Top Must-See Taiwan Sights with Klook Tours

Balloon launxh in Jiufen

Taipei’s Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, Shifen, and Golden Waterfalls

I really dislike group tours, whether it’s in Taipei or anywhere else. The idea of being part of a group and traveling with strangers makes me feel uneasy. However, private tours are often expensive, which adds to my frustration. So, when I found a tour on Klook that covered all the places I wanted to visit in Taipei, affordable at 41,000 KRW or USD 31 per person, I had to make a compromise. Despite my dislike for group tours, I decided to book it because I didn’t want to spend more money that could be used for another trip. It wasn’t an ideal choice, but I had to go with it. So, I booked the tour to Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, Shifen, and the Golden Waterfalls for the day after tomorrow.

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Joining the Pooh Family

Taipei 101– An Overview of the Klook Tour

I got a phone call while riding in a Grab to the meeting point. The tour didn’t include hotel pickup or drop-off, which is why it was priced so cheaply. The tour started at 10:30, and we arrived at 10:15, being the last ones there out of around 20 people. I was relieved because I hoped there wouldn’t be many latecomers on this tour, and that’s one of the main reasons I don’t enjoy group tours.

Taiwan’s Green World Songshan– the best place to stay when you visit Taipei.

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Our Klook tour guide, Winnie, carried a stuffed Winnie the Pooh animal on a stick, which he used as a prop during the tour. He declared that we would now be known as the Pooh Family. He gave a brief overview of the 4 stops we would make on this full day tour. Then placed a round yellow sticker on my shirt, declaring were were group #7.

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The little white Klook tour bus was just big enough for our group. However, it lacked a restroom, USB connectors, or any other modern conveniences apart from seatbelts. It reminded me of a time when I had trouble with the seatbelt on an Asiana flight, but this one just needed to be reinserted into the clasp, and it worked perfectly fine. There were two screens on the bus to watch Klook videos about the places we would be visiting. First up, Yehliu Geopark, about an hour away.

Yehliu Geopark

Yehliu Geopark is a beautiful natural geological park on the northeastern coast of Taiwan. It’s known for its special rock formations that were shaped by many years of weathering and erosion. The park has a few remarkable rock formations, such as the famous “Queen’s Head,” which looks like the head of the ancient Egyptian queen, Nefertiti. You’ll also find interesting formations like mushroom rocks, sea trenches, wave-cut platforms, and even seashell fossils on the ground. Be careful where you step, because I almost stepped on one myself!

The park is divided into three sections, but on this tour, we’ll have time to explore two of them. The third section offers a scenic hike along the seaside, which I really wish we had time for. I really enjoyed seeing this park, it’s very unique. There was this weird guy playing eerie music with a violin bow and saw. There is a huge covered market selling food, fruit juices, magnets, and other souvenirs. I bought a mango juice, dried mangoes, and a bag of wasabi shrimps chips.

Jiufen and the Golden Waterfalls

The next two stops were 5 minutes apart. Jiufen Old Street is a former mining town and currently, a lively market where you can taste local treats and buy traditional crafts. In addition, you have a unique opportunity to experience the former town’s lantern tradition by writing messages on eco-friendly balloons and releasing them on the old railroad tracks that used to run through the center of Jiufen Old Town. It’s a wonderful way to connect with the town’s heritage while also contributing to its future. Any local can scoop up the downed lanterns and return them to the shops and receive payment. We found a small coffee and sat and watched the fun all around us.

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While you’re there, make sure to try some of Jiufen’s local dishes. One popular option is a roasted chicken leg stuffed with sticky and fried rice. Another delicious treat is scoops of ice cream and shaved peanuts then rolled like a burrito. I highly recommend trying both of them because they are absolutely delicious.

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Taipei Niagara Falls

Afterward, we hopped back on the bus to visit the Golden Waterfalls. Although these waterfalls may not be the tallest in the country, they certainly make up for it in width. Some people even refer to them as the “Taipei Niagara Falls.” Being from upstate New York myself, I can testify that while the Golden Waterfalls are undoubtedly stunning, they can’t quite compare to the sheer magnitude of Niagara Falls.

Activity Duration: 2 Hours

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The last stop of the day provided both the highlight and the lowlight of the trip. The Klook tour bus parked in a crowded parking lot, and we were directed to squeeze into an old public bus with no available seating. The 20-minute ride up to old Shifen city was definitely the most unpleasant part of the entire tour.

I had been eagerly looking forward to visiting Shifen, but unfortunately, the narrow streets packed with shops were overwhelming with people. The added factor of heat, combined with the exhaustion of climbing numerous stairs throughout the day, made it quite challenging for me. At that point, I made a conscious decision not to go down any more stairs, knowing that I would have to climb back up each one.

After visiting the main attractions, Steven and I sought refuge in a cool, air-conditioned theater located near the famed Ao Ma Teahouse. It was the first theater in Taiwan, and its hard wooden benches provided a much-appreciated respite from the heat. We enjoyed, sans popcorn, watching 4-5 short films about the area before venturing back into the chaos to search for a suitable snack.

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All Things Come to an End

We found it at the shop above. We ordered two dishes, duck and chicken. Since neither one of us can read Cantonese, we were definitely surprised when both came out cold. Too bad we didn’t have any bread. Who doesn’t love a cold duck or chicken sandwich?

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We met the rest of the Pooh family at the entrance, a nondescript 7-Eleven near the bus stop. Thankfully, the bus ride down the mountain was much more pleasant. An hour later, we were saying our goodbyes to the people we met, wishing them all safe travels. We ended the evening with a ride up Taipei 101 and a recommendation to a chicken restaurant a few blocks away.

Activity Duration: 2 Hours

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