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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

✈ Day 1 & 2 in Taiwan: Keelung Miaokou Night Market (基隆庙口夜市) and 891 Goldwater Romantic Shuttle Bus (891金水浪漫号)

I'm back here in Malaysia for three weeks already yet I still can't get my mind off of Taiwan. The weather, people, food... I'm so upset that I couldn't stay there any longer and explore this beautiful country. It was a very last minute plan hence we decided to settle it down to 8D7N trip and stroll around Taipei only.

If you have read my previous posts on the accommodation in Taiwan, I traveled to Jinguashi, New Taipei City (金瓜石, 新北市) once I touched down at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (台湾桃园国际机场). The sky turns black when we reach Levite Villa (利未庄园民宿), therefore we were recommended to go to Keelung Night Market (基隆庙口夜市) to feed our stomach and go sightseeing the other day.

Keelung Miaokou Night Market (基隆庙口夜市) is one of the famous night markets in Taiwan and is more towards traditional food-focused night market. It meanders through lanes and alleys in the downtown area surrounding Dianji Temple (奠濟宮) and that's how it got its name of Miaokou Night Market. It is especially rich in seafood (fresh, delicious yet cheap!) as it's just located adjacent to Keelung Harbour.

I'm very picky when it comes to food; not a big fan of vegetables and I love snacks & fried food very much. To be honest, my mom and I still can't get used to the taste of some Taiwanese food. There are similarities between Taiwanese cuisine and ours but there are also some tasted very differently (eg. curry, stinky tofu, mee sua). Everyone has their own personal preferences hence I wouldn't say which is nice or not and ask you don't try them if I don't like it. Instead I've prepared a list of eateries which I've compiled from various bloggers (including me! :P), travel books and even the locals (in no particular order):
  • 老莊牌烧卖大王
  • 王记天妇罗 (Tempura)
  • 猪脚虾仁焿 (Pig's Feet/Shrimp Thick Soup)
  • 刑记鼎边銼 (Hsing's Potside Sticker Soup)
  • 天一香肉焿顺 (Pork Thick Soup King)
  • 沈记泡泡冰 (Pao Pao Ice)
  • 阿华炒面
  • 营养三明治 (Nutritious Sandwhich) 
  • 刘家什锦春卷 (Assorted Spring Rolls)
  • 林记油粿芋粿 (Oil Rice Cake, Taro Cake)
  • 玔记红烧鳗
  • 蚵蛋包
  • 正宗林记爱玉冰 (Vegetarian Gelatin Ice)

Hsing's Potside Sticker Soup (刑记鼎边銼) has been highly raved by the locals and bloggers, which make it as one of the must-eat in Keelung Miaokou Night Market. The host family also asked if we've tried it. It can be easily spotted as it's just located right beside of Dianji Temple. By the way, location map and signboards in different languages (Chinese, Japanese and English) have been installed for the convenience of international travelers so no worries if you can't read or speak Chinese.

(Photo credits to

On the second day, after we had our breakfast at Levite Villa and settle down everything at the new homestay, we then hop on 891 Goldwater Romantic Shuttle Bus (891金水浪漫号) at Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park (金瓜石黄金博物园区) as suggested by the host. 891 Goldwater Romantic Shuttle Bus is a newly launched city tour bus specially for tourists by government. The whole tour took around 1 hour and it will stop by all the attractions around Jinguashi: the well-known Yin Yang Sea (阴阳海), Shuinandong Smelter (水湳洞精鍊廠), Golden Waterfall (黄金瀑布) and so on. The driver will stop for about 5 to 10 minutes each place for us to take pictures because if you get off the bus, you will have to wait for another hour. He also willing to introduce and explain about the attraction if you ask him nicely.

I was planning to hire a driver in Jinguashi as most of the attractions are not nearby each other that you can't walk from one to another. Thanks god the public transport here in Taiwan is so convenient and now they even come up with the idea of city tour bus that I can save up a lot of money and experience like the locals.

According to the driver, whenever there's a beautiful view, there's a pavilion. Jing Ming Pavilion (景明亭) is one of the earliest pavilion built in Jinguashi and offers the best view. Apart from the usual attractions spots, it is also considered as one of the must-go places in Jinguashi.

