Taipei Day Itinerary 2 - Jiufen, Houtong, Shifen, Pingxi, Wu Fen Pu, Rao He Night Market

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Traveling away from a tour package is invigorating; spare yourself from unnecessary waiting at gift shops and hurried stopovers at attractions you wish to linger at. But planning for a holiday can be stressful. The second part of the installation presents the old streets of Taipei along the Pingxi line (Read: first part of the installation, Energizer: Highs & Lows). Before you get carried away with the overwhelming traveling ideas in tourist haven Taipei, be sure to read about the 9 things you need to know when touching down in Taipei.



Pingxi line: 
Badu – Nuannuan – Sijiaoting – Ruifang (Jiufen) – Houtong – Sanbaoling – Dahua – Shifen – Wanggu - Lingjiao – Pingxi - Jingtong



1. Jiufen 九份: Tourists abuzz



Transport
Taipei Main Station (Taipei Railway Administration - TRA) > Ruifang > Bus 825 to Jiufen


Transport fee
NT80 + NT16

Duration for transport
60 mins + 15 mins


Highlights
阿婆芋圆, 阿妹茶樓, Gold Ecological Park, 鲁肉饭, a lot of souvenir shops

Best timing to visit?
9 - 11am

Jiufen is the town that inspired Miyazaki's artistic direction in the animation film, Spirited Away. For the love of chasing famous locations, we found ourselves in Jiufen. Red lanterns line the lovely roofs of the wooden architecture, with cobblestoned paths leading us to see all the stores selling street food and little trinkets. We would not recommend buying pineapple tarts and sun biscuits here - do so at Shihlin Night Market instead. Jiufen may get very crowded due to tour buses of tourists - well, everyone wants to see this place too!

2. Houtong 侯硐: Kitties station


Transport
Bus 825 to Ruifang > Houtong by TRA

Transport fee
NT15

Duration for transport
10 mins

Highlights
Mining village, animal-friendly, river and mountain scenery 

Best timing to visit?
3pm - 5pm

Houtong was an unexpected discovery that was fuelled by our love for cats. It was dubbed the town of cats, with figurines and standees of cats all around. We expected strays of cats running across the grass, but instead, there were lots of friendly stray dogs instead! Beyond these interaction opportunities with animals, Houtong is a town that used to depend heavily on mining, surrounded by a rich scenery of mountains and rivers. Exploring Houtong remains one of my favourite memories of Taipei.


3. Shifen 十份: Happiness


Highlights
Shifen Waterfalls, sky lanterns, railway tracks or photo opportunities, Jing-An bridge

Best timing to visit?
1 - 2.30pm.



Shifen is the town to go for your sky lanterns activities. The best part of it was writing wishes on the lantern, though personally, when releasing it into the sky I realized it was very environmentally unfriendly as it would eventually fall somewhere after ascending to a certain height. It is a very long hike to Shifen Waterfalls on foot from the railway station. If you want to see the waterfalls, it would be recommended to engage a cab to drive you over. The sky turns dark at about 5pm in winter, so don't pack your schedule too tightly.

4. Pingxi 平溪


Highlights
Pingxi Old Street

Remarks
1 - 2.30pm

Pingxi is similar to Shifen, and I would say between Pingxi and Shifen, you can pick one.


5. Wu Fen Pu 五分埔



Transport
Ruifang > Songshan by TRA

Duration for transport
40 mins

Highlights
Shopping galore!

Best timing to visit?
3.30pm - 6pm.

Amidst zooming motorbikes and cigarette smoke, spy with your little eye for bargains on the most fashionable trends. Avoid buying shoes (overpriced!) and don't shovel your way through sacks - you just might incur the wrath of the unfriendly shopkeepers here. Your best bet is on the NT100 or NT150 racks along the roads.

6. Rao He Night Market 饒河街觀光夜市


Transport
Walk from Wu Fen Pu.

Duration for transport
15 mins

Highlights
More street food than shopping.

Best timing to visit?
6 - 8pm.

Rao He Night Market is one of my favourite night markets for street food. If you're looking for clothes, you won't find it here - the clothes here seemed to be of substandard as compared to Wu Fen Pu.


Other full day itineraries you may be interested in:

  1. Full Day Itinerary 1: Yehliu, Leefoo Theme Park, Taipei 101
  2. Full Day Itinerary 2: Jiufen, Houtong, Shifen, Pingxi, Wu Fen Pu, Rao He Night Market
  3. Full Day Itinerary 3: Sogo, Yong Le Market, Yong Kang Street
  4. Full Day Itinerary 4: Museums of Taipei
  5. Full Day Itinerary 5: Eslite, Page One, Ximending
  6. Full Day Itinerary 6: Taipei Zoo, Maokong Gondola
  7. Full Day Itinerary 7: Yang Ming Shan National Park, Beitou, Danshui

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4 comments

  1. Hi,

    Do you know how to go back to Ruifang station from Jiufen? >.<
    What time does Jiufen starts getting dark? i plan to start going down from Jiufen at 7pm , but i am not so sure which bus number is heading to Ruifang station... T.T

    I heard bus #1062 is passing by Jiufen to zhongxiao fuxing MRT (Taipei) , did you ever see this bus before in Jiufen?

    Thanks ya >.<

    Regards,
    Nathania

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nathania,

      Depending on when you're travelling to Taipei, the sunset timings are different - you can google 'sunset time taipei' for the approximate time. From Jiufen, there is a bus that goes back to Ruifang (the same one that brings you there), it should be pretty obvious when you are there because there will be a lot of tourists going the same way as you~ According to Google there is such a bus, but I don't remember seeing it :o Jiufen is a very popular and bustling tourist spot, so you can always ask around for directions if you need :D

      Amie

      Delete
    2. Hi Amie,

      Thanks so much for your informartion. It helps me to re-arrange my itinerary :D have a nice day ahead :D

      Regards,
      Nathania

      Delete
    3. No worries, hope you have a great time in taipei! :D

      Delete

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