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Tours in Taipei: Exploring the Northeast Coast of Taiwan

Jiufen A Mei Tea House

Rocks, Golden Waterfall, and a Beautiful Alley: Exploring the Northeast Coast of Taiwan

With everyone onboard, including our hilarious tour guide, we hopped on the bus and headed towards an unfamiliar direction. It was raining hard from the moment we left Taipei till we reached our first stop. At first, I thought Taiwan was just another Urban Jungle, but this Northeast Coast proved me wrong. The rugged terrain of the Northeast Coast of Taiwan reminds me of Batanes. Our local tour guide was right; the place is a haven for adventure-seeking travelers. I love traveling; there are hidden surprises in each destination that will let you appreciate its culture and natural wonders.

En route to Nanya Rock Formations
En route to Nanya Rock Formations

I was recently invited to visit the Philippines’ northern neighbor, Taiwan. This is part of the Inaugural flight and launching of AirAsia’s Manila – Taipei flight, where I, along with other Filipino travel bloggers, was made to explore the beautiful city of Taipei and other parts of Taiwan for the first time with the carrier. Our first day in Taiwan was mainly just resting at the hotel, unpacking my baggage, and roaming the night market. The second day was when our real adventure started.

Read Eight Things I Love About Taiwan

Exploring the Northeast Coast of Taiwan

We started our second day in Taiwan early. After breakfast in the hotel, we headed out and prepared for a more than an hour trip to the northern coast of Taiwan.

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Our first stop for the day was the town of Nanya, known for its natural rock formations. The skies were gloomy on our way, and the rain started pouring when we reached Nanya to witness its natural rock formations. However, the rain only increased my appreciation of the geological wonders that stood before me.

Nanya Rock formation on the Northeast Coast of Taiwan
Nanya Rock formation on the Northeast Coast of Taiwan
Melo Villareal at Nanya Rock Formations photo by Manuel Chua
Melo Villareal at Nanya Rock Formations photo by Manuel Chua

Nanya is a small town located on the northern edge of Taiwan. It is known for its natural rock formations and coralline shorelines. The rock formations are formed by the constant splashing of the waves on them, and I found it really amazing how the aggressive process of weathering formed such beautiful and graceful rock formations. Moreover, the brown and red rock formations contrasted greatly with the color of the greenish-blue shoreline and the azure waters of Taiwan.

Fun Shot ontop of a Rock Formation in Nanya, Northeast Coast of Taiwan photo by Manuel Chua
Fun Shot on top of a Rock Formation in Nanya, Northeast Coast of Taiwan photo by Manuel Chua

I think the rain that came with us during our visit was perfect. The surrounding vegetation became greener due to the precipitation, and the sounds of the raindrops on my umbrella served as the perfect background music for my experience.

Coastal Town of Nanya
Coastal Town of Nanya

After breathing in a lot of that healthy, sea-side air and taking many pictures, we returned to our bus to get to our next destination, the renowned Golden Falls in Jinguashi, which is just a few kilometers east of our first stop. Since the concrete roads of northern Taiwan overlook the sea, we could pass by the Bay of Two Colors. Our bus driver was kind enough to slow down so we could see the Bay and take pictures.

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The Bay of Two Colors is famous for having a blend of two colors. It was raining during our trip, so it was tough to see the two hues in the water, but the mixing colors came from the natural azure of the water and the metallic colors of the mineral leaks from the nearby gold mining village.

Jinguashi Golden Falls aka Golden Waterfalls
Jinguashi Golden Falls, aka Golden Waterfalls

We got to Jinguashi Golden Falls, where the skies started clearing slightly. The waterfall got its name from its golden waters. Of course, the water is not made of gold; it’s just gold-colored. The water form gets its color from mineral leaks from the nearby Gold Ecological Park and the regular rainfall in the area. The heavy metallic deposits on the water make the waterfalls acidic, so it’s sadly not for swimming, despite it looking so refreshing. Nevertheless, the golden color of the waterfalls makes it a scenery that looks like a clip from a romantic movie. It’s very relaxing to look like and is definitely the perfect backdrop for a selfie.

Golden Waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfall in Taiwan
Golden Waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Taiwan.

It was already nearing lunchtime when we headed for our next destination—Jiufen Village. Jiufen Village, sometimes pronounced “Chiufen,” was an isolated northern Taiwanese town. When the Japanese came to Taiwan in the 1890s, the colonizers saw the quaint town’s rich reservoir of gold. It was then that the Japanese transformed the town into a gold-mining village. Presently, Jiufen is no longer active as it was in the gold mining industry, but its culture continues to live on.

Tourists walk down famed steps in Jiufen
Tourists walk down famed steps in Jiufen

The Japanese roots of the small village of Jiufen were very evident. The village had labyrinthine alleyways and colorful streets. My inner foodie was also awakened when I saw a wide variety of snacks being sold! I tried food like “yu yuan” or taro balls, which were sold in tiny cups; a helping of steamed taro cakes, and another helping of herbal rice cakes.

Jiufen Old Street alley
Jiufen Old Street alley
Jiufen A Mei Tea House
Jiufen A Mei Tea House

A few minutes later, we had a full-course lunch in Jiufen A Mei Tea House – one of the old restaurants in the village.

luncheon meal in Jiufen A Mei Tea House
luncheon meal in Jiufen A Mei Tea House

After lunch, we set out for our last stop for the day, Taipei 101 Observatory, located in the inner part of Taipei.

View from the base of Taipei 101
View from the base of Taipei 101

Taipei 101 Observatory, standing proudly at over 500 meters tall, is one of the tallest buildings in the entire world. The building overlooks the entire scenery of picturesque Taiwan.

Taipei 101 Mall
Taipei 101 Mall

From the 5th floor, we rode the world’s fastest elevator to get to the 89th floor. It only took about 40 seconds to get from the 5th floor to the 89th floor! The 89th floor, or the Indoor Observatory, is nearly 400 meters above the ground and gives me an excellent, unobstructed view of Taiwan.

[Click here to search for discounted hotels in Taipei]

Witnessing a panoramic view of Taiwan as the burning red sun slowly set on the distant horizon was an image that was etched into my memory and served as the perfect ending scenery for my adventure on the northern coast of Taiwan.

How to get to Taipei from Manila

You can buy affordable flights from Manila to Taipei online via AirAsia. Flights are available for as low as $80 from Manila to Taipei, a journey that lasts for just over two hours. The good news is that the world’s famous low-cost airline, AirAsia, has launched flights from Manila and Cebu in the Philippines to Taipei.  This guarantees cheap fares on the route every day of the week.

AirAsia Flight Schedule for Manila (MNL) to Taipei (TPE)

Flight NumberFromToDepartureArrivalFrequency
Z2 128MNLTPE23:0501:10Daily
Z2 129    TPEMNL01:3503.45Daily

AirAsia Flight Schedule for Cebu (CEB) to Taipei (TPE)

Flight NumberFromToDepartureArrivalFrequency
Z2 7124CEBTPE06:3509:25Wednesday
CEBTPE06:1009:05Friday and Sunday
Z2 7125TPECEB10:2013:10Wednesday
TPECEB10:1013:00Friday
TPECEB10:3013:20Sunday

Visa-Free Travel to Taiwan for Filipinos

Filipinos can now visit Taiwan even without a visa. The Visa-free in Taiwan offer is only limited to Filipino travelers who have had valid Visa entries from the US, Australia, Japan, Korea, Canada, or any Schengen country. Read More: Travel Visa-free in Taiwan for Filipino Travelers: Here’s How

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Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of Outoftownblog.com. He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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