Day 2: JIUFEN

Route for the day

After a lovely breakfast we checked out of Six Star Motel (Taoyuan) and drove north east ward to the coast. Our final destination for the day was a scenic quaint town Jiufen. Before Jiufen we intended to visit the famous YinYang Sea and Teapot mountain of Taiwan.

Getting to Yin Yang Hai and then Jiufen

Getting to Yin Yang Sea, Teapot Mountain and Jiufen

Yin Yang Sea

Yin Yang Sea was suppose to be a two-tone color sea. Yellow and green colours. The water nearer to the coast displayed a yellowish hue which changed to deep blue color further offshore. Sadly it was a rainy day so the sea did not have its famous Yin Yang colors.

"Wet" view of YinYang Sea

“Wet” view of YinYang Sea

The morning drizzle was not stopping! There was no blue sky or blue sea. We decided to look for a nice cafe to wait for the rain to stop. Google search brought us to “About Cafe” which had some good reviews.  We drove up a narrow mountain road and found our cafe, unfortunately there was no available parking near it doorstep so we parked our car some distance away and walked back to the quaint cafe. A villager advised us to park our car at where the road was wider, if not our car would obstruct the bus.

Coffee break at "About Cafe"

Coffee break at “About Cafe”

The cafe turned out to be a surprise. It was a cosy cafe. We ordered a cafe latte to go with our yummy tiramisu. Both cafe latte and tiramisu were good! Near the cafe was a “Golden Waterfall黃金瀑布”, it was more brown/yellow than golden.

Golden Waterfall near About Cafe

Golden Waterfall near About Cafe

Teapot mountain

On a good fine day we would definitely trek up some “raw” path  to the apex of Teapot Mountain, which promised a great view of YinYang Sea and the surrounding. Unfortunately the unexpected drizzle threw out our trekking plan.

We still had not given up on Teapot Mountain, we planned to trek where there were proper stairs and path. We drove to Zhariting 朝日亭, at the base of the stairs leading up Zhariting was a carpark. We were pretty surprise that in such an outskirt widerness a carpark attendant appeared out of nowhere, he charged us TWD100 for parking.

朝日亭 Zhaoriting and nearby viewing deck

朝日亭 Zhaoriting and nearby viewing deck

We went up the steps and came to a viewing deck where we saw YinYang Sea from afar. The mist was still too dense and the sky was still too grey so the sight was not spectacular.

YinYang Sea as seen from afar

YinYang Sea as seen from afar

Jiufen

Our stay for the night was in Jiufen pretty near the Jiufen old town street. It was located downhill of the the old town street. The owner of our hotel (Blue Sky B&B) in Jiufen suggested that we walked a short distance down the road and took the town bus uphill to the start of the town old street. It was raining non-stop so taking the town bus was the best option to get to the old street.

Jiufen Old street

Jiufen Old street

The bus did not take long to arrive and it cost TWD30 for two persons. On boarding the bus we sounded out the driver to request him to inform us when it was our stop to alight. The journey was short!  From the bus stop to the start of the old street was just a short walk.The “start” of the old street was not obvious, it looked like a dark alley ahead and many people were streaming in and out of he “doorway”. We were pleasantly surprise to see brightly lighted shops and stores lined both sides of the stone pavement as we entered the alley.  The place was crowded with people and umbrellas.

JiuFen Town Old Streets

JiuFen Town Old Streets

The “Chinese New Year Celebration” festive mood and ambience were still strong. Though wet we were felt pretty cheerful as we busily browsed though the foods and products in the long lines of stores. .

Desert Stores at JiuFen Town Old Street

Desert Stores at JiuFen Town Old Street

Our first stop was a desert store, 2nd stop was a cream puff store then a biscuit store. It was fun to stop, munch and taste on the go. Too soon we were too filled to eat more and there were still so many delightful finger foods everywhere that we would like to try.

To get a great view of JiuFen evening sight we went up Ah Mei Teahouse and had our dinner. We chose a table at its open balcony on its highest level. There we ate our meal over looking a great view of the “Skyline Tea house” with its display of lanterns over the hill slope of Jiufen.

Our simple meal at Ah Mei Teahouse

Our simple meal at Ah Mei Teahouse

Skyline Teahouse JiuFen

Skyline Teahouse JiuFen

our stay in Jiufen

Our stay at Jiufen was at Blue Sky B&B booked on booking.com. We chose it for its “room balcony view”, its free parking, its nearness to the JiuFen old street and its good reviews. Our room for two was TWD2850.

The hotel provided free parking, it was some private reserved lots beside the road. Our B&B was just across the road up some steps. Random parking along the road side was illegal as Jiufen was a touristic town so parking control was very strict.

Blue Sky B&B at Jiufen and it private parkings

Blue Sky B&B at Jiufen and it private parkings

Our room was on the second level of the B&B and to get there we had to go up a flight of narrow wooden steps. Whew! We only had to carry our overnight bags! Our room was “RED” and spacious with an ensuite bathroom. We walked to the balcony, eager to look at its view as we had booked a “Room with a Balcony View”. The balcony view was disappointing as it was partially blocked by a neighbouring building. The room to our right should have a better unobstructed view! It was raining the whole day, the mist was so dense and it blocked up the valley view infront of our B&B.

Our double room at Blue Sky B&B

Our double room at Blue Sky B&B

The next day, the weather was still bad and heavy mist still filled the air. We went down to the lower level of the B&B for our breakfast. The valley view were slightly better than the day before and we could  see the sea ahead. We could already imagine the sight on a “good weather day”. If the sky and the sea were blue the view from the deck of Blue Sky B&B must be amazing!

Common areas at Blue Sky B&B

Common areas at Blue Sky B&B

The free breakfast provided by the B&B was rather simple. A Sandwich, two small stalks of broccolli, a very thin coffee and two slices of fruit.

Breakfast at Blue Sky B&B

Breakfast at Blue Sky B&B

Accommodation around Jiufen

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