 days there and they said it was so fun! If you had the time, you may want to consider that. Taipei city is more for shopping. Taipei 101 is a must-visit place. :) You may want to go to Taipei 101 around 4 or 5pm. You will then get to enjoy the day-view and night-view together. Danshui is also a place you must go, especially the Danshui Fishermen Wharf. Oh, don’t forget about Yang Ming Shan. The “Xiao You Keng” in Yang Ming Shan has a very nice view.

      Hope you’d have a great time there. :) Do share with me when you come back.

      January 21, 2011 at 9:49 AM

      • Thanks for your prompt response!

        Yes, you are right regarding frantically looking for info now haha!

        Thanks so much for your tips!! Actually I am interested in the Pingxi sky lantern, can I go there any day or has to be during the lantern festival?

        For HuaLien, I only know of Taroko Gorge, are there other beautiful things to see there? Hmm….now I am wondering if I need to stay 4 days in Taipei :P

        I am not a museum person, I like scenic and city places. :)

        January 21, 2011 at 3:17 PM

      • Ashley

        Hello Ariel, you’re most welcome. :)

        The sky lantern in Pingxi, nope, it doesn’t have to be during the lantern festival then only you can do it. You can do it just about any time. :)

        If you’re going to Hualian, you may want to extend your stay in Taipei. Perhaps 3 days in Hualian, 3 days in Taipei, 3 days in Jiufen. If you’re going to Hualian, I recommend you to go on the 2nd day after you arrive Taipei. Then Jiufen, then the remaining days in Taipei city.

        There’s so many things to do in Hualian other than Taroko. There’s this Ho-Huan Mountain (合欢山), ChiSingTan (七星潭), Carp Lake (鲤鱼潭) and Ching Jing Farm (清境农场). My sisters stayed in this place while they were in Hualian. http://sweetrain.hlbnb.com.tw/ They basically sing praises of the tour guide. Haha. I’m sure you’ll love the sceneries there. :)

        If you’d like to go to Hualian, please note that you have to purchase the train ticket (from Taipei to Hualian) online 1 month in advance to avoid any disappointment.

        January 21, 2011 at 6:51 PM

  3. Dear Ashley!

    Once again, thanks for your good advice!
    Do you think its advisable to go directly to Windsor from Taipei airport? Thereafter, I thought of staying 1 2nights at Windsor, 1 night at ShangriLa farm at Yilan. Then go to Taipei? I think I will go HuaLien next time. :)

    January 22, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    • Ashley

      Dear Ariel,

      If you’d like to go to Jiufen from the airport, it can be done provided that you arrive Taipei early in the morning. From Taipei Main Station (train) to Ruifang will take 1 and a half hours. If you arrive Taipei in the late afternoon, not advisable to go Jiufen in the evening. It may be a bit rushing for you to only stay 1 night in Jiufen, unless you want to drop the Gold ecological park and head straight to Yehliu or vice versa. Unless you start your day early, then you can cover this 2 places in one day.

      Maybe you can consider this, 1st day after you reach Taipei airport, head straight to Taipei Main Station and get a train ticket to Ruifang. If it’s only 2 or 3pm when you reach Jiufen, go either Yehliu or Gold ecological park. If not, just explore the Jiufen streets and the 2nd day you’ll have one full day to explore other areas. 2nd day, after you’re done with Jiufen, perhaps travel to Yilan in the late afternoon, spend a night there and then explore Yilan on the next day. On the 3rd day, you’ll be back in Taipei in late evening. :)

      Seeing that you’re bringing your mom and 2 children, you may want to take it slow as the traveling could be pretty tiring. Since you’re not going to Hualian this time, I guess you do not have to rush the itinerary.

      January 23, 2011 at 2:09 AM

  4. Dear Ashley, sorry for the late reply! Can I find out from Taipei airport, is there a train to go to the Taipei main station? I like your suggestion =)

    Alternatively, maybe I can stay longer at Jiufen and just make it a day trip to Shangrila farm, which I think is about 1 hr by train.

    Cheers!
    Ariel

    January 25, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    • Ashley

      No problem Ariel. :)

      There’s a lot of bus services travel from the airport to Taipei City. You just go to the buses counters (you may ask for directions from the airport tourism counter), ask if any of them have bus to Taipei Main Station. Oh by the way, will you be arriving Taoyuan airport? Even if you’re not, the staff at tourism counter will be able to help you.

      Have a great trip! :D

      January 25, 2011 at 11:44 PM

  5. Thanks alot Ashley for all your great advice!! :)

    January 29, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    • Ashley

      You’re most welcome Ariel. :) I’m more than happy to help and I’m happy that I could be of any help to you.

      January 29, 2011 at 10:47 PM

  6. shu an

    Hi there,

    I was researching on taiwan on my first ever taiwan trip!

    knowing that you are familiar with taiwan, could i ask you a few questions?

    would really appreciate your help!

    anyway, initially i wanted to visit taipei > yehliu > jingguashi > keelung > jiu fen

    I was wondering if this isnt a good plan because reading from your blog entry, jiu fen should be a place to stop by longer.

    i am going to taiwan for 7 nights. and would like to be in taipei, jiu fen, and hua lien.

    thanks alot, hope to hear from you.

    February 4, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi, thanks for dropping by. :) I’m not very familiar with Taiwan though. Just sharing whatever that I know.

      7 nights and you’d like to include Hualian, I’d say it might be a bit too rush. Unless you only stay 2 days 1 night in Hualian or perhaps 3 days 2 nights in Hualian and 2 days 1 night in Jiufen. However, if you’d like to explore Jiufen more, I’d say 3 days in Jiufen is a better choice.

      Hualian is fantastic place to visit too, my sisters went there and they totally enjoyed their stay in Hualian. You may refer to my earlier comments here.

      February 8, 2011 at 11:07 AM

  7. shu an

    oh yah, would also want to ask you more on
    Yehliu – Nanya – Bitou – Ying Yang Hai and jiu fen

    because if were to overnight at jiu fen (tempted by the ming su you mentioned, super pretty)

    then i was wondering if i should go to the above places.

    then focus my day in the gold geological park and jiu fen the next day before travelling back to taipei?

    or is nanya, bitou, ying yang hai okay to skip :)

    thanks! sorry!

    February 4, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    • Ashley

      Nanya? Do you know its name in Chinese?
      Ying Yang Hai is in Keelung, nearby Jiufen. You would be able to visit it just by getting on a bus or taxi.

      I’d suggest you to stay at least 1 night in Jiufen. From Taipei city to Ruifang via train would take about 1.5 hours, to and fro would be taking up 3 hours of your time. If you make a day trip, again it would be too rush for you.

      Your plan of visiting the gold ecological park on the first day is good, after the gold ecological park, you can then go to Ying Yang Hai or Keelung night market. The next day then you can explore Jiufen streets.

      The last time when I was there, the B&B owner told me there is a chartered taxi services there. I’m not sure where. Perhaps when you go there you can ask the local people about it.

      Hope you have a great time in Taipei. Oh by the way, when are you going to Taipei?

      February 8, 2011 at 11:16 AM

      • diana

        hi Ashley,
        i’m planning to visit hualien sept 2012.
        Looking for accomodation.
        Was the accomodation your sister stayed a nice place?
        Which hotel or homestay was she in?

        diana

        July 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      • Ashley

        Hi Diana, thanks for dropping by.

        Do you mind to refer to my previous comments here about the place that my sister stayed? Thanks.

        July 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM

  8. shu an

    hey sorry girl for the late reply

    anyway
    i would like to check which one did you stay in the windsor.

    i realized there are different theme and is located at different area?

    i would want to stay in 涵館1 for $2300.

    will there be the cafe downstairs as well? =)

    thanks alot
    i decided to stay at jiu fen longer instead !!

    February 13, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    • Ashley

      hello dear,

      I stayed in 涵館3, three of us shared the room. There’s only one cafe, which is the place where the owner serves all the meals. The one I stayed is few doors away from the cafe I think. Yes, different theme at different area, but not very far apart.

      Enjoy your stay in Jiufen. You won’t regret it. :)

      February 15, 2011 at 1:06 AM

  9. berry

    hihi, i came across your blog while researching on my TW trip this April. Hope to get some of your advice for this trip.

    I will be staying at Jiufen Windsor BNB for 1 night. I will set off from Taipei to Jiufen in the morning.

    I am planning to go Yeliu while at Jiufen. How do i make my way to Yeliu from Jiufen?

    Thanks!

    February 21, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Berry,

      Thanks for dropping by. :)

      You can take Keelung bus from Jiufen to Yehliu. However, I’m not sure if the below is correct ’cause that was the information I got when I searched for it last time, but I didn’t manage to go Yehliu when I was there. If you can read chinese, here it is:-
      1022 基隆 – 金山
      1062 基隆 – 淡水

      You may want to confirm the number with the locals when you are there. You can ask the B&B owner, they’re more than willing to help. :)

      February 21, 2011 at 9:20 AM

  10. Stella

    Hi Ashley,

    I am thinking of gg to Taipei minshu n taipei city to stay in March. Any recommendation of minsu beside windsor B&B in Taipei and also any nice or good hotels in Taipei city near the train station?

    And also can I email to windsor minsu instead of calling? Do you have their name card with u?

    February 21, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Stella,

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Taipei city, you can consider this Taipei Hope Hotel. My sisters stayed there when they went there last November and they highly recommended it as it is very near to Taipei Main Station and the hotel is clean. Here’s the website: http://100hopehotel.emmm.tw/?ptype=info

      The Windsor B&B is in Jiufen, not in the Taipei city centre. As in Jiufen, I’d say Windsor B&B is the best amongst all as it offers reasonable price with good view. I liaised with them via emails. Here’s their email address: service@windsor.idv.tw
      And this is their website: http://windsor.idv.tw/index.asp

      There’s another B&B in Jiufen which I find not bad but the price is slightly more expensive than Windsor. Here it is: http://www.cwcm.com.tw/

      Hope the above helps. :)

      February 21, 2011 at 2:46 PM

  11. Stella

    Dear Ashley,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Can i know which type of room you have chosen during the stay in Windsor B&B? How much is per night?

    February 22, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Stella,

      You’re most welcome. I think I stayed in Han Guan 3. As for the price, you may check the website as I’m not sure if they increase the price. Do email Windsor for the best price as they sometimes offer discount.

      February 23, 2011 at 11:07 AM

  12. Stella

    Hi Ashley,

    Have you heard of Pa Fan Keng B&B in JiuFen?

    February 23, 2011 at 10:08 AM

  13. Stella

    Thanks for your prompt reply Ashley,

    Is 8fan keng situated at JiuFen as well?
    I look at their website but cannot find any email that i can communicate with.

    Actually i really cannot make up my mind whether to stay at jiuFen or yilan. I just want to find a minsu which is nearer to taipei city as my last 3 days stay will be in Taipei City.

    Any recommendation?

    Sorry to trouble you again.

    February 23, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Stella,

      Yes, 8fan Keng is in Jiufen. They have 2 branches in Jiufen, u can select either the one at #41 or the one at Jiu Dao Kou.
      Their email is at the bottom of the website. :) pafan.keng@msa.hinet.net
      Usually Taiwan websites have their contact at the very bottom. :)

      You’re saying ur last 3 days will be in Taipei city, why not staying in the city then? You can move your schedule/itinerary for Jiu Fen to the middle of ur trip so that you won’t be rushing here and there on the last day. Note that Taipei City centre to Jiufen takes about 1 and half hours of train ride. If you’re departing from Taoyuan airport, it would take another 1 hour of bus ride from Taipei City centre to Taoyuan.

      Yi Lan and Jiu Fen are both very pretty. It all depends on what kind of experience you would like to have.

      I’m not expert in planning Taiwan trip, I just do my best to answer your questions from what I know of. :) I understand the frustration of having no one to ask when you plan a trip. So, I just want to help make the planning less painful. :)

      February 23, 2011 at 3:27 PM

  14. Stella

    Thanks Ashley for your advice.

    February 27, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    • Ashley

      ur welcome Stella :) Hope you have a fun trip.

      February 28, 2011 at 10:41 AM

  15. Eve

    Hi Ashley,

    I will be staying in the minsu in Jiufen on my 1st day of arrival in taipei.

    Understand that a bus trip to taipei main station from taoyuan takes 1 hr + train to jiufen takes 1hr30mins = 2Hrs30Mins.

    We are now wondering if you do know how much will it cost if we were to take a cab to jiufen from taoyuan airport?

    Cuz it’s our first day, we’ll have to carry all our luggages up to jiu fen..

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    March 1, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Eve,

      Thanks for dropping by.

      I’m sorry that I’m not sure about the cab/taxi drive from Taoyuan Airport to Jiufen. Worry not, here’s some info in the Taoyuan Airport website – Taiwan Taoyuan Internation Airport.You may call them before you reach to check on the taxi fare from Taoyuan to Jiufen.

      Hmm… Just my personal opinion, it is pretty rushing for you to go to Jiufen on your first day. I would suggest to stay in Taipei city on the first day and travel to Jiufen on the 2nd day.

      Also, it is not advisable to carry all your luggages up to Jiufen. It is on a hillside and you’ll be dragging your huge luggage with you, which I don’t think it’s a good idea. If you’re taking train, you can leave your luggages in Ruifang train station, they have locker services, but again, sorry that I’m not sure how much they charge. Alternatively, you may go to the hotel that you’re going to stay in Taipei city, leave your luggages with them. Most of the hotels are willing to accommodate to this request, but since you’re not staying there on your first day, you may want to confirm with them if it’s ok.

      If you have not booked your B&B in Jiufen, I strongly encourage you to go Jiufen on the second day. Then you can leave your luggage in Taipei city hotel and pack lightly for Jiufen, and enjoy your stay there. Also, it won’t be so tiring. If you’re flying from KUL to TPE, the 5 hours journey is no joke.

      Have a great trip Eve. :)

      March 2, 2011 at 12:50 PM

  16. Carrie

    Hi Ashley,

    Am writing to you to get your advice a bit as I’m travelling to Taiwan next week! Just came across your website and how you have been really helpful to all those who have asked for your recommendations…

    You see, I’ll be spending 8 nights in Taiwan and the initial route that my friend and I are planning for is Taipei city on 1st night, followed by two nights in Hualian and then two nights in Jiufen and the remaining days back to Taipei.

    However, I heard that accommodation in Jiufen is quite pricey on the weekends, and going by our itinerary, it looks like we are spending Sat and Sun nights in Jiufen. However, I’m not sure if there is train or bus that will go the route from Jiufen to Hualian if we decide to switch our itinerary the other way round which means Taipei-Jiufen-Hualian-Taipei.

    Appreciate if you could kindly advice me on this since we are running short of time and need to make our reservations soon.

    Thanks & best regards

    April 12, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Carrie,

      Thanks for reading. :)

      Have you not booked your stay in Jiufen? If I’m not mistaken, the Windsor B&B I went to does not have extra charge for weekends. I could be wrong, you’ll just need to check with them to get the real rate.

