Taiwan's seaside contrast with the city
We'll drive East from Taipei through the mountains of Yangmingshan National Park, and along the slopes of its dormant volcanoes.
At the foot of the Datun mountain, explore Yehliu Geopark, where the unique Queen's Head rock gazes out over the Pacific. Jinshan's hot springs, old market street or Juming Museum are worth a visit.
South of Keelung in Jinguashi's Geological Park, the Gold Museum displays the largest gold bar in Taiwan in the preserved mining buildings of the Japanese era.
On the other side of Keelung mountain, Jioufen's former gold mining village is now the best place to sample local food, browse in shops and enjoy tea and the sunset panorama of the North Coast.
Your tour can also start off with a visit to the old river port of Tamsui on the Northwest coast. Take in the view from the waterfront promenade and the sights from the 17th century Dutch Fort Anthonio (former Spanish fort 'San Domingo') and the old British Consulate. At the Northern tip pass the Fugui Cape lighthouse and Shimen arch
Depending on your preference and the weather we enter the Yang Ming Mountain National Park or avoid its clouds and mist at times (or the winding roads), by following the North coast roads and the highway from Tamsui to Jinshan.
Nearby the Northeast coast you have a choice of many hot spring baths that dot the area; from simple public ones to resorts, with separated Japanese to mixed European spa type pools, without and with bathing suits respectively.
If you prefer modern art we can walk around in the area of the Juming Museum, a large open-air exhibition in the park created by Taiwan's famous artist and creative sculptor.
Yehliu Geopark is next, and on everyone's list: it may be crowded with visitors. A modern road with tunnels and viaducts leads us on a one-hour drive to the copper and gold mines of Jinguashi and Jiufen.
From there we return to Taipei via the freeway.
If you are here on a cruise we may opt to spend almost two hours more time on the coast or in Keelung, before returning to your ship
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: your Taipei hotel or Keelung cruise terminal.
End location: your hotel, cruise terminal or where you prefer to explore on your own.
Duration: 8 hours
During sunny days a drive in the mountains is a joy, otherwise we'll stay around sea level. May through September is the main typhoon season.
If you'd like to visit a hot spring: bathing suits are only worn in mixed public pools, for these you'll also need a swim cap to cover your hair. Baths are usually at 32 and 40 degrees Celcius or 90/104 F, alternated with a dip in the cold water pool to invigorate your body.
air-conditioned car or minivan with driver.
For cruise passengers: we usually drive North along the coast to Yehliu for an early morning visit, then head inland and South to Jinguashi/Jiufen before returning to Keelung.
Please let me know any mobility, medical and diet concerns in advance. Have your own medical and travel insurance up to date for this trip.
Transport by air-conditioned car or minivan with driver, my services as your guide.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
1000 NT Dollar - Most shops and restaurants, hot springs accept credit cards, no foreign currency
Lunch and refreshments, entrance.
Tienlai Hot Spring Resort fee of NT$ 600 on weekdays, or NT$ 800 in the weekend. Other smaller local baths charge less.
Entrance to Yehliu Geopark NT$ 80.
Optional visit tickets: Juming Museum NT$ 250, closed Mondays.
Jinguashi: Gold Geological park NT$ 80, Gold Museum NT$ 80, Benshan gold mine 5th Tunnel NT$ 50, Gold panning NT$ 100. Park is open, but buildings are closed on the first Monday of the month.
Extra hours at US$25 equivalent paid to the driver.
Driving and guiding must be kept separated on Taiwan's busy roads, so my trips are offered with a local agency and professional drivers.
Regular hours are from 9 to 5, at other times and for extra actual time surcharges may apply.
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An excellent tour operator. We enjoyed the experience hugely. The service was prompt and attentative. Knowledgable, flexible, accommodating guide and most capable, thoughtful, helpful driver.