Right beside the Jing Ming Pavilion, there's a platform overlooking the view of the harbour, coastline and Yin Yang sea (阴阳海). Yin Yang sea is actually a bay where the sea is a mix of yellow and blue colour located beside the northern coastal road. It was initially believed that the colouring was caused by chemical runoff due to the pollution from nearby mining activities in the past but after closer examination, it appears this yellow and blue colouring is a result of insoluble floating iron ions from the heavy concentration of pyrite in the area, which explains why the unusual hue of the water remains even many years after the closure of mining activities.

The name of Golden Waterfall (黄金瀑布) was suggested due to the golden appearance and there is no actual gold flowing forth from these falls. Golden Waterfall has formed when the combination of regular rainfall in this mining area and abundance of heavy metal elements deposited in the riverbed radiate a gold-like colour. One of the favourite spots for wedding photography!

There are so many abandoned factories and remains of the mining industry here in Jinguashi and I have already lost count of which I've passed by along the road.

The winding road in the picture above was also given a name of Romantic Road (浪漫公路) by the locals due to the serenity of the place, awesome view overlooking from the Romantic Road especially during the Micanthus season every year.

These three huge flues criss-crossing the hill are known as Changren Tunnel No. 3 Flue Pipe (废烟道) which were used to take fumes away from the copper refinery to where there were no residents in the hills above. The flues are about two meters high and one and a half meters wide, which claimed to be the longest flues in the world.

You can find many remains of the mining industry in Jinguashi and Jiu Fen area, however, Shuinandong Smelter (水湳洞精鍊廠) is the most visible and popular of all. It was built during the Japanese Colonial Era for refining gold and copper ore which were abundant in the area. The smelter structure is built into a hillside in Shuinandong Recreation Area and its tiered construction lends itself the name "Remains of the 13 Levels" (十三层遗址), although, ironically, there is said to be a total of 18 levels.

I love the fact that every spot of Jinguashi is so Instagram-worthy and each have different view to offer. 891 Goldwater Romantic Shuttle Bus is definitely one great invention by the government and it has solved my transportation problem of how to get around Jinguashi. Previously I always thought that one must hire a driver to visit all the attractions nearby (eg. Golden Waterfall, Jiu Fen, Shi Fen) but who knows the public transport here is so convenient. Hop on the bus, get lost in the city and that's how you explore :P


Most of the people who traveled to Taiwan will surely buy a local sim card. I personally think it's quite useful when you need to contact the host family (if you're staying in a homestay), search for travel information or navigation. For me, I use it to contact with my family, host, and tour guide, update my Instagram, search for attractions/restaurant nearby and Cosmed (康是美) apps.

After you passed through customs and come out to the arrival hall, there will be signboards leading you to the telecommunications counter on your right hand side. There are three types of telco available: Chunghwa (中华电信), Da Ge Da (台湾大哥大) and Far EasTone (远传电信). Far EasTone offers the cheapest rate while the most recommended is Chunghwa Telecom as they provide high speed mobile Internet access even in the rural areas. All you need to do is just give your passport, money, tell them your phone model and which package you want and they will settle everything for you. No activation time is needed and you can use it right away.

I've purchased the Chunghwa Telecom 7 day pass for NT 500 with unlimited data and NT 150 worth of airtime. I found that their data service is quite reliable and there's not even one moment which I've lost connection even in Jiu Fen (九份) or Mao Kong (猫空).

Back to my itinerary, you will have to take Keelung Bus No. 788 (基隆客运788) (bus routes as attached) from Jinguashi to get to Keelung Miaokou Night Market. Bus fare costs NT 30 one way each person (swipe your EasyCard (悠游卡) twice when you get on and off the bus) as it passes the staging point, New Taipei City Community (新北市界) and the whole trip took about 45 minutes. Get off the bus at Department of Hospital (署立医院), walk further down when you come to a traffic light, cross the road on your left hand side and Keelung Miaokou Night Market is just in front of you. The bus driver will also mention if you've reach the nearest station to Keelung Miaokou Night Market and remind you to get off the bus. You can see many stalls from far (the opposite side on your left) once you get off the bus so no worries if you're unsure of the direction.