      Anyway, it is alright too if you would like to switch your itinerary to Taipei-Jiufen-Hualian-Taipei. It’s pretty much the same.

      Regarding the transportation from Jiufen to Hualian, I believe you there’s a train that runs from Ruifang station to Hualian. If you could read Chinese, here’s the train website: Taiwan Railway

      Don’t have to worry so much. When you get there, just ask the airport information counter or the train station information counter, they’ll be more than happy to help. :)

      Have a great trip!

      April 12, 2011 at 9:54 PM

      • Carrie

        Hi Ashley,

        Thanks for your prompt feedback and advice. Appreciate it..

        Do u know how long is the travelling journey from Jiufen to Hualian?

        Also, are that airport taxes that I would need to pay so that I can leave some money for it and not finish everything for shopping? Hehe..

        For Taipei, do u hv any homestays that you can recommend me to book? I’m still looking around actually because some of the prices quoted to me are a bit on the high end.

        Thanks again,
        Carrie

        April 14, 2011 at 8:01 PM

      • Ashley

        Carrie, for my recommendations of hotel in Taipei, you may refer to my reply to Stella above. My sisters stayed in Hope Hotel near Taipei Main Station, but I was staying in Rainbow Hotel in Ximending.

        I’m not sure about the distance from Jiufen to Hualian, but from Taipei to Jiufen is about 1.5 hours.

        About the airport taxes, I’m not sure which are you referring to. If it’s the airport taxes for the air ticket, I presumed you’ve paid it when you purchased your air tickets?

        Hope the above helps. :) Enjoy your trip.

        April 15, 2011 at 10:43 AM

  17. Goh Simin

    Hi Ashley,
    i am planning to go taiwan for 7D 6N , planning to spend 4D3N at taipei, i am not sure which other district i can go for the 3D 2N, was planning tai nan and gao xiong do you think it is a wise choice? or is there other district that is more fun.. we would be more into shopping.

    Thanks and sorry for having so much questions..

    April 26, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Goh, thanks for dropping by. :)

      Perhaps you can consider Hualian, it’s a nice place. Jiu Fen is good for shopping with beautiful view too. :) Sun Moon Lake is not a bad choice either, but that is more for scenery. If you are more into shopping, Jiufen is definitely the place.

      Tainan and Gao Xiong is a bit difficult. The journey will very much take up 1 whole day (to and fro), and you’ll be very tired rushing back to Taipei.

      That’s not many questions there, so no problem. :)

      April 26, 2011 at 4:15 PM

  18. Agnes

    Hi there

    was looking around for an interesting plc for my sep/oct family hold and chance upon your blogs. Jiu Fen sounds like september. This plc has great potential…. Few qns to check with you.

    How to get there from taipei? our boy is 3yr old so trvl sd be child friendly and not too much hassle.
    agnes

    July 10, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Agnes, thanks for dropping by. :)

      Jiufen is definitely a place you must visit when you go Taipei. Superb scenery.

      From Taipei, you have to go to the Taipei Main Station and purchase train ticket to Ruifang Station. After you reach Ruifang station, go to the opposite of the road and take the Keelung bus to Jiufen. Just tell the bus driver to drop you off at Jiufen Old Street (Lao Jie). If you want the B&B to go to the Ruifang station to pick you up, that depends on which B&B you stay and you may make a personal request to them. Or, you could hire a cab all the way from Taipei to Jiufen, sorry that I’m not sure how much exactly it’s going to cost, perhaps NTD1000-NTD1500.

      Do pack lightly when you go to Jiufen, backpay is recommended rather than wheeled luggage bag.

      Enjoy your trip! :)

      July 11, 2011 at 9:13 AM

  19. Jastina

    Hi Ashley/Agnes,

    I have just came back from my 1 week Taipei trip. I stayed in B&B for 2D1N too. From Taipei Sogo, I took a bus -No.1062 (NTD102.00) to Jiufen. The bus will stop at Jiufen old street.

    B&B has pickup at Ruifang train station at 2pm and 6pm everyday.

    For the first day, after checking in, we took a bus(NTD15.00) to the gold museum(Jing Gua Shi) and walk around that area(we walk to a Chinese temple with a big statute from the back lane of the gold museum).

    Tips 1: Not easy to get a taxi at that area. If you want to go “Golden Falls” & “Ying Yang Hai”, it is impossible to walk.
    Tips 2: Don’t carry huge/bulky luggage-you need to walk down many steps.
    Tips 3: Buy the honey mua chi cake-personally taste nice & never forget the yam ball tong sui from the 2 most famous stall
    Tips 4: Try the Tau Fu Fah inside the Gold Museum.
    Tips 5: As what Ashley said, spent more time at Jiufen old street
    Tips 6: From Taipei Airport, can take Evergreen bus to Sogo (NTD150.00) only, if you stay around Sogo.

    2nd day, after taking BF at B&B, Mr Hsu drive us to Golden falls, Ying Yang Hai & taste some local food (Which you can never find it at Taipei city or Jiufen old street)- FOC (lol).

    B&B- nice view, clean & comfortable – recommended home stay.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    • Ashley

      Hello Jastina, glad to hear that you had a great time in Taipei. :) And thanks for dropping by. I miss Jiu Fen so much! How is Ms. Hsu and Chen Jie? Hope they’re doing fine. :)

      August 29, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    • Kim

      Hi Jastina,
      My hubby and I will be visiting Jiufen in April, staying 2 nights there. Please advise which B&B you stayed at, the location and the price as well please.
      Many thanks.
      Kim

      February 21, 2012 at 6:28 PM

      • Ashley

        Hi Kim, Jastina stayed in the Windsor B&B in Jiufen. You may refer to the various comments here and my post at the top. :)

        March 6, 2012 at 12:23 PM

  20. Sharon

    Hi Ashley,

    Like the others, I stumbled upon your blog while doing my research on Jiufen. I took a peek at Windsor B&B and fell instantly in love with it. I will be going to Taiwan in early Nov, and was contemplating if I should stay in a B&B in Jiufen or Yilan. Which would you recommend? I prefer scenery but wouldn’t mind some shopping either!

    Could you kindly provide some advice on the following:

    1) Is Jiufen Old Street situated near Windsor B&B? Is it within walking distance?

    2) I’m planning to stay 2 nights in Jiufen. Are there nearby places that I could visit? According to some of your earlier posts/replies, you mentioned Yehliu? What about Yin Yang Hai and BItou Cape? Are they near Jiufen and what is the best way to get there?

    3) My mum, who’s in her sixties will be travelling with me. Will the undulating terrain in Jiufen be too much for her to bear? Are there stairs and slopes literally everywhere?

    Sorry for the deluge of questions! Hope you can help!

    Sharon =)

    September 5, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Sharon, thanks for dropping by. :)
      I’ve not been to Yilan, so I can’t really give you a good advise whether Jiufen is better. My sisters were planning to go Yilan, but they changed their mind and chose Jiufen after gave it some thoughts ’cause they were going to Hua Lian too. You may check out this website for Yilan, if you can read Chinese, 宜兰旅游网.

      1) Windsor B&B has 3 different locations, 2 of them are nearby the Old Street. Yes, within walking distance, maybe just 5 minutes walk and few flights of stairs. You may notify the B&B owner to give you the one nearest to the Old Street.

      2) Yes, I strongly encourage you to go to Yehliu to see the “Nv Wang Tou” (The Queen’s Head), it’s in the Yehliu Ecological Park. It won’t be there for long because of the weathering. You can actually get a rented car/taxi to travel to those places. Do check with the B&B owner for some recommendations, they’re more than happy to help.

      3) If your mom is physically fit and has no problem with walking (I presume she is very healthy since she’s travelling with you :)), Jiufen is not at all that bad for her. However, since Jiufen is located on a hillside, do expect a lot of stairs and slopes. Just let your mom rest whenever she’s tired, and go slow, the scenery is beautiful and you’ll want to slow down to enjoy it. :)

      Hope the above helps. :) Have a great trip to Taiwan and do share your experience here when you come back. :D

      Cheers,
      Ashley

      September 6, 2011 at 12:53 PM

  21. Sharon

    Hi Ashley,

    Thanks for the speedy response! =D

    I’m still a little torn between visiting Jiufen and Yilan but the probability of me going to Jiufen is definitely higher – I kindda like being near food (oh glorious food) and I wanna visit the lavender shop at Jiufen – I read that there’s a branch in Jiufen (the owners have a lavender farm somewhere in Taiwan with a retail outlet and cafe but since I wouldn’t be visiting the farm, the next best thing is to visit the branch in Jiufen) so I will be going to grab whatever lavender-products I can! You can tell I’m a huge fan of anything lavender! Haha!

    Will definitely share my experience here when I return from Taiwan! ^-^

    2 more quick questions:

    – Do I need to purchase the train tickets from Taipei to Ruifang in advance?

    – Is the Taipei train station near any of the subway stations?

    Thanks a mil for your help!

    Cheers,
    Sharon :)

    September 6, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    • Ashley

      You’re most welcome Sharon. :)

      Yes, I must agree with you, you will definitely get the best food experience in Jiufen. :) Yilan has great sceneries, from the photos I’ve seen on the internet. So yeah, I can understand your situation now, being torn between 2 great places. :)

      I didn’t notice the lavender shop in Jiufen! Gosh! Must visit it the next time I go, IF I go Taipei again. Hahaha.

      To your questions:
      1. If you can, it is always good to purchase the tickets to Ruifang at least 1 day in advance. If you so happen to be in the Taipei Main Station, just go there and buy a ticket, no harm.

      2. Taipei Main Station, the name says it all, it is a transportation hub. Take the MRT to the Main Station and the train station is just right in there. Everything under one roof. :)

      Cheers,
      Ashley

      September 7, 2011 at 6:06 PM

  22. Sharon

    Hi Ashley,

    Thanks for the info! You’ve been such a great help! =)

    I’ve already made a reservation for a room at Windsor and I’m sooo looking forward to my trip!

    Cheers,
    Sharon

    September 8, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    • Ashley

      No worries, Sharon. :)

      Almost everyone who’ve seen Windsor B&B photos would decide to stay there at the end! Hahahahaha.

      I am kind of excited whenever there’s someone travelling to Taipei. And again, everyone would say that they’d want to go again after they come back!

      Have a safe and fun trip Sharon. :D

      September 9, 2011 at 4:06 PM

      • Sharon

        Thanks Ashley! =) I’m gonna enjoy myself silly in Taiwan! I never thought I would pay Taiwan a visit – somehow it didn’t really appeal to me as much as Japan did but I guess I WILL like it there! ^-^

        I’ll be staying at the Ri Guang Han Guan which looks really fantastic from the photos – thank God I booked earlier cos that’s the only room left as I wanted a single-level room for convenience’s sake.

        Hope Nov comes knocking soon!

        Cheerios,
        Sharon

        September 15, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      • Ashley

        I love the food in Taiwan! Go pamper yourself with all the food there. Fat? You will only want to worry about that later. Hahahaha.

        November is coming real soon, in another 6 weeks’ time! Hahaha. :)

        September 15, 2011 at 7:12 PM

  23. Hi Ashley,

    i really enjoyed your thread here about Jiufen. I am in the process of planning a Taiwan and want to book Windsor B&B. There are 6 of us. I don’t speak Mandarin, a handicap.

    Our first stop in Taiwan is Hualein-Taroko. We thought we’d have to head back to Taipei for the night before setting out for Jiufen the next day with a chartered car…but after reading your blog, it may not be necessary, — train from Hualien/Taroko directly to Ruifang, bus to Jiufen. How long would it take from Ruifang to Windsor B&B?

    We are concerned about how early things open and how late shops close in Jiufen. Anything to do after 8pm? How to plan arrival time, dinner, etc.

    Anything else to do in Jiufen besides the Old Street? Need a car at all in town?

    How did you get from Jiufen to Yeliou? Thinking of hiring a chartered car.

    I have your recommended noodle shop and ice cream stall marked on my to do. Anything else I need to target?

    September 26, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Eva, thanks for dropping by and glad that you enjoyed my post here. :)

      From Ruifang train station to Windsor B&B, if you take the Keelung bus, it would take about 45min. You can call the B&B owner to arrange a pick-up, their pick-up time is 2pm if I’m not mistaken.

      The shops in Jiufen Old Street close pretty early, around 7pm or 8pm. We usually shopped until 7pm and had our dinner, then we would still wander around the streets. We didn’t really plan for our dinner time and lunches, it was pretty much impromptu. ‘Cause there are food everywhere in Jiufen, if you’re hungry, you could just stop any time and have a bite. :) As for the arrival time, we were a bit kia-su (if you understand :) ), we took the train to Ruifang in the early morning and reached Jiufen around 10am or 11am. :D

      Jiufen Old Street is very near the B&B, you don’t need a car to reach there, it’s within walking distance. You will only need a car or take a bus if you’re going to Yehliu and the Gold Ecological Park. I didn’t manage to go to Yehliu, but yes, you can take a Keelung bus to Yehliu, or, get a chartered car or taxi. I would suggest you to get some info on the chartered car from the B&B owner, they’re very friendly and would be able to help you out.

      You must try the beef noodle and the ice cream, they are a MUST. :D Don’t forget the yam balls soup in Jiufen! There’s a few shops selling them and all of them are nice. Try both the hot and cold soup. :)

      Hope the above helps. :)

      September 27, 2011 at 9:05 AM

      • Thank you for all your tips!

        It is shaking out that the 6 of us go from Taroko to Taipei, then next morning go towards the coast with a chartered vehicle, do maybe Juming Museum, Yeliou, then get to Jiufen by 5pm. Or skip museum, get to Jiufen by 1 or 2pm.

        Does Windsor have street access so we can unload luggage at curb? Or do we have to drag it through the old street? Dreading that since I can’t guarantee everyone in my group will comply with small luggage suggestion, and we have one spry but elderly person in tow.

        I will totally hit the noodle, ice cream, yam balls, you are making me hungry. Did you hear of a good restaurant for proper meal too..in case others in my group rebel against street food (can’t imagine why). Thank you much!

        We plan to do YiLan the next day, then head to Mingchih, then Ma-Kou Ecological Park, then back to Taipei for the National Palace Museum for the last day.

        September 27, 2011 at 12:34 PM

      • Ashley

        Hello Eva,

        Of course Windsor have street access. Old Street is where all the actions are. But Windsor is located very near to the Old Street and if you go by the Keelung bus, yes, you may need to go through the Old Street to reach Windsor. The luggage problem, well, the young ones may just help the elderly one with the luggage when it comes to steeps or stairs. :)

        There are a lot of food on the Old Street, some of them have proper meal. I remember we dined in this fish ball noodles restaurant, where they serve rice and other dishes as well. :) Also, there is this restaurant where we had our steamboat. I’m sorry I can’t remember its name now. Hahaha. Don’t worry too much about the food, you can find a lot of decent food on Old Street. But there is this restaurant that I do not like after the bad experience with them, I think I did mention in my post/photo up here.

