Thursday, April 8, 2010

How to travel Yang Ming Shan - New Beitou - Dan Shui in one day

The trip to Taiwan made me realise that although theres alot of information out there but you can often get lost in the trails of websites. You have websites in English and Mandarin, posts written from 2003 right up to 2010.

On a taxi ride around Yang Ming Shan, the taxi driver commented that the usual day trip would involve Yang Ming Shan - Beitou - Dan Shui - Shilin Market, what a valuable tip it turned out to be!

So if you happen to have a day to spend on the DanShui MRT Line at Taipei, you can try the below itinerary.

Wake up early morning and get yourself to the Taipei Main Railway Station and have a breakfast. Proceed to go to the south of the station and take the Bus 260. The final stop is Yang Ming Shan National Park. Alternatively during the peak season in Spring, there are several buses that goes there and there should be signs and people to ask.

Things to prepare for at Yang Ming Shan; good hiking or running shoes, water, sunnies and a cap unless you are going when the weather is really cooling.

There is a tourist centre at the bottom there but they speak virtually no English however if you note their facial expression and their sign language, you will realise that there is a mini bus that makes loop around the park, stopping at certain stops. You can either pay NT15 to go to each destination or NT60 for a day pass. Buses are meant to be come by every 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, taxis circling around the area will drive you specifically to the place you want for NT50 per person.


The first stop is the Visitor Centre and the people are slightly more helpful with some of them speaking basic English. Several trails start from here and you can walk around 30-40 minutes or around 3km to where the Flower Clock is. Ignorant people like me decides to wear slippers (because they wanted to go to the hot spring) and an unwilling someone decided she had enough after 1km and thus no clock to be seen. The weather didnt help as it rise to a sunny 30 odd degrees (very weird for Taiwanese Spring Time).

The next famous stop is at Jhuzihhu where you can see alot and i mean alot of lilies as well as many restaurants where the specials are their freshly mountain grown vegetables.

After this, if you are game for it, continue to hike away at their many trails!

At this point, you have one of two options, go back to where you start from and take a bus that stops you at a MRT to continue the journey or at Jhuzihhu, take the S9 mini bus that takes you right to Beitou. The bus ride (depending on many people there are) can get sickening as we pushed close to 40 people onto a 16 seater and was close to a nauseating 40 minutes ride!.

When you stop at the Beitou bus stop or MRT stop (New Beitou by the way), do google around for hot springs either public, high class, private and etc and do a google map from the MRT. Trust me, it is very useful if you are totally new to the place. We were rather lazy and found the first one small hotel that offers a 2 hour hotel room with your own private hot spring tub ranging from NT900-NT1300. The other hot springs are generally within a 1km walk from the MRT station. The MRT line was specially built for tourists to easily access the hot springs and as such there have themes on their train as seen above.

Once you are done, hop back onto the MRT and head to Dan Shui.

The attractions at Dan Shui is the Dan Shui Old Street and Waterfront and if you want, take a ferry to the Fisherman Wharf for tourist priced seafood delights. I have heard about the Lover's Bridge that involves taking a bus, so try googling if you are up for it.

The Place is quite a beauty and marvellous for photography.

In addition, you will find also lots of street food along the way.

Fishballs had quite abit of flour in it as we bite into quite stale tasting meat.

The grilled squid was good as was much of the seafood we ate throughout the trip.

Interested in quail eggs? There are aplenty here!

Taiwanese sausages are also aplenty but this was a first using wild boar meat.

Once you are done, hop back onto the MRT and if you are up for it, stop at the Jiantan station and go to Shilin Market to continue the eating or do some shopping.

Ta Da! My first travel (kind) of post.

Hope it helps all the pour souls like me who wants to travel Taiwan by themselves but know next to zilch Mandarin!


J said...

Ooh. Love street food! :)
(Pity about the yucky fish balls though.... Sounds horrible!)

babe_kl said...

Thanks for putting these tips up, best for banana like me :D BTW the quail eggs are just hardboiled?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

babekl: the eggs are not actually cooked in what looks like the same way as you would cook your tako balls, electric cooker.

j: and oh so sinful street food is..hehe

CUMI & CIKI said...

oo, v cool .. i like this post!

Sean said...

i usually try to order wild boar meat whenever i see it offered anywhere (cos it sounds exotic!), but after awhile, i realized that i can't really tell the difference between regular pork and wild boar! :D
i'd die in taiwan. i can't speak mandarin at all, or even understand it...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

sean: haha well sometimes it tastes abit gamey and thats the sign..haha i "died" in taiwan, im sure u can do it too..

c&c: thank u!!

xin said...

wah wild boar sausage!!! thank god i survived the korea trip too not understanding a single korean word. LOL.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

xin: i dunno how u did it! korean is much worse i presume?

Pureglutton said...

Good tips for non-mandarin speaking ppl like me! *thumbs up*

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

pureglutton: glad to b of some help!

fatboybakes said...

taking pics of hym***? oops, i mean stamens? so unlike you boy...! gorgeous pics though.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

fbb: hahah one must knw when to divert attention when necessary..