New Taipei City
Completely surrounding Taipei City, New Taipei City is the most populous city in Taiwan. Moving to the outer part of Taipei, New Taipei City shows a more cultural and indigenous side of Taiwan. Beautiful locales like Ruifang and Tamshui are popular day-trip destinations for both Taiwanese and foreign visitors to slow down and take time to enjoy some of the best sights of Taiwan. New Taipei City is easily accessible by Taiwan metro and Taiwan Railway.
Photo credit: YI-YI
Ruifang district is a scenic locale in New Taipei City (Xinbei City). The district is easily accessible by Taiwan Railway from Taipei station in around 45 minutes. The famous tourist destination Chiufen/Jiufen Village is located in Ruifang and the public transport in the district can take you to the Northeast Coast of Taiwan where you will be amazed by the gorgeous natural scenery.
What To Do in Ruifang:
1. Chiufen/ Jiufen Old Street
Jiufen is a popular day-trip-destination for tourists to experience the fusion of Chinese and Japanese culture. This lovely small town became well-known since the discovery of gold in the surrounding mountains during the Japanese occupation. Today, you can still recall Japanese influence on the architecture and material culture amidst the alleys of souvenir shops and vendors of local Taiwanese food.
Along the Old Street you can find interesting Chinese crafts such as wooden postcards with calligraphy and ocarina (tao di). If you are a fan of history and culture, you’d probably want to stop by every shop to explore their stories.
One thing you should know: You can always try out the snacks before you buy any. The shop owners are incredibly friendly and welcoming.
Address: Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 224
How to get there: Take Taiwan Railway (TR) to Ruifang Station. After exiting the station, cross the street to the bus stop and board the Keelung Transit bus towards Jiufen.
2. Bay of Two Colors/ Yin Yang Sea
Photo credit: HYDE CHEN
The name of this tourist spot tells it all. The sea is literally a mix of yellow and blue. Years ago there were mining activities along the coast and the yellowish color is therefore caused by chemical runoff. Go uphill and have a panoramic view of this magnificent sight.
One thing you should know: The two colors are most distinctive immediately after heavy rain.
-Yin Yang Sea-
Address: Liendongli Community, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 224
How to get there: Take Taiwan Railway (TR) to Keelung Station. Then board Keelung Bus No. 791/ 856/886/891/1811/1812 and get off at Ample Villa Station.
3. Nanya Rock Formation
Nanya is known for its spectacular rock formation. Years of weathering and erosion have shaped the rocks into natural sculptures standing by the sea. The most prominent and representative one has a dynamic wave-like pattern which reminds me of the power of tornado. Constantly washed by rain, the rock surface somehow appears patterned with reddish and yellowish veins. Take a closer look and you will be stunned by the sublimity of nature.
-Nanya Rock Formation-
Address: Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 224 (80.8Km area along the North Coast Highway)
How to get there: Take Taiwan Railway (TR) Keelung Station. Then board Keelung Bus No. 791 and get off at Nanya Station.
What To Eat in Ruifang:
1. Grandma Lai’s Sweet Taro Balls
Photo credit: 亞可 米米
Taro ball is a typical Taiwanese dessert that is often served with sweet potato balls. At Grandma Lai’s shop you can see taro balls being made on spot and the store is happy to offer free tasting to visitors. It has been 3 generations since Grandma Lai opened the shop. Today, Grandma Lai is one of the most prestigious brands of taro balls all over Taiwan.
-Grandma Lai’s Sweet Taro Balls-
Address: No. 143, Jishan Street, Ruifang District, New Taipei City
Opening Hours: 7am – 9pm
Tel: +886 2 2497 5245
2. A-Zhu Peanut Ice Cream Roll
Photo credit: Maxson
Here in Jiufen, A-Zhu offers a taste of the Yilan-originated dessert. The roll is made of two scoops of taro ice cream and grounded peanut candies wrapped with handmade rice paper. The chewy and crunchy peanuts match surprisingly well with the ice cream. A bite of A-Zhu peanut ice cream roll simply takes you to heaven in the boiling hot Taiwanese summer.
-A-Zhu Peanut Ice Cream Roll-
Address: No.45, Jishan Street, Ruifang District, New Taipei City
Opening Hours: 09:30-20:30
Tel: +886 935 925 120
3. Jiufen King Mushroom
Photo credit: Mo~
Taiwan’s king mushrooms might be the most gigantic mushrooms you’ve ever seen. The mushrooms are brushed with soya sauce and grilled until golden brown. Juicy, vegetarian, healthy, these mushrooms are your perfect snack on-the-go!
-Jiufen King Mushroom-
Address: No.34, Jishan Street, Ruifang District, New Taipei City
Located at the northern tip of Taipei, Tamshui is a picturesque small town which is famous for its stunning sunset landscape along the coast line. The historical town is a popular day-trip-destination for a short break from city life among local and foreign tourists. In Tamshui you can spend a relaxing day wandering around the old part of the city and sitting at a cafe by the coast to watch the impressive sunset.
How to get there: Take the MRT Red Line 2 to Tamsui (淡水), the northern terminus station. Upon exiting the station, turn left to reach Tamsui Old Street and the waterfront.
What To Do in Tamshui/Danshui:
1. Tamshui Old Street
Photo credit: Sammy Fung
Tamshui Old Street generally refers to the public area with various local souvenir shops, restaurants and game stalls alongside. It is located very close to the waterfront which is the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset over Tamshui river. Unlike in Ximending or Xinyi, the shops in Tamshui sells handicrafts and childhood goodies which never fail to awaken one’s childhood memories.
-Tamshui Old Street-
Address: Zhongzheng Rd, Tamsui District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 251
2. Tamshui Fishermen’s Wharf/ Tamshui Lovers’ Bridge
Photo credit: youngchen揚
Tamshui Fishermen’s Wharf is the classic shooting location for a lot of Taiwanese dramas due to its romantic scenery. It was once an important fishing harbour in early Taiwanese history. Today, it stands as one of the representative landmarks of Taiwan. The wharf is also home to another popular photo-taking spot, Tamshui Lovers’ Bridge. A photo taken on the bridge is for sure a must-do item in Taiwan for couples.
One thing you should know: The white-colored, cable-stayed Lovers’ bridge has its romantic name since it was put into service on Western Valentines’ Day in 2003.
-Tamshui Fisherman’s Wharf-
Address: No.135, Guanhai Rd., Tamsui Dist., New Taipei City 251, Taiwan
What To Eat in Tamshui/Danshui:
1. Xu Yi Fish Crisp
Xu Yi Fish Crisp is a kind of crunchy snack which comes with original and spicy flavor. Tamshui is famous for its fresh and tasty seafood so its snacks also come in fish flavor. Have a try at the shop and you won’t be disappointed.
-Xu Yi Fish Crisp-
Address: No.184, Zhongzheng Road, Tamshui District, New Taipei City
Opening hours: 6:30am – 6:30pm
Tel: +886 2 2621 1414
2. Keko Fishballs
Photo credit: Marcdal
Keko is another long-history street food from Tamshui. The food store remains popular for years for a good reason. Their fishballs are exceptionally bouncy and stuffed with juicy minced meat which completely satisfies your taste buds. If you visit Tamshui, make sure you have a bowl of Keko fishballs.
Address: No.232, Zhongzheng Road, Danshui District, New Taipei City
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 8am – 7pm
Sat – Sun: 8am – 8:30pm
Tel: +886 2 2623 3579