        Good luck and have fun planning the trip. :D

        October 3, 2011 at 3:22 PM

  24. jolene

    Dear Ashley,

    Like others, I chanced upon your blog while doing my research on taipei & jiufen! =) Love the pics that you’ve taken. Made me wanna go to taiwan now!! Can I ask you some question? I see that you covered quite a lot place places from your 8 days trip. I was hoping you can help. I’ll only be there for 6D5N. Reaching Tao Yuan airport at noon and leaving at about 6pm and would like to go to the following places:
    1) Ximending
    2) Shilin Night Market
    3) Taipei 101
    4) Yamg Ming Shan
    5) Xin Bei Tou for hot spring
    6) Dan Shui
    7) Fishermen Wharf
    8) Wu Fen Pu
    9) Jiu Fen
    10) Yeh Lieu
    11) Hua Lien (hopefully..)

    Do you think it’s possible for us to cover all these places in 6 days (5days to be exactly)? If so, will you be able to guide me on how I shld plan my itinerary?

    I intend to stay a night in Jiu Fen, Windsor B&B is one of my choices & after seeing your blog, I think I will proceed with my bookings. =) Now I’m just thinking of when I shld go Jiu Fen. DO you think it’s good to go on the 2nd day?

    Sorry for this lengthy message & hope to hear from you soon!

    Thanks in advance!

    Rgds,
    Jolene

    September 27, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Jolene, thanks for reading and glad that you love the pics. :)

      Whether 5 days in Taipei is enough depend on your itinerary and what do you like to do. If you’re into sigh-seeing then no point spending too much time on shopping and vice versa. Those place you listed above are common places of interest that tourists will go. Actually it should be 6 days and not 5 days right? I don’t think you’re taking the over-night flight?

      Since the first day you’re arriving at noon, by the time you reach the hotel in Taipei city and check in, it would be around 3pm or 4pm. What I did was I went to Taipei 101 in the evening and exploring the Ximending at night (since I was staying in Ximending). On the 2nd day, you can choose to go Yang Ming Shan, then Xin Bei Tou hot spring, then Dan Shui and Fishermen Wharf. Make sure you go Yang Ming Shan early so that your itinerary in the afternoon will not be delayed. If you reach Dan Shui around 3pm or 4pm, please take the ferry and go to the Fishermen Wharf first and later you can come back to Dan Shui for the shopping.

      3rd day, take a train to Jiufen. Buy the train ticket to Ruifang at least one day earlier. Since you’re only staying 1 night in Jiufen, so it’s better for you to start your journey early so that you reach Jiufen earlier. After you check in to the B&B, take the Keelung bus to Yehliu. You can go to the Jiufen Old Street at night after you come back from Yehliu. Jiufen Old Street is very near to the B&B, you don’t have to worry about the travelling.

      4th day, you may want to take another walk in the Old Street before you head back to Taipei city, the Old Street in day and night look pretty much different. :) After coming back from Jiufen, you may go to Wu Fen Pu for some shopping and Shilin Night Market. Try not to go Wu Fen Pu on a Monday as it is a wholesalers day and they may not be able to give you good service. You may not want to go Wu Fen Pu in the early morning, so I would suggest you to go Taiwan Story Land or National Palace Museum in the morning and head to Wu Fen Pu at noon. Then in the evening you can head to Shilin.

      On the 5th day, maybe you can go to Hua Lian, in the early morning. Stay for a night and come back the next morning. Please make sure you book your Hua Lian train tickets online at least few weeks before your trip. And you may refer to my comment above for some info on Hua Lian accommodation.

      Yes, you can go Jiufen on your second day, not really too rushing since you’ll be arriving Taipei in the afternoon of your first day.

      Hope my reply helps. :) Oh boy, speaking of your lengthy message, my reply is even longer! Sorry if I bored you. :)

      September 27, 2011 at 9:38 AM

  25. jolene

    Dear Ashley,

    Thank you so so much for you reply! =)

    Do you think it’s wise for me to go to Hua Lian from Jiu Fen? Or are they from diff directions? which means I have to travel back to Taipei before I can go Hua Lian? Pardon me, I’m still quite confused over the map of Taiwan & places I shld visit. I read from your comments that we shld pack something light as Jiu Fen has a lot of stairs. But if I go to Hua Lian from there, it’s not possible to bring little things. & if we did travel to Hua Lian from Jiu Fen, where can we leave our luggages in Taipei.. Hmm…

    Btw, do you happen to have any contacts for booking a taxi in Jiu Fen & Hua Lian?

    September 28, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Jolene, sorry for the late reply.

      You can go from Jiufen to Hua Lian, you don’t have to travel back to Taipei, but I’m afraid it is very rushing for you. You may reach Hua Lian in the afternoon and that leaves you not much time in Hua Lian.
      If you’re going to Jiufen for 1 night stay and Hua Lian for another night, that would be 3 days of changing clothes, which I think you can still pack lightly, a backpack is more suitable. You can leave your luggage in Ruifang train station, they do provide such service. Alternatively, if you’re staying in Taipei hotel for the first day, you can leave your luggages in the Taipei hotel, they wouldn’t mind. We left our luggages in our Taipei hotel when we travelled to Jiufen for 3 days. All you need is ask the hotel if they could do that.

      I do not have contacts for taxi in Jiufen, if you’re staying in the B&B, you can ask the owner to give you some suggestions, they do have some contacts.
      As for Hua Lian, please refer to my previous comments here. There is this B&B which they do Hua Lian tours too, and that includes everything from meals to transport. :)

      Hope my reply helps you in some way. :)

      October 3, 2011 at 10:46 AM

  26. Khimmy

    Hi Ashley

    I plan to visit explore ard Pingsi/jingtong and shifen, staying a night there, before visitng jiufen old street on our way back to taipei the next day.

    I chanced upon windsor bb and I love the place! haha…
    Are you able to advise the travelling part from ruifang to windsor? what’s the distance like from ruifang to jiufen old street and windsor by public transport?

    Thanks,
    Khimmy

    September 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Khimmy, thanks for dropping by. I am currently pretty tied down with work and please allow me some time to reply to you. Sorry and I will reply soonest possible.

      September 28, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Khimmy, sorry for the late reply.

      From Ruifang to Windsor, you gotta take a train from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang station, it’s about 1.5 hours journey. From Ruifang station, you have to cross the road to the opposite and take a Keelung bus to Jiufen. Tell the bus driver to drop you off at Jiufen Old Street. I did not take a bus, as the B&B owner came to pick us up, it was about hour an hour drive if I’m not mistaken.

      Hope the above helps and have a great trip. :)

      October 3, 2011 at 10:36 AM

      • hi ashley! im planning to go taiwan for 5 D 4 N on 31 october.. have planned out my plan so far.. but would like to seek advice from u. i plan to go jiu fen on the second day, but planning to go to sun moon lake on the third day. do u know the transport from jiu fen to sun moon lake.. would appreciate your soonest reply? thanks!

        October 10, 2011 at 11:48 PM

      • Ashley

        Hi Joanne, thanks for dropping by.

        To go from Jiu Fen to Sun Moon Lake is pretty rush, we skipped Sun Moon Lake by heeding the advise of Windsor B&B owner. However, if you’d really like to go, I would say go ahead. :)
        When I was drafting my itinerary, I was planning to go Sun Moon Lake by going back to Taipei and take a bus ride to SML, I’m not sure if you can travel from Jiu Fen all the way to SML.
        Bus ride from Taipei to SML – check out this website

        Sorry that I can’t help much on the Sun Moon Lake.

        October 11, 2011 at 5:26 PM

  27. Hi Ashley! Thanks for your really informational post and comments. It really helped me out a lot so kudos! =D

    October 13, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    • Ashley

      Hello Lilian, you are most welcome, am glad that it helped! :) Thanks for dropping by. :D

      October 13, 2011 at 6:23 PM

      • May I know if Windor & Hope Hotel provides complimentary towels?

        Cheers~

        October 14, 2011 at 11:41 PM

      • Ashley

        Hi Lilian, Windsor B&B does provide towels, as for the Hope Hotel, the website does say that they provide toiletries and towels, perhaps you can confirm with them again when you make your reservation.

        Hope the above helps :)

        October 17, 2011 at 10:19 AM

  28. Hihi,

    thanks for your help! =D Paisei, my grasp of Mandarin has long since escaped back to my sensei. LOL. Cheerios!

    October 17, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    • Ashley

      Don’t mention it, Lilian. :) Glad that I could be of help.

      October 19, 2011 at 3:28 PM

  29. Winnie

    Hi Ashley,

    When you book the room with Windsor B&B, do you need to pay deposit? How is the payment made? Sorry, the website is in chinese and I can’t read chinese. Not sure what are the terms and conditions.

    October 22, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Winnie,

      Yes, I did pay deposit when I booked the room with Windsor B&B. First time I paid via internet bank transfer, after that they have a paypal account and I paid to their paypal account when I booked the room for my sister. No worries, you can write them an email and they will reply you with the details. :) Email: service@windsor.idv.tw OR you can call them, 0960-576-258/0930-824-391.

      October 24, 2011 at 11:40 AM

  30. Winnie

    Thanks, Ashley. I have dropped them an email. Will wait for his reply :).

    October 24, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    • Ashley

      No problem, Winnie. Glad to help :)

      October 24, 2011 at 11:49 AM

  31. Eileen

    Hihi, just to check with you for the stay in windsor bb, they charge normally under per room basics or is per head ? Their price they code in thei web page is for the entire room ?

    Sorry my chinese is not very fluent, therefore cannot really understand,

    Your posts does helps! :) NICE

    December 16, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    • Ashley

      Hello Eileen, glad that the post does help you in some way. :)

      About Windsor B&B, the rate published on their website is per room per night. The price stated in olive green color box is rate from Sunday to Friday. The price stated in pink color box is for Saturday and public holidays (in Taiwan). Do note that all the price are in TWD currency.
      If at all you’re confused, all you have to do is choose the one that you would like to book, email the B&B owner and they will revert to you with the total price payable.

      Hope the above helps. :)

      December 16, 2011 at 5:44 PM

  32. Kelvin

    Hello Ashley,

    I stumble upon your blog and this is one good blog i should say.

    Im going to be travelling to Taiwan on end of FEB and i found out the location that you stayed there is very nice. =D

    May i know that can i confirm the booking with them thru email and pay them on the spot when im arrived at Windsor B&B? Any information about this matter?

    Thanks and best regards!

    Kelvin

    December 21, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Kelvin,

      Thank you for dropping by! :)

      Yes, you can confirm the booking thru email. However, they required a small amount of deposit. You can pay the balance when you arrive later. The last time I paid via Paypal for my sister. You may email them and tell them your preferred method of payment.

      Hope the above helps. Have a great time in Taiwan. :)

      December 21, 2011 at 6:31 PM

  33. Yan

    Hi Ashley
    I will be heading to Taipei in Feb.
    I am thinking of going Taipei, Yilan, Hualien, Gao Xiong, Cing JIng, Taichung and back to Taipei. which state should i start with, and how many days stay for each of the places?

    December 22, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    • Ashley

      Hello Yan, thanks for dropping by.

      Usually people start with Taipei and then going South, that is because they usually fly to Taoyuen Airport. If you’re flying to other areas, you may want to work your way differently. If stops in Taipei, the sequence is Taipei-Yilan-Hualien-CingJing-Taichung-Taipei.

      As for how many days to stay, that really depends on your preferences. If time allows, 3 days in each place. Don’t forget you have to take the travelling time into consideration as well.

      December 22, 2011 at 2:17 PM

      • Yan

        Hi Ashley
        Thanks for the prompt reply!
        How abt Kao Hsiung? is it after hualien then to cing jing?

        December 22, 2011 at 2:31 PM

      • Ashley

        You’re most welcome. :)
        Oopsie… I missed out Kao Hsiung. Kao Hsiung is located at the southern part of Taiwan. Taipei-Yilan-Hualien-CingJing-Taichung-KaoHsiung-Taipei. OR, you can go all the way South and then slowly head back to Taipei:- Taipei-KaoSiung-Taichung-Hualien-CingJing-Yilan-Taipei. Do note that Hualien and Cing Jing is very near to each other.

        December 22, 2011 at 2:43 PM

      • Yan

        Hi Ashley
        sorry, but if lets say we wish to skip hualien.. so how will the route go
        Thanks in advance

        January 2, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      • Ashley

        Hello Yan, the route basically still works the same, just that you need to take out Hualien from your itinerary, Taipei-Yilan-CingJing-Taichung-KaoHsiung-Taipei.

        January 3, 2012 at 3:38 PM

  34. Kelvin

    Hi Ashley,

    Thanks for the prompt reply about my questions! Really appreciate that.

    I emailed the Windsor B&B owner and they reply promptly too!
    Now just need to figure out how to pay them for the deposit of the accommodation

    But somehow im still stucked with the 5th day which i will be heading to Hualien from Jiufen. Because my schedule is 2 days at Taipei,2 days at Jiufen,1 day at Nantou,1 day at Ching Jing Farm and final 1 day back to taipei/taoyuan.

    But the problem is on day 5,i will be at Hualien/Sun Moon Lake area and i need to skip my visit to Taroko Gorge because of the time is not permitted as atleast 2 days needed to be at Taroko.

    Do you have any idea or suggestion so i can plan the journey? Very much appreciated!

    Thanks and have a nice day!

    December 22, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Kelvin, am glad that I could be of help. :) You’re most welcome.

      I can see that you have a very rush itinerary. You can take a train from Jiufen (Rui Fang station) to Hualien, but I am not sure of how long is the travelling time. Does your 2 days mean 2 days 1 night? Or 3 days 2 nights? Meaning you will be staying in that place for 2 nights and get to the next destination on the morning of 3rd day?

      Are you sure you can go Sun Moon Lake and Ching Jing within 2 days? You may want to look around on the internet for the distance between this 2 places and the transportation. Sorry that I couldn’t be of much help for Sun Moon Lake. From what I found in the past, the travelling would take up some time.

      If you’re going Hualien, it is nearer to Taroko Gorge, you may then consider Taroko Gorge instead of Sun Moon Lake. There’s a link to a B&B in Hualien in of my comments earlier here. The B&B owner could help you plan your trip in Hualien. I’m not trying to promote for them, it’s just that my sisters stayed there last year and they were very happy with the B&B owner and the Hualien/Taroko trip. Here you can take a look at some of my sisters’ photos –

      2 days in Taipei, 2 days in Jiufen are fine though.

      December 22, 2011 at 4:55 PM

  35. Kelvin

    Dear Ashley,

    Yes,which mean i will be spending 2 nights at Taipei,2 nights at Jiufen, 1 night at Ching Jing Farm,1 night at Hualien and the final day back to Taipei.

    And im not sure if we are able to make it to Taroko Gorge from Ching Jing,and as i think,if we are unable to make it to Taroko Gorge,then i might be ended up with staying at Sun Moon Lake are for a night instead of Hualien. Which means Taipei > Jiufen > Ching Jing > Sun Moon Lake are > Taipei.

