Most travelers who had been to Taiwan would suggest a day tour to the northern part of the country where tourist spots are located. There are three main tourist spots in Northern Taiwan namely Yehliu Geopark, famous for its natural rock formations, Juifen Old Street, popular for its local delicacies and the setting of the animated movie Spirited Away, and Shifen Old Street, well-known for the old railway and to tourist for releasing sky lantern experience.
There are three ways to travel to Northern Taipei and experience these tourist destinations.
- Hiring a private vehicle
- Joining a tour
- Using public transportation
All these three options have its advantage and disadvantage. Hiring a private vehicle is the most convenient of the three but is also the most costly. If you are a large group and you don’t mind spending too much, this option is the best for you. Joining a tour is also convenient and will not be too much expensive; however, joining a tour restricts your time and itinerary to the planned tourist spots. Using a public transport is not the most convenient but this is the most cost efficient. You get to experience commuting like a local and you can also explore more.
We have traveled to quite a few places as a family and we always go for the last option: do-it-yourself public transport. As such, when we visited the northern part of Taiwan, we again took the public transport to see Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen Old Street, and Shifen Old Street. Let me share to you how you can DIY a day tour at the above tourist places.
Visiting these tourist spots needs a day in your itinerary. Plan your itinerary as follows: Yehliu Geopark -> Jiufen Old Street -> Shifen Old Street.
How to go to Yehliu Geopark from Taipei?
- Go to Taipei Main Station.
- Just across Taipei Main Station is Kuo-Kuang Bus Station.
- Ride the Kuo Kuang Bus 1815 to Yehliu.
- Alight at Yehliu.
- Walk for 5-10 minutes to Yehliu Geopark.
This will cost TWD 99 for adults and half fare for kids. The bus ride takes an hour and a half to two hours the most. You will not get lost as a lot of locals and tourist alight at Yehliu, since it is not only a tourist spot but also a fishing port.
How to go to Jiufen Old Street from Yehliu Geopark?
- Walk back to where you alighted the Kuo Kuang Bus 1815.
- Ride the Keelung Bus 790. Remember that this is not a station but a bus stop only, so you will have to wait for the bus to arrive.
- Alight at the Keelung Bus Station. The Keelung Bus Station is located seaside where cruise ship docks.
- At the Keelung Bus Station, ride Keelung Bus 788 to Jiufen.
- Alight at Jiufen Old Street entrance.
Riding Keelung Bus 790 will cost you TWD 15 and another TWD 15 for riding Keelung Bus 788. The bus rides and transfers take an hour and a half. Again, you will not get lost as the bus will stop at Jiufen Old Street entrance and a lot of tourists alight in this place.
How to get to Shifen Old Street from Jiufen Old Street?
- Walk the entire Jiufen Old Street and exit at the other entrance point near the Jiufen Police Station.
- Ride the Keelung Bus 788 to Ruifang. This is a bus stop and you have to wait again.
- Alight at Ruifang Train Station.
- Ride the Fuxing Shuttle Train from Ruifang to Shifen Old Street.
- Alight at the last station which is the Shifen Old Street.
The Keelung Bus 788 to Ruifang will cost TWD 15. The train from Ruifang to Shifen Old Street cost TWD 17. The bus and train ride will take less than an hour but allot an hour and a half for your travel time for transfers and waiting.
How to back to Taipei Main Station from Shifen Old Street?
- Ride the Ruifang Shuttle Train from Shifen Old Street to Taipei Main Station.
This ride will cost TWD 53 and will take two hours.
All in all, traveling to Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen Old Street, and Shifen Old Street via public commute from Taipei Main Station back and forth will cost TWD 214. Cheap, right? And not only cheap, you get to commute like a local and explore other places not in your itinerary. But do take note that this type of commute is not the best for travelers with small children who likes to be carried, senior citizens, and large group. This type of commute works best for our family and our pocket 😊