Similarly, you need to take the same bus, Keelung Bus No. 788 when going back to Jinguashi but at a different bus station. From Department of Hospital station (署立医院) which you get off just now, walk further down when you come to a traffic light, turn right (don't cross the road), and City Hall station (市政府) is just right in front of Starbucks. Check the signboard and double confirm if you're unsure of the route.

There are many other shuttle bus offering different routes around Jinguashi; some even traveled to Bitou (鼻头), Nanya (南雅) and etc. However, there is one similarity of all these city tour bus, once you get off the bus, you will have to wait one hour for another bus. For more information, you may ask your host family (most of the homestay in Jinguashi do provide travel information) or any information center nearby if you come from Taipei for one day trip only.

Other posts of Taiwan:
[Accommodation] Levite Villa (利未庄园民宿):
[Accommodation] Cloud Village (雲山水小築民宿):
Day 2: Shifen, Jingtong and Jiufen (十分, 菁桐, 九份):
Day 3: Cyuanji Temple, Baoshi Mountain and Gold Ecological Park: (勸濟堂, 报时山, 黄金博物园区):


  1. taiwan look so nice :) but the alphabet make my head spinning lol . great review and so detailed
    @freddy_friday blog

  2. your pictures of taiwan is darn amazing!! why so chio one?! I never tried taking public transport up jiu fen though, the journey looks quite long.

  3. is really details sharing..

  4. Hi! New reader here, and I absolutely loved your photos of Taiwan. Great photos and it looks like a great place. GIGLove

    Yaya ♥ My Dreamality

  5. The golden waterfall is an absolute marvel! I just love it.. The pictures r so cool.. :)

  6. The photos are amazing and the view of the sea despite the pollution. Well jealous of you holiday and I love fried food too.

  7. Lovely Pictures! Makes me wana go to Taiwan, Keelung and Miaokou too!! The Golden Waterfall is divine!

    GIG Love
    xoxo Chaicy - Style.. A Pastiche!
    SAP on Facebook

  8. Absolutely amazing photos! it sounds like there was a fab vibe at the market as well! x
    | Life as a Petite || Fashion, Crafts & Lifestyle Blog |

  9. Oh I love this post and all the photos! Thanks for sharing that it's possible to visit these places without hiring a dedicated driver - which is the usual advise given! do you think that's do-able if travelling with kids too? Would love to explore a guest post with you - please do drop me a note if you are keen :)

    Ling Tan

  10. Such beautiful pictures! A friend of mine was there just a few weeks ago and shared some pictures of food that looks delicious!

  11. Wah good info. I plan to visit Taiwan next year!

  12. A really interesting post and the photos are beautiful. :)

  13. Absolutely breathtaking! No wonder you're upset of not being able to stay longer. i would be, too. And the street food, that's my fave!

    xx Donah

  14. The scenery looks so great and pretty!! The food is so amazing!!

  15. i really want to go to the night market! its on the top of my list when i visit taiwan

  16. omg the street food indeed!
    are the best things ever happen in my life..
    i love culinary street food <3

  17. The first thing that caught my eye was the Romantic shuttle bus and then the delicious food of course. Loved your post dear :) GIG

  18. I was visiting Taiwan during the similar period. But I didn't go to these places. Agreed that ChungHwa Telcom is the best. But I was not using the plan you used. I asked my friend, she recommended me to purchase 1gb data for 7 days, with NT300. Since i didn't make call, and only keep updating on insta, fb etc. 1gb is more than enough. Giglove

  19. I really want to visit the night market. for the street food YESSS

  20. Such breathtakingly beautiful photos! Makes me want to take a visit! xoxo giglove

  21. WOW! Good views! I love all the scenery pics you took! I bet you were having fun there during your visit!

    ~GIG Blogger
    Fia's Recent Updated Blos Post

  22. What amazing pictures, this looks like a wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing! <3 GIGLove


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