    The journey from Taipei to Taroko takes up to 6 hours by train. That is time consuming.

    Any suggestion from you side? =D

    Thanks for the help!

    December 22, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    • Ashley

      Hello Kelvin,

      You’re right, if you’re spending 1 night in Ching Jing, you won’t be able to make it to Taroko Gorge. ‘Cause usually the Taroko Gorge will take up one day as it also cover some other beautiful places along the way.

      If you’re going to Sun Moon Lake, don’t think you’ll have the time for Hualien too.

      Your itinerary of Taipei > Jiufen > Ching Jing > Sun Moon Lake > Taipei looks fine. If you go by this way, you’ll have sufficient time for your trip and you won’t be rushing all the time. Don’t worry your planned itinerary, it’s not carved in stone. :) When the time comes and you’re short of time, just choose the places of interest that you prefer the most.

      Enjoy your stay in Taiwan. You’re going to love it there. Do try as much food as possible. :D

      December 23, 2011 at 9:09 AM

  36. Kelvin

    thanks for the suggestion!

    i will stick to the planned schedule and skip Taroko Gorge. Might be back next time for it!

    =D

    Btw,do you have any idea or suggestion that anything interesting at Hsinchu or Taoyuan City. Coz i might be heading there for a night instead of staying at Sun Moon Lake area.

    Your suggestion is much appreciated !

    Thanks and best regards!

    Kelvin.

    December 23, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    • Ashley

      You are most welcome, Kelvin. :)

      I went to Hsinchu for the Leofoo Village theme park, did not spend a night there. So I don’t know much about the place too. You can refer to this website, but it’s in Chinese, not sure if you could read Chinese. :) http://subject.hccg.gov.tw/live/index.htm
      And this is for Taoyuan – http://okgo.tw/inn/taoyuan.html

      Happy planning. :D And Merry Christmas!

      December 23, 2011 at 12:06 PM

  37. Kelvin

    Good day to you Ashley!

    Thanks for the info for the accommodation and thank you for your patient for answering my questions. =D

    Really appreciate it alot!

    Just done finalise all the things up.

    Wish you have a Merry Christmas and a Joyful New Year! =D

    December 24, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    • Ashley

      Hello Kelvin,

      You’re welcome and I’m glad that I could be of help. Great to hear that you’ve finalised everything. :)

      Have a everything-is-greater 2012! Happy New Year! :D

      December 27, 2011 at 9:20 AM

  38. eileen

    hi ashley, you really dish out alot of useful info for everyone. tks for that.
    would you happen to know which 2 locations of windsor are nearer to the old street?

    thanks

    December 30, 2011 at 7:35 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Eileen, you’re most welcome. I’m glad that the info I’ve provided here is able to help someone. I’ve been through it, I know how painful it is at times to go through all the information on the internet. Just trying to make it less painful for others. :)

      The one the I was staying in Windsor isn’t too far from the old street, perhaps 1 or 2 staircase away. I can’t remember exactly the name of the road it’s located. If you would like to be near to the old street, just make mention it to the owner when you book your room and they’ll tell you whether it’s available. I believe “Ri Guang Han Guan” is the one that’s near to the old street. If you could read Chinese, you can have a look at this MAP.

      Good luck in your planning. :)

      December 30, 2011 at 11:00 AM

  39. Lay

    Ashley, just want to leave a note to tell you that I really enjoy reading your posting. Though I am not going to Jiufen but you make it sounds so interesting…I will go one of these days. Anyway, thanks and happy new year!

    January 5, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    • Ashley

      Hello Lay,

      Thank you! I’m glad that you enjoyed it! :D I’m sure you will enjoy Jiufen as much as I did.

      Happy New Year to you! Cheers!

      January 5, 2012 at 6:08 PM

  40. eileen

    ashley thanks so much for your help. what a kind soul.

    i’ll be booking windsor for my march trip – hopefully they still have rooms at ri guang han guan.

    January 5, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    • Ashley

      Hello Eileen, you are most welcome. :)
      It is always good to book early to get your preferred room. :)

      January 6, 2012 at 1:03 PM

  41. ahling14

    hi, like others chanced upon ya blog while doing research. I’ve decided to book e minsu! hope there still have a rm as i will b gg in 2 wks time. as i will b going for 6d5n trip. hope u can help me a lil.. i will b staying 1night at B&B. just wonder is it possible to covers yehliu, yin yang hai,keelung. pingxi line(jingtong,shifen n pingxi) and jiufen? thanks in advanced =p

    January 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    • Ashley

      Hello there, thanks for dropping by. I am so sorry for the late reply, am pretty caught up with work and the house recently.
      Hope this reply is not too late.

      Since you’ll be going to Jiufen, if you don’t spend too much time on Jiufen itself, you can easily cover Yehliu, Ying Yang Hai, Keelung in one day. Go to Jiufen and check in as early as possible, before 1pm perhaps. Have your lunch in Jiufen Old Street, then you can move on with your itinerary on other places. As for Pingxi, Jingtong and Shifen, I don’t think you can make it to all of them due to the distance. Perhaps you can still cover Pingxi and Jingtong on the 2nd day. It is not impossible, you can still make it to 3 places but it would be very rushing. I’d advise you to play by ears. Go ahead with your plan and if you can’t make it for the rest of the places, it’s ok. After all, it is a holiday. :)

      Hope the above helps. Happy Chinese New Year and happy holiday! :D

      January 18, 2012 at 9:57 AM

  42. eileen

    hi, it’s me again. :) i managed to get rooms at windsor in march!

    may i ask which train did you take to jiufen?
    they have tze chiang, fu hsing etc
    cuz i need to estimate duration of train ride.

    tks!!!

    January 29, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    • Ashley

      Hello Eileen, glad that you managed to get your rooms! :D

      If I remember correctly, I believe we took Tze Chiang train to Jiufen. The journey took about 1.5hours. Don’t worry so much my dear, when you’re at the train station, you can ask the ticketing officer over the counter. They won’t scold you. :)

      Happy Dragon Year! Have a wonderful trip. :)

      January 31, 2012 at 3:02 PM

  43. Fiona Mo

    Hi Ashley,
    Thanks a million for all the wonderful, detailed information.
    I enjoyed myself browsing through every bit of them. I am planning to go on my 2nd trip to Taiwan in late May. I have actually planned to stay a night at Jiufeng but you have ‘convinced’ me to stay for 2 nights instead.

    I would like to check with you:

    Day 1 – check in, explore old street, Gold Museum (same as Gold ecological park?)
    Day 2 – Yehliu, Pingxi, Jing tong, Shi fen, Miao Kou night market
    Day 3 – check out, Golden falls, Ying Yang Hai

    Is this itinerary feasible? What changes should I make? How about the sequence of the visit?

    Incidentally, I’ll be at Taiwan for 8N 9D.

    Thank you very much and your guidance is much appreciated.

    Regards
    Fiona.

    February 6, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Fiona, you are welcome. I’m glad that I could be of help. :)

      Looking at your plan, I must say you plan it well. :D You can definitely make it to all those places during your 3 days visit in Jiu Fen. Make sure you reach there early on the first day so that you have a little bit more time. Just be mindful when you purchase your train tickets, do take note of the train schedule.

      Oh yes, Gold Museum is the Gold Ecological Park. And make sure you always start your day early so that you don’t have to rush. :)

      Have a great time in Taiwan. :D

      February 8, 2012 at 3:27 PM

  44. Ivy

    hi, ashley

    i feel so great finding ur blog when doing my research online. We’re going for a family trip consist of 9 adults and 1 kid(6yrs old) to taipei this 19/3-27/3…

    i keep on amending my itinerary coz i dont know where to start…,my planning will be like this..

    2 days at taipei
    2 days at Jiufen
    2 days at Kaohsiung
    1 day at Taichung
    2 days at taipei

    can u advise whether i have enough time to cover all the places mentioned above?

    Thanks in advance

    February 7, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Ivy, thanks for dropping by. :)
      I know how it feels to plan an itinerary when you don’t have a clue where to start. Don’t worry, after getting familiar with the names of the places and their locations, everything will fall into places.

      You are travelling to Kaohsiung too? I’m afraid it would be a bit too rush if you’re travelling to Kaohsiung. Do check out the travelling time that you may need to travel to Kaohsiung and the train schedule, for eg. what is the earliest train (to Kaohsiung), what is the time of the train to Taichung and what is the time of the last train back to Taipei. Other than travelling to the South, the rest of your itinerary looks fine.

      Perhaps you can tell me where exactly in Taichung you will travel to and will you be staying a night there?

      I presumed you’re going on this:
      19/3 – Taipei
      20/3 – Taipei
      21/03 – Jiufen (Morning train to Jiufen)
      22/03 – Jiufen (Will you be spending a second night in Jiufen or travel to Kaohsiung on the second day. You may want to check if there’s any train travels directly from Ruifang to Kaohsiung)
      23/03 – Kaohsiung
      24/03 – From Kaohsiung to Taichung
      25/03 – From Taichung back to Taipei (I presume you will spend a night in Taichung)
      26/03 – Taipei
      27/03 – Taipei

      Let me know if I got it correctly.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM

  45. karan

    hi,

    nice to read about the blog specially in jiufen. i am travelling with my family to taipei and one of the trips will be jiufen. we intend to stay 2 nights in taipei and proceed to jiufen. however, winsor is almost fully booked and they do not have room with seaview on the dates we are staying. any other nice mingsu that do not required a lot of climbing ?

    February 8, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Karan, glad that you enjoyed the blog post. :)

      There are still some other minsu in Jiufen which I think they look great too. There is this one located on the Old Street, Chiu Chunt Dint B&B. And this is another one, Pa Fan Keng B&B. For the latter, you may want to choose the one at “Old Street”.

      Hmm… Jiufen is on a hillside, there are definitely slopes and stairs. I can’t guarantee you that there won’t be a lot of climbing, but they’re not too challenging and dangerous. If at all you’re tired of all the walking and climbing, there are lots of cafes/restaurants where you can stop by and rest.

      Hope the above helps. :)

      February 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

  46. Ivy

    thanks so much for the prompt reply, Ashley…. u r so great in answering all my Q… and u r right too about my daily planning…

    i will be spending 2 nights at Jiufen, the next morning will travel to Kaohsiung and stay a nite there. ( but gosh, i didnt check whether got any train travelling to there or not, looks like have to do research about this again ;-(

    i thought going to taichung so that i can go to Nantou ( im so eager on trying the railway bento at Jiji)…then from there only i go to Sun Moon Lake ( izzit more nearer if i go from here or from Jiufen?)

    22/2 – jiu fen

    23/3 – after check out from jiufen , then take train to kaohsiung

    24/3 – kaohsiung

    25/3 – from kaohsiung to taichung ( left early morning and maybe noon can reach taichung)

    26/3 – taichung to taipei ( after check out , maybe can still linger a while here coz i assume from taichung to taipei will take about 1-2 hrs?)

    27/3 – taipei ( my flight is at 5pm ( so i still hv one whole morning to do the last minute shopping) actually i have covered taipei on my first 2 days at taipei…so i guess nothing much to do already..hehe ( if not i will be going back home penniless)

    thanks again..

    February 8, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    • Ashley

      Hello Ivy, I am so sorry for the late reply. Very busy with work and I am so tired everyday after work, weekend was occupied with the house stuff too. Sorry about that.

      Yes, it is nearer to go Sun Moon Lake from Taichung. Your plan of travel to Kaohsiung from Jiufen is good. Don’t change that. But please find out if there’s any train travel from Jiufen to Kaohsiung. That is the only thing I’m concerned, other than that, your itinerary looks great. :)

      Do try out all the food that you can find in Taiwan, you can’t get them else where. Hahahaha. Have a great trip!

      February 17, 2012 at 5:52 PM

  47. Kelvin

    hello ashley,

    good day!

    its me again. do you know what is the distance and how long does it takes from windsor b&b to the bus station? because we need to catch a bus as fast as we could to board the train from ruifang station back to taipei to hop on the hihg speed rail.

    and how bout the punctuality of the buses?

    thanks and best regards.

    kelvin.

    February 9, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    • Ashley

      Hello Kelvin, nice to “see you” here again. :) I’m so sorry for the late reply. Been caught up with work and the house.

      The distance from Windsor B&B to bus station, I presumed you’re referring to the bus station near the entrance to Jiufen Old Street, the locals called it “Jiu Dao Kou”, translated to Old Street Main. It is just beside this convenient store, I think it’s 7-11. I believe it would take some time to travel from Jiufen to Ruifang, since it was the B&B owner that sent us back to Taipei, I didn’t get to time the distance. Also, on the first day we arrived, Mr. Tsu picked us up from Ruifang station, I think it took about half an hour.

      Don’t worry Kelvin, I’m sure you have emailed Windsor for the booking. You can actually drop them an email on this information too, what bus to take, how long it takes to Ruifang and what is the interval between the buses. I’m sure they’re willing to help their customers. :)

      Sorry I couldn’t be of much help this time. :)

      February 17, 2012 at 6:23 PM

  48. Hi Ashley,

    Thanks for all the useful info. I decided to stay a night in Jiufen on my Taiwan trip. Do you think is possible to cover Yehliu, Jinguashi and Jiufen in a day and half? Planning to stay in Jiufen on our 1st day, and visit Yehliu and Jinguashi for the 2nd day of our trip.

    Thanks for your advise in advance :D

    February 29, 2012 at 5:18 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Yully, thanks for dropping by. Glad that I could be of any help. :)

      Yes, I believe you have enough time for Yehliu, Jinguashi and Jiufen Old Street. On your first day, you may want to explore the Jiufen Old Street first. If you have time in the afternoon, perhaps around 2pm or 3pm, you may head to either Yehliu or Jinguashi. Then on your second day, then you can cover either Yehliu/Jinguashi (depends on which one you visit first on the first day). Alternatively, you can do it your way, Jiufen Old Street for the first day, then Yehliu and Jinguashi on the 2nd day. :)

      March 6, 2012 at 12:26 PM

  49. dan

    hi Ashley,

    great to read all your reply, think you will make a great taiwan tour planner.

    pls advise if my planning is ok

    day 1 (book a taxi for the whole day)
    yang ming san, danshui, yehliu, jiufen (stay over night)

    day 2(book a taxi for the whole day)
    shifen, pingxi, wulai

    any idea if sanxia and yingge are worth visiting?

    February 29, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Dan, thank you for your compliment, but I am in no way to become a taiwan tour planner. Haha. I have only been to the North of Taiwan, and yet not all the places in the north. Don’t think I can plan well for other places. I am only sharing what I have been through. :) Anyway, thanks again for thinking so highly of me.

      Back to your questions, you’re saying you’ll be booking a taxi for the whole day, meaning the taxi will chauffeur you to all the places?

      Day 1 – I don’t think you can cover YMS + Danshui and Yehliu + Jiufen in the same day. You can go to YMS in the early morning, then go to Danshui in the afternoon. But to go from Taipei city to Jiufen (Yehliu is located near Jiufen), it’s going to take 1 and a half hours of train ride. I’m not sure of how long it takes if someone were to drive up there. By the time you reach Jiufen, it could be late afternoon or evening, Yehliu is definitely out of the question.

