After a morning spent exploring Shimen Wedding Plaza, Shimen Arch and Jinshan Old Street, the next destination was Yehliu Geopark (野柳地質公園) – my only must-go destination among the stops covered by Taipei North Coast Tour.
Taipei North Coast Tour > Yehliu Geopark
By the time the bus arrived at Jinshan Old Street – 45 minutes late, it was already 2.15pm. I didn’t reach Yehliu until 3pm as the bus was caught in a heavy traffic jam somewhere near Yehliu Geopark. In fact, I’d to alight way before the stop and walk to Yehliu so as to escape from the horrible jam.
It was a mad rush for time. To make it for the last shuttle bus travelling towards Danshui, I had to complete my tour by 4pm and this left me with less than an hour to explore the park (need to reach bus stop earlier than 4pm to avoid missing the shuttle).
TIP: If you like a hassle-free trip, this extremely Popular Day Tour covers Yehliu Geopark and other top attractions in the Northeast Coast of Taiwan.
After getting the admission ticket (NT80), I dashed for the visitor centre and deposited my bags of snacks (bought in Jinshan) in the locker (NT10).
TIP: You can skip the ticketing queue by getting your Yehliu Admission Ticket online.
OMG! Yehliu was so God Darn Crowded
Having high expectations of Yehliu Geopark, I was utterly disappointed with the massive crowds there and the narrow walkways. What could make the experience worse? Having less than an hour to navigate through and explore the park.
The park wasn’t small. There were various path, all jam-packed with people. Imagine I couldn’t walk fast even if I’d wanted to. So the entire experience was one of anxiousness, frustration and worries (of missing the bus).
And what’s my favorite phrase on that day? “Excuse Me” “Excuse Me”
I didn’t have time to take in the names of the different geographical formations. It was sadly one of trying to comb through the area than experiencing it.
TIP: As a solo traveller, I’d purposely chosen to travel to natural parks during peak hours because I wanted to be safe. On hindsight, Yehliu Geopark should be visited during lull hours (probably earlier in the day), because it was simply too crowded.
I’m not sure if the super-crowd condition was due to my period of travel which coincided with China’s Golden Week holiday or that the crowd was a norm everyday.
With such a crowd, it was difficult to take a selfie without having someone in the background. I remember I had to squat down and hide in front of a stone formation and take close-up shots.
And yet I didn’t succeed in having a single selfie all by myself.
In the end, I had to resort to taking my shadow. At least, there wasn’t any photo bomb. LOL. Oh…I just realised there were other people’s shadows too. :/
Don’t worry. If you continue to walk further, you will abandon the crowds to somewhere with view of sea and some greenery.
However, I didn’t find the hike enjoyable. The heat and sun’s glare was unbearable. Or perhaps, I was in too much of a rush to enjoy it.
How to get from Yehliu to Keelung
I remember feeling really confused about where to board the bus to Keelung. It wasn’t exactly clear to me where I should wait.
Although I had checked with the visitor centre several times, I felt that the instruction didn’t help. As the visitor centre was situated too far from the bus stops, the staff had to verbalise the location of the bus stop. And their map was over simplified. By the way, if you think the bus stops were prominent, you are wrong. The bus stop could just be an open and unsheltered area with a small signpost.
Standing next to a post with a tag saying it would go to Keelung, I waited 40 minutes before the bus came. Can you imagine how I’d felt while waiting?
“Is this the right stop? It’s getting dark. Will I get stranded? How do I go back?”
How to Travel from Yehliu Geopark to Keelung?
Take bus T99 from Yehliu Geopark. Journey Time to Keelung is 1 hour 15 minutes.
Miaokou Night Market
After arriving at Keelung at 6.15pm, it took 10 minutes of walk to reach Miaokou Night Market.
Miaokou was the busiest night market I’ve ever been to. Imagine sardine pack just like one would be in an MRT during morning peak hours. Everyone was queuing – shoulder to shoulder, arm to arm – in order to move through the market. Even after buying something, it was another challenge finding a place to stand and eat.
TIP: Avoid travelling to Taipei during China’s Golden Holiday
There were so many food options, I was spoilt for choice. Unfortunately, I ordered a squid (NT50) which was so tough it was obviously under-cooked. I had no choice but to throw half of it away.
The assorted fried seafood comprising prawns, squid and tiny crabs (NT100) were savoury and worth a try. It was a huge portion and served piping hot.
I also bought some pastry with taro (yam) and potato cheese filling for just NT35. If you want something for next-day breakfast, this is an ideal item to pack. It still tasted good the next morning.
How I wish I had 5 stomachs!
As a solo-traveller, this was the setback of visiting Night Markets in Taiwan. You can’t savour a good variety of food without feeling stuffed too soon. Perhaps, one way to sample more food is to pack away suitable ones for next-day breakfast.
How to Go from Keelung to Taipei?
It was easy finding my way back to Taipei. The train station wasn’t difficult to find using google map, and the train was clean and comfortable.
21,000 steps walked today. That’s 16km of walk today. Sounds familiar? Stay tuned to Day 5 of my Taiwan Travel.
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- Day 1 (pt 1): Taoyuan Airport, Taipei Main Station, 228 Peace Memorial Park
- Day 1 (pt 2): Get EasyCard, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Q Square Mall
- Day 2 (pt 1): Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
- Day 2 (pt 2): Golden Water Fall, Jiufen, Ximending
- Day 3 (pt 1): Maokong
- Day 3 (pt 2): Taipei Zoo and Shenkeng Old Street
- Day 4 (pt 1): North Coast Tour (Shimen Wedding Plaza, Shimen Arch, Jinshan Old Street)
- Day 4 (pt 2): North Coast Tour (Yehliu Geopark, Keelung & Miaokou Night Market)
- Day 5: Wufenpu, Raohe Night Market
- Day 6: Songshan Cultural Park, Xiangshan, Tonghua, Raohe Night Market
- Day 7: Taipei City Hall Shopping District, Wufen Pu, Raohe Night Market
- Day 8: Easiest way to get from Taipei Main Station to Taoyuan Airport