      Day 2 – From what I heard/read, Shifen is pretty near to Jiufen, so yes, you can cover Shifen,Pingxi and Wulai. But not sure if you’ll have enough time for all the places.

      If you’re hiring a taxi, what you need to consider is, you may get stuck in traffic if it’s during peak season/hours. Of course it is more convenient than taking trains but the time spent on the road is something you may want to research more about.

      About Sanxia and Yingge, so sorry that I know nothing much about that 2 places. But if you’re interested, of course you can visit. :) Just that I’m not able to help you much on that. Sorry.

      March 6, 2012 at 12:42 PM

  50. Christina

    Hi, may I know what can we do at Jiu Fen for 3D2N? Are there any places which we can visit? Thanks!!

    April 5, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Christina, thanks for dropping by.
      You can certainly do a lot during your 3 days stay in Jiu Fen. Yehliu Ecological park is one, you can also visit Jinguashi. Jiu Fen Old Street is more for shopping and food. If you are up to a bit of travelling, you can even take the train and go to Shifen and Jing Tong. Those are really nice places to go. There is also a Keelung Night Market.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:04 PM

      • Christina

        Hi thanks for your reply!!

        I’m planning to visit hualien after staying at jiufen for two nights. Do you think it is possible to make it a day trip to hualien if I were to leave jiufen in the morning? Thanks so much for your help! (:

        April 18, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      • Ashley

        Hi Christina, you’re welcome. :)

        About the day trip to Hualien, first of all you have to check the train schedule, ie. what time the train leave from Jiufen and what is the last train from Hualien to Taipei (assuming you’re going back Taipei later). Here’s for you to check the time schedule –> http://twtraffic.tra.gov.tw/twrail/English/e_index.aspx

        Looks like the earliest from Ruifang station is 7.11am, and the last train from Hualian to Taipei is 10.05pm.

        Depending on what and where you plan to do/go in Hualian, day trip can be possible. :)

        Let me know if you need further help. :)

        April 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM

  51. Peter

    Hi Ashley,

    I’m planning to go Taiwan in early May (1st time visiting Taiwan), 2 adults & my 6 yrs old boy. Looking at 5 to 6 nights. Initial plan was to go Hualian as I heard there’s a theme park there so wanted to bring my boy there after that Xin Beitou to try the Hotspring resort (You tried that before?) then back to Taipei. But after reading your recommendation on Jiufen, really thinking of twitching my plan. So now I’m thinking maybe Hualian,JiuFen,(Xin BeiTou-optional) & Taipei. How do you suggest I go about it? Also you mentioned packed light for JiuFen so if I travel from Hualian to JiuFen, I guess i need to carry my full luggage with me? Sorry for so many questions as never been there before so wanted to have an idea.

    Thanks a ton!

    Peter

    April 9, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    • Ashley

      Hello Peter, thanks for dropping by! :)

      Lots of people have told me they changed their plan after they read my post about Jiu Fen. I’m not exactly sure I am actually helping people now. Hahahaha.

      Jiufen is really a nice place. However, seeing that you have your son with you, I’m not too sure if he will like it there. Jiufen is more of sigh-seeing and shopping and eating. For a 6-year-old boy, he may find it boring perhaps after half a day. Well, that depends on how you can educate him, perhaps you can bring him to Yehliu Ecological Park to appreciate the mother nature, then bring him back to Jiufen Old Street for some food and shopping. :)

      Ok, let’s look at your itinerary. You’re going to Hualian the moment you arrive Taipei? If that’s the case, I suppose you’ll spend the first 2 days in Hualian.

      Day 1: Reach Taipei (perhaps early afternoon?). Travel to Hualian and stay a night there.
      Day 2: Explore Hualian. Stay another night in Hualian.
      Day 3: Hualian – Jiufen. Stay a night in Jiufen. If you leave Hualian in the afternoon, perhaps you can do some shopping in Jiufen Old Street, or take a bus go to Jinguashi and then Keelung Night Market, not far from Jiufen.
      Day 4: Visit Yehliu Ecological Park. Then travel back to Taipei. Check in hotel in Taipei, probably hang around in Taipei area.
      Day 5: Xin Beitou hot spring (I’ve only been to the Hot Spring Museum, didn’t get a chance to dip in the hot spring). Go early and you will manage to experience the hot spring. :) After the hot spring, you may want to go explore the Taipei city. :)
      Day 6: Up to you to plan your activities in Taipei. :)

      If you’re up for it, I’d suggest you to stay 7 days 6 nights. That way, you can go Taruko Gorge in Hualian (it’s beautiful, read my previous comments here) and also the theme park that you want to go. :)

      About your luggage, you can actually keep your large luggage in Ruifang train station, that is the station you will need to get off for Jiufen. As for the charges, I’m afraid you will have to ask the staff in the station. That way, you don’t have to lug all your luggages all the way up to Jiufen. Jiufen is still very much walkable, it’s just with the luggages you may feel tired going up the staircase and steep paths. :)

      Hope the above helps. :)

      April 10, 2012 at 3:21 PM

  52. Peter

    Hi Ashley,

    Appreciate your help! Will need to have a look how to connect from Taipei to Hualian then Hualian to Jiufen & JiuFen back to Taipei. Especially on the train part as I read need to book in advance.

    Thanks a lot!

    Peter

    April 10, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    • Ashley

      Hello Peter, you’re most welcome. Am glad that I could be of help. :)

      Yes, train ticket from Taipei to Hualian will have to book in advance. They allow booking up to 1 month (30 days) in advance, my sister booked hers exactly 1 month in advance through this website –> http://www.railway.gov.tw/tw/CP.aspx?sn=14373

      Hope you have a great trip! :)

      April 12, 2012 at 9:37 AM

  53. Richmond

    Hi, i am doing research for my taiwan trip for august with my girlfriend, came across your post and am amazed by jiufen. It’s my first time going taiwan and planning it for my girlfriend’s birthday too.

    i’ll be going for 6-7days, after reading your post i’ve got so many places i wanna go! like jiufen,ximending, shilin, taipei 101 and all. but i’m quite stuck at the planning of the timing. Should i go jiufen on the day i arrive taipei? stay there for 3D2N then leave to ximending and stay there for the rest of my trip? as i’m not really familiar places like where is nearer to where so that i can plan out a smooth journey. Really hope someone can help me with more info or suggestions(:

    Thank you.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    • Ashley

      Hello Richmond, thanks for dropping by. :)

      Please give me some time to reply to you on your itinerary. Been pretty bogged down with work lately. Hope it’s ok with you. I’ll do my best to help you with the planning later on. :)

      Really sorry for that. In the mean time, let me know if there’s any particular places that you would really love to go in TW. :) Take care.

      June 1, 2012 at 9:06 AM

      • Richmond

        Hi Ashley,

        Thank you for offering to help! It’s okay and you can take your time to finish up your work! as i’ll be going on august! still got plenty of time (:

        It’ll be my first time traveling to TW that’s why i dont really know where are those fun and it’s a MUST go, except some places like “Shilin Night Market, Ximending, Taipei101”

        Really Thank you sooo much for willing to help! :D

        June 1, 2012 at 8:17 PM

  54. Richmond

    i mean take your time and finish up your work first. (: Made a typo in the previous reply. haha

    June 1, 2012 at 8:19 PM

  55. Richmond

    Hi Ashley,

    you have any recommendation for hot-springs in TW too? if have will be great! Thanks!(:

    June 5, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    • Ashley

      Hello Richmond,

      Sorry that it took me so long to reply, really sorry about that.

      You mentioned that you’ll be going for 6-7 days, I’m assuming it’s 7 days 6 nights. :)

      Well, you may go to Jiufen on the day of your arrival in Taipei, but you will have to bring all your luggage with you. I’m sure you have read that Jiufen is on a hill-side with lots of stairs and slopes, it may not be difficult, but challenging if you have heavy luggage with you. Alternatively, you can keep your luggage in Ruifang train station and only bring sufficient clothing to Jiufen. They do provide locker service in the train station but I’m not sure how much they charge. If you stay in Taipei and go Jiufen maybe on your 2nd or 3rd day, you can leave your luggage in the hotel that you stay, just bring a backpack with you to Jiufen will do. The hotel usually provides such service, as long as you are staying with them.

      Here’s my suggested itinerary for you:
      Day 1: Reach Taipei (perhaps early afternoon?). Travel to Jiufen by train to Ruifang train station. May explore Jiufen Old Street and go to Keelung Night Market on the first day.
      Day 2: Explore Jiufen. Do visit Yehliu Ecological Park and Gold Ecological Park. I suggest you go to the Gold Ecological Park in the early morning and head to Yehliu Ecological Park in the afternoon around 1pm. At night you may want to do some shopping in Jiufen Old Street. :)
      Day 3: Back to Taipei. If you would like to stay in Ximending, then you can walk around in Ximending for some food and shopping. If you won’t be staying in Ximending, you can still go there and walk around. Do go to Taipei 101 around 5pm/6pm, so that you get to see the Taipei city during day and night. :)
      Day 4: Personally, I really like the Xiao You Keng in Yang Ming Shan. If you’re keen, you can go to Yang Ming Shan in the morning. Then go to Xin Bei Tou near noon time. If you don’t want to take the bus all the way up to Yang Ming Shan just for one place of interest, it’s all right, go to Xin Bei Tou in the early morning. Initially we planned to go to this place for hotspring, but time didn’t permit us to do so. You can get some hot spring package HERE. After Xin Bei Tou, if you have time, you may go to Dan Shui Fishermen Wharf. There’s a bridge there, quite romantic and pretty during evening. :) Dan Shui Old Street is a good place for food too.
      Day 5: Not sure if you’ll be keen to travel a bit, to go to Sun Moon Lake at Nan Tou. Again, it would be a lovely place to go for couple like you, with the lake and all that, it would be the best birthday gift for your girlfriend. :P If you can read chinese, you may refer to this website –> Sun Moon Lake Day Trip Or here –> Sun Moon Lake Official Site. You may want to stay a night there if you don’t want to rush, or make it a day trip if you are okay with travelling. Don’t worry if you do not feel like travelling so far for Sun Moon Lake, there are still lots to do in Taipei city. :) Perhaps your girlfriend would like to do some shopping. There’s a wholesale shopping place called Wu Fen Pu, I’ve blogged about it too. Don’t go Wu Fen Pu on Monday, it’s reserved for wholesaler, they may not have time to entertain customers like us who don’t buy in bulk. They open around 11am/12pm to around midnight.
      Day 6: If you stay a night in Sun Moon Lake, you can then switch the Wu Fen Pu here. Alternatively, you may visit Taiwan Story Land. It’s a place for photos! It’s like walking down the memory lane of Taipei. I didn’t manage to go. However, if you’re someone who would get bored with just LOOKING at things, you may want to skip this. :) You MUST go Shilin Night Market! Yes, it’s a must! Lots of fantastic food there and your girlfriend would love to do some shopping there too. :) I went Shilin Night Market twice, can you believe! Hahaha. You may refer to my blog on Shilin Night Market too.
      Day 7: Usually you will not have much time on the day of departing. Probably enough time to have last breakfast in Taipei. Do go to the airport earlier, there’s still lots of shopping you can do in the airport. :P

      Hope the above helps. Do let me know if you have any other questions. :)

      June 11, 2012 at 10:51 AM

  56. Hi Ashley!

    This is a really informative thread you have! I am interested in going to the Gold Ecological Park (that’s how I found your blog :)) and am wondering if 2.5 hours if enough for that area? And I saw that the yinyang sea is impossible to walk to… how should I plan for this part of my trip?

    Thanks!!

    June 22, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Amie, thanks for dropping by. :)

      The Gold Ecological Park is really an informative place, one can learn a lot in there. If you are someone who like this kind of information and if you were to follow the guide all the way, 2.5 hours is definitely not enough. However, if you go around the place on your own, perhaps it would take about 2 hours still. There’s a “teapot” mountain in there, if you’re feeling adventure you can take a hike the staircase. There’s also a Gold Temple on the other side, which my husband went up, pretty amazing view up there. :) I think we spent more or less 3 hours there. So, you better get yourself prepared for 3 hours. Do check if they still have this “gold washing” activity. You’ll get to “wash” your gold from a pile of dirt and bottle it and bring the gold dust back home. :) We missed it, make sure you check it out and do go for it if it’s still available. :)

      You will have to get a cab to go to Ying Yang Hai. I’m not sure of the exact location, but I’m sure the locals will know and the cab will be able to get you there.

      Have a fun trip, Amie! :D

      June 25, 2012 at 4:59 PM

  57. Yuki

    Hi Ashley,

    I wana ask you something, this time I am bring my parents go Taiwan.
    It is not my first time going there, its my 2nd time, however my first time was with tour group so everything was well planned and prepared. This time it is Free and Easy. So all the research is on me.

    I have all these places in mind, some are already “group” together nicely due to their location near one another. Base on your experience, do you think it is ok ? Is it tooo packed ? My parents are in their 60s+.

    If not can you help me plan it out ?

    I am going there for 8 days 7 nights.
    All these research of mine are base on helpful people and their blogs, I have also read through all your Taiwan posts =)

    I am now puzzled about my Day 1, should I go to Jiu Fen, Taroko Gorge with our heavy luggages or should I check in to Taipei’s hotel for the first night, then I check out and leave my luggages with them before I checked in again on the last 3 days in Taiwan which I intend to do shopping.

    I understand that Jiufen has those stairs, hard to travel around with huge luggages.
    Does Rainbow hotel allow guest to leave the luggages for like 3 days or so ?
    hmmmm

    Anyway my quick planned itinerary is as follow below: (not perfect yet)
    I wana fit at least Taroko Gorge in, and I think my Day 6 is somewhat wrongly planned.
    Do you mind if I add you in MSN or something, respond may be faster that way =p

    Anyway thanks in advance =)

    Day 1:
    Afternoon – Xi Men Ding
    Night – Shilin Night Market

    Day 2:
    Morning – Jiu Fen/Shifen
    Afternoon – Ye Liu Queen’s head
    Night – ???

    Day 3:
    Morning, Afternoon – Taipei Zoo / MaoKong Godola Cable car
    Night – Shilin Night Market

    Day 4:
    Morning. Afternoon – Wu Fen Pu
    Night – RaoHe Night Market

    Day 5:
    Morning – Yang Ming Shan
    Afternoon – Bei Tou hot spring
    Night – Dan Shui Old Street

    Day 6:
    Morning, Afternoon – Leofoo Theme Park
    Night – PingXi railway & lantern

    Day 7:
    Morning –Taipei 101, eat at KiKi restaurant
    Afternoon – Taipei Metro Mall, eat at Hello Kitty Cafe
    Night – NingXia Night Market

    Day 8:
    Morning – Long Shan Temple
    Afternoon – Hello Kitty shop @ airport

    June 27, 2012 at 3:41 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Yuki, I’m so sorry for the late reply. Hope it is not too late.

      From your itinerary above, I feel that it would be very rushing especially you have your parents with you. If they’re keen with doing a lot of walking, that would be fine. What I’m worried is they will feel very tired at the end of the day and at the end of the trip, they may be exhausted.

      There are also some places in your itinerary that I feel that they should be in the same day but you have split them to 2 different days. Here’s my reshuffled itinerary for you to refer. You don’t have to follow it, just take it as a reference. :)

      Day 1:
      Afternoon – Xi Men Ding (If you’re staying in Rainbow hotel)
      Night – Shilin Night Market

      Day 2: (Are you staying in Jiufen for a night? By the time you reach Jiufen, it will probably be around 12pm or 1pm, you may not have enough time to go Shifen and Yehliu. Unless you rush for it and time your visit accurately. Pingxi is very near to Shifen, no point you split them to 2 different days, you’ll be travelling to Jiufen up and down then.)
      Morning – Jiu Fen/Shifen
      Afternoon – Ye Liu Queen’s head
      Night – PingXi railway & lantern

      Day 3: (Are you sure you want to visit the zoo right after you come back from Jiufen? Presuming you’ll be spending a night on Jiufen. Please note that it will usually be noon time if you take train from Jiufen to Taipei.)
      Morning, Afternoon – Taipei Zoo / MaoKong Gondola Cable car
      Night – Shilin Night Market

      Day 4:
      Morning. Afternoon – Wu Fen Pu
      Night – RaoHe Night Market

      Day 5:
      Morning – Yang Ming Shan
      Afternoon – Bei Tou hot spring
      Night – Dan Shui Old Street

      Day 6: (I personally don’t think you should bring your parents to Leofoo theme park. It’s a theme park with adventurous rides, nothing much for sight-seeing. They will feel bored there.)
      Morning, Afternoon – Long Shan Temple, Taipei 101 (eat at Kiki Restaurant), Taipei Metro Mall, eat at Hello Kitty Cafe
      Night – NingXia Night Market

      Day 7:
      Morning – Taipei Zoo
      Afternoon – MaoKong Gondola Cable Car
      Night – Shida Night Market

      Day 8:
      Morning – Xi Men Ding. Usually you won’t have much time for the day you’re departing. It is better to just roam around where you stay and go to the airport earlier. There’s still lots of things to see/buy in the airport. :)
      Afternoon – Hello Kitty shop @ airport (Good choice! :) )

      I’m a little confused when you mentioned if you should “go to Jiu Fen, Taroko Gorge with our heavy luggages”. Jiufen and Taroko Gorge is 2 different place totally. Jiufen is in the north of Taipei, Taroko Gorge is in Hualian, Taichung, near to the centre of Taiwan. If you want to go Taroko Gorge, you’ll have to take train to Hualian train station. The ticket to Hualian you’ll have to book online. Please refer to my previous comments here. Also, it is best to get a tour guide to go to Taroko Gorge.

      It is not advisable to carry your heavy luggages to Jiufen, again, especially with your parents. There are a lot of slopes and stairs in Jiufen. Yes, Rainbow Hotel allows you to keep your luggage in their hotel, IF you’ll go back to stay with them again. However, please check with them again when you call them for room reservation.

      Good luck in your planning and have fun. :)

      July 11, 2012 at 11:09 AM

  58. Yuki

    Hi Ashley,

    That was a draft itinerary with 20% knowledge of Taiwan in my mind, haha.

    I have already come up with a better one now that I research in depth.

    Thanks for the suggestions, maybe later I will post my revise itinerary here.

    =)

    July 13, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    • Ashley

      Sure, no problem :)

      July 13, 2012 at 10:36 AM

  59. Jason Low

    Read about your blog…. would like to seek your advice on my itinerary in Dec 2012

    23th – Jiu fen ..stay @ min su
    24th – Yi Lan…farm stay..visit Luo Dong Market
    25th – Hua Lien
    26th – Hua Lien…..Day trip to Taroko Gorge
    27th – TPE city – Dan Shui
    28th – Ye Liu …Visit Queen Stone..ocean world..Kee Long Market
    29th – TPE…. Xi Meng Ting, Shilin Night Market etc etc
    30th – Wu Lai ..Hot Spring
    31th – City Area Shopping @ East Taipei + TPE 101 Countdown
    01st – Beitou Hot Spring + Raohe Nite Market
    02nd – Yang Ming Shan for hotspring + hike
    03th – Home

    I was thinking if I should squeeze more days in jiufen to cover yeliu ..Visit Queen Stone..ocean world..Kee Long Market?

    July 16, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Jason, thanks for dropping by.

      Again, I would like to stress that, Jiufen, Yehliu’s Queen’s head, Keelung night market, they’re all nearby. You shouldn’t split them into separate days apart. You can’t be travelling from Jiufen to Hualian to Taipei and then back to Jiufen again, it is very time consuming. Please always check the location of the places of interests carefully.

      You just need to put Jiufen, Yehliu’s Queen’s head and Keelung night market into one day, and then 2nd day travel to Yilan. Again, please make sure you book your train ticket to Hualian first.

      The rest of your itinerary looks fine though.

      Hope the above helps.

      July 17, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      • Jing

        Hi Ashley, I really enjoyed reading your blog! It’s very informative and helpful, especially for first-time visitors to Taiwan, and who are not so good with Chinese (like myself!). I intend to goto Taiwan at end Oct to early Nov (9D8N) this year. May I ask for your advice on my draft itinery please?

        Day 1: Reach Taipei in afternoon, visit Danshui, Ximending
        Day 2: Travel to Jiufen in the day, visit Old St and Gold Museum
        Day 3: Visit Yehliu, Pingxi, Jingtong, Shifen, Jinguashi, Miaokou Night Mkt, Keelung Night Mkt
        Day 4: Leave Jiufen, visit Golden Falls, Ying Yang Hai, proceed to Cingjing Farm
        Day 5: Visit Cingjing Cao Yuan
        Day 6: Leave Cingjing, travel back to Taipei, Shilin Night Market
        Day 7: Visit Wufenpu, Taipei 101, Raohe Night Market
        Day 8: Day trip to Wulai
        Day 9: Back to Singapore

        Do you think my draft itinery is too rushed, as I’ll be bringing my 60-plus year old Mother along with me?

        Appreciate your advice, thank you so so much, as I understand that you’ve got your other work commitments too
        !

        August 12, 2012 at 5:20 PM

      • Ashley

        Hi Jing, thanks for reading :)

        From your planned itinerary, it looks pretty rushing to me. Perhaps I prefer travelling slowly in my own pace. There’s nothing wrong with your itinerary, but seeing that you’ll be bringing your mother together, it may be tiring for her. I’m sure she will enjoy the trip, but I’m worried she will feel tired at the end of it.

        On your day 3, please note that it is pretty impossible to go Yehliu, Pingxi, Jingtong, Shifen, Jinguashi in a day’s time. You’ll need to take a train from Jiufen to Pingxi, Jington and Shifen. Although they’re near, it would be very rushing to travel to all 3 of them in one day. Yehliu is an ecological park, Jinguashi is the gold mining museum (which is the same as the one you mentioned in Day 2), this 2 places take lots of time to wander around. I suggest for Day 3, you go Yehliu in the early morning (please check what is the earliest time they open), then only take your time travel to Pingxi, Jington and Shifen. If at all you’re tired later, you can just skip one of them. As for Miaokou and Keelung night market, I’m not sure if they’re 2 different night market or they’re actually one?

        The rest of your itinerary looks fine though. :)

        The rules of thumb is, just skip one of the places if at all you’re feeling tired or the time does not allow later. After all, your planned itinerary is not carved on stone. :)

        Thank you for your patience. :D Hope you have a great trip with your mom.

        August 17, 2012 at 10:40 AM

  60. Serena

    Hi Ashley

    Have been reading your blog and we are planning to go Taiwan (lst trip) end Oct 2012. As our flight arrived at 6am we are not sure should we head straight to Jiufen or Beitou first with our luggage before heading to Taipei. Your advise please so that I can book the hotel respectively. Btw is it possible to give me the contact email to Windsor so as to book the rooms in advance. Not sure they have triple room available in this botel. Thank you, Serena

    August 15, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Serena, thanks for dropping by. :)

      Since you’ll arrive Taipei in the early morning, I’ll suggest you head straight to Jiufen with your luggage. Your luggage may still be light since it’ll be your first day arriving Taipei. You may keep your luggage in the Ruifang Train Station, or, let the B&B owner knows and see they can pick you up from the train station with your luggage. Be sure to check on the train schedule to Ruifang Train station, not sure what is the time for the earliest train to Ruifang.

      The contact information of Windsor B&B is here –> http://windsor.idv.tw/Contact.asp

      Hope the above helps. :)

      August 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      • Serena Lim

        Thanks, Ashley

        Hv booked Windsor B&B in Jiufen n Spa Spring Resort in Beitou. Will hv driver to bring to Jiufen n to Beitou. Any suggestions wat to look forward for in Jiufen n Beitou. Thank u

        Sent from my iPhone

        August 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      • Ashley

        Hello Serena, you are most welcome. :) Glad that I could be of any help.

        Do you take beef? If you do, make sure you try out the beef noodles in Jiufen Old Street which I mentioned in my blog post above. It is really delicious. Oh, don’t forget to visit Yehliu Ecological Park for the “Queen’s head” rock. It’s not going to be there forever, better see the real thing before it’s gone. :)

        As for Beitou, I bet you’d be going for the hotspring since you’ve booked the resort. :) That’s a wise choice.

        Enjoy your trip in Taipei! :D And have a safe journey.

        August 23, 2012 at 10:07 AM

  61. Serena

    Thank you , Ashley for your wonderful tips!!

    August 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    • Ashley

      You are most welcome, Serena. :)

      August 24, 2012 at 3:46 PM

  62. Michelle

    Hi Ashley,

    I and my 3 friends (all ladies) have booked our tickets to Taipei on 22 Sep for 8 days/7 night. We would like to cover the following places :

    Day 1 & 2 (22 & 23 Sep) We arrive at 05.40 am in Taoyuan
    Kenting – Is 1 night sufficient? – Do you know of any minsu to recommend

    Day 3 & 4 (24 & 25 Sep)
    Hualien – need to stay 2 nights to cover as many attractions as possible.
    any minsu to recommend for 2 nights

    Day 5 & 6 (26 & 27 Sep)
    Jiufen – I will try the Windsor that you recommended
    Shifen
    Danshuei Lao Jie
    Wu Fen Pu & Raohe Night Market
    Yehliu Geopark
    Shilin Night Market

    Day 7 & 8 (28 & 29 Sep) – Our flight leaves at 18.10 hrs from Taoyuan
    Ximenting – Stay in hotel in Ximenting
    Beitou Hot Spring – any minsu there where we can stay for one night?
    Yang Min Shan

    Is this itinerary workable?

    Thanks

    September 3, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Michelle, thanks for dropping by. See my comment below in brackets:

      Day 1 & 2 (22 & 23 Sep) We arrive at 05.40 am in Taoyuan
      Kenting – Is 1 night sufficient? – Do you know of any minsu to recommend
      (Am not familiar with Kenting.)

      Day 3 & 4 (24 & 25 Sep)
      Hualien – need to stay 2 nights to cover as many attractions as possible.
      any minsu to recommend for 2 nights
      (Does that mean on the night of 23 Sept you will travel to Hualien? For the minsu, please refer to my earlier comments above.)

      Day 5 & 6 (26 & 27 Sep)
      Jiufen – I will try the Windsor that you recommended
      Shifen
      Danshuei Lao Jie
      Wu Fen Pu & Raohe Night Market
      Yehliu Geopark
      Shilin Night Market
      (Danshui, Wufenpu, Raohe and Shilin, they’re all at different places, they’re not in Jiufen. Don’t think you can stay a night in Jiufen and travel to all those night markets in Taipei city the next day in one day. You may check my other blog posts. And please note that you will be carrying all your luggage with you to Jiufen. Please read my blog post or comments from others above again for pre-cautions.)

      Day 7 & 8 (28 & 29 Sep) – Our flight leaves at 18.10 hrs from Taoyuan
      Ximenting – Stay in hotel in Ximenting
      Beitou Hot Spring – any minsu there where we can stay for one night?
      Yang Min Shan
      (It is best to go Yang Ming Shan in early morning and then proceed to Beitou later in the afternoon. If you’re staying in Ximending, why do you still want to spend a night in Beitou? You can’t be staying at 2 different places in one night right?)

      Michelle, perhaps you will want to re-work at the dates, so that it’s easier for me to understand and help you better.

      September 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      • Hello Ashley, this is my Mrs & my first time visit to Taiwan. Initially we intend to visit & stay at Jiufen, Hualien & around Taroko Gorge but worry rail travel would take up too much time. So, we opt for a relax travel as below. Or you may have a better itinerary for us.

        Day 1 (03-Nov-12) TAIPEI
        Arrive at Taipei at around 3pm. Any Taipei minsu you care to recommend. Visit Jimboli Old Street, Shilin Night Market.

        Day 2 (04-Nov-12) TAIPEI
        Simending, Keelung Harbour, Yeilu & Miaokou Night Market. Or any interesting place you may recommend.

        Day 3 (05-Nov-12) JIUFEN
        Take an early morning train to Ruifang Station. Intend to travel to Jinguashi before proceeding to Jiufen. Intend to stay at Windsor B&B. Shop & eat around Jiufen Old Street.

        Day 4 (06-Nov-12) JIUFEN
        Intend to visit Jington, Pingxi & Shifen by rail in the morning. Return to Jiunfen in the evening.

        Day 5 (07-Nov-12) Back to TAIPEI
        Do you think we have time to travel around Hsinchu County & Miaoli County? Or you have any good suggestion. See we would only be leaving the following day.

        Day 6 (07-Nov-12) LeaveTAIPEI for home
        Flight is 11.40pm

        September 27, 2012 at 10:36 PM

      • Ashley

        Hi lunarbay, please refer to my replies below:

        Day 1 (03-Nov-12) TAIPEI
        For the various accommodation, you may refer to another page of my Taipei trip here –> http://ashwoo.com/taiwan-go-go-go/taipei-101-ximending-%E8%A5%BF%E9%97%A8%E7%94%BA/
        Here’s another one, where my sisters stayed during their trip in Taipei –> http://100hopehotel.emmm.tw/?ptype=info

        Day 2 (04-Nov-12) TAIPEI
        Please note that Keelung, Yehliu and Miaoku are in Keelung, which is near Jiufen, not in the Taipei city centre and definitely not near Ximending.

        Day 3 (05-Nov-12) JIUFEN
        Your 3rd day itinerary looks fine to me. :)

        Day 4 (06-Nov-12) JIUFEN
        This looks fine to me too, just make sure you check what is the last train from Ruifang to Taipei.

        Day 5 (07-Nov-12) Back to TAIPEI
        I think you will be able to go to Xinzhu or Miaoli. Just check the transport to go there, what you’re going to do there and how much time you intend to spend there and what time to go back to Taipei.

        Hope the above helps. :)

        October 8, 2012 at 1:16 PM

  63. bee

    Can someone advise if travel from taipei to Jiu Fen without staying in Jiu Fen is it ok?

    October 1, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Bee, it is ok to do a day trip to Jiufen. Just be mindful of the last train from Ruifang back to Taipei and plan your time accordingly. :)

      October 8, 2012 at 12:49 PM

  64. lunarbay

    Thank you Ashley. When we plan to travel to Taiwan, we found your blog. It is so informative & clear. We had also booked Windsor B&B in Jiufen for 2 days. Now, we may even visit Xinzhu or Miaoli, as you suggested. You are good, if any interesting places cross your mind, you can still suggest them to us. Thanking you once again, have many many happy days ahead, okay :D

    October 11, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    • Ashley

      You are most welcome Lunarbay. Hope you have a great time in Taiwan. :)

      October 11, 2012 at 6:47 PM

  65. Maye

    Hi, my friends and I are planning to stay at Windsor B&B this October and we would like to ask you which specific room do you recommend we book? I have seen mixed reviews about Windsor so I guess you would be a better judge. Thanks.

    October 12, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Maye,

      What kind of mixed reviews you get? Do let me know so that I can let you know better.

      Regarding the room to recommend, how many of you are going? They have different types of room to cater for different groups. If you want nice sea view, I would suggest Ri Guang Han Guan.

      October 15, 2012 at 11:55 AM

  66. Ling

    Hi Ashley,

    my friends and i are planning a trip to taiwan in 1st week of Dec. We are thinking of heading direct to jiufen first but not sure about the transport we can take from taoyuan airport. We will reach the airport around 5+ in the morning.

    do you have any idea on the transport?

    October 16, 2012 at 10:19 PM

  67. Maye

    Thanks Ashley. I already booked a room but in another minsu (Long-men) because Windsor is already booked.

    We plan to stay overnight. Do you think we can cover Jiufen in a day and we can still have time to see other places nearby like the waterfalls or the gold mine? Thanks

    October 21, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Maye, you’re most welcome, I didn’t help you much. :) Long-Men is not bad at all, it is equally unique. :)

      I supposed the Jiufen you mean is the Jiufen Old Street. You can go to the waterfalls or the gold mine early in the morning and go back to the Old Street in the afternoon. That way, you can see the Old Street during day and night time. :) Do take note that the shops in the Old Street close pretty early, around 9pm.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:44 AM

  68. Hi,

    Admission to the Gold Ecological Park has been free for some time, except for the Benshan Tunnel, which is NT$50 per person.

    Best wishes,

    Steven Crook
    author, Taiwan: The Bradt Travel Guide

    October 29, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi, thank you for the update! I’ve updated my post accordingly.

      October 29, 2012 at 12:17 PM

  69. Maye

    Long-men minsu is very clean and the owners are hospitable. It was unfortunate for us that during our trip to Jiufen it was raining pretty hard. However we were able to go to Shifen and Pingxi during the morning and roam around Jiufen Old Street in the afternoon til early evening.

    November 7, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Maye,

      Thanks for sharing! Now that we know there’s another good minsu to go in Jiufen. :)

      November 12, 2012 at 2:50 PM

  70. Lai

    Dear Ashley

    Thank you for your interesting blog. Very much appreciated!!

    I am planning a trip at the end of 2012, but unfortunately can only spend one night in Jiufen. they have a room for me which is not facing the sea, but can see a little of Keelung mountain. No choice since it is a last minute plan. my friend’s concern is if it is facing a cemetery.

    I am sorry to have to ask such a question, but do not want my friend to be upset upon reaching the hotel.

    Thanks for your time!
    Lai

    December 10, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Lai,

      Thank you for dropping by. :)

      Regarding your question, I am not too sure if it is facing a cemetery. However, during our 3 days in Jiufen, we did not come across any cemetery. I could be wrong. You can check with the B&B owner to confirm that.

      Hope it helps. :)

      December 10, 2012 at 5:26 PM

      • Lai

        Dear Ashley

        Thank you very much for your time!! I want to comment that you are very kind and patient to all enquirers. We are really lucky!!!
        Noted on your reply and thank you!

        I am wondering if you could help me out with some questions on my planning?

        Due to available time and last minute decision, I am going to Taipei, arriving at 6+am on Saturday, 29 Dec and leaving for home on Wednesday, 02 Jan 2013, flight at about 3:45pm from Taoyuan airport.

        My first few nights are in Danshui (no rooms in Taipei) and last night at Shifen. Decided on shifen after reading your blog and was lucky as someone gave up their room. Wish it was the seaview though!! I will have to plan in advance another trip :) !

        Day 1, Saturday 29dec2012
        Arrive Taipei, Danshui, shilin, is there a flower festival in Dec in Shilin?
        Sunset at Danshui?
        Shilin?

        Day 2, Sunday 30dec2912
        Taipei 101, wufenpu,
        Ximending – only at night?

        Day 3, Monday 31 dec 2013
        Day , no plans, not sure about the crowds
        Where can I watch fireworks but still able to back safely to Danshui after midnight?
        By taxi?

        Day 4, Tuesday 01 jan 2013
        What would be a good time to leave for ruifang from Danshui?
        I hope to visit both jiufen and shifen for sky lantern at night..

        Day 5, Wednesday 02 Jan 2013
        What time should I leave to be at the airport by 1:30pm?

        Not much of an itinerary, could you give some suggestions? We are not good at directions, so hope not to get too lost :) !! Hope to have a somewhat relaxing, not too stressful trip..

        Thanks in advance and looking forward to your comments and advice!!!
        Regards
        Lai

        December 11, 2012 at 12:19 AM

      • Ashley

        Hello Lai,

        You are most welcome. I’m just trying my best to help the travellers. I understand planning a trip can become very tricky if the information is not sufficient.

        Here’s my reply:

        Day 1, Saturday 29dec2012
        Arrive Taipei, Danshui, shilin, is there a flower festival in Dec in Shilin? – I’m not very sure about the flower festival.
        Sunset at Danshui? – Yes, you can see sunset in Danshui. :)
        Shilin? – Shilin at night, it is a night market.

        Day 2, Sunday 30dec2912
        Taipei 101, wufenpu,
        Ximending – only at night? – Ximending is merrier at night, all the shops are open at night. Not so much of activities during day time.

        Day 3, Monday 31 dec 2013
        Day , no plans, not sure about the crowds.
        Where can I watch fireworks but still able to back safely to Danshui after midnight?
        By taxi? – I believe you can watch fireworks somewhere near Taipei 101. Why not visit Taipei 101 late evening? In the morning perhaps you can go Yangmingshan. As for transportation after midnight, you can go to the train/MRT station and ask the counter what time the MRT close. Alternatively, yes, taxi.

        Day 4, Tuesday 01 jan 2013
        What would be a good time to leave for ruifang from Danshui? – Hmm… I don’t quite understand your question here. To take the train, you will have to go to the Taipei Main Station and take the train to Ruifang. It will take approximately 1.5 hours. You will need to purchase your train ticket few days earlier seeing that it is a public holiday.
        I hope to visit both jiufen and shifen for sky lantern at night. – Will you be staying in Jiufen or Shifen? From what I heard, the sky lantern is most famous in Pingxi.

        Day 5, Wednesday 02 Jan 2013
        What time should I leave to be at the airport by 1:30pm? – It is best to leave by 11.30am.

        Do let me know if I can be of further help. :)

        December 14, 2012 at 5:51 PM

  71. Lai

    Dear Ashley

    I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to help look at my schedule and answer my questions. I am sure you are very busy yourself! It is very helpful for a first timer ( first time to Taiwan, and first time trying to plan a trip ). I do appreciate very much your generosity!

    With your tips and advice, I will look at replanning my schedule. I will let you know how it turned out when I return from Taipei :) !!

    Regards
    Lai

    December 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Lai,

      Just doing whatever I can to help, don’t mention it. :)

      Do let me know if you need further help. :) Have a great and safe trip.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:12 PM

  72. Yani

    Hi Ashley, Thanks for sharing! Do you know how the room is for the re guang han guan at Windsor?

    January 30, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Yani, you’re welcome and thanks for reading.

      You can refer to the website which I’ve posted in the blog post above. Anyway, here it is again, http://windsor.idv.tw/index.asp

      January 30, 2013 at 4:26 PM

  73. Sherene

    Hi Ashley! I am in the midst of planning my virgin trip to Taiwan Yes, sounded sua ku and though clueless, I am in awe of the Windsor min su that you went.

    Can I ask if they are strict with the number of ppl in each rm? It stated on the on the site 4 per room and TW700 for extra bed. However I have 2 kids in tow and 4 adults. Any idea if they allow all 6 of us to squeeze in a 2 bedroom apt?

    Any suggestion for sightseeing in Jiufen or do you think I shld skip Jiufen since I have only 6 nights in Taiwan?

    I read that you highly recommended Hualien. Thanks in adv and happy CNY!

    February 12, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Sherene,

      Thank you for dropping by. :)

      Seeing that you have 2 kids and they may not need a bed to themselves, you can try to ask the B&B owner if it is ok for you to take the 2 bedroom apt. I can’t say for sure, but I think they’re willing to accommodate.

      As for sightseeing in Jiufen, Gold Ecological Park and Yehliu Geopark are must-visit places.

      Between Jiufen and Hualien, it very much depends on what kind of sightseeing you prefer. Hualien has Taroko Gorge and He Huan mountain, they’re beautiful. Jiufen’s seaview is amazing too. I suggest you Google around and see out of this 2 places, which one you like the most. You may spend 2 days 1 night in Jiufen which is enough to cover Gold Ecological Park and Yehliu Geopark. However, 2 days 1 night in Hualien may be a bit rush because of the journey.

      Happy Chinese New Year to you and family. :)

      February 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      • Sherene

        Hi Ashley, thanks for your reply.
        I have booked a room in Windsor BB for the first 2 night and the rest in Taipei city.

        Can I ask for the directions from airport to Windsor? You mentioned above to take a train to RuiFang. Do you take the train from airport?

        Any recommendation for hotel in Taipei city? Thanks a lot!!

        February 22, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      • Ashley

        Hi Sherene,

        So sorry for the late reply. Hope it’s not too late.
        I did not go to Jiufen from the airport. I’m not sure if there’s a train that goes directly to Ruifang. Perhaps when you touch down you can go to the information counter and ask the customer service officer there. They will more than happy to help.

        As for the hotel in Taipei city, you may check out the previous comments above on the one that my sisters stayed.

        March 8, 2013 at 10:07 AM

  74. sockiies

    hi ashley,
    this is my itinerary for 6 days in taiwan

    day 1
    reach taoyuan at 1155hr
    check in at belleza hotel at jiantan
    wu fen pu and raohe night market
    mirammar ferry wheel

    day 2
    taipei 101
    danshuei
    fisherman wharf bridge
    shilin night market

    day 3
    check in to taipei york at ximending
    yang minshan
    xinbeitou
    ximending night market

    day 4
    a day in hualien (cab booked)
    shida night market(if possible)

    day 5
    yehliu
    keelung
    jiufen
    shifen/pingxi

    day 6
    looking for some theme restuarant (other than modern toilet) any suggestions?

    was just wondering if its possible to make it for day 5 without hiring a cab? and the sky lantern is at shifen or ping xi?

    April 14, 2013 at 4:27 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Sockiies,
      Your itinerary looks fine to me.

      Regarding your question on day 5, if you’re not hiring a cab, you’ll have to make sure you don’t miss the train and keep track of your time. Also, that depends on how many persons you’re travelling with. I’ve heard people going to both Pingxi and Shifen for the sky lantern. Perhaps you may want to check the season during the time you’re travelling. So that you know which place is more happening.

      About the themed restaurant, sorry that I don’t know much. If you fancy Hello Kitty, you may want to try this http://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Restaurant_Review-g293913-d2373074-Reviews-Hello_Kitty_Sweets-Taipei.html
      My friends and I went to the Jay Chou’s restaurant. You can refer to my Taiwan blog post HERE.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:27 PM

  75. Chris

    Dear Ashley,

    I love reading your blog. It is so detailed.
    My husband and I are planning to visit Taiwan in Dec.
    Can you help to advise on our plans? Can you help to advise on transport too?
    Many thanks.

    21 Dec day 1 - Singapore -> Arrive at Taoyuan airport 6 am -> Shifen, Shifen Waterfall 十分瀑布, Shifen Old Street for Sky Lantern 十分老街 (放天燈)> Check in Windsor B&B in Jiufen 温莎堡民宿 -> Gold ecological park

    22 Dec day 2 > Yin Yang Sea 陰陽海> Golden Waterfall 黃金瀑布 > Jinguashi 金瓜石> Jiufen Old Street 九份老街)

    23-24 Dec day 2 and 3 – Jiufen -> Hualien->Taroko George -> HeHuanShan ->Cingjing
    What to do in Hualien
    1) Taroko National Park Hualien. The “must-see” places in Taroko National Park:
    Eternal Spring Shrine 長春祠
    Swallow’s Grottos 燕子口
    Tunnel of Nine Turns 九曲洞
    Tienhsiang 天祥
    Baiyang Trail (require some 2 hrs to do this trail)
    Cingshuei Cliff 清水断崖 is outside Taroko Gorge, along Suao-Hualien coastal highway. Between Heren and Chongde is the most spectacular. Heren is about 16 km from Taroko. It’s about 25 mins drive from Taroko to Heren.

    24 Dec day 4 – Cingjing -> SML -> Alishan

    25 Dec day 5 – Alishan -> Tainan -> Kaoshiong -> High Speed Train to Taipei -> Overnight at Taipei

    26 Dec day 6 – Xi Men Ding, Chiang kai Shek Memorial ->Shilin night market -> overnight at Taipei- Miniatures Museum 袖珍博物館 > The Red House Theater 紅樓劇場

    27 Dec day 7 – Raohe Night Market, Taipei 101, Danshui old street, Fisherman’s wharf
    28 Dec day 8 – Danshui Fisherman’s Wharf, Yang Ming Shan-> back to Singapore

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    April 14, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Chris,

      From your itinerary, I am afraid that you’ll be rushing from one place to another.

      Day 1 – You may want to check in Windsor first then only proceed to Shifen.
      Day 2 – Please note that Gold Ecological Park is the same as Jinguashi. It’s just that Jinguashi is the chinese name. If you want to go Shifen on day 1, I don’t think you’ll have time for Jinguashi.
      Day 3 – I’m a bit confused with your date, is this day 2 or day 3? How many days you’ll be staying in Jiufen and how many days in Hualian?
      Day 4 – Again, I think the number of days is a bit confusing here.
      Day 5 – Please check the train schedule first before you do your itinerary so that you can plan your time well.
      Day 6 – The red house theater is in Ximending, you may want to rearrange your sequence.
      Day 7 – Looks fine.
      Day 8 – Why are you going to Fisherman’s wharf continuously on both day 7 & 8? They’re the same place. To go Yang Ming Shan, it is better to go in the morning.

      As for the transport, I suggest you to check out the train schedule first before you plan. Also, you may want to Google and search around how you are going to commute when you reach your destination. As for Hualian, you can check out the previous comments here on the tour/transport. Sorry that I can’t help much on Tainan and Kaohsiung.

      April 18, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      • Sockiies

        Thank you for the reply Ashley! Ur blog is really helpful! Thanks!

        April 19, 2013 at 12:31 AM

      • Ashley

        You are most welcome Sockiies. I’m glad that I am able to help. :)

        April 19, 2013 at 12:40 PM

  76. Wendy

    Dear Ashley

    I went through your blog and indeed it is very useful. I was very blur initially. Now I managed to come out with a plan after reading your comments

    I need your advise on my plan below

    Day 1

    KL – Taipei (arrive around 3pm)
    – check in to hotel in ximenidng. considering Rainbow Hotel
    – 101
    -ximending

    Day 2

    ‘- National Palace Musuem
    ‘- Martyr’s Shine
    ‘- Hello Kitty Cafe
    ‘- Wufenpu
    ‘- Rouhe NIght Market

    Day 3

    – Leofoo Village
    – Shilin

    Day 4

    – go to jiufen early morning
    – after check in go to Jinguashi
    – Shifen
    – Pingxi
    – Keelung

    Day 5

    – go to Yehliu in the early morning ( by the way do we need to pay )
    – after Yehliu explore Jiufen

    Day 6

    – go to Yilan – Shangri-las Leisure Farm
    – Farm Stay comes with programme for the kids

    Day 7

    – leave Yilan go back to Taipei check in to hotel
    – Go to Xin Bei Tou for hotspring
    – Danshui Fisherman;s Wharfs
    – Danshui Lover’s Bridge
    – Danshui Lao Jie
    – Back to Taipei

    Day 8

    – stay around in wufenpu or ximending for shopping before going to airport
    – our flight is 11.30pm. what time should we leave for airport

    appreciate your comment

    Regards
    Wendy

    June 28, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Wendy, thanks for reading. :)

      I must say you plan very well. Always remember, your plan is not carved in stone. You can make changes during your trip if you find that you’re rushing from places to places. Just make changes there and then and enjoy. :)

      Regarding what time you should leave for airport, I would say do leave 2 hours before your flight. It’s better to be early than late. :)

      Enjoy your trip in Taiwan!

      July 2, 2013 at 5:48 PM

  77. Wendy

    Dear Ashley

    Thank you for your advise.

    By the way how about the weather in Taiwan in mid of November? I am travelling with my 3 children and my mom, therefore I need to make sure i bring the correct clothing.

    Do you also happen to have link on prices of the train and bus from one location to another?

    Have A Good Day

    Regards
    Wendy

    July 3, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Wendy,

      My sisters went in early November and they told me it wasn’t very cold. However, you do need jackets. I’ll suggest you to bring clothes that you can layer on instead of thickness. Because if the weather changes, you can either put more on or take some off.

      For train schedule, you may refer this website – Taiwan Railways
      For buses, not sure if you’re asking about this – Taipei City Public Transportation

      Hope the above helps. :)

      July 5, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      • Wendy

        Dear Ashley

        Thank you so very much for all your advice. It really so useful. Have a great weekend

        Best Regards
        Wendy

        July 5, 2013 at 9:52 PM

      • Ashley

        You’re most welcome, Wendy. Do check for more updated info on the internet as my blog post on Taiwan was more than 3 years ago. :)

        Hope you have an enjoyable trip. :)

        July 8, 2013 at 9:54 AM

  78. Wendy

    Will do Ashley, Thanks

    Regards
    wendy

    July 8, 2013 at 12:27 PM

  79. Ms Teh

    Hi, can you please give the English name b&b in Taipei ?
    Is it easy for us to take the public transport from Taipei to jiufen ?

    November 3, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Ms. Teh,

      I stayed in the Rainbow Hotel in Taipei, not B&B. The B&B is in Jiufen, the name is already mentioned in the blog post itself, with the website provided.
      As for the transportation to Jiufen, please refer to my blog post above for details. Thanks.

      November 4, 2013 at 12:50 PM

  80. Audrey

    Hi Ashley,

    Just like the others, I chanced upon ur blog while researching for my taiwan F&E trip w my elderly mum

    Appreciate if you could offer me some advises :)

    My draft itinerary as follows :

    April 25 – Friday
    reached taipei in the evening
    Thinking which hotel to stay
    Park hotel taipei seems quite recommended in agoda website
    Or Amba hotel
    Any recommendations?

    April 26 – Saturday
    Taipei 101, wu fen pu, raohe night market

    April 27 – Sunday
    Lung Shan temple, ximending, shilin night market

    April 28 – Monday
    Checked out Park Hotel taipei – luggage keep at hotel
    Off to jiufen – stay over at Windsor B&B
    I’ve emailed the B&B – only Han Guan 3 & 4 is available…
    Han Guan 3 – is it located near the jiufen old street?
    Are there lots of steps to climb?
    As I will be going w my elderly mum, I’m abit worried but the B&B seems so nice…
    Is 1 day enough for jiufen?

    April 29 – Tuesday

    April 30 – Wednesday
    Go to xinbeitou & danshui

    May 1 – Thursday
    Departure to airport

    As my mum can’t walk much, I’m trying to plan as simple as possible.

    Appreciate your advises.

    Thanks in advance :)

    January 26, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Audrey,

      So sorry for the late reply. Hope it’s not too late.

      Park hotel seems to be located very near to the MRT station. Seeing that you’re travelling with your mom, that would be a better location. Amba is located in Ximending, require you to walk at least 5 minutes to the MRT station.

      Your itinerary looks fine to me. :) Not too rushing. About the B&B in Jiufen, I’m not very sure where exactly is Han Guan 3. You may want to ask the B&B owner about that. Jiufen has a lot of stairs/steps/slopes, but there are also a lot of places to rest/sit. If your mom gets tired from walking, you can always pick a restaurant/cafe for a stop and enjoy the nice scenery. :)

      Are you going to Jiufen for 2 days 1 night? If yes, that should be enough.

      Oh, just a friendly reminder, Wufenpu requires a lot of walking, I see that you have put Wufenpu and Raohe market in one day. Since your mom can’t walk much, you might want to split Wufenpu and Raohe. How about putting Raohe night market to April 29? I supposed you’ll be coming back from Jiufen late afternoon on that day, so night time you can go to Raohe.

      Hope the above helps. Have a great trip Audrey. :)

      February 10, 2014 at 10:12 AM

  81. Audrey

    Hi Ashley,
    Thank you so much for your advices :)
    We have decided not to stay in jiufen as the Windsor B&B rooms available for that period is located pretty far. We will just do a 1 day trip to jiufen.
    Good suggestion to split wufenpu & raohe night market .
    Thank you :)

    March 8, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Audrey, you are most welcome. Glad that I can be of help. Have a safe trip and great holiday. :)

      March 9, 2014 at 12:50 AM

  82. Colyn

    Hi Ashley, i am going to Jiufen & Shifen on my first day and intending to stay one night, i have checked that by the time i reached Jiufen will be around 9am. As i am carrying a luggage thus i need to put my luggage at Jiufen first,(else i actually want to head straight to shifen to walk but i cant bring my luggage along haix…) then head down to Shifen immediately. Please advise whether the below route is possible or need some changes.

    1) Ruifang – Jiufen put luggage only (there is no other place to leave luggage a day issit?)
    2) Jiufen – Ruifang station again – Shifen
    3) Shifen Waterfall – Pingxi
    4) Pingxi – Ruifang Station – then again back to Jiufen for minsu stay and laojie

    Pls advise thank you.

    April 24, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Colyn,

      Thanks for dropping by.

      I believe it is best to leave your luggage in the B&B that you’re staying before travelling to Shifen. Like you said, you definitely don’t want to drag your luggage with you. It will be easier and more convenient to travel light. Or, you can leave your luggage at Ruifang Station. They do have locker for rent. I did not rent it, but you may check with the information counter in Ruifang for that.

      I have not been to Shifen and Pingxi. Sorry that I can’t provide more information. But from the look of it, it should be fine.

      Hope the above helps.

      May 2, 2014 at 2:47 PM

  83. oswald

    hi ashley..

    your blog is fantastic.. a lot of help full information…
    but im still confuse about my itinerary..

    me and my wife had plan to go to taiwan.. we arive 26 feb at night… so trip begin at 27 feb… we plan to go home at 7 march…

    we want to go to :
    taipei (National history museum, taipei zoo, some night market etc)
    jiufen (markett, gold mining museum, od street)
    hualien(taroko)
    sun moon lake

    do you have sugestion for our itinerary??
    im realy confuse… haha…

    we are looking forward for you reply.

    Thank you so much for your help.

    February 4, 2015 at 3:11 PM

    • Ashley

      First of all, thanks for dropping by, Oswald. I am so sorry for not replying! I have recently given birth to my baby and I was too occupied with her and stuff that I did not have time to check my blog. So sorry about that! I hope you had great fun in Taiwan. Again, sorry that I couldn’t offer help in time.

      April 9, 2015 at 10:42 AM

  84. Jeff Ong

    Hi Ashley,

    Your blog is extremely awesome, really help me alot with the itinerary planning.

    I will be in Taiwan from 31-Mar(touch down taoyuan airport at 1.45pm) till 9-Apr.
    Would really appreciate your help.

    For this 10D9N trip, I am planning to go to:
    – Yilan( 2days?)
    – Hualian(3 days)
    – JiuFen(3 days)

    Do you have any advice on this and what is the sequence to travel?
    Thanks so much for helping.

    Best Regards,
    – Jeff –

    March 6, 2015 at 5:54 PM

    • Ashley

      Oh dear, so sorry for not replying, Jeff. I have recently given birth to my baby and I was too occupied with her and stuff that I did not have time to check my blog. Hope you enjoyed your stay in Taiwan. And thanks for visiting my blog.

      April 9, 2015 at 10:44 AM

  85. Hi Ashyley! My friends and I are planning a taiwan trip! I really want to make a very good experienced trip. One of them suggested to hire a bus/van to get us around for the days out of Taipei, e.g taizhong, cingjing hua yuan(sheep farms), ri yue tuan, chia yi, gao shiong.
    Taipei and Jiufen would be our last stop before heading back to airport. How many days to you think we need to explore taipei and jiufen. And when should we travel
    taipei – jiufen and jiufen – shifen and shifen -jiufen and jiufun – taiwan. In the morning or night? How long is recommended to stay at each place. If u do not mind, is it possible to help draft me a plan? Thank you very much!

    March 23, 2015 at 12:35 AM

    • Ashley

      Hi Sean, thanks for dropping by. Not sure if my reply would be too late.
      Yes, if you are travel with a group of friends, I would say it is better to hire a bus/van, and since you’re travelling to the south as well. However, it is also fun to travel in public transport with your friends. You know, to experience the local life. It all depends on your budget and time.

      Taipei is not just the city centre, Taipei is actually the whole north part of Taiwan. But, if you’re only going to Taipei city and Jiufen, I would say 4 to 5 days is good enough. 3 days in Taipei city, 2 or 3 days in Jiufen/Shifen.

      Which airport will you be arriving/departing? If it’s Taoyuan, you may want to explore Taipei city first. Then head to Jiufen. From Jiufen to Shifen is not far (by train), it can be a day trip. So I would say you stay in Jiufen, then travel to Shifen by train for a day trip, then back to Jiufen for a night stay. You may also want to spend another day in Jiufen to explore.

      Taipei city – 3 days 2 nights
      Jiufen/Shifen – Take train from Taipei City to Ruifang (train station to reach Jiufen) in the morning. Check in to a homestay in Jiufen. Then take train to Shifen on the same day. Night time come back to Jiufen. 2nd day exploring Jiufen and stay for 2nd night. 3rd day check out and back to Taipei city.

      Hope this helps. :)

      April 9, 2015 at 10:54 AM

  86. Apple

    Hi Ashley!
    I am Apple.
    Can you help me with below.

    I am planning an overnight stay in Jiufen. The thing is our big luggage.

    We have to check out Taipei Ximending hotel very early and store at their hotel lobby, then head to Ruifang via train from Taipei Main station right? As we are heading elsewhere after return from Jiufen the evening next day, we will not be checking in their hotel again. Do you think they will allow us to store luggage with them? If not, where could we store our hugh luggage? If will toll it to Ruifang, is there possibility that our hugh luggage is too big to go into a locker and then we will have to toll it all the way to Jiufen?

    Also when we reach Jiufen that day it’s probably noon. After put our luggage at Jiufen, do you think we still have enough time going back to Ruifang again to do the Pingxi train route (Houtong cat, Shifen waterfall, Pingxi coal tram and sky lantern and last to Jingtong and back to Ruifang, then go back Jiufen BB minsu again? We probably miss the sunset at Jiufen liao.

    How about that day reach Jiufen noon, put luggage at Jiufen minsu and go just Jingguashi, then back to Jiufen old street and relax the restof the evening in the minsu? Next day check out early and bring all the luggage to Ruifang stn to store at Ruifang lockers? What if the lockers are full? Then we have to tow the whole day with our big luggage? We have 2 children and 1 70years old mother on tow already…

    My problem is the luggage headache. Do you have any idea? At Ruifang stn do they have those baggae store house where a man will look after the luggage for a fee kind (instead of lockers)?

    Sorry for such long post. What do you think about my plan in Jiufen?

    Hope to hear from you.

    May 11, 2015 at 1:21 PM

    • Ashley

      Hi Apple,

      Thanks for dropping by. Hope not too late to reply you.

      Yes, you can take a train to Ruifang from Taipei Main Station. Regarding to store your luggage with the hotel that you’re not going back for stay, I suggest you check with the hotel. I assumed that you’ve booked the hotel, just drop them an email and ask.

      I am not sure of the locker size in Ruifang Station. It was suggested by another blogger when I did my research back then. I will presume that it is large enough to store our luggage, however, perhaps you can check with the tourist information counter in airport. I’m sure the locals will know best.

      I don’t think you have enough time to cover up to Jingtong the first day you reach Jiufen, perhaps only a few places. Anyway, your itinerary is not carved in stone, you can always improvise and drop the places if you find that you don’t have enough time on that day.

      With your elderly mother on tow, I will suggest you to go easy on your itinerary. Sometimes it’s not that you have to go as many places as you can to call it travelling, enjoy the view and not trying to rush for places are the most important.

      Since you have children and an elderly with you, can I suggest that you hire a private car? I’ve seen and heard people travel in a big group by hiring a private car to take them to places. That way, you save some time on travelling on public transport and do not have to worry about your luggages. I believe you can find some contacts on the internet. Sorry that I do not have any to recommend. If I were to travel to Taiwan again in the future, I too will hire a private car.

      May 13, 2015 at 4:28 PM

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